BERLIN — Designer Wolfgang Joop has won a lawsuit against Joop GmbH, Hamburg, for the improper cancellation of his designer contract.

At the beginning of 2001, Joop sold his remaining 5 percent stake in Joop GmbH to the now-bankrupt parent company Wünsche, and severed relations with both Wünsche and the company that bears his name. Joop’s designer contract with Joop GmbH, however, was valid until mid-2003.

Last year, German tax authorities surprised Wünsche and Joop GmbH with a multimillion-dollar tax bill dating back to the early Nineties. On the basis of this tax bill, Joop GmbH declared the designer’s contract null and void, but did not sue him.

"If somebody says he has a case against you but doesn’t sue you, it’s customary in Germany for you to sue the other party, just to show there is no case against you," Joop’s lawyer, Daniel Ajzenszdejn, explained.

That’s exactly what Joop did. The Hamburg court decision in the designer’s favor will add up to several million dollars for Joop, who was unavailable for comment in New York. His lawyer also would not comment on the size of the settlement and executives of Joop GmbH and Wünsche could not be reached. But industry sources have estimated the final payment to the designer will be between $5 million and $6 million.

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