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United States > Intellectual property > Copyright > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Copyright
  2. Leading lawyers: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading lawyers
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

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    • Todd Anten - Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP
    • Ilene Farkas - Pryor Cashman LLP
    • Christine Lepera - Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP
Clifford Chance Ė Their Voices

The 'outstanding IP boutique' Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman, PC is particularly strong in contentious matters relating to book publishing, music and fashion designs. Jonathan King is one of three who leads the team and focuses primarily on the music industry. Fellow practice head Richard Mandel has a similar focus on music and acted for Capitol Records in its litigation against the online marketplace ReDigi, which allowed the resale of digital music purchased from iTunes. Also leading the team is Eric Shimanoff, who has litigated cases involving magazine publishing, video games and music.  Counsel Richard Dannay is another key figure and particularly prominent in book publishing litigation. Elsewhere, Thomas Kjellberg assisted Rhinestone Jewelry Corporation with the enforcement of the copyright for its designs of tiaras and crowns. Also recommended is Joel Karni Schmidt, who is an 'outstanding lawyer', 'always available' and 'very friendly and attentive'. Other notable clients include Penguin Random House and Eli Lilly.

NBCUniversal, Warner Bros and Warner Bros are just some of the household names that engage the 'very deep and talented' team at Jenner & Block LLP. Andy Bart leads the practice and acted for EMI in its litigation against the now bankrupt online music site MP3tunes. He also acted for Jay Z in a dispute concerning his song Big Pimpin', which sampled music from the Egyptian composer Baligh Hamdi, whose heir claims that he owns the rights to the composition rather than EMI. Another key figure is Susan Kohlmann, who acted for author John Steinbeck's stepdaughter Waverly Scott Kaffaga in litigation alleging that the author's son and daughter-in-law prevented the production of films based upon the author's works. Also recommended is Rick Stone,  who represented 20th Century Fox in a copyright lawsuit brought by a writer who alleges that the movie Gone Girl infringes upon one of the writer's works.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP has 'a breadth of experience in copyright matters from literature to entertainment to software' which 'provides a firm foundation for them to tackle any dispute'. Working at the helm is Dale Cendali, who has 'exceptional skill' and 'has done a great job mentoring the next generation'. She recently represented Fox News Network in litigation against media monitoring company TVEyes, which had been providing programming belonging to the client to its subscribers. Claudia Ray is also a key figure and focuses on the technology, consumer and financial services sectors. Also recommended is Diana Torres; she acted for Cadence Design Systems with respect to the alleged infringement of its software copyright by Hong-Kong based Skyworth.

Loeb & Loeb LLP is highly skilled in the music and entertainment industry, with a client roster that includes CBS, the rock band The Eagles and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Barry Slotnick is a key figure and defended NBC and Sylvester Stallone against allegations of idea theft brought by a personal trainer in relation to the television series Strong. He also acted for Sony Music in a copyright infringement claim brought by songwriters concerning the Justin Bieber hit Somebody to Love. Elsewhere, David Grossman  and Jonathan Zavin represented Fox Searchlight and Guillermo del Toro in a lawsuit brought by the estate of playwright Paul Zindel, which alleged that the client's movie The Shape of Water infringed upon the play Let Me Hear You Whisper.

Trusted Advisor - with Finnegan

In a cross-platform collaboration between GC magazine and leading IP law firm Finnegan, key partners and senior in-house clients explore the challenges for women in assuming leadership roles in the legal profession.

Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP works across all aspects of copyright law and is particularly prominent in the music and gaming industries. Karin Pagnanelli co-heads the practice and is notably strong in contentious issues involving video games. She represented Blizzard Entertainment in a lawsuit against another games developer uCool, which allegedly infringed upon one of the client's games. Also leading the team is Christine Lepera, who is very active in the music industry; she acted for Timbaland, who produced the Jay Z hit Big Pimpin', which was subject to litigation concerning the music sample used from a composition by the Egyptian composer Baligh Hamdi. Fellow music lawyer Russell Frackman is also highly recommended.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP  is 'one of the premier copyright litigation practices in the US' and has 'a particularly good market knowledge of the music and digital music market'. Bruce Rich co-heads the practice and acted for Pandora in a royalties payment dispute with the Copyright Royalty Board regarding non-interactive streaming services such as internet radio and others. Also leading the team is Benjamin Marks, who is noted for his 'guidance', 'knowledge', 'patience', 'responsiveness' and 'expertise'. He also represented Pandora on a separate dispute concerning royalty rates regarding on-demand streaming, in this case brought by the National Music Publishers' Association and the Nashville Songwriters Association International.

