Jul 8, 2024 2 min read

Coldplay pays former manager seven figure sum to settle dispute

Coldplay have forked out millions to settle their dispute with ex-manager Dave Holmes, avoiding public scrutiny of their business affairs. The legal battle stemmed from conflicting claims over contract renewal and alleged mismanagement. The settlement avoids a potentially explosive court case

Coldplay pays former manager seven figure sum to settle dispute
Photo credit: Anna Lee

Coldplay have settled their legal dispute with former manager Dave Holmes, avoiding a very public airing of their business affairs in London’s High Court. The band reportedly agreed to pay Holmes an undisclosed seven figure sum back in May, according to The Sun.

The falling out came to public attention when Holmes sued Coldplay last year, after his long-term management relationship with the band crumbled in 2022. He claimed that his management deal was renewed for two more albums following the release of ‘Music Of The Spheres’ in 2021, extending his partnership with the band through to the end of 2025.

On that basis, he alleged, he began work on the next record, including negotiating a new deal with Warner Music, as well as beginning preparations for the band’s 2024/2025 world tour. However, he claimed, with that work already underway, the band said that they wanted to limit his role to working on their live activity, before later sacking him altogether. 

The lawsuit asked the courts to enforce Holmes’ management deal with the band and secure  him all the commissions due under that deal - or, at the very least, order the band to pay him for the work he had already done on the tour and album at the point he was sacked. 

Coldplay denied the allegations and countersued, asserting that they had never renewed Holmes’ management contract. They accused him of mismanagement of their previous tour, alleging that his bad decisions had cost them millions. They also claimed that Holmes had leveraged their relationship with Live Nation in order to secure finance from the live giant for one of his own personal projects. 

A spokesperson for Holmes dismissed those allegations at the time as “non-existent ethical lapses” and “made-up misconduct”, insisting that the accusations were simply a bid to deflect attention from a simple fact: “Coldplay had a contract with Dave, they are refusing to honour it and they need to pay Dave what they owe him”.

Such talk suggested things could get fiery if the case actually got to court, although that seemed unlikely. As with many cases of this sort, public legal posturing is often part of the negotiating stance by both parties hoping to get the other side to agree to a private settlement .

Those settlement negotiations seemingly began and neither side issued any further statements about the dispute. The deal struck in May allows the two parties to go their separate ways with no further public scrutiny of their former business partnership. 

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