Sir Elton John loses case against PwC

The 53-year-old popstar tried to sue his former accountancy firm PwC, formerly Price Waterhouse, and Andrew Haydon, the former managing director of management company John Reid Enterprises, for negligence in managing his business affairs and tour costs he claimed he should not have paid.

But in his 138-page judgement, Mr Justice Ferris said: ‘I have concluded that the agreement which Sir Elton reached with his management company JREL regarding the costs for touring does not require that those costs should have been paid by JREL.’

The decision followed a hearing lasting 43 days, which ended on 1 February when Mr Justice Ferris reserved judgement.

PwC said it was delighted with the outcome calling it a case without merit.

‘We view today’s judgement as a complete vindication of the individuals and of the firm, who were found to be frank and honest in very difficult circumstances,’ the firm said in a statement.

‘Auditors are not “a bank of last resort”, available as a deep pocket,’ the firm said.

‘We look forward to the recovery of our costs from Sir Elton.’

Reid was not a party to the action before Mr Justice Ferris, but the case centred on what was agreed between Sir Elton and him during a 1984 holiday in St Tropez over who would pay overseas touring costs.

Reid, who was called to give evidence by PricewaterhouseCoopers, told the court he would never have agreed to pay touring costs and claimed it was never raised during the 1984 meeting.

During the hearing Sir Elton’s evidence hit the headlines when it emerged his spending on property and personal items – including Pounds 293,000 on flowers – once amounted to almost Pounds 40 million over a 20-month period.

Under cross-examination, he told the court that his property bills alone between January 1996 and September 1997 amounted to almost Pounds 9.6m.

And when asked by Mark Hapgood QC, representing PwC, whether it was possible his bill for flowers was Pounds 293,000 alone, Sir John explained: ‘Yes, I like flowers.’

Sir Elton could now face a legal bill of some £8m.


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