Volume 1, Issue 8 (Originally Published 23 April 2012)
On April 19, 1967, The Beatles - John, Paul, George and Ringo - signed a partnership deed agreement to continue the group for a further 10 years. Prior to this time, the Fab Four had been partners-at- will, meaning their agreement could be terminated whenever they wanted. The bandmates decided to take the plunge and entered not only into formal legal partnership with each other, but also with Apple Corps Ltd, a company who bought into the partnership (at a whopping £800,000) with an 80% interest in the partnership profits and a right to manage the business side of the partnership.
Unfortunately, Apple mismanaged profits and began to lose money rapidly. In early 1969, John Lennon had apparently begun telling friends that if things were going to continue this way, the Beatles would be broke within six months. By 1970, obvious tensions had arisen between the bandmates, particularly as to the financial state of their band and the tactics employed by their relatively new band manager, Allen Klein, whom Paul McCartney disliked. This would eventually lead Paul to file an action against his bandmates and manager for breach of agreement, and seek a declaration of dissolution of partnership. In his writ, he asked the High Court of Justice, Chancery Division, for appointment of a receiver to take control of all property and interests in which the Beatles were involved, as well as an account of the band’s financial position.
For more details of the lawsuit and a legal analysis of his counsel’s arguments, head to http://abbeyrd.best.vwh.net/paullawsuit.html.