Business News Legal

Prince estate could get new special administrator, possibly to pursue legal action

By | Published on Tuesday 8 August 2017


The bank administrating the Prince estate has asked the judge overseeing the late musician’s affairs to appoint a second ‘special administrator’ who could “pursue claims” on behalf of the estate where the bankers can’t act because of a conflict in interest. According to Billboard, Comerica Bank recommended that a lawyer be appointing to this new role.

Specifics of the bank’s proposals aren’t known, because its letter to the court was heavily redacted when it was made public, and the judge has now given the all clear for future documentation in relation to this matter to be filed under seal, meaning it will remain confidential.

However, the proposal is very possibly being made in relation to the collapsed deal between the estate and Universal Music over the rights to represent Prince’s recordings catalogue.

As previously reported, Universal requested that that $30 million+ deal be cancelled after it became clear that some of the Prince recordings it thought it would get to represent were already controlled by Warner Music, on the back of a complex agreement the pop star reached with the mini-major prior to his death.

The Universal deal was done prior to Comerica’s involvement in the estate, and was instigated by former advisors L Londell McMillan and Charles Koppelman on the watch of former administrators the Bremer Trust. Agreements relating to the hand over of the Prince estate’s affairs from Bremer to Comercia block the latter for entering into a legal dispute with the former, so the plan to appoint a separate special administrator might be a sign that some kind of dispute between the estate and Bremer is in the pipeline.

There have been disagreements between Prince’s heirs on the way the estate’s affairs have been handled, with some backing the cancellation of the Universal recordings deals and others arguing it should be enforced. That complicates things, though Comercia’s proposals would remove one blockage if the heirs want to take action against former estate advisors.