July 25, 2024

Saluti Law Medi

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Hollywood’s Top Entertainment Lawyers & Attorneys 2024

Hollywood’s Top Entertainment Lawyers & Attorneys 2024

Meet the dealmakers and litigators who made the cut for THR‘s 18th annual list of the entertainment industry’s most powerful legal advocates. These 100 standouts — listed alphabetically along with their practice area, firm and law school alma mater — negotiate the pacts and fight the battles that keep the cameras rolling. 

James Adams  

TALENT

Schreck Rose 

Cornell

John Krasinski re-upped his multiyear first-look deal at Paramount (in addition to releasing IF and acting in the upcoming heist film Fountain of Youth). It also was a big year for clients Kevin Hart (he’s filming Peacock’s Fight Night ) and Natasha Lyonne, whose series Poker Face was renewed at Peacock and whose production company, Animal Pictures, just signed a deal with Cindy Holland-led Sister.

My guilty TV pleasureBelow Deck.”

Michael Auerbach 

TALENT

Jackoway Austen 

NYU

Client David Corenswet nabbed the role of Superman in James Gunn’s reboot; showrunner Graham Wagner went nuclear as co-creator of the Amazon hit Fallout, which is going straight into season two; James Marsden made a deal to return for Sonic 3; Mia Goth’s horror trilogy is wrapping up with MaXXXine; and Zach Cregger will finally begin shooting Weapons, his follow-up to Barbarian.

Buzzword I’d banish “Bingeworthy.”

Karl Austen 

TALENT

Jackoway Austen 

Harvard

“We can make really great deals notwithstanding the environment,” Austen says, and he’s got the evidence to prove it. Clients include Justin Hartley, whose Tracker on CBS became the No. 1 broadcast series and quickly scored a second season, and Dave Bautista, who signed on for three movies and now commands a quote of at least $12.5 million for studio projects. 

Power lunch spot “Polo Lounge.”

Dean Bahat 

TALENT

Ziffren Brittenham 

UCLA

Many of the deals Bahat negotiated blossomed into major breakthroughs this past year: Cord Jefferson won a writing Oscar for American Fiction; playwright Justin Kuritzkes’ first screenplay, Challengers, was directed by Luca Guadagnino, who also is helming Kuritzkes’ adaptation of William S. Burroughs’ Queer; and Nathan Fielder successfully unsettled audiences with The Curse.

How I celebrate a deal “With a Tiger Woods fist pump and yakitori at Nanban-kan.”

John Berlinski 

LITIGATION

Bird Marella 

University of Michigan

When Scarlett Johansson had a beef with OpenAI, she called Berlinski (the same lawyer who’d earlier repped her in her Black Widow profit participation suit). Berlinski also was behind The Seelig Group lawsuit against 20th Century Fox films over decisions from parent company Disney to prioritize its streaming platform over theatrical releases, allegedly resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in losses. 

My guilty TV pleasure “Keith Morrison solving a cold case on Dateline.”

Jeff Bernstein 

TALENT

Jackoway Austen 

Harvard

Client Margot Robbie had the biggest movie of 2023 (Barbie, remember?), and she’s been keeping Bernstein busy since. He inked her next acting deal (A Big Bold Beautiful Journey) and negotiated an extension of her contract with Chanel and a first-look deal with Warner Bros. Meanwhile, client Carey Mulligan signed on for One for the Money, while Judi Dench locked in a deal with Penguin to pen her memoir, Shakespeare: The Man Who Pays the Rent

If I were a TV lawyer, I’d be … “Jack McCoy (Law & Order).”

Gordon Bobb 

TALENT

Del Shaw 

Columbia

Bobb secured Cedric the Entertainer’s multiyear CBS contract to return to The Neighborhood and inked Gina Prince-Bythewood and Reggie Rock Bythewood’s pacts for Genius: MLK/X at NatGeo and Children of Blood and Bone at Paramount. He also set up David Oyelowo’s deal with Apple TV+ for his Yoruba Saxon banner.

My guilty TV pleasure Summer House: Martha’s Vineyard.”

Leigh Brecheen 

TALENT

Brecheen Feldman 

Sandra Day O’Connor

In the past year, Brecheen has negotiated John Oliver’s three-year renewal with Max and closed the deal for a second season of Conan O’Brien Must Go. She also assisted with the sale of a stake of Brad Pitt’s Plan B to Mediawan. Other clients include Nia Long, Mel Gibson and Sharon Stone. Despite the deal climate being hard, “IP is the gift that keeps on giving,” she says. 

Hollywood figure I’d trade places with “Taylor Swift — she is the queen of the universe!”

Andrew Brettler 

LITIGATION

Berk Brettler 

Brooklyn Law School

In the past year, Brettler, whose client list runs from Prince Andrew to Armie Hammer, has handled professional crises on behalf of the likes of Justin Roiland, Russell Brand and Colleen Ballinger. He’s especially pleased with how things turned out in the blockbuster gambling scandal involving Dodger superstar Shohei Ohtani. “It helps to have an innocent client,” he says.  

Power lunch spot “Sunset Tower.”

We’ll know the town is back when … “I think it’s back.”

Stephen Clark 

TALENT

Lichter Grossman 

UC Law San Francisco

With a client list leaning toward writers and directors, Clark represents Shogun creators Justin Marks and Rachel Kondo, who will need new deals in order to move ahead with a second season, as well as Rian Johnson and Ram Bergman, who are pulling the trigger on a Knives Out 3 and signed a two-picture producing deal with Warners in March.

Buzzword I’d banish “ ‘Ecosystem’ — though I can’t say that I’ve never used it.”

Robert Darwell 

CORPORATE

Sheppard Mullin 

Georgetown

Darwell works with Prime Video on everything from sports to TV overalls. “With them, things move very quickly,” notes the attorney, who moonlights as a documentary filmmaker. He says he sees changes in dealmaking, especially with top talent. Studios and streamers “want to be in business — not just with a name but with a talent that is going to generate projects that will get made.” 

If I were a TV lawyer, I’d be … “[Suits’] Harvey Specter, of course.”

Warren Dern 

TALENT

Sloane Offer 

Southwestern

He helped Rebel Wilson put together Bride Hard, which she’s producing and starring in, while client Paul Feig is shooting the untitled Simple Favor sequel and Gore Verbinski settles back into the director’s chair with Good Luck, Have Fun, Don’t Die. Other clients include Ruben Fleischer, who’s helming the next Now You See Me movie, along with Amy Poehler, Zack Snyder, J.A. Bayona and Drew Pierce, who penned The Fall Guy.

