As reported by the New Zealand Herald and Billboard Bulletin released May 18, 2015, Lorde has parted ways with Scott Maclachlan and the Saiko Management team. Maclachlan was credited with discovering Ella Yelich-O’Connor and developing her Lorde persona and career into the worldwide phenomenon she has become.
What is interesting to note is that according to the New Zealand Herald, Maclachlan signed Lorde in 2008 when she would have been 12 years of age. In many countries, people under the legal age of 18 do not have the same full contracting power as adults. In the U.S., in Tennessee for example, state law permits a minor to contract with an individual or company and be bound by the agreement. The law, however, requires the contract to be approved by a judge. (1)The court may appoint certain restrictions upon the minors earnings and how they are managed. This protection not only benefits the minor but would also assure that the mangers contract is binding.
With very little public comment form Lorde or her team, it will be interesting to follow this news to see how their business relationship will resolve itself. Will Saiko hold equity stake in an upcoming release? Did the firm have a sunset clause within their management agreement?
When counseling young artists as they seek record label and management contracts I have always stressed the value in working with an experienced entertainment attorney. While a family friend may have expertise in real estate and divorce, they may lack the knowledge of intellectual property and the nuance of music industry business to fully value your interests. To understand the various revenue streams, how they earn and their life cycles can have considerable worth over time.
More details about the Lorde and McLachlan split from the New Zealand Herald can be found here: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=11450459
More details from Billboard can be found here: https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/6568686/lorde-reportedly-splits-with-manager
More information on entering into contracts with minors can be found in Artist Management for the Music Industry, or by visiting these sources: http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1969/0041/latest/DLM392350.html
(1) Paul Allen, Artist Management for the Music Business, (Focal Press, 2015) 75-80