Former GUNS N' ROSES Guitarist Files Suit Against Management, Lawyers

Former GUNS N' ROSES guitarist and songwriter Izzy Stradlin filed a suit against management and lawyers representing both GN'R and Stradlin in Los Angeles Superior Court February 10, according to Launch.

Stradlin's dispute with the management and legal representation stems back to 1991, when GN'R entered into a management agreement with Big FD (which was later acquired by Sanctuary). Stradlin left the band several months after the firm was retained to pursue a solo career. However, he agreed to continue paying Big FD for ongoing management services for as long as remaining GN'R members Axl Rose, Slash, and Duff McKagan continued to pay the firm.

Axl Rose's departure from GN'R in 1995 resulted in the singer taking the rights to the band's name and forming a brand-new band with a completely new lineup featuring himself as the only original member. Big FD, along with associate Sanctuary, continued to manage affairs for both the "old" GN'R lineup and the new incarnation, as well as Rose's solo career.

Slash and Duff, the remaining members of the "old GN'R" who made the original agreement with Big FD, continued to pay Big FD management commissions until a settlement between them and the firm was reached in 2000, when they terminated their relationship and payments to the firm.

Stradlin claims that was not made aware of the settlement by his legal representation — although a letter was sent from Slash and Duff's attorneys informing him of the cessation — and he thus continued to pay Big FD, thinking he was obligated to them.

Stradlin alleges he later independently discovered that his lawyers were dually representing both him and Big FD/Sanctuary, a fact that he was not hitherto aware of and now considers a conflict of interest.

He alleges that he was duped into paying the management firm $231,575 in commissions that it had no right to receive, since according to the agreement he entered, the remainder of his former band had ceased paying commissions and he was thus no longer obligated either. Stradlin is seeking the return of this amount, in addition to other damages.

The suit alleges that management not only refuses to pay Stradlin back, it also is continuing to claim entitlement to further commissions through an undefined period of time not stated in any agreement between Stradlin and the firm or GN'R.

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