Buzzword I’d banish “I am not sure I like the phrase ‘new normal.’ ”

André Des Rochers 

TALENT

Granderson Des Rochers 

Howard

Client Zendaya continues to stay hot — this year she slayed in Dune: Part Two and Challengers — while Des Rochers’ roster also includes Baby Reindeer creator Richard Gadd and The Color Purple director Blitz Bazawule, for whom he just closed a deal with Warner Bros. to buy his spec script on the first Black samurai.

Buzzword I’d banish “ ‘Leaning in.’ I need to stop saying it myself.”

Ken Deutsch 

CORPORATE

Paul Hastings 

Harvard

Deutsch is a sought-after expert for content companies, investors and A-list talent exploring capital raises and other deals. His clients include Jon Favreau (who signed a deal for a big-screen version of The Mandalorian), Indian Paintbrush and Charles D. King’s Macro Media. Deutsch also represented Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries in a multipicture co-financing arrangement with A24 that included the recent Civil War.

My guilty TV pleasure “All things Yellowstone.”

Isaac Dunham 

TALENT

Schreck Rose 

Columbia

Client John Mulaney hosted, wrote and executive produced the six-night live show Everybody’s in L.A. on Netflix. Dunham also saw client Rachel Brosnahan book the role of Lois Lane in Superman: Legacy and closed a deal for Paul Walter Hauser to star in the Chris Farley feature biopic. 

How I celebrate a deal “Preparing for the next set of issues to negotiate.”

David Eisman 

CORPORATE

Skadden 

UCLA

Over the past year, Eisman has represented Drake’s OVO Sound, DJ Khaled’s We the Best, as well as Gamma, HangTime, Litmus and Foundation Media on mergers, acquisitions and other corporate matters. Eisman’s other top clients this year included UTA, AGBO and Anonymous Content. He’s recently seen more of a focus among his entertainment clients on sports as a way to diversify their revenue streams.

If I were a TV lawyer, I’d be … “Lionel Hutz. Who doesn’t want to rep the Simpsons?”

Jeff Endlich 

TALENT

Yorn Levine 

Cardozo

Endlich has a knack for guiding auteurs toward passion projects that also have commercial appeal. Everything Everywhere All at Once filmmakers Daniels (Kwan and Scheinert) are writing their next picture for Universal, while Taika Waititi recently wrapped on the Jenna Ortega starrer Klara and the Sun for Sony. On the TV side, BoJack Horseman creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg inked a deal for a new animated series at Netflix, while Reservation Dogs breakout D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai has signed to star in the Alex Garland feature Warfare.

If I were a TV lawyer, I’d be … “An actor.”

Alan Epstein 

CORPORATE

Willkie Farr

UCLA

Epstein believes things are not as bleak in Hollywood as they may seem. “There’s hope on the horizon. The stock market is a leading indicator, and that gives you a sense of where a lot of smart people think this is going,” he says, adding that interest rates appear to be heading toward a decline. And recent headwinds haven’t stopped him from brokering deals like Ryan Reynolds’ $1.35 billion sale of Mint to T-Mobile. 

Hollywood figure I’d trade places with “John Legend.”

Jamie Feldman 

TALENT

Lichter Grossman 

Harvard

Client Steven Soderbergh has been keeping Feldman busy lately: He’s handled back-to-back Sundance bidding wars for the indie filmmaker’s Presence (which landed at Neon) and a spy thriller starring Cate Blanchett and Michael Fassbender (set up at Focus Features). Client Barry Jenkins will soon release Mufasa, and Marc Webb is handling another live-action Disney property, Snow White. Heavy hitters like Viola Davis and Dev Patel also turn to Feldman for dealmaking in these tumultuous times. 

The most surprising budget line item I’ve fought over “Pole dancing trainer.”

Dan Fox

TALENT

Hansen Jacobson

UCLA

Fox is “genuinely funny,” says Ted Lasso star Brett Goldstein, who’s shooting the second season of his Apple TV+ series Shrinking, and just reupped his overall deal with Warner Bros. TV. “He’s always pitching to be a writer’s assistant on one of our shows, and I’m like, ‘You can have it, but I need you to do the deals!’ ” Fox also does the deals for a roster that includes Abbott Elementary’s Tyler James Williams (a client since the actor was just 16), Reacher star Alan Ritchson, Saltburn auteur Emerald Fennell and Fallout co-creator Geneva Robertson-Dworet.

Melissa Fox 

TALENT

Hansen Jacobson 

Penn

Fox represents some of today’s top names in comedy, including Ali Wong (she finalized her deal for a new Netflix special), Tim Robinson, Kate McKinnon, Maya Erskine and Hasan Minhaj as well as SNL players Michael Che, Heidi Gardner, Ego Nwodim and Sarah Sherman.

Buzzword I’d banish “ ‘Flywheel’ — love the concept, hate the word.”

Jeff Frankel  

TALENT

McKuin Frankel & Whitehead

UCLA

Frankel reps Jury Duty creators Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky as well as The Bear co-showrunner Joanna Calo, who landed an Emmy for best comedy series. Screenwriter David Hemingson snagged an Oscar nom for his work on The Holdovers, Pachinko creator and showrunner Soo Hugh inked an deal with Apple and Media Res, and Mare of Easttown creator Brad Ingelsby has a series in production at HBO.

My guilty TV pleasure Buying Beverly Hills.”

Bryan Freedman

LITIGATION

Freedman & Taitelman

University of the Pacific, McGeorge

Read THR’s Freedman cover story.

Rob Freeman 

CORPORATE

Proskauer 

Georgetown

He’s crafted deals for Warner Bros. Discovery, Cox Communications, NFL Media, Tiger Woods’ TMRW Sports and FanDuel. Plus, Freeman has advised multiple clients on sports betting-related deals. His mentees have gone on to senior positions at HBO, Turner, Hulu, the NBA and MLB. 

Buzzword I’d banish “Synergies.”

My guilty TV pleasureOuter Banks.”

Matt Galsor 

TALENT

Greenberg Glusker 

Columbia

The canny dealmaker scored a strategic deal with Warner Bros. for Tom Cruise while client Chris Hemsworth entered talks for Amazon movie Crime 101 and signed a producing deal with Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s Artists Equity. Vin Diesel set up a new Riddick movie; J.K. Rowling will exec produce a new Harry Potter series for Max; James Cameron is in production on his next Avatar; and David Fincher is about to close on his next project.

If I were a TV lawyer, I’d be … “Dan Fielding (from Night Court). He’s even better than Saul Goodman, I think.”

Jonathan Gardner 

TALENT

Cohen Gardner 

University of Virginia

Gardner has plenty of prestige filmmakers on his roster (Bong Joon Ho, Ryûsuke Hamaguchi), but it’s the deal he architected for Ryan Coogler’s untitled reunion film with Michael B. Jordan that is legacy-making. The package — “an epic, monumental, game-changing director’s deal,” Gardner calls it — saw the winning bidder, Warner Bros., agree to revert the project’s copyright back to Coogler in 25 years.

