The musician left the group in 2007 following a feud with frontman Bernard Sumner, and in 2011, his friend-turned-foe later reteamed with bandmates Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert to continue New Order without him.

Hook and Sumner have been embroiled in a bitter row ever since, and the bassist is now taking their dispute a step further by filing legal action.

He claims he is owed more than $3.7 million (£2.3 million) in royalties because his three former bandmates set up a new company to handle the majority of the group's income in 2011 without telling him.

The old company, Vitalturn Company Ltd., still receives some royalty payments.

Hook's barrister Mark Wyeth QC compared the situation to The Beatles, telling the judge, "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."

Wyeth insisted the legal action was "not about musical direction or musical differences or personality clashes, but first and foremost about wrongdoers taking control of a company and stripping it of its property."

David Casement QC, who is representing the bandmembers, insisted their actions were "entirely reasonable" and alleges the true motive behind Hook's lawsuit is "to get back into the band or spite the defendants".

Judge David Cooke at London's High Court ruled that Hook was not acting out of spite and allowed him to pursue a trial, but he urged both parties to attempt to settle the case out of court, according to British newspaper the Manchester Evening News.

He said, "I strongly urge the parties to seek to resolve the issues between them by entering into some commercial negotiations so that they do not incur the expense of pursuing this matter to trial".

Hook previously threatened his bandmates with legal action in 2012 for using the band's name when they reunited without him.