Arnold & Porter recently strengthened its team with the recruitment of Dori Ann Hanswirth and Theresa House, who both joined from Hogan Lovells US LLP.  Hanswirth is highly skilled in the entertainment and media sectors and recently assisted Fox News with the clearance and selection of its television programs Strange Inheritance and Legends & Lies. Robert Garrett is also a key figure and advised a consortium which included the NBA, NFL and MLB on a dispute against cable systems and satellite carriers concerning copyright royalties. Meanwhile, Rhonda Trotter resolved the 20-year long dispute between the musician Prince and Warner Bros Records concerning the ownership of the musician's recordings, in this instance the plaintiff was Prince's Estate. Elsewhere, Louis Ederer defended jeweler David Yurman in a copyright infringement claim brought by its competitor Lagos. Also recommended is Roberta Horton, whose clients include the PGA and the International Center for Nonviolent Conflict.

Fenwick & West LLP's practice is highly involved in issues arising from the use of copyrighted content online as well as in software and gaming. Jennifer Stanley co-heads the practice and is particularly strong in the gaming industry. Andrew Bridges also leads the team and defended Cloudflare against a lawsuit by ALS Scan, arguing that the client was liable for infringement due to offering its online security services to websites that allegedly infringed copyright. The third person chairing the practice is Lawrence Pulgram, who is notably skilled in handling copyright issues for the developers of new technology. David Hayes is also a key figure and acted for General Motors in a lawsuit brought by the Alliance of Artists and Recording Companies arising from 'infotainment' systems in the client's vehicles, which allow users to record music and store it in the system. SAP and Soundcloud are also key clients.

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton's specialty is fighting online piracy. David Caplan and Dennis Wilson worked with Paramount and Viacom separately on safeguarding its content from online piracy and unauthorized leaks. The duo also assisted BBC Worldwide on taking action against individuals who leaked unauthorized information and images relating to the new series of Doctor Who. James Trigg is also a key figure and acted for Oxford Industries, which took against Talbot in relation to alleged copyright infringement of its Lilly Pulitzer textile designs.

King & Spalding LLP has a strong track record in copyright disputes and represents clients such as Soundcloud, Netflix and ESPN. Kenneth Steinthal  leads the team and has a strong focus on the media and entertainment sector.  Alongside Joseph Wetzel , he acted for the Radio Music License Committee in a lawsuit against the Society of European Stage Authors and Composers in which the client alleged that the defendant's collection of music royalties violated antitrust law. Bruce Baber defended Google from a copyright infringement claim brought by Oracle involving the client's use of the plaintiff's Java Platform for the development of its mobile device platform.

Technology and entertainment are the key areas of focus for Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP. Annette Hurst has a special focus on the technology sector and acted for Oracle in a dispute against Google concerning the latter's use of the former's Java compute language in its Android systems.  Lisa Simpson works in industries such as pharmaceuticals, retail, technology and entertainment. Paul Fakler recently joined from Arent Fox LLP and is very active in the music and technology sectors. He advised Music Choice and Sirius XM Satellite Radio on regulatory issues.

Proskauer Rose LLP has an enviable client roster, which includes names such as U2, Ariana Grande and the Bob Marley Estate. Sandra Crawshaw-Sparks leads the team and has extensive experience in music-related disputes. She acted for Madonna in a copyright infringement case brought by the composer Vincent Montana whose work was briefly sampled in the hit single Vogue. She also defended Lady Gaga against a claim by French artist Orlan, who argued that the artwork and video surrounding the singer's song Born this Way infringed upon her work. Litigators Brendan O’Rourke and Alexander Kaplan are also highly recommended.

