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Miami, FL Law Blog for Entertainment Law, Business Law, and Public Interest

Monday, July 9, 2012

Rihanna sues former accountants, who allegedly cost her millions

By Pankaj Ladhar of Manos • Alwine P.L.

Here in Miami, lots of entertainers start to entrust certain areas of their professional lives to other people once they attain a certain level of success. After a point, it only makes sense to have a publicist handle media inquiries, an agent arrange gigs and contracts and an accountant manage financial matters. After all, these people are good at what they do and allowing them to handle your business for you frees you up to pursue your career.

But sometimes, this relationship of trust gets abused. Such is the case with singer Rihanna, who recently sued her accountants at the New York firm of Berdon LLP, alleging that breach of contract, mismanagement and other grave accusations.

One of the most concerning of Rihanna's claims is that the accountants rigged her 2009 Last Girl on Earth tour such that they received 22 percent of the tour's revenue, but gave her just 6 percent. Rihanna claims that the accountants' practice of paying themselves commission out of revenues, not profits, meant they had no reason to offer her germane financial advice, which they were supposed to do per the terms of their agreement. Furthermore, she alleges this is not a standard industry practice and that it caused the tour to lose money.

Rihanna hired Berdon LLP in 2006 when she was 16 and severed ties with the firm in 2010. Interestingly enough, in her lawsuit, she claims that once she hired new accountants, her fortunes began to improve - her 2011 Loud tour was a financial success.

If a business relationship ever goes sour like this for you, it might be a good idea to speak about the matter to an attorney who often works with entertainers. He or she will be able to look at the circumstances and see if you have any recourse.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter, "Rihanna Sues Ex-Accountants for Millions," July 5, 2012
 


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