Eversheds and Sonnenschein come together for Beatles’ battle with EMI

Eversheds and Sonnenschein come together for Beatles’ battle with EMI” />Eversheds and US firm Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal have launched a two-pronged attack on record giant EMI on behalf of The Beatles.

Nick Valner, commercial litigation head at Eversheds, launched the claim in the High Court on 15 December 2005. Sonnenschein partner Paul LiCalsi followed the English claim on the same day in New York.

The Beatles and their record company Apple Corps are suing EMI and US subsidiary Capitol Records for unpaid royalties, worth around £30m in the UK and $25m (£14.3m) in the US.

The US claim form states: “This action arises because Capitol/EMIR have fraudulently concealed their true use and disposition of recordings of The Beatles (as a group and individually) and have intentionally rendered dishonest and grossly deficient accounting statements, all in an effort to pocket millions of dollars of plaintiffs’ royalties.”

As well as acting for the band, Valner is also named as a claimant in his capacity as executor to the estate of Beatles guitarist George Harrison. Other claimants include John Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.

Valner has instructed Brick Court Chambers’ Jonathan Hirst QC for the claimants. Stephen Gare of Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw is acting for EMI in the UK, instructing Laurence Rabinowitz QC of One Essex Court.

Later this year, Valner will also represent Apple Corps in the long-awaited IP spat with Apple Computers.