Buzzwords I’d banish “It’s a no-brainer.”

Bruce Gellman 

TALENT

Hansen Jacobson 

UC Berkeley

He negotiated overall deals for The Diplomat creator Debora Cahn, Locke & Key showrunner Meredith Averill and Mike Daniels (Peacock’s upcoming Fight Night), while continuing to advise heavy hitters like Dan Fogelman and Jennie Snyder Urman on their overall pacts. He also represented Ilene Chaiken and Tracker creator Ben Winters for development projects.

Power lunch spot “Euro Caffé (owners Mayda and Vartan Kemanjian are the best).”

Gregg Gellman 

TALENT

Yorn Levine 

Loyola Law School

After client Alex Edelman’s one-man show Just for Us concluded its global tour, Gellman set up a deal for an HBO special. He also lined up a second season of Bookie for Sebastian Maniscalco, while queuing up another special and a just-renewed Netflix series, Tires, for stand-up Shane Gillis, a deal shaped with partner Jared Levine. But his roster isn’t entirely a laughing matter. He also reps Lulu Wang (Expats) and Bluey creator Joe Brumm.

How I celebrate closing a deal “I always thought it would be fun to have a giant cowbell in the office to ring. But I just move on to the next deal.”

Rick Genow 

TALENT

Goodman Genow 

Harvard

From Wes Ball’s Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes ($300 million at the global box office) to Michael Showalter’s The Idea of You (50 million Prime viewers in its first two weeks), Genow helps clients navigate the theatrical and streaming landscape. Talent like Jacob Elordi (co-repped with partner Carlos Goodman) and producers like Eric Kripke (The Boys) also keep him busy. Oh, and he reps the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and their Archewell banner that, while he won’t comment on the business, recently signed a new podcast deal with Lemonada Media.  

Power lunch spot “The Grill. It’s timeless.”

Bobby Ghajar 

LITIGATION

Cooley 

Southwestern

He’s defending Meta against creatives in their seismic IP suit over AI. And so far, he appears to be winning, securing dismissals of most of the creatives’ claims, including their core infringement theory, with the judge calling the writers’ argument “nonsensical.” His other work in the past year included obtaining the dismissal of a trademark infringement lawsuit against Kim Kardashian’s skin-care line. 

My guilty TV pleasure Power Slap. It’s like a train wreck I can’t stop watching.”

Lev Ginsburg 

TALENT

Ginsburg Daniels Kallis 

UCLA

He negotiated Timothée Chalamet’s deal to play Bob Dylan in James Mangold’s A Complete Unknown for Searchlight. Tom Brady roast standout Nikki Glaser toplined a hit Max stand-up special, Someday You’ll Die, and continues as host and exec producer of FBoy Island spinoff Lovers and Liars

The most surprising budget item I’ve fought over “A streaming platform’s policy against reimbursing its own executives for their subscriptions to that platform.”

Leah Godesky 

LITIGATION

O’Melveny 

Columbia

Repping Kesha Rose Sebert in the defamation case brought by Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald (she accused him of rape in 2014), Godesky convinced New York’s top appeals court to overturn a previous ruling, ultimately leading to a settlement. While “winning jury trials is as good as it gets,” Godesky says she relished the deal as “sometimes, the best outcome is avoiding the trial.” 

How I celebrate a win “Reading fiction on a beach.”

Tamerlin Godley 

LITIGATION

Paul Hastings 

USC Gould

She reps studios like Warner Bros. Discovery and talent like Adele and the wellness phenom Jay Shetty. Lately, though, she’s been busy with NBCUniversal as it faces labor complaints from its reality stars. She’s also frequently involved in running outside investigations into workplace claims on behalf of corporations. Says Godley, “I tell clients: ‘How we investigate is as important as what we find out.’ ”

Hollywood figure I’d trade places with “Meryl Streep — smart, top of her game, multitalented. Donna Langley — same descriptors!”

Carlos Goodman 

TALENT

Goodman Genow 

UCLA

Goodman’s roster of A-list auteurs could fill the Dolby Theatre — and often does. Clients include 2024 Oscar winners Jonathan Glazer (The Zone of Interest) and producer David Heyman (Barbie). He also reps Challengers helmer Luca Guadagnino, Civil War director Alex Garland, Darren Aronofsky, Steve McQueen and Jeff Nichols (The Bikeriders). Goodman also sealed deals for Christian Bale and Jacob Elordi (co-repped with partner Rick Genow) to star in Frankenstein films from, respectively, Guillermo del Toro and Maggie Gyllenhaal. 

We’ll know the town is back when … “I’d say get used to the current state of things for a while.”

Marissa Román Griffith

CORPORATE

Akin 

Stanford

​​Griffith spent part of 2023 working with Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Westbrook to secure a multimillion-dollar loan facility for an episodic series, and with Anonymous Content to refinance a multimillion-dollar senior secured revolving credit facility. She’s also continued to support MRC with its production and financing needs on titles like the Oscar-winning American Fiction and Peacock’s Poker Face.

If I were a TV lawyer, I’d be … “Jane Bingum from Drop Dead Diva.”

Justin Hamill 

CORPORATE

Latham & Watkins 

Boston College

While the M&A market is slowly picking up steam amid a high-interest-rate environment, there is one Hollywood deal that was a bona fide blockbuster. The private equity firm Silver Lake inked a $13 billion deal to take longtime Hamill client Endeavor — owner of WME, IMG, and a majority stake in WWE and UFC owner TKO — private. 

My guilty TV pleasure Seinfeld reruns.”

Harris Hartman 

TALENT

Sloane Offer 

University of Michigan

Some of Hollywood’s most prolific festival regulars — Julia Garner, Hunter Schafer and Margaret Qualley — turn to Hartman for dealmaking. On the streaming front, he helped negotiate Stephen Amell’s lead role in the upcoming Suits: L.A. and Richard Madden’s return to Amazon’s Citadel. “There can be a tendency for representatives to let their focus be directed by the size of a deal,” he says. “That’s never been my approach.”

My guilty TV pleasure Bluey.

Shawn Holley 

LITIGATION

Kinsella Holley 

Southwestern

When free-agent pitcher Trevor Bauer was accused of sexual assault, he turned to Holley for help. After a lawsuit from the first accuser was resolved without Bauer having to pay to settle the case, Holley helped get prosecutors to bring extortion charges against a second accuser. And although Danny Masterson was found guilty of rape, she may have saved him years in prison by undermining testimony from a former girlfriend, the only victim of the three for which there was no conviction. She also recently was on Sean “Diddy” Combs’ legal team handling lawsuits accusing the artist of sexual assault.

