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Why Daryl Hall is suing John Oates

Hall is allegedly trying to stop his musical collaborator from selling his share of their joint venture, claiming it violates a business agreement.

Days after the news that Daryl Hall had filed a temporary restraining order against his longtime music partner John Oates, more information about the duo’s legal battle has come to light.

Filings made public Wednesday reveal that Hall is allegedly suing Oates to stop him from selling his share of their joint venture Whole Oats Enterprises to Primary Wave Music, claiming it violates a business agreement between the pair, the Associated Press reports. In response to the lawsuit, a judge has moved to temporarily block the sale amid the arbitration process and current legal proceedings.

Hall was granted a temporary restraining order against Oates on Nov. 16 by a Nashville chancery court judge, who wrote that Oates and his trust cannot close on the deal until an arbitrator involved in the lawsuit inspects the sale, or the order expires, per the AP. What the sale involves was not disclosed, but Primary Wave Music has owned a significant interest in the Grammy-winning duo's song catalog since 2007, and Hall has expressed his dismay over not owning their catalog in the past.

According to the complaint obtained by the AP, Hall started the arbitration process against the defendants on Nov. 9 to prevent them from selling to Primary Wave Music. It claims that Oates’ team implied that the sale would be finalized within a matter of days, despite the fact that an arbitrator had not yet been selected, and that they had signed a Letter of Intent to Primary Wave Music that revealed the musicians’ business agreement, therefore violating confidentiality.

“Thus, the entire Unauthorized Transaction is the product of an indisputable breach of contract," the complaint reads, per the outlet.

Hall & Oates formed in the 1970s and rose to stardom with hits including "Maneater," "Out of Touch," and "You Make My Dreams." The duo, who released their last album together in 2006, have never officially broken up, but they seemed to be distancing themselves from one another in recent years following the COVID-19 pandemic.


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