Story by Rachel DeSantis
In a motion obtained by PEOPLE, Daryl Hall argued that the sale would cause him "imminent irreparable harm."
Michael Loccisano/Getty John Oates and Daryl Hall in 2014.© Provided by People
Hall, 77, filed suit against Oates, 75, in order to stop Oates’ plans to sell his share of a joint business venture to a third party, which Hall argues is a violation of a business agreement previously reached by the pair, according to a motion obtained by PEOPLE.
The “Rich Girl” singers entered into an agreement in October 2021 over Whole Oats Enterprises LLP (WOE), a limited liability partnership owned and controlled by the musicians, per the motion.
But on Nov. 9, Hall initiated an arbitration process against Oates to prevent his bandmate from transferring 100% of his right, title and interest in Whole Oats to a third-party buyer called Primary Wave Music without Hall’s consent, a transaction he claims is “unauthorized and void” and a breach of contract. The motion alleges that Oates had entered into a letter of intent with Primary Wave that could’ve closed as early as Nov. 20, and Hall argued that the sale would cause him “imminent irreparable harm.”
When Hall’s motion was filed on Nov. 16, no arbitrator had been chosen, leaving Hall unable to pursue his pending request in the arbitration for temporary injunctive relief in the manner requested.
Dana Nalbandian/WireImage Daryl Hall and John Oates in 2011.© Provided by People
He alleged in documents that he sought the restraining order against Oates — which was granted the next day — in order to close the Primary Wave transaction “so as to maintain the status quo of WOE before there is a change in control of the partnership in violation of the terms of the Agreement.”
Primary Wave has already owned significant interest in the Grammy-nominated musicians’ song catalog for more than 15 years, according to the Associated Press.
Hall’s attorneys said much of the matter should remain under seal because it is a “private dispute… This is not a matter of legitimate public interest, although the parties are well known.” His legal team noted that the dispute concerns the interpretation of the 2021 agreement, the terms of which remain confidential.
According to the motion, the case will ultimately be decided in a confidential arbitration process, and a hearing is set for Nov. 30. Lawyers for Hall and Oates have not immediately responded to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Hall filed against Oates as well as Aimee Oates and Richard Flynn, the co-trustees of the John W. Oates TISA Trust. All defendants were issued summonses on Nov. 20, and a pro hac vice motion was filed two days later, meaning one party requested an out-of-state attorney to join the case.
Though he has not publicly commented, Oates has posted to social media since the drama began, sharing a message on X (formerly Twitter) on Nov. 22 that encouraged people to support local charities.
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Hall and Oates ca. 1970© Provided by People
“During this time of communal reflection and connection with loved ones, let's not forget those experiencing challenges globally,” he wrote. “As we come together, consider reaching out to support those in need—whether through local charities or international humanitarian initiatives. May our collective efforts contribute to a more compassionate and supportive world. J.O.
Hall and Oates, who have been a duo since 1972, most recently performed together in 2022, and Oates released a reggae version of their 1982 hit “Maneater” earlier this year.
Oates revealed to PEOPLE in September that he wasn't sure Hall had listened to the song's new version, which was released in May. "Nope, I haven't heard from him," he said at the time. "I'm not even sure if he has or hasn't heard it."
In March 2022, Hall expressed uncertainty at the prospect of the "Rich Girl" musicians coming back together for a new album anytime soon. "I have no idea. I don’t have any plans to work with John. I mean, whatever. Time will tell," he told The Los Angeles Times.
He opened up further about the state of his relationship with Oates in a September 2022 podcast appearance, referring to Oates as his “business partner.”
“He’s not my creative partner,” Hall said on Club Random with Bill Maher. “John and I are brothers, but we are not creative brothers. We are business partners. We made records called Hall & Oates together, but we’ve always been very separate, and that’s a really important thing for me."
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