The former New Order bassist, Peter Hook, started the legal battle back in 2015, the dispute revolved around the business arrangements of the re-formed band.
Judge David Cooke rejected claims in the High Court that the former bassist was suing his ex-band mates out of spite; this paved the way for the allegations to proceed to a full hearing.
Essentially, the dispute was about the holding company that holds all of the band’s assets, of which Hook has a 25% stake. However, things didn’t stay that simple when the band reformed in 2011. The re-formed band set up a new company for the band’s operations and the existing company granted exclusive rights for the New Order name and sources of income for the band for the 10 years.
Hook objected to this licensing deal and through his lawyer he called the deal a ‘clandestine, premeditated and deliberate’ move to freeze his income that is due. Hook went onto claim the deal had cost him £2.3 million. His lawyer, Mark Wyeth, went on to explain the alleged situation to the BBC: “It was as though George Harrison and Ringo Starr had got together at George’s house one Friday night and had acted together to divest Paul McCartney of his shareholding in the Beatles, and didn’t tell Yoko about it either”.
Hook’s former band-mates, through their lawyer, argued that the new New Order’s operations had been set up in an ‘entirely reasonable’ way and that the royalties Hook had been receiving were fair. Furthermore, the lawyer stated that Hook was perusing a vendetta by legal means.
Long story short, the band has now stated: “New Order announce that today, a full and final settlement has been reached in the long running disputes with their former bassist Peter Hook”. The band went on to say that: “The disputes were based upon Hook’s use of various New Order and Joy Division assets on merchandising and in the promotion of shows by his new band, and the amount of money he receives from the use of the name New Order by his former colleagues since 2011”.
Because a settlement has been reached outside of court, it is unlikely that we will ever know the details of the settlement. I guess that now this lengthy piece of litigation is over the new New Order can get back to doing what they do best.