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A Harry Potter star is being sued by his former agent in a bitter High Court battle over €286,000 (£230,000) in commission fees.
Devon Murray, 27, is being pursued for the large sum by Dublin-based agent Neil Brooks Management on the basis that he earned about €1.2million (£970k) from his work on the hit film franchise, the High Court in Dublin has heard.
The management company says it successfully negotiated for Mr Murray’s role in the first two Harry Potter films – but that relations with the family later broke down over alleged non-payment of commission fees.
It is alleged that the young actor – who played the character of Irish student Seamus Finnigan in the Harry Potter films alongside Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson – tried to break away from his agent after the first four films.
Meanwhile, the Murrays are counter-claiming for more than €98,000 (£79,000) that they say they paid to the management firm.
Mr Murray first went to court on Tuesday with his parents Michael and Fidelma.
But a full hearing of the case was postponed until today.
The family arrived at the Four Courts in Dublin this morning in anticipation of a full hearing of the case – only for the case to be delayed due to a shortage of judges.
When the case was called, senior judge Mr Justice Seamus Noonan joked that he hadn’t yet been able to ‘conjure up a judge’ to hear the civil action against the actor – who played a schoolboy wizard in the Harry Potter films.
The case was adjourned until 2pm, in the hope that a judge would become available – but has now been delayed until tomorrow.
Mr Murray’s parents Michael and Fidelma are also being sued by the management company because their son was a child – just 10 years old – when he was first entered a contract with the management company back in 1998.
Mr Murray, who is from Celbridge, Co. Kildare, reportedly beat thousands of other hopefuls to win the part back in 2000 and shot to fame on the back of it.
A dispute arose because Mr Murray allegedly tried to break away from his agent after the first four films.
In the action, Mr Brooks says he was appointed sole agent for the young actor in October 1998 under a commission-based agreement – and successfully negotiated for Mr Murray’s role in the first two Harry Potter films.
Mr Brooks says the initial 1998 agreement entitled him to commissions of 12.5% for Mr Murray’s film and TV earnings, 15 per cent from TV commercials plus 7 per cent from any theatre work.
It is claimed that an increase in commission fees was agreed for the third and fourth instalments – but that the Murrays have failed to make such payments since around August 2005.
It is claimed that as of March 2016, more than €286,000 (£230,000) is due to the management company.
In a counter-claim, the Murrays are seeking more than €98,000 (£79,000) that they say they paid to the management firm.
In fact, a civil action was first lodged by Neil Brooks Management against the actor and his parents in 2008 – but it has never reached a full hearing.
A full hearing was due to begin on Tuesday. Gary McCarthy SC, for Neil Brooks Management, told the court on Tuesday that his side was now anxious for the case to proceed.
But it was further postponed after lawyers for the Murrays asked for permission to stop representing the family. The Murrays did not object to their lawyers coming ‘off record’ on Tuesday. Mr Justice Noonan had said a full hearing of the case would hopefully go ahead today.
In the films, Mr Murray’s character Seamus Finnigan is a member of the Gryffindor House – in the same year as Harry at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizadry.