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Lawsuit by former Coldplay manager seeks £10m+

Representatives for Dave Holmes allege the band are refusing to honour his management contract and pay him "what he is owed"

By James Hanley on 04 Sep 2023

image © Stevie Rae Gibbs

Former Coldplay manager Dave Holmes is seeking more than £10 million (€11.7m) in allegedly unpaid commission in his lawsuit against the band, according to a new report.

It was reported last month that the four members of the group – Chris Martin, Jonny Buckland, Guy Berryman and Will Champion – are being sued by Holmes in the UK High Court for breach of contract.

Representatives for Holmes say the band are “refusing to honour [his] management contract and pay him what he is owed” – a claim that is “vigorously disputed” by Coldplay.

Holmes had worked with the British group since before their 2000 debut album Parachutes, but the parties quietly went their separate ways last year, with the quartet continuing to be managed by the team of Phil Harvey, Mandi Frost and Arlene Moon.

The Daily Mail reports that Holmes and the band began working together on two-album cycles from 2014, with his most recent deal, covering 2019’s Everyday Life and 2021’s Music of the Spheres, their eighth and ninth LPs, respectively. The lawsuit claims that Coldplay later extended the deal to the end of 2025, covering a future 10th and 11th album.

Holmes claims that, following discussions with the band, he had started planning for the albums, as well as preparations for 2024/25 tours.

However, it is alleged that, shortly afterwards, Coldplay claimed the contract had not yet been agreed to and that his previous agreement had ended.

“Dave Holmes successfully managed Coldplay for more than 22 years, steering them to be one of the most successful bands in music history”

According to the lawsuit, the band were paid a £35m advance for their 10th LP and £30m for their 11th and 12th albums.

Holmes, who received a 10% commission on the net profits of the group’s records, tours and related activities for the past four LPs, says he was then informed by the band’s solicitor that they wanted to change his role to ‘head of touring’ and limit his commission to just concerts.

He alleges he was given two drafts of the new contract in August 2022, only for the band to later withdraw the offer and inform him through their solicitors that he was being dismissed.

Holmes alleges that the group are refusing to pay him for his contributions to the future album and tour preparations, and is demanding they pay the commissions as outlined in the contract. He is also calling on them to cover the “loss and damage equal to the profits”, plus everything he is entitled to from prior deals.

“Dave Holmes successfully managed Coldplay for more than 22 years, steering them to be one of the most successful bands in music history,” says Holmes’ lawyer Phil Sherrell. “Now, as the legal case shows, Coldplay is refusing to honour Dave’s management contract and pay him what he is owed.”

A spokesperson for Coldplay says that Holmes’ management contract expired at the end of 2022, “at which point they decided not to start a new one”. “The matter is now in the hands of Coldplay’s lawyers and the claims are being vigorously disputed,” adds the statement.

Coldplay, who have sold over 100 million albums worldwide, recently confirmed their Music of the Spheres World Tour will extend to 2024.


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