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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 November, 2003, 12:03 GMT
Damages won for axed Morrison gig
Van Morrison
Morrison blamed the landlord for publicising the concert
A pub landlord has won 20,000 damages over the cancellation of a 2002 concert by singer Van Morrison.

Gary Marlow was also awarded the return of 20,000 in performance fees, but could be out of pocket if he is ordered to pay the costs of the case.

Mr Marlow told the court profits at the Crown Hotel in Everleigh, Wiltshire, had plunged after the cancellation.

He had sought 400,000 from production company Exile, and a personal claim against Mr Morrison was rejected.

Thomas Croxford, acting for Mr Morrison, claimed victory, saying the production company had previously offered far more than 20,000 to settle the case the case out-of-court, and is now seeking its legal costs to be paid for by Mr Marlow.

Beaten

A decision on who pays the costs of the case will be decided on Wednesday.

Mr Morrison had argued that Mr Marlow had breached the terms of a contract which restricted publicity for the concert, but this was rejected by Mr Justice Cresswell.

I would like to say that I am absolutely thrilled that we have taken on one of the kings of rock and we have won
Gary Marlow

At the earlier hearing, Mr Marlow told the court revenue at the 16th Century pub has dipped from 25,000 a month to 7,000, leaving him struggling to keep the business afloat.

The judge said in a written ruling he had "considerable concerns" about Mr Marlow's evidence as to the amount of the claim, calling them excessive.

He said poor business management and Mr Marlow's failure to refund 33,670 to ticketholders had probably damaged the reputation of the pub and its decline in profits, rather than the cancelling of the concert.

Speaking after the decision, Mr Marlow said: "I would like to say that I am absolutely thrilled that we have taken on one of the kings of rock and we have won.

"Unfortunately we didn't get what we should have had but nevertheless we have beaten him."

Lesson

Media lawyer Gary Fotios, of Laytons, told BBC News Online: "The overall lesson here is whether you are a performing artist or an ordinary person, if you pull out of a contract unilaterally there are going to be repercussions that could entail a court case and damages awarded."

But he added that there was always the risk of people going after the big money from rich stars, and courting publicity, but risking having to pay huge legal fees.

He called the case a "pyrrhic victory" because in all likelihood Mr Marlow would have to pay far more in legal costs than he was awarded in damages.


SEE ALSO:
Van Morrison case over
14 Jan 03  |  Wales
Van Morrison sued over gig
02 Oct 03  |  Wiltshire


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