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Eversheds and Harbottle & Lewis have been reported to the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors (OSS) because of an altercation over the copyright to Jimi Hendrix music.
Lawrence Miller, the director of Purple Haze Records, has also been threatening to take legal action against Eversheds in relation to a record released by Purple Haze named Axis Outakes.
In October last year, Eversheds wrote to a number of distributors and retailers stocking the CD, claiming that it was, in fact, Experience Hendrix LLC, Eversheds’ client, that owned the copyright to the music, and that Purple Haze did not have the rights to release it.
Miller is arguing that the rights are not owned by Experience Hendrix LLC. Instead he claims the rights are owned by John A Hillman and his former company Yameta, from whom Miller obtained rights.
In a statement to The Lawyer, Eversheds said: “He [Miller] has, for many months now, made a number of threats and allegations concerning Eversheds’ and its client’s conduct and has told us that he has written complaining to, amongst others, the Prime Minister, President George Bush, Interpol, the FBI and the police.”
The statement continued: “Eversheds has acted and will continue to act entirely properly throughout, in the best interests of its client and in accordance with its client’s instructions. If and when Purple Haze Records serves any proceedings against either Eversheds or its client, these will be defended vigorously.”
Miller’s grievance with Harbottles also relates to copyright. The niche firm acts for Ed Chalpin, the administrator of the estate of Michael Jeffrey, one of Hendrix’s former managers. However, as Miller was never a client of Harbottles it seems his complaint to the OSS is unlikely to succeed.