R&S RECORDS AND RENAAT VANDEPAPELIERE VINDICATED
TRIBUNAL APPEALS DISMISSED
R&S RECORDS AND RENAAT VANDEPAPELIERE VINDICATED
13th December 2022
A legal appeal launched by former record scout, Raj Chaudhuri, following an employment tribunal judgment on 6th April 2022 has been refused.
Mr Chaudhuri submitted an appeal in September against the original ruling, which was made by Employment Judge (EJ) Wright in a trenchant two-day hearing earlier this year in March, where every claim made by Chaudhuri against both R&S Records and its founder, Renaat Vandepapeliere was dismissed.
A subsequent application for costs made by Chaudhuri in May was also dismissed by EJ Wright. This statement has now been made following those judgements.
It now means that all three Employment Tribunal claims lodged by Chaudhuri have been dismissed, finally drawing a line under what was a failed attempt to discredit R&S Records and its founder Vandepapeliere.
EJ Wright concluded that it was a difference in views as to the future direction of the record label that led to a fundamental difference of opinion and a parting of the ways between Chaudhuri and founder Vandepapeliere, contrary to Chaudhuri’s allegations that he was discriminated against.
EJ Wright was again critical in the Costs Hearing which took place on 30 September 2022 and noted that Chaudhuri himself subsequently accepted that his conduct on 30th September 2020 was aggressive and wrong. The tribunal took “an extremely dim view of that conduct” and agreed with Vandepapeliere that “it amounted in essence to a threat of blackmail”.
The Attorney General, upon consideration of the question of contempt of court raised by EJ Wright, also opined that “the actions of Mr Chaudhuri were calculating and underhand”.
The claims and allegations made by Chaudhuri against R&S Records and Vandepapeliere have been hugely damaging to the record label and its founder. From the outset it has been their position that none of the claims had any merit and were founded on spurious grounds with no evidential basis. The proceedings, which have taken more than two years, have cost in excess of £250,000 in legal costs but R&S and Vandepapeliere were determined to resist the false and malicious allegations.
Commenting on the dismissals of the claims and refusal of the appeal, R&S Record label boss Vandepapeliere said:
“I am delighted that the employment tribunal has dismissed not just one, but three separate claims brought by Raj Chaudhuri, and that his appeal has also now been refused. The Tribunal has been thorough and robust and called out his misconduct. The malicious claims and allegations made by him were baseless, false and without foundation. I would like to thank my legal team for their support during this nightmare experience, which has lasted more than two years.
“The allegations made against myself, and the record label were not only false, but hugely damaging to me on a personal basis – particularly the notion of any discrimination or racism being uttered in the same breath. As someone who has worked with artists of colour for many years, this has been the most upsetting. I would like to thank the music fans, DJs and record industry people who have supported myself, my partner Sabine and the record label through this incredibly difficult time. It has taken two years out of our lives having to defend our name and the integrity of the record label.”
R&S Records, which was set up in 1983 by Renaat Vandepapeliere and his partner Sabine Maes, will next year (2023) celebrate 40 years in electronic dance music. The record label plans to release an exciting new compilation album of cutting-edge electronic music, beats and visual soundscapes on the label with an announcement expected in January.
“Over the last two years, the music has kept my focus and I am excited that R&S Records has signed a number of acts that we will be releasing next year, including the long-awaited debut album from African American singer songwriter and spoken word artist Mikahl Anthony which has been some five years in the making. I am pleased to confirm that we will also have a very special new R&S Records ‘In Order To Dance’ album release on the way for early next year which will allow us to get back to what we have done best for over 40 years: producing and releasing great music for the fans.”
Vandepapeliere and the R&S label are widely regarded as pioneers of the electronic dance music scene and one of the forerunners in the genre, bringing electronic artists such as Aphex Twin, Lone, CJ Bolland and Joey Beltram to the fore and generating critical acclaim.
R&S Records artist Mikahl Anthony who has fully supported the label and Vandepapeliere throughout the ordeal said.
“Renaat has been nothing but genuine in regards to my musical career and also understanding the culture I come from as an African American living in the States. He’s not only supported my art, but he’s also been a mentor and true supporter of diversity. I fully affirm his character and the allegations seem completely opposite of the individual he’s been to me. He has been a man of respect, honor and authentically a great human being. Renaat, he’s changed my life for the better and has always been present in a time of need.”
Other artists including UK based Subject 13 were equally quick to support Vandepapeliere and the R&S label
“I find it pretty ridiculous to hear allegations of racism against Renaat. In my years working with Renaat and R&S I have felt nothing but one of the family. Also, Renaat historically has been a pioneer promoting artists and producers of colour regardless of ethnicity since the label started all those years ago. True dance music has no boundaries or borders, and without any doubt – Renaat , Sabine and everyone at R&S use this as a mantra . My family, management company and I, also thank Renaat for all of his belief and support of me and my music’’.
Former R&S Records general manager Luc Gulinck – now a lawyer advising and representing artists across the music industry added his own perspective.
“The idea of Renaat being racially motivated is too absurd for words. Here’s a man who has almost single-handedly opened the eyes and ears of the world for a variety of musical genres, shaped by artists he believed in who came from all around the globe and sported all kinds of colours. That clear human and artistic perspective was prevalent during my time at R&S, and it contributed highly to the pleasure to work for the company. I am very glad that Sabine and Renaat can now start putting this ordeal behind them, and I sincerely hope that there’s many more decades of inspirational music coming from R&S around the corner.“
The UK legal team advising and representing R&S Records and Renaat Vandepapeliere were led by senior legal adviser Stephen Lea, employment lawyer Jennifer Yates and Mark Manley, MD of leading media and entertainment law firm Manley’s and barrister John Samson of Hatton Chambers London.
Issued On Behalf Of Belgian Dance Music Record Label R&S Records
And Its Founder And CEO, Renaat Vandepapeliere.
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