June 12, 2002
Elton John returned to Londons Court of Appeal on June 12, 2002, to renew his multi-million pound legal battle with accountants, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
In April 2001 Mr Justice Andrew Ferris, a High Court judge, threw out his £14 million damages plus interest claim against PwC and left him facing a lawyers bill for £8 million.
Eltons lawyers returned to the Appeal Court where, in a complex legal fight centring on the construction of contracts, they are seeking to re-open the claim.
Mark Howard QC for Elton told three Lord Justices, Pill, Walker and Sir Martin Nourse, that Elton claims the accountants were negligent in failing to report to him that he and his companies, rather than his ex-manager John Reid and his John Reid Enterprises, were bearing the costs of various contractors whose services were used during Eltons overseas tours.
"The total costs born by Elton in this way amount to just under pound sterling 7 million. He claims these sums together with interest," said Mr Howard.
When the case was heard last year interest was already being put at a further £7 million.
Mr Howard said the claim was on the basis that failure by PwC to report on the situation had resulted in Elton losing his ability to recover the money from Reid and JRE.
"The issue in essence comes down to this. What were the duties and functions of John Reid and his companies under the management agreement concerning Sir Eltons tours? What was the scope of their responsibilities?" said Mr Howard.
In the High Court decision now under challenge Mr Justice Andrew Ferris ruled that PwC was not guilty of negligence in the way it managed the pop superstars affairs. The judge said then he considered that PwC did owe a duty of care to Elton.
But he continued : "The loss which he seeks to recover could not on any view be recovered by him." "I am not satisfied that PricewaterhouseCoopers were negligent," he said.
A previous defendant, Andrew Haydon, former managing director of JRE Ltd., was not party to the appeal.
The hearing continues.
EJW.com will follow this case with its panel of legal experts, but no assumptions or predictions will be offered until the case is settled in court.