Media and entertainment: transactional in United States

Latham & Watkins LLP

A powerhouse at the heart of the media & entertainment industry in Los Angeles, the team at Latham & Watkins LLP advises independent production companies, major motion picture studios, and new media companies on industry-shaping deals. Practice head Joe Calabrese is renowned for his expertise in the field and guides entertainment and media companies through their creation, operation, and financing such as Illumination Entertainment which he advises on its relationships with Illumination Mac Guff and NBC/Universal. Ken Deutsch is a first choice expert on joint ventures and capitalizing new content production and financing entities. He led the team in representation of Hammerstone, LLC in the creation of a gaming investment fund and co-financing for a ‘Black 5’ video game with Rogue Games and Columbia Pictures. Alongside Deutsch in this matter was Kendall Johnson, who is sought after for her expertise in cross-over matters of entertainment and sports. On the corporate side of the practice, Nancy A. Bruington  is a specialist in the financing of media & entertainment. In New York, Justin Hammill focuses his expertise on high-value M&A and private equity deals. The team has recently further bolstered its strength in this particular area with the hire in July 2021 of counsel Jing Cao  from O’Melveny & Myers LLP, an expert in debt financing in the entertainment space. Robert D. Haymer has retired from the practice.

Practice head(s):

Joe Calabrese

Other key lawyers:

Nancy Bruington; Ken Deutsch; Rick Offsay; Jonathan West; Kendall Johnson; Justin Hammil

Testimonials

‘Strong experience and very responsive! Very efficient in their use of time and billing. Great team.’

Key clients

A24

Crossroads Live, Inc.

Deviation Games  LLC

Eldridge Industries, LLC

Endeavor

Entertainment Studios/Byron Allen

Hammerstone, LLC

Hollywood Foreign Press Association

Illumination Entertainment

JTBC Studio Co., Ltd.

KKR

Macro Media LLC

Media Res

Metro Goldwyn Mayer

Moonbug Entertainment Limited

Golem Creations

Skydance Productions

Silver Lake

Sonar Entertainment, Inc.

Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.

Spotify

TB12

Univsion

HPS Investment Partners, LLC

 

Work highlights

    O'Melveny & Myers LLP

    O’Melveny & Myers LLP splits its practice between Los Angeles and New York, but has a global reach thanks to its expertise in cross-border and international transactions. Century City-based Amy Siegel is the practice head and a specialist in commercial licensing arrangements and exploitation of IP. She recently led the team in advising CJ ENM in its acquisition of Endeavor Content. Bruce Tobey‘s practice covers motion picture and television series from production through distribution. The Century City-based expert in digital media represented Library Pictures International in a co-financing del with Next Entertainment World. A specialist in corporate matters, Silvia Vannini handles M&A and securities in Los Angeles. Distinguished among the firm’s up-and-coming, counsel Evie Whiting in Century City maintains a variety of clients from the motion picture, television, and music sides of the media and entertainment industry, advising them on financing transactions. Lindsay Conner  joined the Los Angeles office from Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP in October 2021, bolstering the team’s corporate expertise. Sean Monroe has departed the firm.

    Practice head(s):

    Amy Siegel

    Other key lawyers:

    Bruce Tobey; Silvia Vannini; Eric Zabinksi; Terrence L. Dugan; Chris Owens; Lindsay Conner; Evie Whiting; Eric Geffner

    Testimonials

    ‘Terrence Dugan is a true leader in the entertainment and media lending space, with unparalleled experience in a huge range of transactions. Throughout a recent complex transaction involving numerous parties, Terrence not only supported us expertly but was a much-needed voice of calm during often contentious negotiations.’

    Key clients

    CAA

    Library Pictures International

    Lionsgate

    Looped

    Paramount Pictures

    Spyglass Media Group

    STARZ

    ViacomCBS

    CIT Bank

    CJ ENM

    ViacomCBS Networks International

    fuboTV

    Red Arrow Studios

    Work highlights

    • Represented ViacomCBS Networks International acquisition of a majority stake in Fox TeleColombia & Estudios TeleMexico.
    • Represented CIT Bank as in a syndicated senior debt facility for Castle Rock Entertainment in connection with relaunching its feature division and a $175m film fund.
    • Advised Lionsgate in its sale of its controlling interest in Pantaya to Hemisphere Media Group.

    Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

    A go-to firm in Los Angeles for financial investors in film, television, and digital media, the team at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP advises its clients on complex transactions including M&A and joint ventures. Chris Spicer leads the practice, counselling companies additionally on distribution and production matters in the US, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. His colleague Marissa Román Griffith guides both established and new market players through complicated transactions. With Vanessa Roman the team includes a specialist on single project loans and credit facilities in the entertainment sector. Additionally, Alissa Miller is an expert on transactions between independent movie production companies and financial institutions. Further recommended for his expertise in digital distribution is associate Christopher Maddox. John Burke has retired from the firm.

    Practice head(s):

    Christopher Spicer

    Other key lawyers:

    Marissa Roman Griffith; Alissa Miller; Vanessa Roman; Christopher Maddox

    Key clients

    American Film Institute

    Bank of America, N.A.

    CIT Bank

    City National Bank

    Comerica Bank

    Content Partners

    East West Bank

    JPMorgan Chase Securities

    Media Rights Capital

    MUFG Union Bank, N.A.

