Cash-short duo must pay HK$5m

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 January, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 January, 2010, 12:00am

The Macanese musical duo Soler must pay HK$5 million in compensation to their former management company after the Court of Appeal upheld an earlier judgment against them.

'All I can say is they need to work harder,' the twin brothers' publicist said yesterday after the ruling, adding that Soler did not have the money to pay the compensation immediately. She said the duo was unlikely to lodge another appeal.

Dino and Julio Acconci walked out on their contract with Humming-bird Music in March 2007. In August that year the label sued the duo in the Court of First Instance for HK$24 million over the broken contract, which would have ended in 2010.

The Court of First Instance ordered in January last year that the duo pay Hummingbird Music HK$5,058,000 for loss of profits suffered after Soler walked out on the contract.

The brothers took the case to the Court of Appeal in December last year, arguing the contract should not be enforced because it unreasonably prevented the singers from seeking arrangements with third parties, and because they had been 'bullied' into signing it.

In yesterday's judgment, Mr Justice Anthony Rogers, Mrs Justice Doreen Le Pichon and Mr Justice William Stone held that the contract was not unreasonably restrictive and there was no evidence to support Soler's allegations against Hummingbird Music.

After walking out on their contract, Soler set up its own label, K-Town Music. The duo plans to release a Putonghua album this year.