Daryl Hall Files Declaration Alleging Business Betrayal by John Oates

Daryl Hall Files Declaration Alleging Business Betrayal by John Oates

Legal battle between Hall & Oates bandmates escalates as Daryl Hall files a first-person declaration accusing John Oates of ambushing him with plans to sell his share of a joint business venture to a third party.

The longstanding musical partnership between Daryl Hall and John Oates, known collectively as Hall & Oates, is now marred by a bitter legal dispute. Daryl Hall has filed a first-person declaration detailing his side of the story, accusing John Oates of betraying their business agreement. The filing alleges that Oates planned to sell his share of a joint business venture to a third party without Hall’s consent, leading to upheaval and harm in Hall’s life. As the legal battle unfolds, the future of their partnership hangs in the balance.

Allegations of Bad Faith and Ambush

In the filing obtained by PEOPLE, Daryl Hall claims that John Oates and the Oates Trust engaged in bad faith conduct by attempting to sell his share without his knowledge or consent. Hall alleges that Oates timed the transaction to cause the most harm to him, disrupting his ongoing tour and creating unnecessary expense and burden. Hall further asserts that Oates’ behavior has become adversarial and aggressive, breaching their professional and courteous relationship.

Violation of a Business Agreement

Court documents previously reviewed by PEOPLE reveal that Hall argues Oates selling his share would violate a business agreement reached by the duo. The agreement, established in October 2021, pertains to Whole Oats Enterprises LLP (WOE), a limited liability partnership owned and controlled by the musicians. Hall claims that Oates’ move to sell his share was completely clandestine and in bad faith, leaving him feeling ambushed.

Arbitration Process Initiated

On November 9, Hall initiated an arbitration process against Oates to prevent the transfer of Oates’ rights in Whole Oats to a third-party buyer called Primary Wave Music. Hall claims that the transaction is unauthorized and void, constituting a breach of contract. He argues that the sale would cause him imminent irreparable harm. A restraining order was granted to Hall on November 17, preventing the sale from proceeding until the matter is resolved.

Primary Wave Music’s Involvement

Primary Wave Music, a company that already owns a significant interest in Hall & Oates’ song catalog, has been named as the potential buyer in the disputed transaction. The Grammy-nominated musicians’ legal team argues that much of the case should remain under seal due to its private nature. The interpretation of the 2021 agreement, which remains confidential, is at the heart of the dispute.

The Case Moves to Confidential Arbitration

The legal battle between Hall and Oates will ultimately be decided through a confidential arbitration process. A hearing is scheduled for November 30 to consider extending the restraining order. Hall has filed against not only Oates but also Aimee Oates and Richard Flynn, co-trustees of the John W. Oates TISA Trust. The involvement of these defendants adds complexity to the case.


As the legal fight between Daryl Hall and John Oates escalates, the future of their musical partnership hangs in the balance. Hall’s first-person declaration sheds light on the alleged betrayal and ambush he experienced, accusing Oates of engaging in bad faith conduct. The case will be decided through a confidential arbitration process, and a hearing is set to determine the fate of the restraining order. This dispute highlights the complexities that can arise in long-term business partnerships, even among successful artists.