    Portfolio Funding Company

    Truist Bank f/k/a SunTrust Banks

    XYZ Films

    Work highlights

    • Advised PFC in its January 2021 bankruptcy court approved settlement with the creditors committee and the estate of The Weinstein Company LLC.
    • Advised JPMorgan in the refinancing of Amblin Partners’ JPMorgan-led revolving credit facility, in connection with Amblin Partners’ renewed multiyear partnership with Universal Pictures, and the ongoing administration of such new facility.
    • Advised Quorn Foods in negotiating a multiyear business partnership spokesperson agreement with the globally recognized entertainer Drew Barrymore who will serve as the brand’s first-ever “Chief Mom Officer” (CMO).

    Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz PC

    From key players in interactive entertainment to music, publishing to TV content production, the practice at Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz PC covers the entire media & entertainment industry and also advises on cutting-edge matters such as NFTs and other Blockchain-related endeavors. From Los Angeles, Andrew Hurwitz co-heads the department- deeply entrenched in the film & television industry, he is an expert on development, production, financing, and distribution agreements and recently represented the Roald Dahl Story Company in their sale to Netflix. In New York, co-head Michael Williams has extensive expertise in the fashion industry. Additionally in New York, Julie Murray advises production companies such as Jupiter Entertainment for which she negotiated a ‘First Look’ deal with Bronco Productions. Further recommended in New York is Marcie Cleary who focuses her expertise on talent management and cultural creators. Hayden Goldblatt is a specialist in film financing, also based in New York.  

    Practice head(s):

    Michael Williams; Andrew Hurwitz

    Other key lawyers:

    Richard Heller; Victoria Cook; Lisa E. Davis; Marcie Cleary; Hayden Goldblatt; Sasha Levites; Julie Murray; Amy Nickin; Alan Sacks

    Testimonials

    ‘Sasha Levites – incredibly detail oriented, approachable, engaged and most of all, courteous and easy to work with for the OTHER side, so that deals are handled easily and smoothly on both ends.’

    ‘My attorney, Andrew Hurwitz, is one of my closest advisors. In fact, I typically go to him before talking to my manager or agents. His perspective on the industry and on life is invaluable to me. I can’t even guess how many times I’ve spoken to him on a weekend. It makes a big difference to me knowing that the attorney speaking on my behalf walks through the world with integrity.’

    ‘The media and entertainment team at FKKS are unparalleled in their professionalism and capacity to juggle many complex situations for a multitude of clients. Their ability to also navigate through various aspects of the media and entertainment industries has also been impressive.’

    ‘Mike Williams is one of, if not the best and most measured entertainment attorneys I’ve had the pleasure of working with. Patient, thorough, and most importantly empathetic, he has a skill set and emotional intelligence that provides for him to be a consistent and integral part of any team i bring him onto.’

    ‘The FKKS team has an unparalleled understanding of the entertainment business from both a legal and creative POV. They are incredibly well connected, communicative and are true problem solvers. They approach each project with fresh eyes and a willingness to find new ways to protect everyone legally but also achieve the desired creative outcome.’

    ‘I have never worked with a legal team that is as well versed in so many areas as this team is. There is no topic or question we have that they aren’t able to answer for us. Specifically Marcie Cleary who is a breath of fresh air. She is incredibly smart, available to her clients and thoughtful in how she handles every issue we send her way.’

    ‘The attorneys at FKKS are incredibly experienced and knowledgeable, but we consider them more than just powerhouse attorneys. We value their strategic advice, their creative input, and their moral compass. They are invaluable members of our team.’

    ‘I am proud to be represented by our attorneys at FKKS: they are problem solvers, strategists, and scholars. Victoria Cook is the smartest person I know, an incredible advocate and critical thinker with a deep knowledge of film and media (our sector). I trust her opinion, her judgement, and her taste.’

    ‘Andrew Hurwitz has been my lead attorney for over 25 years. He works with a team of very capable partners that are easy to engage’

    Key clients

    Aaron Sorkin

    Dean Koontz

    John Goodman

    Tom McCarthy

    Phil Johnston

    The Roald Dahl Literary Estate

    Agatha Christie Estate

    Hasbro, Inc.

    Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.

    Epic Games

    Topic Studios / First Look Productions

    Frank Loesser Estate

    Jupiter Entertainment

    Zero Point Zero Production

    Above Average Productions

    Work highlights

      Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

      Split between Los Angeles and New York, the team at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP handles matters for the traditional entertainment industry like Bollywood studio Eros International Plc and represents investors funding cutting-edge technologies such as Point72 in its investment in RECUR, which operates in the NFT space. Practice co-head Kevin Masuda is based in Los Angeles and advises both content production companies in film, music, gaming, and sports as well as their financiers such as Square, Inc. which he recently represented in its acquisition of TIDAL. Fellow Los Angeles co-head Benyamin Ross counsels both private equity and venture capital firms as well as tech companies like Screenshop in its acquisition by Snapchat. On the east coast, New York side of the practice John T. Gaffney advises on M&A, divestitures, joint ventures, and capital market transactions. Richard Birns broadens the scope of the practice with his additional expertise in corporate governance and takeovers and recently represented YGE Legends Holdings LLC in the sale of Legends Hospitality to global investment firm Sixth Street Partners. Stefan dePozsgay is a highly active member of the New York team, who represents clients in corporate matters both domestically and cross-border.

      Practice head(s):

      Kevin Masuda; Benyamin Ross

      Other key lawyers:

      Ari Lanin; Stefan dePozsgay; Sean McFarlane; John T. Gaffney; Richard Birns

      Key clients

      The Tornante Company

      Eros International Plc

      Eros Innovations

      Screenshop

      Save Live

      Blackstone and Newly Formed Media Company

      Square, Inc.

