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Royalties: cautionary tales for singer/composer clients

Date:26 JUL 2022
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Deborah Jeff Simkins

This article examines the allocation of royalties as part of the financial settlement in divorce.

It defines what royalty payments are to whom they are payable and the relevant copyright law. In divorce pre- or post-nuptial agreements will determine the financial settlement including the treatment of royalty streams. Otherwise family law applies: assets generated during the marriage are divided equally between the parties unless there is a reason not to.

The court will seek to ascertain the capital value of income streams from royalties. Potential conflict between commercial arrangements and matrimonial law is highlighted by the divorce of former Clash bassist Paul Simonon and his wife Tricia Ronane.

The article further details a 2019 case CB v KB involving the divorce of another prominent bass player with six children from his marriage aged 7 to 20. Different expert valuation methods of his five income streams are examined including how they are capitalised. Mr Justice Mostyn’s judgment in relation to these valuations is outlined together with the settlement: £10.2m to be divided equally through staged lump sum payments. 


Read the full article here.