Judge reserves ruling in George Michael case

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

GEORGE MICHAEL'S epic High Court action against Sony finally ended yesterday when the judge reserved his decision after 74 days of legal argument.

Mr Justice Parker gave no indication when he would give his ruling.

Panayiotou v Sony may have been a dispute with enormous implications for the music business but it conspicuously failed to entertain as it wildly over-ran its original 10-week time estimate.

Within days of the start, the media abandoned their benches to law students and a couple of stalwarts from the trade papers. They listened to an army of lawyers argue over whether the 30-year-old star's 1988 contract, which could run for another 15 years, really was a restraint of trade and was ultimately unenforceable.

Even the occasional appearance by the singer failed to break the tedium. Instead, the hearing revolved around marketing statistics, the minutiae of contracts and European law.

The most newsworthy aspect of this battle may prove to be the enormous costs involved unoffically estimated at more than pounds 2.5m.

Judge reserves ruling in George Michael case