      The Chernin Group / TCG Capital Management, LP

      Ladder, LLC

      Fandango

      Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

      Experts in talent management matters and content-related transactions, the team at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, based in Los Angeles, handle deals in film, TV, and digital media as well as music, where the team has a particular proficiency in managing large catalogue acquisitions, for clients like O2 Films, Wavelength Productions, Death Cab for Cutie, and Brian Wilson. The practice is led by Jordan Bromley, a veteran transactional attorney in the music industry who focuses his expertise on representing artists and talent management companies. Sophia Yen is a specialist in production development deals, financings, and joint venture transactions who in a recent highlight represented Majordmo Media, LLC in its deal with Hulu and Vox Media. On the talent management side, Eric Custer guides high-profile individuals through complex transactions, including the sale of song catalogues. The firm has recently seen two departures, with Lindsay Conner and Charles J. Biederman leaving the firm.

      Practice head(s):

      Jordan Bromley

      Other key lawyers:

      Sophia Yen; Gary L. Gilbert; L. Lee Phillips; Eric Custer; W. Beau Stapleton

      Testimonials

      ‘The team we work with at Manatt is well experienced in the entertainment industry, which is the area of my business. Having long-time experience and knowledge is key, of course.’

      ‘Lee Phillips, who I with, has the vast experience and knowledge to tackle the complex issues that confront him-profile musical artists, like the ones I manage.’

      ‘The Manatt team of lawyers are some of the most capable, thorough and dedicated team we have met. I am also very appreciative of their commitment to diversity – as it seems a very deliberate effort has been made to include folks from different backgrounds and perspectives across of all of the practice areas we’ve engaged with.’

      ‘We hustle hard at my company – it’s a fast-paced environment and Manatt – especially their relationship lead Sophia Lin, is one of the hardest working teams we’ve ever engaged with. She and her team have gone above and beyond to meet impossible deadlines for complex matters – they feel like a real extension of our team.’

      ‘Jordan Bromley is a standout lawyer in the music business. Smart, responsive, thoughtful, solves problems, gets things quickly, obtains the best outcomes.’

      ‘Because of the great knowledge Sophia has in this arena, the ability to quickly source additional support when there are models departing from the standard, and the ability to contextualize every element of risk but also support investors determining their risk tolerance and therefore the contracts and negotiation practices that accompany each specific person she reps that sets them up to have strong relationships with filmmakers, move into contract efficiently but fully understanding the terms, and setting up a path for success.’

      ‘Their attention to detail, client needs and strategy are unmatched.’

      ‘Jordan Bromley is the best attorney and partner any client could ever ask for in this business.’

      Key clients

      Dundee Partners

      Burt Bacharach

      Death Cab for Cutie

      Diplo

      Miles Davis Properties, LLC

      Styx

      Entertainment One

      Wasserman

      O2 Filmes

      Wavelength Productions

      Kast Media

      Work highlights

      • Represented Dundee Partners in its $1.1bn acquisition of Kobalt Capital Limited’s music rights portfolio.
      • Represented Wasserman in its acquisition of Paradigm Talent Agency’s North American live music representation business and the launch of Wasserman Music.
      • Represented renowned graffiti artist David Choe with the sale of The Choe Show to FX Network.

      Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

      Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP has established itself as a practice at the cutting-edge, handling matters related to content and streaming for key players from the music and motion picture sectors such as Amazon Studios and Spotify as well as advising NFT platforms like Async Art. Robb Klein co-heads the practice out of Century City and handles matters pertaining to production, financing, IP centered agreements, and digital business. Klein’s co-head Linda Michaelson represents clients on the corporate side of media and entertainment and recently represented Lionsgate in its acquisition of the majority of Spyglass Media Group’s feature film library. Further recommended on finance, M&A, and joint venture transactions is co-head David Sands in Los Angeles who has special expertise in sports-related matters. Highly active in the practice and leading the team on Amazon’s acquisition of MGM, Robert Darwell in Century City is an expert in handling content-production deals in various industries. Stacey Rosenberg joined the firm in May 2021 from Hogan Lovells US LLP, further bolstering its strength with her deep expertise in debt finance transactions in the media and entertainment industries. Sidney Fohrman left the firm.

      Practice head(s):

      Robb Klein; Linda Michaelson; David Sands

      Other key lawyers:

      Robert Darwell; Shaun Clark; Leif Cervantes de Reinstein; Daniel Schnapp; James Gatto Alexis Robinson; Genevieve Perez; Marc Hershberg

      Testimonials

      ‘They are incredibly business minded and work with a lot of people in the sector so they have a tone of industry knowledge.’

      ‘They are incredibly business minded and great drafters.’

      ‘The Sheppard team bring a combination of experience and sound business judgment to the table when it comes to media and entertainment. This extends into areas of data privacy as well. The team is consistently very responsive to our needs, and always available to answer questions, provide feedback, and help with more complex issue and drafting.’

      ‘Dan Schnapp and Genevieve Perez each bring a wealth of knowledge to the table and keeps up to the date with the latest developments in the law and within the media and tech industries. This is very important for us as we weigh legal risk against industry practice.’

      Key clients

      Amazon Studios

      Gaumont

      Hemisphere Media Group

      Lionsgate

      Sony Pictures Entertainment

      Troy Aikman

      ICM Partners

      Spotify

      Rare Beauty

      loanDepot.com

      101 Studios

      BET Network

      Royal Goode Productions

      AmazeVR

      Peloton Interactive, Inc.

      Domain Capital Partners

      News Corporation

      Peloton Interactive

      Spotify Inc.

      ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers)

      STIM

      Async Art

      Truepic

      Entertainment Software Association

      Dapper Labs

      Superplastic

      ABXR Labs, Inc.

      Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

      With a strong focus on M&A, Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP advises key players in media and entertainment such as Disney and Hasbro on the corporate aspects of transactions including banking, financial restructuring, capital market offerings, and tax. Faiza Saeed leads the practice out of New York, focusing her expertise on M&A, corporate governance, and crisis management and leads the team in their representation of Quibi. 

      Practice head(s):

      Faiza Saeed

      Key clients

      Amazon

      Amblin

      Cable One

      CommScope

      Daily Mail

      Disney

      Gannett

      Hasbro

      Quibi

      Rogers Communications

      Scientific Games

      The Weinstein Company

      Work highlights

      • Representing Amazon in its pending $8.45 billion acquisition of MGM Studios.
      • Representing Disney in the pending sale of a majority stake in Fox TeleColombia & Estudios TeleMexico to ViacomCBS.
      • Representing Quibi and its Board of Directors in connection with its out of court winddown process and represented the company’s sale to Roku.

      Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP

      Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP operates at the intersection of cutting-edge technology and media and entertainment, evidenced by its recent involvement as lead counsel in the creation of ‘Sotheby’s Metaverse’. New York-based practice head Matthew Syrkin is an expert on technology-driven transactions dealing with the convergence of technology, media, entertainment, and financial services. Deputy co-chair of the firm and chair of the corporate department Kenneth Lefkowitz  in New York is a specialist in complex corporate transactions in the sector, including M&A, takeovers, and going-private transactions. Together they handled Sotheby’s investment into the NFT development studio Mojito as well as the strategic partnership between the two companies which launched the auction house’s Metaverse.

      Practice head(s):

      Matthew Syrkin

      Other key lawyers:

      Kenneth Lefkowitz

      Testimonials

      ‘Matthew Syrkin’s team is highly adept as supporting in-house clients. He and his team are all very familiar with the support required to advise business clients just as well as my legal team. They are incredibly responsive, pragmatic, and reliable.’

      ‘Matthew Syrkin clearly takes a very strategic approach to building his associate bench. He always pairs his associates well to the matters I bring to his group. I am always impressed by how nimble his associates can be in relation to re-prioritizing and/or changing directions where our needs arise. He seems to grasp the “net” of what we need much more quickly than other commercial and technology counsel.’

      ‘While I’ve mostly worked with Matthew Syrkin, I have received very good counseling from the associates he has staffed on projects. The work product in general is top notch, and I have received very good and responsive service.’

      ‘I’ve worked with Matthew Syrkin, and his expertise in technology and media is second to none. He thinks through lots of different angles of issues, which I think is important for outside counsel.’

      Key clients

      Roku, Inc.

      WarnerMedia

      Sony Music Entertainment

      Madison Square Garden

      HBO

      AMC Networks, Inc.

      Sotheby’s Auction House

      Brazilian Media Giant, Grupo Globo

      MSG’s Tao Group Hospitality

      Ernst & Young LLP

      Work highlights

      • Represented Roku, Inc. in its acquisition of Nielsen’s advertising business and a strategic partnership to integrate complementary products.
      • Represented WarnerMedia on the international launch of HBO Max in Latin America.
      • Advised Madison Square Garden on its investments into the Madison Square Garden Sphere, including acquisition of film, music, and entertainment technology.

      Loeb & Loeb LLP

      With a practice divided between Los Angeles and New York, Loeb & Loeb LLP covers TV production, the music industry, Broadway plays, and has particular expertise in the branding side of talent management. Scott Edel co-heads the team from Los Angeles, a specialist in advising Hollywood production companies such as Showtime and Black Label Media as well as digital platforms. His fellow co-head Roger Arar is based in New York, focusing on film and TV development, finance, production, distribution, and talent. John Frankenheimer from Los Angeles chairs the firm’s music industry practice and represents both organizations as well as talent clients. Vice chair of the music industry practice Debbie White is based in New York and focuses her practice on representing music industry players as well as digital media and tech companies. 

      Practice head(s):

      Scott Edel; Roger Arar

      Other key lawyers:

      John Frankenheimer; Debbie White; Marc Chamlin; Paul Swanson; Arash Khalili; Carol Kaplan; Derek Crownover; Stefan Schick; Steve Hurdle; Scott Zolke; Ivy Kagan Bierman; Denise Stevens; Tiffany Dunn; Anne Kennedy McGuire; Rachel Kiwi; Brittany Berckes; David Manella; Nathan Drake

      Testimonials

      ‘David Manella is the future of entertainment law, and his attention to detail, inventiveness, and willingness to try new language is admirable and endlessly helpful.’

      ‘Loeb & Loeb is a highly effective practice with an impeccable reputation for professionalism and confidentiality. They expertly represent A- list talent by bringing a broad range of experience and references to the table.’

      ‘I have worked exclusively with Marc Chamlin for nearly 25 years and have found him to be an invaluable advisor and strategist. Marc helps me focus on the bigger picture and long term goals that have been instrumental to my success. He is collaborative, good humored and well respected by all who work with him.’

      ‘Carol Kaplan is a stand out partner: she thinks creatively and always keeps in mind the larger objective we’re trying to achieve.’

      ‘The firm’s sector know-how is impressive and extensive, from legacy rights to new streamer rights to theatre and merchandising.’

      ‘I have had extensive experience of working with Roger Arar. He is calm knowledgeable, businesslike, responsive, and supportive. I feel I rely and rust in his judgment.’

      ‘Loeb’s team is exceptionally well versed in the entertainment industry, and the fees are very reasonable. The members truly care about their clients and staff.’

      ‘Tiffany Dunn is truly a gifted and caring attorney who provides expert advice on a timely basis. She is competent and responsive to my firm.’