Jeff Hynick 

TALENT

Jackoway Austen 

Southwestern

Hynick advised new A-lister Jenna Ortega in closing a flurry of post-Wednesday deals, including a starring role in Taika Waititi’s Klara and the Sun. Hynick also guides filmmakers Jonathan Entwistle (Karate Kid), Parker Finn (Smile 2) and Lee Isaac Chung (Twisters), as well as Nicole Kidman and Hannah Waddingham. “Constant change is the new normal,” he says.

Buzzword I’d banish “There is way too much ‘looping’ going on these days.”

Kimberly Jaime 

TALENT

Jackoway Austen 

Columbia

Jaime helped Greta Lee, star of Past Lives and an ongoing player on The Morning Show, with deals for the new Tron franchise and luxury brand Loewe. She also helped Past Lives director Celine Song secure deals to write and direct her next feature for A24, and has worked on deals for Pedro Pascal, including Gladiator 2 and Fantastic Four.

Hollywood figure I’d trade places with “Greta Gerwig.”

Matthew Johnson 

TALENT

JSSK 

NYU

Johnson’s busiest client, Tyler Perry, renewed his partnership with BET through 2028, and added a multiyear first-look series deal to his partnership with Netflix. Johnson also set up Sam Mendes’ deal with Sony Pictures Entertainment to direct four films about The Beatles for release in 2027. Other clients include Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, Adam McKay and Alfonso Cuarón.

My guilty TV pleasure “Anything involving Vikings.”

Adam Kaller 

TALENT

Hansen Jacobson 

Whittier

Kaller, helped broker the $100 million deal that gave SiriusXM rights to the podcast SmartLess, hosted by Jason Bateman, Will Arnett and Sean Hayes. “That was an extraordinary deal in a crazy depressed market,” he says. He also celebrated the Emmy win of his client Steven Yeun for his role in Beef and the success of Five Nights at Freddy’s, after brokering the deal for client Josh Hutcherson to star in the film.

Hollywood figure I’d trade places with “Bob Iger, but I get to keep my age [57].”

Philip M. Kelly 

LITIGATION

Kendall Brill & Kelly 

UCLA

After Paramount Global was hit with a bombshell lawsuit for allegedly undermining a deal with Warner Bros. Discovery for the streaming rights to South Park, Kelly fired back with a countersuit accusing WBD of claiming breaches of terms that don’t actually exist in their deal. He also secured a settlement for CBS when Chuck Norris’ company, Top Kick, sought $30 million in connection to Walker, Texas Ranger

Power lunch spot “Unfortunately, at my desk. As much as I love a good lunch meeting, most days I simply do not have time.”

Kelly Klaus 

LITIGATION

Munger Tolles & Olson 

Stanford

Klaus defended Disney in a case over allegations the company used a VFX firm’s technology to animate CG characters. While it was found that Disney infringed on IP from Rearden, which sought nearly $1 billion, Klaus slashed the damages to $600,000 by convincing jurors that the company’s tech “played an extraordinarily small role in the enormously complex process” of animation.

My guilty TV pleasure Hell’s Kitchen.”

Deborah Klein 

TALENT

Jackoway Austen 

USC Gould

Klein’s marquee clients had huge years in 2023 and 2024. Samuel L. Jackson secured another year of his lucrative deal with Capital One and joined Kevin Hart in Peacock’s Muhammad Ali-centric limited series Fight Night: The Million Dollar Heist. Will Ferrell just locked in a new Netflix series alongside Ramy Youssef — which follows the eight-figure deal that Netflix closed on Ferrell’s Sundance documentary Will & Harper

Robby Koch 

TALENT

Hansen Jacobson 

Loyola Law School

After The Bear starJeremy Allen White’s awards season sweep, Koch renegotiated his deal on the FX/Hulu series and closed his endorsement deal with Calvin Klein. Koch negotiated a contract for The Ringer’s Bill Simmons to produce a Boston Celtics doc for HBO, closed with Hulu for Charlie Yu to adapt his novel Interior Chinatown, and repped Tony Hale in his Verizon endorsement pact and on acting deals with Pixar (Inside Out 2) and Netflix (The Decameron).

We’ll know the town is back when … “someone greenlights Nancy Meyers’ new movie.”

Tara Kole 

TALENT

JSSK 

Harvard

Kole’s roster is a mix of rising stars (Josh O’Connor,Charles Melton) and Hollywood mainstays (Halle Berry, Angelina Jolie). Kole also helps guide the careers of Zac Efron, who can soon be seen opposite Nicole Kidman in Netflix’s rom-com A Family Affair, as well as Succession’s Matthew Macfadyen, The Fall Guy producers David Leitch and Kelly McCormick, and Talk to Me directing duo Danny and Michael Philippou.

Power lunch spot “San Vicente Bungalows, even though I’m not actually a member and still have to get the little stickers put on my phone [to block the camera].”

Bianca Levin 

TALENT

Gang Tyre 

Yale

Levin oversaw Regina King’s first-look deal with Netflix, including the Oscar winner’s pact to direct and exec produce the series adaptation of Tom Wolfe’s A Man in Full. Levin brokered Dwayne Johnson’s deals to star in and produce Disney’s live-action version of Moana and A24’s Benny Safdie-directed biopic The Smashing Machine, starring Johnson and Emily Blunt.

If I were a TV lawyer, I’d be … “[Scandal’s] Olivia Pope.”

Molly Lens 

LITIGATION

O’Melveny 

University of Michigan

For Marvel, Lens was part of the team challenging copyright termination notices for titles involving iconic characters like Iron Man and Spider-Man. She’s also representing American Idol’s production companies in the sexual assault lawsuit brought by former judge Paula Abdul, defending Paramount Pictures in a Top Gun: Maverick copyright infringement case and working with Disney to fend off Gina Carano’s discrimination and wrongful termination suit.

Buzzword I’d banish “Disrupters.” 

Jared Levine 

TALENT

Yorn Levine 

Harvard

Levine helped shape Shane Gillis’ deal for Tires, the scripted workplace series the comedian financed, created and stars in at Netflix. “There aren’t that many shows where the talent fully finances it,” Levine says. “That’s risky and heady stuff.” He’s also been at work on behalf of Steph Curry’s Unanimous Media, which is producing the animated movie GOAT at Sony and making the show Mr. Throwback at Peacock. 

Buzzword I’d banish “Bandwidth.”

Ryan LeVine 

TALENT

Jackoway Austen 

Southwestern

He’s repped Jacob Tremblay since the actor was 5 years old and helped guide Iain Armitage through seven seasons of Young Sheldon. LeVine steered Sophie Thatcher and Tawny Cypress through renegotiations for season three of Yellowjackets and helped put Fred Hechinger (The White Lotus) into four movies due later this year. And he closed Octavia Spencer’s deal to star in and produce a female-assassin buddy comedy series for Amazon that sparked a gnarly bidding war. “It was the biggest deal of her career,” he says. 

