AN exclusive Tsim Sha Tsui nightclub yesterday failed in its bid to get $1.71 million damages from a rival club for poaching one of its mamasans and a public relations manager. Mr Justice Barnett, while holding that Club Deluxe had failed to show any obvious loss, ruled that the mamasan, Mona Chan Chun-yin, had breached her contract in failing to give one month's notice. But he was satisfied the nightclub was entitled to no more than nominal damages for the breach, which he set down at $28,354. Club Deluxe, however, was not even to get that sum since the judge awarded a counterclaim for an unpaid bonus sought by Ms Chan. At the same time, he dismissed its claim against her husband, David Yu Tak-yuen, and Club Metropolitan. Club Deluxe, which had employed about 13 mamasans, each responsible for a number of hostesses, claimed to have lost $1.71 million in turnover after the couple broke their contracts and left for Club Metropolitan in October 1990. During the trial, the court heard that since Club Volvo (now Club Bboss) started in 1984, there had been much poaching of nightclub hostesses. In order to avoid this, Club Deluxe, represented by Nicholas Pirie, had written a contract with restrictive clauses for its staff, and it was its case that Ms Chan's contract was due to run until the end of 1991. However, she and Mr Yu were poached by Club Metropolitan, which paid them a ''hiring fee'' of $750,000 and $150,000 respectively. They took lists of customers with them, and told clients about their move, Club Deluxe claimed. Club Metropolitan, defended by Audrey Eu QC, denied knowledge of a contract between the couple and Club Deluxe. Mr Yu contended his contract, which was to run until September 1990, was broken when he was sent to work in a discotheque in Macau. In his judgment, Mr Justice Barnett said he was satisfied Ms Chan and other mamasans had signed contracts with Club Deluxe at the end of December 1989. By leaving without giving one month's notice, she was in breach of that contract. He said it was not in dispute that, after the couple left their former employer, six hostesses resigned. However, he said, he accepted Ms Chan's claim that after being a mamasan for 17 years, she had no need to look for hostesses because they came to look for her. As for the claim of $1.71 million loss in turnover, said Mr Justice Barnett, the figures produced by Club Deluxe did not indicate any obvious loss resulting from Ms Chan's departure.