Call it tempting fate, but I haven’t (yet) been called a “self-absorbed shyster lawyer who saw his clients as a mechanism to get rich by any means necessary, including at his clients’ expense”.
Unfortunately for him, these are the words used by American hip hop trio Migos to describe their long-time lawyer, music industry household name Damien Granderson of LA firm Granderson DesRochers, whose clients include Kanye West, Shaggy, and (for now) Cardi B.
Migos are suing Granderson for malpractice, citing his overall incompetence and his betrayal of their trust, notably by failing to declare that he also acts for Migos’ record label – a clear conflict of interest.
The claim is for millions of dollars, which Migos claim Granderson cheated them out of during the time he was acting for them, when he should have been protecting their best interests. Ouch.
Interestingly, P Thomas – the head of Migos’ label Quality Control – has dismissed the lawsuit as “nonsense”, which should contribute to his label’s no doubt already interesting relationship with the group.
While we all wait to see what Granderson’s response to Migos’ lawsuit will look like, this should serve as a timely reminder that choosing your lawyer is a key decision in any artist’s career – and going with the big names doesn’t necessarily guarantee the best results.
Remember, your choice of lawyer may not necessarily have the ability to make your career, but failing to take appropriate legal advice to help you make the decisions that are right for you and for your music, can certainly break it.
Most lawyers will be happy to have an initial conversation with you without charging – this will allow you to determine whether this person understands you and your project, the way you work, and will be able to represent you to protect your rights and enhance any deals you are thinking about entering into.
If you are an artist or manager looking for a lawyer to add to your team, or have any legal issues within the music and entertainment industries which you need assistance with, feel free to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Joshua Schuermann, associate