Power lunch spot “Roof garden at The Peninsula.”

Jamie Mandelbaum 

Jackoway Austen 

NYU

Client Michael Patrick King is starting up a third season of And Just Like That at Max; director-producer Susanne Bier is wrapping work on Nicole Kidman miniseries The Perfect Couple for Netflix; and Danai Gurira just starred in and co-created The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live. Others on his roster include Civil War star Nick Offerman and Succession breakout Nicholas Braun.

Hollywood figure I’d trade places with “I’m not envious enough of anybody else to trade places. I’m grateful for what I do.” 

Steve Marenberg 

LITIGATION

Paul Hastings 

University of Chicago

Marenberg has been at the forefront of defending studios over decisions related to implementing vaccine mandates on set. He defeated a lawsuit from Ingo Rademacher over his dismissal from General Hospital, convincing the court that the actor’s opposition to the COVID vaccine was grounded in his religious beliefs, not concerns over his health or safety. 

My guilty TV pleasure “OId episodes of Boston Legal.”

David Matlof 

TALENT

Hirsch Wallerstein 

UC Berkeley

Client Jesse Plemons, who just won best actor in Cannes for his turn in Yorgos Lanthimos’ Kinds of Kindness, is wrapping the Netflix series Zero Day with Robert De Niro and has signed on for Lanthimos’ next film. Maya Rudolph’s season two of Loot finally debuted on Apple TV+ after strike disruptions, while Joseph Kosinski is directing his Formula 1 movie with Brad Pitt and mulling another Top Gun sequel. 

My guilty TV pleasure Inside the NBA — while it lasts.”

Joel McKuin 

TALENT

McKuin Frankel Whitehead

Harvard

McKuin’s client roster includes Killers of the Flower Moon breakout Lily Gladstone and prolific showrunner Noah Hawley, who dropped a fifth critically adored installment of Fargo before turning his attention to FX’s forthcoming Alien adaptation. Meanwhile, longtime client Kristen Stewart has launched a production company and will soon start production on her writing-directing debut, Chronology of Water.

Buzzword I’d banish “ ‘Piece of business,’ as in ‘This is a good piece of business.’ ”

Elizabeth McNamara 

LITIGATION

Davis Wright Tremaine 

UNC

What is fair use in an era of artificial intelligence? It’s a challenge that McNamara has been grappling with, as her blockbuster case representing the major book publishing houses against the Internet Archive moves through the appellate process. “Whether it be AI or more traditional uses, it is critical that the rights of creators be protected and respected,” she says. 

Buzzword I’d banish “ ‘Let’s interrogate this …’ What’s wrong with, ‘Let’s analyze this’ or ‘Let’s look at this’?”

Devin McRae

LITIGATION

Early Sullivan

UCLA

This year, he counts among his biggest wins a settlement on behalf of William Crabtree, a colorist on the Invincible comic book series who sued Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead) in a clash over copyright co-authorship, just weeks before the trial was set to start. McRae also represents Kurt McLeod, the writer of Copshop, against his former talent manager and producer of the movie in a lawsuit over conflicts of interests and alleged deceit, and Bill Weinstein in a lawsuit against other Verve executives dealing with allegations that he was illegally locked out of the company he founded. 

My guilty TV pleasure Gomorrah, TheEqualizer, The Bachelorette.”

John Meigs Jr. 

TALENT

Hansen Jacobson 

Harvard

Meigs closed Issa Rae’s nine-figure overall at HBO/Warner Bros. Discovery, with the multihyphenate writing two new series on top of brand deals for her own line of prosecco, a partnership with Tazo tea and an ad campaign for Target’s delivery service, Shipt. Meigs also worked on Kaley Cuoco’s deal for her pet product line, Oh Norman!, named for Cuoco’s deceased pooch (her production shingle, Yes, Norman, also honors him). Other notable clients include Prentice Penny, Winston Duke and Betty Gilpin.

Power lunch spot “It was Da Pasquale — sadly, it closed when the family moved back to Italy.”

Darrell Miller 

TALENT

Fox Rothschild 

Georgetown

Miller’s client Taylor Tomlinson became the youngest face of late night as host of CBS’ After Midnight; he negotiated a seven-figure deal with Netflix for Tomlinson to star in two more stand-up specials at the streamer as well. The attorney also negotiated endorsement pacts for Ludacris ranging from Movado to State Farm and for Angela Bassett to star in Netflix’s Zero Day with Robert De Niro. 

We’ll know the town is back when … “the production start date is announced for the next installment of Fast & Furious.

Justin Nelson 

LITIGATION

Susman Godfrey

Yale

Minutes before opening statements were about to start, Nelson secured an $800 million settlement on behalf of Dominion Voting Systems in its lawsuit against Fox News over lies about the 2020 election. He followed up by joining the artifical intelligence litigation fray, suing OpenAI for allegedly using copyrighted works in the first lawsuit to rope in Microsoft over its partnership with the Sam Altman-led firm. “What is truth, and how do we protect legitimate expression? That’s at the forefront of AI litigation.”

Hollywood figure I’d trade places with “David Zaslav — imagine the good you could do from that position.”

Amy Nickin 

TALENT

Frankfurt Kurnit 

Wayne State University

Nickin closed a deal for Band of Brothers writer Erik Jendresen to co-write the next Mission: Impossible while inking Dahmer’s Ian Brennan to an overall pact with Netflix, where he is working on a Monster follow-up focused on the Menendez brothers. On the acting side, client Allison Williams is gearing up to produce and shoot M3GAN 2.0, while John Goodman closed a deal to voice star in The Smurfs Movie opposite Rihanna. 

Power lunch spot “Roze Pony in Nashville.”

Robert Offer 

TALENT

Sloane Offer 

UCLA

White Lotus showrunner Mike White was among his first clients 30 years ago. He’s picked up quite a few more since, including Ryan Gosling, Paul Giamatti and Will Arnett, whose podcast, SmartLess, with Jason Bateman and Sean Hayes has turned into a nine-figure business. Says Offer, “To see people trying to find outlets for their creativity turn them into huge, huge deals is exciting.” Other clients: Tom Holland, Brie Larson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Gal Gadot and Ewan McGregor.

If I were a TV lawyer, I’d be … “Ally McBeal.”

Rick Offsay 

CORPORATE

Latham & Watkins 

Harvard

He worked with Media Res, the production firm behind Apple TV+ series The Morning Show and Pachinko, on a growth investment from Jeff Zucker’s RedBird IMI, and with private equity group Carlyle on an $800 million loan to Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s Park County. Other clients include David Ellison’s Skydance, French production giant Mediawan, Endeavor and Silver Lake. 

