Phillips is a longtime veteran and former CEO of AEG Live who has toured for Bon Jovi, Justin Bieber, Kanye West, The Rolling Stones and Prince.
Loeffler is a longtime Music Director, Touring Director and Film Producer who directed the movie Why Dont We’s 2019, Unbelievable.
Why Don’t We was formed in September 2016, with the group company being established as a manager-run LLC, controlled by Phillips and Loeffler with stakes for all five of the group. The LLC would retain the rights to manage all aspects of men’s careers and own their creative output, while categorizing the five members as salaried employees, according to the management agreement signed by each member.
The following year, Phillips stepped down as director of one of the two limited liability companies (PDM III and Signature Entertainment) that exclusively fund and manage Why Don’t We and the solo artist EBEN, in order to accept a position at the head of LiveStyle, the company that emerged from the bankruptcy of the promoter of EDM SFX. Phillips returned to managing the group in 2020 and said Loeffler “waived his prior agreement to allow the claimant to resume the role of manager [of Signature Entertainment]According to a lawsuit filed against Loeffler Thursday (August 26) in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Phillips wants a judge to kick Loeffler out of PDM III and return control to Phillips, a legal process known as dissociation in which a judge orders the manager to be removed from a manager’s voting rights if it turns out that the manager has acted inappropriately or “willfully (and) persistently committed” a material “material breach” of the financial interests of the entity.
Loeffler – whose legal team is led by a Florida lawyer Michael r levin with Baker Law – says Billboard in a statement that Phillips’ lawsuit is “without merit and in retaliation for our lawsuit against him.”
Phillips also claims that Loeffler abused members of Why Don’t We and “irreparably damaged” the management company he and Phillips set up to help further the careers of the burgeoning boy group.
Hollywood lawyer and litigator Howard King of Los Angeles-based law firm King, Holmes, Paterno & Soriano, represents Phillips and alleges in the lawsuit that if “Loeffler was living with [the band] in a rental property that had been set aside for them to develop music, âhe exhibitedâ nightmarish behavior, âincludingâ daily verbal abuse, yelling at them at the top of their lungs, sometimes for 10 to 20 minutes â, and allegedly “Forced the five members to share two small bedrooms, even though the house had a spare and unused bedroom upstairs.”
The lawsuit also claims Loeffler would monitor “almost every move they made” and “barely allow them to leave the house.” Loeffler did not allow them to have friends or visitors, did not feed them properly and set off a house alarm every night, the code of which they did not know, to make sure they did not leave.
Lawyer and trial lawyer Alain gutman of Gutman Law represents the group and the individual careers of its members, all of whom began working with Loeffler when they were minors.
âMy clients, the artists known as Why Don’t We, support Randy Phillips in the same way he’s supported us since the start of our careers,â Gutman said in a statement, citing the group.
Loeffler denied the allegations in a statement to Billboard and said the charges were “baseless and in retaliation for the lawsuit we have brought against [Phillips]. “
King said the decision to terminate Phillips shocked the group and argued that the loss of the recording contract was Loeffler’s fault and “seriously tarnished Signature and PDM III’s most valuable assets (his relationship with Why Don’t We and Eben), perhaps irreparable. “
âAfter years of mental and financial abuse by Dave Loeffler and his associates, Randy Phillips seeks to salvage a deteriorating relationship with rising stars Why Don’t We and Eben with the co-owned production companies by Phillips, âKing said. Billboard in a report. âLoeffler’s mistreatment of these corporate primary assets seriously endangers the survival of the companies. For reasons unknown, other than perhaps professional jealousy, Loeffler attempted to interfere with Phillips’ role as the primary manager of these artists.
Phillips also accuses Loeffler of delaying the release of the band’s second album, The good times and the bad, until January 2021, when it was released under a license agreement with Atlantic. On this album, Phillips claims that Loeffler hired an unqualified friend to produce the album, despite his inexperience, and gave him 30% of the publishing royalties on the record. Phillips also accuses Loeffler of withholding $ 1million publication advance for Why Don’t We members during pandemic
King is asking a judge to remove Loeffler from his managerial title at PMI III and establish “another relief that the Court deems just and appropriate”. Loeffler is suing individual Why Don’t We members for early breach of contract related to the Atlantic deal and suing Phillips for tortious interference and seeking damages. No hearing was set in either case.