      Key clients

      Oprah Winfrey and her production company, Harpo

      Glenn Close, Mike Rowe, Ree Drummond, Steve Irwin, Ty Pennington, Loretta Lynn, Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt

      Leading K-Pop bands, including BTS, TXT, Seventeen, Big Hit Entertainment, Nu’est and Enhyphen

      Warner Bros., Sony Pictures Entertainment, Nickelodeon, Lionsgate, MGM, Disney Jr., HBO, Laika, Media Rights Capital, STX and TEGNA

      Fox Broadcasting, Showtime, BuzzFeed, Nintendo, Valve Corporation, Vice Media, Google/YouTube, Whistle Sports, Zynga, World of Wonder Productions, Inc.

      Christina Aguilera, Duran Duran, Diane Warren, Nessa Barrett, Primary Wave, The Who, Regina Spektor, Tenacious D

      Midland, Carrie Underwood, Vince Gill, Jerrod Niemann, Casting Crowns, Runaway June, Andrew Peterson, Building 429, Luke Combs, Sam Hunt, Gabby Barrett, Ashley Gorley

      Hearst’s King Features, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

      Stanley Kubrick Estate, John R. Cash Trust, Estate of Alfred Hitchcock

      Sharp Entertainment, Truly Original, Alcon Television, Black Label Media, Tencent, Hello Sunshine, Talos Films, RTR Media, LLC

      Lemonada Media, LLC, Audible, Audiochuck Network, M ss ng P eces

      Citibank, G-Shock, Casio and Uber

      Journey, Diana Ross, Bill Maher, Gamble & Huff, Dwayne Wade, Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, Lionel Richie, Sofia Richie

      Bway.io, Seaview

      Element Partners, LLC, SuperDraft, Inc.

      Work highlights

      • Represented Oprah Winfrey and her production company, Harpo, in connection with production of The Me You Can’t See, a six-part mental health docuseries for Apple TV+ with Prince Harry.
      • Advising K-pop superstars BTS, providing counsel in all of the group’s business interests, including on all aspects of North American deals, including IP strategy, distribution agreements, marketing services agreements, merchandise deals, featured artist agreements, performance agreements, and acquisition of labels.
      • Represented Natalie Hemby, a two-time Grammy award-winning songwriter, in the sale of her music catalog to CTM/Outlander Music.

      Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

      Large transactions, such as the Reverse Morris Trust transaction combining AT&T Inc.’s WarnerMedia business with Discovery are a specialty of the New York-based team at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP who are experts in the M&A, securities, and financing aspects of media and entertainment. Practice head Ariel J. Deckelbaum is an expert in public and private M&A transactions, joint ventures, and restructuring deals who represented the Special Committee of the Board of Directors of CBS Corp in the merger with Viacom. Robert B. Schumer acted alongside Deckelbaum on this matter, deploying his extensive experience in high-profile public company transactions. Further recommended is Michael Vogel, who advises media companies on M&A and other corporate matters.

      Practice head(s):

      Ariel Deckelbaum

      Other key lawyers:

      Robert B. Schumer; Michael Vogel

      Key clients

      Advance

      Altice USA

      Apollo Global Management

      The Special Committee of the Board of Directors of CBS Corporation

      Imagine Entertainment

      Legendary Entertainment

      Major League Baseball

      MGM

      wiip

      Work highlights

      • Advising Advance in the $150bn Reverse Morris Trust transaction combining AT&T Inc.’s WarnerMedia business with Discovery.
      • Advising MGM in its $8.45bn sale to Amazon.
      • Advised funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management, Inc. in their $5bn acquisition of Verizon Media.

      Reed Smith LLP

      A trans-Atlantic practice split between Los Angeles and London, Reed Smith LLP advises key players in the motion picture industry from production to distribution, with particular expertise in financing, and counsels publishing entities on their transactions. On the US side, Stephen Sessa leads out of Century City- he has a holistic practice focused on the music industry. Alongside Sessa in Century City, Michael Sherman advises clients from the film, television, music, and literary sectors on a variety of matters including financing. Further recommended for companies in film, television, and new media is Christian Simonds in the New York office.

      Practice head(s):

      Stephen Sessa; Gregor Pryor

      Other key lawyers:

      Michael Sherman; Christian Simonds

      Testimonials

      ‘Reed Smith is a professional legal team that is responsive and dedicated to a client’s specific needs. I have received nothing less than impeccable representation and service.’

      ‘Michael Sherman is an experienced, top-notch attorney who has coordinated my Hollywood journey with a steady hand. He is intelligent, forceful when needed, and extremely experienced in the entertainment industry. I could not ask for better representation.’

      ‘All the individuals that we have worked with are senior partners with the firm to provide the best legal advise possible.’

      ‘I can only speak from my personal experience; I have found both Reed Smith Los Angeles and London to be highly knowledgeable in the field of entertainment and media. I have found them to be responsive and appropriately attentive to detail. I have never felt as though I had to fight for their bandwidth.’

      ‘Michael Sherman is thoughtful and insightful, and has unerringly provided sound guidance and counsel through all of the many stages of deal making and contracting. Michael brings with him a certain sense of “tummy comfort”; with his vast experience and knowledge, when Michael is on something, I can be certain of the best possible outcome.

      ‘Exceptional availability and responsiveness. Always ready and able to assist on complex matters, in connection with traditional and non-traditional structures, and finding solutions to meet the business objectives. On matters that require the assistance of colleagues in the firms other departments or in other offices, great ability to manage and stay the course.’

      ‘For me, one man: Michael S. Sherman.’

