Judge Says Only So Much At A Time

The complicated legal wrangle over money between top Irish promoter Denis Desmond and former partner Eamonn McCann won’t be settled quickly, as the judge wants to hear it in bite-sized chunks.

The preliminary hearing was at the beginning of November and the case was expected to reach the Commercial Court in February. But now it seems the issue is being split into what court officials are describing as “more digestible portions.”

The big spread on the table is what could turn out to be a multimillion-euro legal battle, as McCann claims Desmond owes him the fat end of euro 4.0 million ($4.9 million) as his profit share from a number of events between 2001 and 2006.

McCann and Desmond worked with each other for several years and established MCD, the country’s main music promotions company. The partnership broke down a number of years ago, and Desmond took full control of the business. McCann went on to set up Wonderland Promotions.

Maurice Collins, who’s represented Desmond in court, says it “beggars belief” that a claim of such magnitude, if it did exist, would have been allowed to linger since 2006. He says the amount McCann’s actually owed is euro 104,608 ($128,385).

Apparently McCann’s claim relates to the buyout deal he did with Desmond in 2006 and the dispute relates to how the settlement should be calculated.

Leading Irish papers reported that Desmond agreed to buy out McCann for 4.66 times the average annual net profits for the years 2003-2005, but the two former partners are at odds over how the net profit figure should be reached.

McCann’s legal team has suggested checking the relevant accounts is a convoluted paper trail.

Asked how viewed the judge apparently saying he can only listen to so much of the evidence at one time, Desmond told Pollstar, “I’m sure he means he’s first going to look at what he sees as the important bits.”

The important bits would likely be the wording of the original deal when Desmond bought out McCann’s interests in MCD, and how the profits for 2003 through 2005 are calculated.

Regarding Desmond’s euro 2.2 million settlement awarded for a 2008 Prince no-show in Dublin, “I sincerely hope he comes to Europe,” Desmond said.

So far the diminutive U.S. megastar has done nothing about paying the money, although Desmond has a European Enforcement Order that entitles him to collect it from the fees Prince will receive for his shows at Denmark’s Roskilde Festival, France’s Arrass Main Square Festival and Belgium’s Rock Werchter July 4-10.