Power lunch spot “John O’Groats.”

Danny Passman 

TALENT

Gang Tyre 

UCLA

Client Nicholas Galitzine scored with Amazon’s The Idea of You and now has two new projects with the streamer: a sequel to Red White and Royal Blue and the Masters of the Universe feature set for 2026, with Galatzine as He-Man. Passman also helped Finneas O’Connell (brother of Billie Eilish, also a Passman client) make a deal to act in Laid, Nahnatchka Khan’s upcoming comedy for Peacock, and signed Ridley Scott to direct a Bee Gees biopic for Paramount.

The most surprising budget line item I’ve fought over “Uber allowances.”

Jodi Peikoff 

TALENT

Peikoff Mahan 

Cardozo 

She reps Barbie’s America Ferrera, who will soon be directing I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, and The Bear’s Ebon Moss-Bachrach, helping him score a notable raise for seasons three and four and a deal for him to star in the new Fantastic Four franchise.

The most surprising budget line item I’ve fought over “Airplane tickets for toddler children to fly with their actor parent in business class — studios are asking them to fly with their nanny in economy.”

Robyn Polashuk 

CORPORATE

Covington 

UCLA

Polashuk advised Disney on its carriage deal with Charter Spectrum, which included a basic ad tier of Disney+ in its cable package, setting up a new model for the rest of the industry. She also represented Fox in the renewal of its agreement with a top-five pay TV distributor and worked with several of the largest broadcast and cable networks on agreements with providers such as Comcast, DirecTV, Dish, Xumo and YouTube TV. 

Power lunch spot “I may be dating myself, but I mourn the closing of Craft, which was my go-to location for a decade. Their host spent 40 years in the L.A. dining community and remembered all of his patrons.”

Ken Richman 

TALENT

Hansen Jacobson 

Harvard

Richman recently inked an overall deal at Netflix for Beef creator Lee Sung Jin, who won three Emmys for the limited series. And he’s been helping multiple other clients seal lucrative pacts for the final seasons of their shows, including Elisabeth Moss (TheHandmaid’s Tale), Jeff Schaffer (Curb Your Enthusiasm), Alec Berg (Barry) and Steve Molaro (Young Sheldon). 

My guilty TV pleasure Survivor. Just finished season 46. Someday I’ll be a contestant.”

Nancy Rose

TALENT

Schreck Rose 

George Washington

She negotiated Lin-Manuel Miranda’s deal to write songs for the Disney tentpole Mufasa. In the live stage space, Rose advised client Lorne Michaels on Mean Girls for the West End and the development of Schmigadoon! as a musical. She also negotiated Sara Bareilles’ deal for her upcoming stage musical adaptation of The Interestings, based on the Meg Wolitzer novel and 2016 series. 

Buzzword I’d banish “I hate ‘deep dive.’ Would love to see that go.”

Mathew Rosengart 

LITIGATION

Greenberg Traurig 

Boston College

Rosengart’s clients include Steven Spielberg, Keanu Reeves and Laura Dern. He worked with Sean Penn, landing a trial victory last year for his CORE charity over a National Labor Relations Board complaint, and repped Britney Spears in her successful bid to end her years-long conservatorship (the pop star called him “wonderful” in a recent social media post). 

My guilty TV pleasure “I was obsessed with the final season of Succession.”

Benyamin Ross 

CORPORATE

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher 

NYU

He’s worked every angle at the bargaining table for top clients like Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs’ Candle Media, Universal Pictures (which he advised on an investment and distribution partnership with Amblin Entertainment), The Chernin Group and Fandango Media.

How I celebrate a deal “A phoneless walk outside.”

Gretchen Rush 

TALENT

Hansen Jacobson 

UCLA

Rush had a hand in major releases in the past year, from David Benioff and Dan Weiss’ 3 Body Problem to Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, as well as Kerry Washington’s memoir, Thicker Than Water.After signing The Last of Us co-creator Craig Mazin last spring, she negotiated his new HBO deal.

How I celebrate a deal “Eight-ounce filet mignon and a glass of Rioja.”

Faiza Saeed 

CORPORATE

Cravath 

Harvard

She advised Disney in one of the most high-profile legal battles of the past year when activist investor Nelson Peltz attempted a proxy fight, facing off against CEO Bob Iger and his board. “It is an iconic company that is critical to an industry that is in a pretty pivotal period, and that is a rewarding assignment because the stakes are high,” Saeed says. 

Power lunch spot “Polo Lounge.”

Michael Schenkman 

TALENT

Goodman Genow 

UC Berkeley

Two of his longest-standing clients — Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas, who’ve been with him for 25 years — swept the Oscars this year with Oppenheimer. Schenkman also reps Chuck Roven, a producer on the film (who got his own Oscar) and Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy. He handled Javier Bardem’s deal to star in Joseph Kosinski’s Formula 1 movie. 

How I celebrate closing a deal “Pickleball and cocktails at the JC [Jonathan Club].”

Nina Shaw 

TALENT

Del Shaw 

Columbia

Shaw has lived through many strike cycles but felt a shift during the 2023 walkouts. “I’ve never seen such lack of understanding for artistic contribution, for the thing that makes something magic” she says. Still, clients like Quinta Brunson and Ayo Edebiri continue to command respect.

We’ll know the town is back when … “the gift bags come back!”

Lawrence Shire 

TALENT

Grubman Shire 

George Washington

Shire helped set up Apple TV+’s New England Patriots docuseries The Dynasty; LeBron James’ deals with Nike; Robert De Niro’s projects (including his first TV series, Zero Day, for Netflix); Spike Lee’s deals (like his A24 and Apple film High and Low with Denzel Washington); and David Letterman’s projects, such as the fifth season of his Netflix talk series My Next Guest Needs No Introduction

Power lunch spot “Central Park.”

P.J. Shapiro 

TALENT

JSSK 

USC Gould

Shapiro reps such A-listers as Selena Gomez, John Cena and Mindy Kaling, but it’s two-time Oscar winner Emma Stone who’s standing out lately. The actress reunited with her Poor Things director Yorgos Lanthimos in Kinds of Kindness, the movie Cannes couldn’t stop talking about, and is in negotiations to star in and produce a rom-com for Universal Pictures (with her husband and producing partner, Dave McCary, eyeing the director gig). 

My guilty TV pleasureToo Hot to Handle.”

Scott Sholder 

LITIGATION

Cowan DeBaets 

Seton Hall

The fate of thousands of Authors Guild members whose works were allegedly scraped to train a human-mimicking chatbot rests, in part, with Sholder, who has helped the trade group file a class action against OpenAI. Considered among the leading cases against the Sam Altman-led firm, the lawsuit might land at the Supreme Court. 

My guilty TV pleasure Bluey is at the top of the list.”

Gregory Slewett 

TALENT

JSSK 

Cardozo

Glen Powell, Michael B. Jordan, Florence Pugh, Josh O’Connor, Donald Glover … his client list goes on and on. There’s also husband-and-wife team Zach Baylin and Kate Susman, who wrote the upcoming Netflix limited series Black Rabbit, and Vanessa Kirby, whose production company got its first film, a Kirby vehicle titled The Night Always Comes, produced this year. 

Buzzword I’d banish “Power lunch.”

Jason Sloane 

TALENT

Sloane Offer 

UCLA

Sloane works with Hugh Jackman, who stars opposite firm client Ryan Reynolds in this summer’s Deadpool & Wolverine. “Super excited that they’re teamed up,” Sloane says of the high-stakes Marvel tentpole. He also represents Anne Hathaway, Chris Pratt, Mark Wahlberg and Sebastian Stan, with the latter getting buzz at Cannes for his role as Donald Trump in the debate-stirring film The Apprentice

My guilty TV pleasureJeopardy!

Mitch Smelkinson 

TALENT

Goodman Genow 

Loyola

You can thank Smelkinson — and 60 billion minutes of viewing on Netflix and Peacock — for the growing Suits universe. He reps the show’s creator, Aaron Korsh, who’ll soon be launching Suits: L.A. Smelkinson also did the Forgive and Forget deal with 20th Century/ABC, marking client and Modern Family actor Ty Burrell’s return to series TV. Oscar Isaac, who is playing the lead in Guillermo del Toro’s Netflix epic Frankenstein, and Take Me Out’s Jesse Ferguson also are clients. 

Buzzword I’d banish “Best-and-final.”

Cheryl Snow 

TALENT

Gang Tyre 

UCLA

Snow negotiated the deal for Jim Parsons to return to Young Sheldon and sent Daniel Dae Kim to Korea to star in and exec produce the Amazon spy series Butterfly. She also was behind Steve Zaillian’s Ripley series on Netflix, Busy Philipps’ QVC talk show Busy This Week and Lindsey Beer’s pact to write Paramount’s American Girl movie and produce with Mattel.

My guilty TV pleasure “Rewatching episodes of Sex and the City.”

Orin Snyder 

LITIGATION

Gibson Dunn 

Penn

Snyder defended Bob Dylan against sexual abuse allegations stemming from 1965 (the case was dismissed with prejudice) and won a dismissal for Lady Gaga of a lawsuit filed by a woman involved in the 2021 kidnapping of the pop star’s dogs (he also advised Gaga in connection with a threatened copyright infringement claim against the Oscar-winning song “Shallow” from A Star Is Born). And Snyder continues to defend AMC Network in multiyear litigation over profits from The Walking Dead.

Hollywood figure I’d trade places with “Charlie Chaplin.”

Christopher Spicer 

CORPORATE

Akin 

Georgetown

Over the past year, he’s worked with Comerica Bank on the funding of Guy Ritchie’s two most recent films for Black Bear, advised AGC Studios on the financing of the upcoming mega-TV show Those About to Die, worked with XYZ Films on recent festival favorites Skywalkers and BlackBerry and advised Fifth Season on financing and distribution. 

My guilty TV pleasureBluey, and I feel no guilt whatsoever.”

Alex Spiro 

LITIGATION

Quinn Emanuel 

Harvard

Spiro, who’s defending Alec Baldwin (alongside his firm’s Luke Nikas) in the shooting death of Rust’s cinematographer, has blocked New Mexico prosecutors at every turn. After he forced the special prosecutor initially assigned to the case to step down by citing a conflict of interest with her position as a legislator, he got the district attorney’s office to dismiss the charges, though they were refiled. 

Matthew Syrkin 

CORPORATE

O’Melveny 

UC Berkeley

He represented Madison Square Garden Corp. in developing its futuristic MSG Sphere entertainment venues, including the game-changing Las Vegas theater christened by U2. Syrkin also helped SkyShowtime, the streaming joint venture of Comcast and Paramount Global, structure and negotiate deals as it rolled out in 22 European markets. Fluent in Spanish, Mandarin Chinese and Japanese, Syrkin boasts an A-list culture-entertainment-tech roster from Roku to Sotheby’s.

Hollywood figure I’d trade places with “Godzilla.”

Matthew Thompson 

CORPORATE

Sidley Austin 

UC Law San Francisco

Thompson is a legal strategist for Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and the Gersh agency. He’s also repped such major record labels as Warner Music Group and negotiated for Dwayne Johnson to join Ari Emanuel’s TKO Group board and gain full ownership of “The Rock” trademark from the WWE. That deal was personal; the name came from the star’s father, Hall of Famer Rocky Johnson, who was the WWE’s first Black wrestling champion.

Buzzword I’d banish “Synergistic.”

Marc Toberoff 

LITIGATION

Toberoff & Associates

Columbia Law

Toberoff has forged a path as the leading advocate for creators’ rights in intellectual property, becoming the nation’s preeminent copyright termination lawyer. His representations include leading comic book creators over some of Marvel’s most iconic superheroes, including Spider-Man and Doctor Strange, in a legal clash against Disney that ended in a settlement and the heirs to the author of a magazine story that spawned Top Gun. He has a busy year ahead of him with plans to launch a Jason universe alongside Victor Miller, who he represented in a highly-publicized lawsuit over the rights to Friday the 13th that he won. “There’s been a severe diminution in meaningful backend for talent due to the domination of streaming and the studios cutting back on film production and theatrical releases,” he says. “If together we take more of the essential elements of content production into own hands, our just rewards will be far greater than before.”

We’ll know the town is back when … “we stop asking that question and acknowledge the industry’s new paradigms.” 

Fred Toczek 

TALENT

Felker Toczek 

USC Gould

He’s helping client Seth Rogen expand his TV slate to include writing and EP-ing the industry-centric The Studio for Apple TV+. He also reps Anya Taylor-Joy, Bill Hader (soon to star in The Cat in the Hat) and a slew of younger talents, like Angel Reese (pivoting her college basketball stardom into the WNBA as a member of the Chicago Sky).

Buzzword I’d banish “ ‘Best and final,’ as there’s always room for more.”

Darren Trattner 

TALENT

Jackoway Austen 

UC Berkeley

He negotiated the sale of Scott Cooper’s Bruce Springsteen project and worked on Brian Tyree Henry’s deal for Transformers One and Giancarlo Esposito’s deals for Megalopolis and AMC’s Parish. Matt Smith, Sigourney Weaver, Caitríona Balfe and Hiro Murai are among his other clients. 

