WPP Group has won the latest round of the legal battle with its former Italy 'country manager' Marco Benatti. The High Court in London ruled yesterday that the case should be heard in the UK rather than in Italy.

The advertising and marketing services giant is suing for alleged breach of contract and fiduciary duties.

A second ruling stated that Benatti was a consultant to - rather than an employee of - WPP, a decision that considerably weakens his contractual rights. He has already sought leave to appeal the decisions.

WPP dismissed Benatti at the beginning of the year and has since been conducting an investigation of WPP Italia's financial operations [WAMN: 31-Jan-06].

Benatti has counter-sued in the Italian courts claiming wrongful dismissal and damages against WPP and its ceo Sir Martin Sorrell.

Data sourced from MediaGuardian.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff