Former 5 Seconds of Summer management company YM&U Group is suing the Australian pop-rock group for breach of contract, court documents reviewed by Billboard.
Filed in California Superior Court on December 17 by YM&U attorneys Howard King and Stephen rothschild de King, Holmes, Paterno & Soriano, the complaint alleges that 5SOS – with the encouragement of their current manager, Benjamin evans – refused to pay YM&U the commissions the company owes for several lucrative deals it negotiated on behalf of the group, including a $ 10 million single album recording deal with BMG and a merchandising extension $ 1.5 million with Bravado International Group.
Evans is named a defendant in the lawsuit alongside members of 5 Seconds of Summer, Luke Hemmings, Calum Hood, Ashton Irwin and Michael Clifford, and 5SOS Touring.
YM&U seeks $ 2.5 million in damages, plus an unspecified amount of punitive damages from Evans, who the company says “acted with fraud, malice or oppression” in helping orchestrate a scheme to prevent the group from paying the full amount owed. the company. Summarizing the alleged plan, the complaint states that “Evans and the other 5SOS advisers believed that by refusing to pay the Applicant anything for his months of service, 5SOS could pressure the Applicant to drastically reduce what 5SOS should ”.
Evans was the group’s daily manager prior to their signing with YM&U in February 2021 and manages them again after terminating their agreement with YM&U in September.
Outlining the sequence of events, the complaint alleges that on September 27, shortly before the deal was made with BMG, 5 Seconds of Summer informed YM&U that they would end their management agreement with the company while by agreeing to pay all commissions due. . But after sending two separate invoices for $ 412,500 – totaling $ 825,000, or 15% of the $ 5.5 million advance the group paid by BMG – on September 30 and late October, counsel for 5SOS informed YM&U in a letter of November 24 that the band would not pay any commission to the company for their work, which also included handling the writing, recording and production of the band’s upcoming album and helping to plan and negotiate their next world tour.
“The only reason given was the frivolous assertion by 5SOS’s lawyer that the timing of the complainant’s termination by 5SOS somehow allowed 5SOS to refuse to pay the complainant for the valuable services that it had instigated the complainant on. to be provided “, we read in the complaint.
Representatives for 5 Seconds of Summer did not respond to Billboardrequests for comments per press hour.
Announced exclusively by Billboard On October 7, 5SOS’s registration deal with BMG marked the company’s first signing with a major pop group. The deal came after 5SOS split with Interscope, which released the group’s most recent studio album, 2020’s. CALMED DOWN. This album reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200 but failed to match the success of 5SOS ‘earlier efforts, including their self-titled debut album from 2014, 2015’s It sounds good it feels good and 2018 young blood.
Formed in 2011, 5SOS are the only group to debut at No.1 on the Billboard 200 with their first three studio albums and the first Australian group with three No.1 albums on the Billboard 200.