Pryor Cashman LLP has been prolific in disputes involving the music industry, but is also highly skilled in other areas, such as entertainment and book publishing. Practice head Donald Zakarin acted for the National Music Publishers’ Association in a dispute against music streaming services such as Spotify, Apple and Amazon concerning the royalty payments to which musicians are entitled when their content is used on their platforms. Meanwhile Frank Scibilia represented Sony and ATV Music Publishing in litigation against a Beatles tribute act which sold unlicensed recordings of the band's compositions. Elsewhere, Ilene Farkas advised Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson on three separate lawsuits surrounding the song Uptown Funk. She also defended Ed Sheeran against the estate of songwriter Ed Townsend, which claims that the client's song Thinking Out Loud infringes upon the latter's song Let's Get it On, which was performed by Marvin Gaye.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP regularly handles contentious copyright issues. Robert Raskopf heads the practice and acted for video hosting site Vimeo in a dispute brought by music publishers concerning videos uploaded onto its platform that infringed their copyright. Another key figure is Todd Anten, who defended TVEyes in a case against Fox News which alleged copyright infringement due to offering a search engine of television clips.  Meanwhile, Luke Nikas assisted The Andy Warhol Foundation with a dispute against the photographer Lynn Goldsmith, who alleged that Warhol’s painting of Prince infringed upon a photograph she took of the musician.

Winston & Strawn LLP's IP practice has a strong track record in copyright disputes. Michael Elkin and Thomas Lane are the two key names to note and together they acted for Cox Communications in a dispute brought by music publishers which argued that the client was responsible for its subscribers infringing the plaintiffs' copyrighted material. Elkin also represented Pepsi in a claim by advertising agency Betty, which alleged that the client's 2016 Super Bowl commercial was based upon a concept pitched by the agency.

Baker & Hostetler LLP has expertise in litigation and general advisory matters and represents clients such as Sony Corp and Freeplay Music. Oren Warshavsky  heads the practice and defended the movie news website MovieWeb against numerous allegations of copyright infringement. Robert Horowitz and Robertson Beckerlegge are also recommended.

The 'smart', 'responsive' and 'reliable' Davis & Gilbert LLP regularly represents clients on contentious issues in areas such as advertising, television, music, photography and digital media. Guy Cohen is a key figure and advised the online viral content company Brainjolt in a dispute against its competitor Distractify concerning the latter's infringement in its use of memes and articles. He also acted for Saratoga Films, which took action against a UK-based film distributor which distributed the company's film Bloodsucking Pharaohs in Pittsburgh without a license. Marc Rachman is 'an exceptionally skilled lawyer' and notably strong in the advertising and entertainment industry, as is Ashima Dayal, who is also experienced in infringement cases regarding choreography. Also recommended is Sara Edelman, who is particularly strong in fashion-related cases.

Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu, P.C. team contains 'dedicated experts' that 'keep abreast of all developments' in copyright law. The 'excellent' litigator Craig Mende 'always provides well-reasoned and practical advice' and is 'a pleasure to work with'. David Donahue is also a key figure and acted for the fitness company Peloton in a dispute against its competitor, Total Body Experts, which allegedly used information about the client in one of its adverts; the claims include breach of copyright and false advertising. Laura Popp-Rosenberg is also highly recommended and works in sectors such as entertainment, fashion and luxury goods.

Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP focuses on areas such as fashion, music, entertainment and technology, with a client roster that includes NBCUniversal, the estate of Michael Jackson, and Live Nation. David Halberstadter is a key figure who advised Starz Entertainment, Anchor Bay Entertainment and CBS Television Studios in relation to two separate lawsuits brought by writers who believed that the television series Power infringed upon their work.  Elsewhere, Karen Artz Ash advised Calvin Klein in licensing issues surrounding its use of imagery from the artist Andy Warhol and the photography of Dennis Hopper. Floyd Mandell is also a key figure and is very active in the technology sector.

Mayer Brown's team is led by John Mancini, who 'has incredible knowledge and understanding of copyright infringement disputes'. Music streaming service Spotify regularly engages Mancini, and a recent highlight involved a royalties dispute brought by folk singer Melissa Ferrick. Litigator Allison Levine Stillman is also highly recommended.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP has a big presence in copyright litigation, and works with clients such as Amazon and the American Society of Civil Engineers. J Kevin Fee leads the team and acted for the American Society for Testing and Materials in a dispute in which another party posted the client's copyrighted standards on the basis that governmental agencies had incorporated these standards and are now allegedly subject to public ownership. Another name of note is John Polito, who 'provides an invaluable mix of in-depth knowledge of software issues and copyright law'. He regularly represents Oracle in infringement issues. Litigator Carla Oakley is also recommended.

