ICM Partners wins Celine Dion legal battle
Major US agency ICM Partners has won a legal battle over unpaid commissions from a deal negotiated and procured for former client Celine Dion with AEG.
The superstar signed a $500 million multi-year touring and performing contract with AEG in 2017 but was dropped by her representative of over 30 years Rob Prinz (ICM partner and co-head of worldwide concerts) in 2019 after failing to pay commission.
ICM sued the singer to receive the unpaid funds and the company announced on Wednesday (18 November) that the California labour commissioner ruled in its favour, upholding the terms of the contract even after the representation has ended.
The ruling states: “Although the Omnibus Agreement (Dion’s agreement with AEG negotiated by ICM and Prinz) is valued at a staggering half a billion dollars, the labour commissioner has dealt with similar matters, albeit not in this monetary range.
“In similar fact patterns, we have consistently applied the rule stating. [A] talent agency is generally entitled to receive post-termination commissions for all employment secured by the agency prior to its termination.”
“[The ruling] unequivocally confirmed ICM’s and Rob Prinz’s right to commission an extremely lucrative deal”
The labour commissioner cited fellow cases, including ICM Partners v James Bates, Paradigm Talent Agency v Charles Carroll and Endeavor Agency v Alyssa Milano, in the decision.
“Further, [c]ommissions are owed post termination for monies negotiated by the agent during the term of the agreement and the artist cannot unilaterally determine there is no further obligation to pay for work already performed.”
Patricia Glaser, litigation counsel for ICM Partners says: “We are very pleased that the labour commissioner listened to the testimony of numerous witnesses over several days and reviewed a significant number of documents before issuing a very thoughtful 32-page opinion which unequivocally confirmed ICM’s and Rob Prinz’s right to commission an extremely lucrative deal which they were instrumental in negotiating and procuring.”
Rick Levy, general counsel, ICM Partners says: “This ruling leaves no doubt that Rob Prinz and ICM not only had a legally enforceable agreement to commission Ms Dion’s AEG deal, but that, throughout her brilliant career, Rob represented her in an exemplary manner, culminating in an unprecedented touring and residency contract.
“As the labour commissioner found, agents have every right to be paid for the work they do for their clients, especially where, as here, Rob’s more than two decades of hard work resulted in raising her compensation to dizzying new levels.”
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