UPDATE (2/3/21): Migos have dropped their lawsuit against their former attorney Damien Granderson, Variety reports. Their malpractice complaint, filed in July 2020, claimed they were “cheated out of millions of dollars.” The complaint was dismissed with prejudice on Wednesday.
Atlanta hip-hop trio Migos are suing their longtime attorney, Damien Granderson, for allegedly taking “excessive fees” as well as not disclosing conflicts of interest relating to his representation of their label, Quality Control Music. The news was first reported by Variety.
In the complaint from Migos — Quavious Marshall (Quavo), Kiari Cephus (Offset) and Kirsnick Ball (Takeoff) — they name Granderson, his law firm, Granderson Des Rochers, LLP and his former firm, Davis Shapiro Lewit Grabel & Leven, LLP as defendants in the malpractice complaint, which alleges that Migos were “cheated out of millions of dollars by those individuals who the group hired to look out for it and its members’ best interests.”
It also alleges that Granderson “abused his position of trust.” The complaint cites “one-sided deals that benefited Granderson and Granderson’s higher priority client, Quality Control Music (“QCM”). Unbeknownst to Migos, Granderson’s representation of QCM created an incurable conflict of interest and Granderson’s primary loyalty was QCM.” Migos signed with QCM in 2013.
As an attorney also representing QCM, the suit alleges that Granderson “concealed” that QCM had an exclusive agreement distribution deal with Capitol, which the suit alleges led to QCM “profiting far more handsomely than was apparent from the face of the documents that Granderson presented to Migos for immediate execution.” In 2018, an amendment to Migos’ deal with Capitol “triggered an extension of the exclusive recording agreement between QCM and Migos, which Granderson knew to contain terms that were unconscionable for Migos,” the suit alleges.
In addition to the label deal disputes, the group’s publishing, merchandising and performing rights deals are cited in the complaint.
Attempts to reach Granderson were unsuccessful. QCM disputed the band’s claims in a social media post. “It is unfortunate that the same people that we have worked hard for, provided opportunities for, and championed for are now alleging that we have participated in any kind of immoral or unfair business practices or took advantage of them and their careers,” QCM’s CEO Pierre “Pee” Thomas posted on Instagram. “We have always practiced honest business and complete transparency from the beginning when we started Quality Control Music. We built this business on family values, which has been so hard to do when you are dealing with so much pride and ego.”
“I love my artists and I love my team. Everyone has their own lawyers. I understand in this business that you are not always going to end with the people you started with,” he continued in the lengthy post. “I say that to say, I am not forcing anybody to be in business with us that has a problem and cannot communicate and does not want to work as a unit. Everything is negotiable. I wish my whole team more money, more blessings, and continued success.”
Migos accuse the defendants of professional malpractice, breach of fiduciary duty, three violations of California business and professional codes and unjust enrichment. The group seeks damages and restitution in “which amounts total in the millions of dollars,” alongside attorneys’ fees, other suit costs and punitive damages.