Morrison & Foerster LLP assists clients in both contentious and non-contentious copyright matters, with a strong emphasis on the entertainment and technology fields. Key figures from the team include Michael Jacobs, who is particularly strong in software disputes, and technology-focused Richard Hung.

O'Melveny & Myers LLP's copyright team handles primarily software and motion picture-related copyright disputes. Practice head Darin Snyder represented Artifex Software in its closely watched case against Hancom regarding whether a general public license for open-source software - in this case the client's open-source PDF interpreter Ghostscript - is an enforceable contract. Working on the motion picture side of the practice are Los Angeles-based Matthew Kline and Daniel Petrocelli in Los Angeles and David Eberhart in San Francisco.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP's key area of focus is in music and it is often engaged by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. Jay Cohen is a key figure and is particularly skilled in handling disputes pertaining to music rights and licensing. Litigator Lynn Bayard is also highly recommended. Other key clients include Calvin Klein and Michael Kors.

Arent Fox LLP's copyright team covers music, film, television and theater, and has expertise in litigation, licensing and regulatory matters. Practice head Anthony Lupo has expertise in contentious and non-contentious matters and primarily focuses on sectors such as entertainment, fashion, and technology.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP works on both contentious and non-contentious matters, with a particular emphasis on the technology sector. Key members of the team include Jeffrey Cunard in Washington DC as well as Jeremy Feigelson and James Pastore in New York.

Technology-related copyright disputes is a mainstay for San Francisco-based Durie Tangri LLP. Names of note include founding partner Daralyn Durie and litigator Joseph Gratz.

Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz PC is best known for its work in the areas of book publishing and photography. Maura Wogan acted for Laspata DeCaro Studio in a dispute with Rimowa, which alleged that the client infringed copyright with the photographs it used for one of its marketing campaigns. Jeremy Goldman  represented the publisher Scholastic in a dispute against James Castle, which took action due to the client publishing a book about his life; Goldman achieved a victory in that case on fair use grounds. In addition, Edward Rosenthal worked with Scholastic on resolving photograph licensing disputes.

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP has expertise in both copyright counseling and litigation, particularly within the gaming, publishing and entertainment industries. Leading the team are Houston-based Jeff Dodd and Edward Colbert in Washington DC. Dodd is particularly skilled in transactional matters, whereas Colbert works on litigation and licensing issues. Other key figures include the New York-based litigators Jonathan Reichman and James Rosini.

Irell & Manella LLP has expertise in both contentious and non-contentious issues, with a particular emphasis on the media and entertainment industries. Victor Jih heads the practice and is highly skilled in litigation. Of counsel David Nimmer is also highly recommended. Robert Schwartz left the firm and joined Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP.

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP regularly works on music industry-related disputes. Robert Jacobs acted for a number of record companies in a royalties dispute concerning songs by rappers Drake, T.I., Young Thug and Dae Dae. He also defended Kendrick Lamar in a dispute brought by the artist Lina Iris Viktor, who alleged that her work was used without proper clearance in the music video All the Stars, which is part of the Black Panther movie soundtrack. Michelle Cooke is also recommended and represented KCETLink on licensing and general copyright issues.

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP works for clients such as Forever 21, The Walt Disney Company and Mastercard. Jim Curry acted for the concert streaming website Qello in a licensing dispute brought by the director of a concert featuring artists such as Chuck Berry, Bo Diddly and Ronnie Wood. Marty Katz represented Global Eagle Entertainment and Inflight Productions in a number of copyright disputes concerning its use of music for inflight entertainment.

Steptoe & Johnson LLP is primarily concerned in dealing with piracy and counterfeiting issues. Michael Allan leads the team and recent work highlights of his included advising BMG in a lawsuit against Cox Communications, whose subscribers had infringed online copyright.

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP's copyright team works in industries such as movies, visual arts, music, fashion, digital media and software. New York-based Laura Goldbard George heads the practice and is particularly strong in contentious issues facing sectors such fashion and retail. Miami-based James Sammataro focuses on the media and entertainment industry.

Williams & Connolly LLP has an enviable client roster which includes Warner Bros, Walt Disney and Discovery Communications. Thomas Hentoff leads the practice and advised the Recording Industry Association of America on an online piracy lawsuit taken against the now-defunct streaming website Megaupload. Nicholas Boyle is also a key figure and acted for CoStar in a dispute against Xceligent, which had used photographs and data owned by the client.

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