      ‘Michael S. Sherman is a world-class attorney. He is an expert listener, communicator, stabilizer, problem-solver, negotiator and closer. My life is in exceptional legal hands.’

      Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

      Between Los Angeles and New York, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP houses a practice advising record labels and motion picture production companies on their corporate law matters including financings and restructurings with a particular expertise in M&A. In Los Angeles, David Eisman co-heads the team, focusing on investment in the sector and cutting-edge matters such as NFTs. His fellow co-head in New York, Howard Ellin, is an expert in M&A, securities law, and general corporate law who recently advised.

      Practice head(s):

      David Eisman; Howard Ellin

      DLA Piper LLP (US)

      A holistic practice covering all sectors of media and entertainment, the Los Angeles-based team at DLA Piper LLP (US) also handles cutting-edge matters at the forefront, such as TikTok Inc.’s first NFT initiative. Co-head Tom Ara is one such specialist for emerging media and has close ties to the Asian markets. On the corporate side, co-head Robert J. Sherman has extensive expertise in domestic and cross-border financings and M&A. Co-head David Markman handles a variety of corporate and commercial transactions, he recently represented Concord Music in a collaboration with Skydance Productions and Nuyorican Productions for the creation of several musicals.

      Other key lawyers:

      Scott Bradford; Katherine Imp

      Testimonials

      ‘Of course, their expertise is 2nd to none.  But Tom and his team’s approach to serving the client in a cost-effective manner is truly unmatched.’

      ‘DLA has a team that is experienced in traditional as well as emerging media and entertainment projects. Their ability to blend the old and new models keeps them ahead of the curve.’

      ‘Tom Ara – Experienced, knowledgeable, relevant, great service, friendly, not afraid to give counsel.’

      ‘Scott Bradford – deep experience and flexibility.’

      ‘Katherine Imp handles all my contracts and negotiations. After a few years we have created a great work pipeline and I feel a lot more educated in the entertainment law space because of her. That has led to that I can engage in a much better way towards my partners, clients and buyers.’

      ‘Katherine Imp is one of the absolute best in the media and entertainment business. She is truly a super-star. She is a great communicator and negotiator and knows her law.  Kate is much like the iron fist with a velvet glove – nothing gets past her and that’s exactly what I need on my legal team to make sure everything is thought through and shored up.’

      ‘Tom Ara is simply known in the industry as one of the top legal minds and talents, having dealt with the Hollywood Studio systems and large scale corporate law. He is a highly respected and trusted attorney and is incredibly capable. I am fortunate to have Tom and Kate looking after my business interests – and would recommend them to anyone looking for the best in class.’ 

      Key clients

      ZASH Global Media and Entertainment Corporation

      Smilegate Holdings, Inc.

      TikTok Inc.

      Coupang Inc.

      Match Group

      Vinculum Music, LLC

      Round Hill Records

      Alchemy Copyrights d/b/a Concord Music

      Concord TF Development, LLC

      Talespin Inc.

      Dundee Partners

      HarbourView Equity Partners

      Multimedia Music

      CJ ENM Co. Ltd.

      Michelle Rodriguez

      Panic At The Disco

      Truist Bank

      Royal Bank of Canada

      Education Media Foundation/K-LOVE Radio

      The Walt Disney Company

      Mars Wrigley

      Vindex, LLC

      Work highlights

      • Represented ZASH in the acquisition of Lomotif Private Ltd., a social video platform.
      • Represented ZASH in entering into a Definitve Plan of Merger with Vinco Ventures, Inc.
      • Represented Smilegate in a $100m investment in That’s No Moon Entertainment.

      Katten

      From content production to distribution and exploitation, the California-based team at Katten covers the entire content-lifecycle, advising major production studios and interactive entertainment companies. The practice is headed out of Los Angeles by Michael Hobel who represents key players in this space including HBO, MRC Entertainment, and Warner Media. Also based in Los Angeles and highly active in the team is associate Scott Cutrow  who regularly works closely with Hobel on matters for the firm’s high-profile clients.

      Practice head(s):

      Michael Hobel

      Other key lawyers:

      Scott Cutrow

      Testimonials

      ‘There is an experienced team that have worked together for some time and complement each other very well.’

      ‘Michael Hobel is an exceptional lawyer and advisor. Despite his seniority and reputation he is always accessible to us, one of his smaller clients. I can call him on his mobile and have visited his home. His Associate, Scott Cutrow is extremely able and they work very well together. They are quite prepared to challenge our ideas and add a lot of value, literally at times.’

      ‘My experience of other firms is that partners of Michael’s quality are simply inaccessible and work that is key to us is delegated. Importantly for me, they are also human thus working with them is enjoyable with the ability to share a joke which is needed in difficult negotiations.’

      ‘Great market understanding.’

      ‘Blend of media experience with entertainment experience.’

      Key clients

      Debmar-Mercury

      EPiX

      Handmade Films

      HBO

      MRC Entertainment

      Resurgence Media Group, LLC

      Trent Reznor, Nine Inch Nails

      Warner Media

      Work highlights

      • Representing WarnerMedia in relation to its original programming for HBO Max and other platforms, including licensing and production arrangements with major studios and production companies for television series and motion pictures. These include the television series Love Life, Snowpiercer and other series in development such as Santa, Inc., Love and Death and The Staircase.
      • Representing HBO in relation to its original programming, including transactions related to the hit series Game of Thrones, licensing and production arrangements with major studios and production companies for television series and motion pictures.
      • Advising Debmar-Mercury in connection with the syndicated talk show The Wendy Williams Show and with the distribution of a variety of other television series like the record Emmy-winning series Schitt’s Creek.

