Coldplay’s former manager is suing the band for over £10 million ($12 million) worth of unpaid commission.
Variety broke the news last month that Dave Holmes, who managed the Chris Martin-fronted band for over 20 years, had split with the “Viva La Vida” rockers and launched a lawsuit in the U.K. High Court.
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Documents filed at court now shed some light on what prompted the falling out. Holmes alleges in his filing the band have reneged on a promised contract regarding their tenth and eleventh albums, on which the manager was due to be paid commission.
According to the suit, Coldplay were paid an advance of £35 million ($44 million) for their as yet unreleased tenth album and £30 million ($38 million) for their eleventh and twelfth albums, on which Holmes says he should have received a commission. He was paid between 8% and 13% commission under his previous contract, which covered the band’s eight and ninth albums, “Everyday Life” and “Music of the Spheres.”
As well as managing logistics for the preparation and recording of the albums, ranging from preparing budgets and arranging recording sessions in London, Aspen and Jamaica to liaising with music producer Max Martin and licensing samples, Holmes says in his lawsuit he also worked on the band’s tours, including their U.S., Australia and Asia tours.
He claims that as well as reneging on a contract extension the band tried to demote him from manager to head of touring.
He is asking the U.K. court to make a declaration that the contract covering the tenth and eleventh albums is valid and to order payment of outstanding commission. In the alternative, he is asking for damages or “payment of a reasonable charge” for the work he has done to date on the records. His lawyers have valued his claim at over £10 million ($12 million).
Holmes’ filings also reveal that, in legal letters preceding his lawsuit, Coldplay have threatened to file a “significant counterclaim” along with any defense.
In a statement to Variety, a rep for the band said: “Dave Holmes’ management contract with Coldplay expired at the end of 2022, at which point they decided not to start a new one. The matter is now in the hands of Coldplay’s lawyers and the claims are being vigorously disputed.”
Phil Sherrell, who is representing Holmes, tells Variety: “Dave Holmes successfully managed Coldplay for more than 22 years, steering them to be one of the most successful bands in music history. Now, as the legal case shows, Coldplay is refusing to honor Dave’s management contract and pay him what he is owed.”
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