In a surprising turn of events, Daryl Hall, one half of the iconic music duo Hall & Oates, has filed a lawsuit against his musical partner of many years, John Oates. The bone of contention is Oates' recent move to sell his share of their joint venture, Whole Oats Enterprises LLP, a decision Hall contends breaches their longstanding business agreement.
This legal battle has led to a Nashville chancery court judge issuing a temporary restraining order on November 16, effectively halting the proposed sale to Primary Wave IP Investment Management LLC. The order, issued by Chancellor Russell Perkins, remains in effect until an arbitrator in a separate, ongoing case delivers a verdict or until the restraining order's expiration, typically within a 15-day window.
The details of the lawsuit, which Hall filed the same day as the court's order, initially remained largely under seal, keeping most of the specifics out of the public eye. However, subsequent legal proceedings have allowed for more information to become accessible, though the finer points of the business agreement and the intended sale are still largely confidential.
Sealed Case Details
Hall's legal team has advocated for keeping certain aspects of the case sealed, citing the private nature of the dispute and the confidentiality of the terms involved. Notably, the lawsuit's public version does not detail the specifics at stake in the sale.
However, it is known that Primary Wave has held a significant interest in Hall and Oates' song catalog for over a decade and a half. In a 2021 interview with Sky News, Hall expressed regret over the sale of his earlier catalog, advising artists to retain their publishing rights.
The lawsuit reveals that Hall initiated an arbitration process against Oates, his wife Aimee Oates, and Richard Flynn, co-trustees of Oates' trust, on November 9. The purpose was to prevent the sale of their stake in Whole Oats Enterprises to Primary Wave Music.
The lawsuit further alleges that Oates' team indicated the sale might conclude imminently, even before an arbitrator had been appointed. Additionally, it claims that the letter of intent with Primary Wave Music for the sale disclosed details of the business agreement, violating a confidentiality provision and constituting a breach of contract.
The next hearing for this case is scheduled for November 30. Representatives from both parties and Primary Wave Music have been contacted for comments by The Associated Press, but many details, including whether the dispute specifically involves the duo's music catalog, remain unclear.
Hall & Oates, known for their distinctive blend of soft rock and pop, have enjoyed a successful career since their start as Temple University students in 1972. The duo, famous for hits like "Private Eyes," "Rich Girl," and "Maneater," boasts six platinum albums and numerous Top 10 singles.