      Kirkland & Ellis LLP

      Experts in transactions with intangible assets as their core, the team at Kirkland & Ellis LLP is a go-to for financial services company Blackstone on investments into the music sector, but also handles matters pertaining to video games and content production. From Chicago, Seth Traxler leads investments into media companies and recently advised The Carlyle Group in their acquisition of British video game studio Jagex. In New York, Shellie Freedman employs her expertise in agreements centered around IP and technology. Rory Wellever, previously at Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP, joined the Chicago office in June 2021; a specialist in software-related cases, he has worked substantially on matters for Blackstone.

      Other key lawyers:

      Seth Traxler; Shellie Freedman; Rory Wellever; Bernadette Coppola

      Key clients

      Blackstone

      Charter Communications

      DistroKid

      Fox Corporation

      Hello Sunshine

      Krafton

      Naver Corporation

      Nexstar Media Group

      SESAC Rights Management

      STX Filmworks

      Valence Media Partners

      Verizon

      Work highlights

      • Advised the collective of independent game development studios KRAFTON in its acquisition of Unknown Worlds, the creators of Subnautica.
      • Advised Blackstone on its partnership with Hipgnosis Song Management.
      • Advised Verizon on the sale of Verizon Media to funds managed by Apollo Global at $5bn.

      Paul Hastings LLP

      The Los Angeles-based transactional team of Paul Hastings LLP covers M&A, investment, and content production financing in media & entertainment for clients including Jukin Media, Marginal Media, and MidCap Financial Trust. Co-head Mickey Mayerson advises a global client base on production financing matters. Craig Emanuel who leads alongside Mayerson is a specialist in deals pertaining to the talent and creative side of the industry. Another expert on the matter is co-head Erik Hyman who recently represented Anthony Ramos in negotiations for leading roles. Co-head Susan Williams focuses her practice on structuring complex finance and capital market transactions in the entertainment industry.

      Practice head(s):

      Craig Emanuel; Erik Hyman; Susan Williams; Mickey Mayerson

      Other key lawyers:

      Sean Monroe; David Hernand

      Key clients

      About-Face

      Anthony Bregman and Likely Story

      Anthony Ramos

      Carol Aebersold

      Celebrands

      Charles Randolph

      Clive Davis

      Comerica Bank

      Craig Rosenberg

      East West Bank

      Fifth Third Bank

      George Wolfe

      HYBE

      Jac Schaeffer

      Kevin Willmott

      Lion Tree

      Luke Davies

      Michael Seitzman

      Midcap Financial

      Morgan Stanley

      Motion Picture Corporation of America

      New Slate Ventures

      QCode

      Quincy Jones

      Robert Rodriguez

      Ryan Murphy

      Sarah Streicher

      Snoot Entertainment

      SpottedRisk

      Tony Gilroy

      Tribune Entertainment

      Truist Bank

      Vine Alternative Investments

      Walmart

      Work highlights

      • Represented Morgan Stanley and Lion Tree in connection with Amazon’s acquisition of MGM Studios; the clients acted as financial advisers to MGM Studios.
      • Represented HYBE in its acquisition of Ithaca Holdings for $1bn.
      • Representing Vine Alternative Investments in connection with EuropaCorp S.A.’s emergence from French safeguard proceedings through which our client became a majority stakeholder.

      Perkins Coie LLP

      Experts in technology-driven transactions in the media and entertainment space, the team at Perkins Coie LLP covers a wide range of issues but has particular expertise in the interactive entertainment sector. John Delaney co-leads the practice out of New York, a seasoned transactional lawyer with a focus on disruptive technologies in film/TV, music, and video gaming. In Seattle, co-head Kirk Soderquist is a specialist in interactive entertainment and emerging elements such as NFTs. Their fellow co-head Jason Schneiderman is based in Palo Alto and focuses on emerging companies and their corporate needs.

      Practice head(s):

      Kirk Soderquist; Jason Schneiderman; John Delaney

      Other key lawyers:

      Meeka Bondy; Nicholas Davis; Andrew Grant; Ron Koo; Ali Mirsaidi; Divya Taneja

      Testimonials

      ‘We have had a long relationship with Perkins’ interactive entertainment group, who has provided valuable counsel to us on various licensing and transactional matters for our projects. They have a diverse team with different strengths and expertise, and they have been flexible when it comes to our needs.’ 

      ‘Perkins offers strong full-service support across a wide range of technology-focused practice areas. They have become my go-to firm when a new tech-focused initiative crops up and I need to find a capable specialist on short notice.’

      ‘The team has a deep knowledge of the music and entertainment space, including in considering current matters impacting the industry (technology and otherwise).’

      ‘Kirk Soderquist and Andrew Grant have been very helpful to us.  Both are easy to work with, providing practical, prompt advice, while not breaking the bank on billing.’

      ‘Kirk Soderquist stands out as a go-to partner and collaborative problem-solver.  His broad-area experience and willingness to spread the work around to other capable attorneys makes him a very effective client lead.  Chris Stanton and Andrew Grant have also done quality work this year helping us navigate new and novel company initiatives.’

      ‘Thoughtful, well considered and practical advice.’

      Key clients

      Epic Games

      Microsoft

      Facebook

      Big Fish Games

      Snapshot Games

      Rush Street Interactive

      Aristocrat Leisure Limited

      IMVU

      Google

      The Pokemon Company International

      Nintendo

      Riot Games

      Work highlights

      • Represented Epic Games in its acquisition of Harmonix and in agreements with AMC.
      • Represented Daybreak Game Company in its acquisition by Enad Global 7.
      • Represented Microsoft Corporation in its acquisition of ZeniMax Media Inc. at $7.5bn.