How I celebrate a deal “Who has time to celebrate?”

Seth Traxler 

CORPORATE

Kirkland & Ellis 

Northwestern

Last year, he worked with Hipgnosis on its acquisitions of the catalogs of Justin Bieber, TMS and “Despacito” co-songwriter Erika Ender. Traxler also was on the team that worked with Karlie Kloss’ Bedford Productions to buy i-D Magazine from Vice Media Group and, this year, he advised Kobalt Music Group as it paired with Morgan Stanley Tactical Value to invest more than $700 million in music copyrights.

How I celebrate closing a deal “Play some basketball.”

Steve Warren 

TALENT

Hansen Jacobson 

Harvard

Clients Benicio del Toro and Leonardo DiCaprio will co-star in Paul Thomas Anderson’s next film — after del Toro finishes work on Wes Anderson’s The Phoenician Scheme. Warren also negotiated the deal for Colin Farrell to star in A Big Bold Beautiful Journey alongside Margot Robbie, on top of Farrell’s series roles on Apple TV+’s Sugar and Max’s Penguin

Buzzword I’d banish “Tranche.”

David Weber 

TALENT

Sloane Offer 

USC Gould

Longtime client Ryan Reynolds headlines the summer’s most anticipated tentpole, Deadpool & Wolverine, and Joaquin Phoenix is starring in Todd Phillips’ Joker sequel and Ari Aster’s A24 Western Eddington. Weber also represents recent Oscar winner Cillian Murphy as well as Austin Butler, who stars opposite Tom Hardy and Jodie Comer in Jeff Nichols’ The Bikeriders this summer and is attached to lead Darren Aronofsky’s adaptation of Charlie Huston’s crime thriller Caught Stealing for Sony.

If I were a TV lawyer, I’d be … “[The Addams Family’s] Gomez Addams; John Astin version circa mid-1960s.”

Todd Weinstein 

TALENT

Weinstein Senior 

California Western

Weinstein serves as lead entertainment counsel to Jimmy Donaldson — also known as MrBeast, the most subscribed person on YouTube at 260 million subs — and this year, alongside partner Tara Senior, helped lock up his megadeal with Prime Video for the reality competition Beast Games

Power lunch spot “Depending on the day, Joe’s Pizza or the Polo Lounge.”

Shelby Weiser

Weiser and Liu were photographed May 31 by Daniel Prakopcyk at Sloane Offer’s Century City offices.

Photographed by Daniel Prakopcyk

TALENT

Sloane Offer

NYU

“Shelby looks out for her clients on more than just a professional basis,” says Simu Liu, recalling how Weiser recently spent an entire day helping the Canadian actor cut through some immigration red tape (hardly a commissionable deal). The Barbie actor will next star in and executive produce (alongside James Wan) a techno-thriller series for Peacock, and he’s also racked up significant brand deals (Cheetos, Tiffany, Cadillac, McDonald’s). Client Daisy Ridley will be back for more Star Wars, and Mahershala Ali will be boarding the next Jurassic World and toplining Marvel’s Blade … someday: “That deal was in 2019, and they still haven’t shot it, which is pretty much the craziest thing in my professional experience,” Weiser says. 

Douglas Wigdor 

LITIGATION

Wigdor 

Catholic University

He’s filed suits against Harvey Weinstein, Sean Combs, James Dolan and Jimmy Iovine, among others. Of Combs’ legal troubles, he says, “I strongly suspect this is just the beginning in holding Mr. Combs and others in the music industry accountable for abusing the power they hold.” 

How I celebrate a deal “With a quiet dinner with my wife, who will have endured my singular focus in getting the matter done.”

Beth Wilkinson

LITIGATION

Wilkinson Stekloff 

University of Virginia

Wilkinson led the charge in securing one of the most significant defense verdicts of the year when a federal judge ruled that Microsoft’s merger with Activision didn’t violate antitrust laws. In the bet-the-company litigation, Wilkinson, also a lead lawyer for the NFL in a $20 billion antitrust trial over Sunday Ticket, built the tech giant’s defense on arguments that the merger would increase competition because Microsoft would be able to challenge Sony’s dominance.  “Companies are seeing that you can win against the FTC,” she told THR in September.

Susan Zuckerman Williams 

CORPORATE

Paul Hastings 

USC Gould

She represented New Line on the recent release of The Watchers, as well as the rights holders of The Strangers trilogy, the first film of which was just released by Lionsgate. Other high-profile clients include MUFG Bank on debt financing for the Gersh agency and Banc of California in connection with a multimillion-dollar credit facility to a music distribution company.

If I were a TV lawyer, I’d be … “[Scandal’s] Olivia Pope, because there are many days where my main job is crisis management!”

Sophia Yen 

CORPORATE

Manatt 

Boston University

She helped Taylor Swift’s concert film land at AMC Theatres (which saved Hollywood’s fall 2023 movie season). Yen’s other big scores include representing the Swedish firm Pophouse Entertainment in acquiring the music catalog, name, image and likeness for Kiss. And she was key to chef David Chang signing a production deal with Brent Montgomery and Jimmy Kimmel’s Wheelhouse.

My guilty TV pleasure “Catching up on Simpsons (I’m currently on season 29).”

Kevin Yorn 

TALENT

Yorn Levine 

Tulane

He’s made deals for Scarlett Johansson (for the next Jurassic World), Matthew McConaughey (headlining Paul Greengrass’ The Lost Bus), Jonah Hill (directing Outcome for Apple, with Keanu Reeves and Cameron Diaz set to star) and Zoe Saldaña (starting her second season of Taylor Sheridan’s Lioness after scoring a shared best actress prize for Emilia Pérez at Cannes). He’s also seen Alix Earle and Hailey Bieber boom in the brand space.

My guilty TV pleasurePerry Mason, the original series from the ’50s, ’60s.”

Julian Zajfen 

TALENT

Ziffren Brittenham

Stanford

Speaking of that Jurassic World sequel, Zajfen client Gareth Edwards will be directing. Meanwhile, Mark Mylod, who made The Menu, has renewed his overall with HBO, where he’s helming the first two episodes of The Last of Us’ sophomore season. 

My guilty TV pleasure “Old Top Gear episodes.”

Profiles written by Gary Baum, Alison Brower, Patrick Brzeski, Winston Cho, Kirsten Chuba, Aaron Couch, Nicole Fell, Ryan Gajewski, Mia Galuppo, Chris Gardner, Caitlin Huston, Rebecca Keegan, Katie Kilkenny, Borys Kit, Pamela McClintock, Mikey O’Connell, Rick Porter, Seija Rankin, Lacey Rose, Rebecca Sun, Georg Szalai, Etan Vlessing and Alex Weprin.

This story first appeared in the June 12 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.