Seven, Ten eye legal dispute

Networks reportedly disputing length of non-compete clause in news veteran's contract.

The hiring of former Seven West Media (SWM) news veteran Peter Meakin by Ten Network Holdings (TEN) looks set to devolve into the second legal dispute between the two networks in as many years, The Australian Financial Review reports.

According to the newspaper, Mr Meakin claims Seven told him explicitly he was subject to a six-month non-compete clause, however the network says the contract actually prevents him from working on a rival network for 12 months.

Both Seven West Media and Ten have sought legal counsel on the matter. Seven has hired Johnson, Winter & Slattery, while Ten is utilising Baker & McKenzie.

The networks previously went to court over the poaching of Seven executive James Warburton by Ten in 2011.

Mr Meakin used the AFR this week to appeal to Seven to allow any restraining clause lapse.