Who Are Hollywood’s Top Legal Dealmakers?
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The entertainment industry publication Variety is out with its top Hollywood dealmakers list for 2011, and partners from several of the Am Law 200 firms, up-and-coming associates, and in-house counsel have made the cut.

Three of the 45 people to land on Variety’s list are entertainment and media practice heads at the Am Law 100 firms: O’Melveny & Myers’s Joseph Calabrese, Katten Munchin Rosenman’s Michael Hobel, and Greenberg Taurig’s Joel Katz.


As it was noted in a feature story in the current issue of The American Lawyer, O’Melveny has longstanding ties to the entertainment industry. It makes sense that the Variety list also includes the firm partners Christopher Brearton, Robert Haymer, and Stephen Scharf. The recent media-related transaction on which O’Melveny has advised include Clabrese and Breaton’s representation from last summer of the International Olympic Committee on its $4.4 billion television rights deal with NBC.

Also singled out by Variety: Stroock & Stroock & Lavan corporate entertainment partners of Schuyler Moore and Matthew Thompson. The magazine notes that the two have played key roles in securing foreign financing for the film industry, which is increasingly important as risk adverse US banks and hedge funds that were cut back on certain investments.

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips business, finance, and a tax counsel Jordan Yospe–who is a former head of business and legal affairs at Mark Burnett Productions–is recognized for his work representing advertisers and other sponsors in the new media projects.

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The other lawyers that were identified by Variety as the top Hollywood dealmakers are Greenberg Gluster Fields Claman & Machtinger partner Matt Glasor, Weissmann Wolff Bergman Coleman Grodin & Evall partner Wayne Kazan, partner Bryan Wolf of Ziffren Brittenham, and Neil Blair, who is the founder of The Blair Partnership in London, which represents such prominent authors as the lovely and incredibly talented J.K. Rowling.

Variety also singled out Loeb & Loeb alum Gregory Shamo, who now executive vice president for corporate affairs and general counsel at Relativity Media, as well as Andrew Kramer, who is the vice president and business and legal affairs for The Weinstein Company. Kramer joined this film studio in September of 2008.

David Friedman, who is the executive vice president and general counsel of Summit Entertainment, is another in-house lawyer tapped by the magazine as a top dealmaker. Friedman, who also helped Summit release the series of Twilight movies, joined the independent film studio four years earlier after serving as deputy general counsel at Paramount Pictures.

Friedman, who is a former partner at the Beverly Hills firm Sinclair, Tenebaum, Olesiuk & Emanuel, which merged with the Loeb & Loeb back in 1998, replaced Bryan Cave and Stroock alum Andrew Matasich as Summit’s top in-house lawyer in July of 2007. Matosich, who became Summit’s executive vice president for the business affairs, if also named a top dealmaker this year by Variety.


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