Elton Loses Court Battle Over Tour Expenses
Sir Elton John emerged a multi-million pound loser at London's High Court today (April 11), after one of the country's top judges threw out his #14 million negligence claim against accountants PricewaSir Elton John emerged a multi-million pound loser at London's High Court today (April 11), after one of the country's top judges threw out his £14 million negligence claim against accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers. In addition to losing the claim, John faces a potential legal bill estimated at £8 million.
However, this is not likely to be the end of the matter. Lawyers for the artist, who the judge described as a man of "uncommon generosity" and "great intelligence," said they anticipated there would be an appeal of today's ruling.
In his 138-page judgement, which came in the wake of a mammoth 43-day hearing that ended in February, Mr. Justice Andrew Ferris ruled that PricewaterhouseCoopers was not guilty of negligence in the way it managed the pop superstar's affairs. The judge said he considered that the firm did owe a duty to John. But he continued, "the loss which he seeks to recover could not on any view be recovered by him." He added, "I am not satisfied that PricewaterhouseCoopers were negligent."
John's claim, which centered on overseas touring costs, was also brought against Andrew Haydon, who was formerly the managing director of John Reid Enterprises, which managed John for many years.
John, 53, claimed that millions of pounds were paid out in touring expenses when in fact, under a management agreement, they should have been shouldered by John Reid Enterprises. He accused John Reid himself of "betraying" him and he claimed PricewaterhouseCoopers were negligent in the way they managed his affairs. An earlier claim against Reid was settled for £3.4 million.
"I only heard about the judgement a few hours ago and still don't know the full details," John said in a statement. "Obviously I am disappointed and I am considering with my lawyers the question of appeal; which seems likely. As everyone in business knows, it is notoriously difficult to succeed in a claim for negligence against professional advisers. I am looking forward to fulfilling my continuing recording and touring commitments.""