      Proskauer Rose LLP

      With an active practice in New York, the team at Proskauer Rose LLP focuses its expertise on the corporate side of media and entertainment and content distribution transactions. Co-head Robert Freeman is an expert in structuring complex transactions and in a recent highlight negotiated multi-year distribution agreements between Cox Communications and ViacomCBS. His fellow co-head Lauren Boglivi is a specialist in media content matters and represented Hearst Magazines in its sale of the US edition of Marie Claire to British publisher Future. Their peer and co-head Sandra Crawshaw-Sparks is a litigator with particular expertise pertaining to music industry matters. Finally, co-head Jeffrey Neuburger expands the firm’s scope through his focus on the intersection of technology, media, and IP. Will Chuchawat in Los Angeles, who focuses on middle market transactions, joined from Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP in February 2021.

      Other key lawyers:

      Wai Choy; Will Chuchawat

      Key clients

      Altice USA

      AMC Networks

      Bain Capital

      Castlelake

      Cox Communications

      Digicel

      Discovery

      DISH Network

      Fan Controlled Football League

      ForgeLight LLC

      fuboTV

      Hearst Magazines

      Hulu

      iHeartMedia

      Los Angeles 2028 Organizing Committee (LA 2028)

      Minute Media

      Major League Soccer

      National Basketball Association

      National Football League

      Rádio e Televisão Bandeirantes

      Shamrock Capital Advisors

      Spectrum (Charter Communications)

      Tegna

      The Ivy League

      United States Golf Association

      Urban One

      Work highlights

      • Advised Discovery in its agreement with AT&T to combine Discovery with AT&T’s WarnerMedia assets; represented Discovery in the sale of the Great American Country Network (GAC) to GAC Media
      • Represented Hulu in negotiating new distribution agreements with ViacomCBS.
      • Represented ForgeLight LLC in connection with its acquisition of a majority stake in Univision Holdings, Inc.

      Pryor Cashman LLP

      Pryor Cashman LLP handles transactions for record companies, TV and motion picture production companies, as well as creators and artists, including cutting-edge matters such as its representation of AI tech-driven global music rights management agency Muserk. From New York, co-head James Janowitz advises key players in the TV and film sectors on complex deals, such as the Independent Film Channel on a number of film acquisitions. The firm’s clients benefit from fellow Los Angeles-based co-head James Sammataro‘s extensive litigation experience complementing his transactional expertise. Further recommended in Los Angeles comes is Jamice Oxley, a specialist in the intersection of music and social media.

      Practice head(s):

      James Janowitz; James Sammataro

      Other key lawyers:

      Jamice Oxley

      Key clients

      Facebook

      AMC Networks

      The Latin American Film Company

      David Gordon Green

      Independent Film Channel (IFC)

      WHP Global

      Muserk

      Pure Flix

      Steve Aoki

      Kailand Morris

      Work highlights

      • Advised director David Gordon Green on his deal for a reboot of The Exorcist trilogy.
      • Advised Steve Aoki, a DJ, record producer, music programmer, and record executive, on most of his endorsement and appearance-based deals, investments and his new NFT creative agency.
      • Advised Facebook’s products division in connection with marketing and launching the Facebook Portal, a video conference product with high-tech tracking camera hardware.

      Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

      Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP represents a long list of private equity, banks, and investment firms across the media and entertainment industry where its international network allows the firm to handle complex multijurisdictional transactions. Michael Lubowitz , a seasoned M&A practitioner, co-heads the practice out of New York. Alongside him is co-head Jackie Cohen , also in New York. She is an expert in corporate cross-border matters and recently led the team in advising Marquee Raine Acquisition Corp.

      Practice head(s):

      Michael Lubowitz; Jackie Cohen

      Key clients

      Aleph Capital

      AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc.

      The Anthem Entertainment Group Inc.

      Blackstone

      Clearhaven Partners

      CPP Investments

      Crestview

      Discovery Communications, Inc.

      Goldman Sachs

      J.P. Morgan

      Major League Baseball Players Association

      Marquee Raine Acquisition Corp.

      MGM Resorts

      Morgan Stanley

      Providence Equity Partners

      SiriusXM

      Skillz Inc.

      Starz, Inc.

      TCV

      Thryv Holdings, Inc. (f/k/a Dex Media, Inc.)

      Topgolf International, Inc.

      Trader Interactive, LLC

      Trebia Acquisition Corp.

      Vivial Media LLC

      Work highlights

      • Advised Marquee Raine Acquisition Corp., a SPAC sponsored by an affiliate of The Raine Group LLC and Marquee Sports Holdings SPAC I, LLC, in its $1.2 billion business combination with Enjoy Technology, Inc., an operator of a “Commerce at Home” platform that, through its “Mobile Stores,” offers online retailing of entertainment products, tablets, rides and computers.
      • Advised Topgolf International, Inc. (a portfolio company of Providence Equity Partners, Dundon Capital Partners and WestRiver Group), an operator of golf entertainment facilities in the United States and the United Kingdom that offer point-scoring golf games, food, beverages, music and apparel, in its $2.5 billion merger of equals with Callaway Golf Company a designer, developer, and marketer of golf clubs.
      • Advised SiriusXM, a provider of audio entertainment as both a programmer and provider of a platform for subscription and digital advertising-supported audio products, in its up to $325 million acquisition of Stitcher, a creator of original podcasts, operator of multiple content networks, and provider of podcast ad agency services, and its acquisition of 99% Invisible Inc., the owner and operator of 99% Invisible, a podcast that exposes the unseen and overlooked aspects of design, architecture and activity that shapes the world.