- Manatt’s music industry negotiator moves to Greenberg Traurig
- Willkie Attracts Venable’s LA Partners
- The store’s vets are launching a new store
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(Reuters) – Entertainment lawyers with high-profile clients are taking stakes in Los Angeles this week, with Greenberg Traurig and market newcomer Willkie Farr & Gallagher pulling new full-backs.
Greenberg Traurig touts the arrival of Charles (Jeff) Biederman as a shareholder in his Los Angeles office. A former partner of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, Biederman has represented the musical interests of country singer Dierks Bentley to the estate of jazz legend Miles Davis.
The company also touted its work on deals involving catalogs of musical artists. Biederman advised New York-based Downtown Music Holdings in the $ 400 million sale of a catalog of 145,000 songs to music rights firm Concord Music in April. The sale included songs performed by Adele, Aretha Franklin, Beyonce, David Bowie, Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga and Marvin Gaye.
Earlier this year, Biederman led the Manatt team that advised Round Hill Music Royalty Fund Ltd on its $ 363 million acquisition of a publishing catalog featuring songs by The Beatles, Celine Dion and of the Backstreet Boys.
Biederman said he expects all of his clients to accompany him. He described his arrival as a kind of homecoming – he still has friends in the firm after his brief stint as a partner in Greenberg Traurig’s Atlanta office.
Biederman’s father Donald Biederman, who served as general counsel for Warner / Chappell Music Inc before his death in 2002, was also good friends with Jay Cooper, the founder of Greenberg Traurig’s entertainment practice in Los Angeles.
“It was an opportunity to reconnect with old friends and have a slightly broader reach,” said Biederman, noting the international reach of the company. Greenberg Traurig has 40 offices in 11 countries.
Biederman isn’t the only entertainment lawyer to act this week. At least five new partners that Willkie poached from Venable have an element of entertainment in their practices. The company opened its Los Angeles office earlier this month.
Willkie’s new Los Angeles partners include Paul Bernstein, the former vice president of Venable’s entertainment and media litigation group, and Eric Bakewell, a litigator who represented the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, who presents the Emmy Awards.
Meanwhile, four entertainment lawyers are leaving their Hollywood stores to start their own law firms next year, according to entertainment news reports.
The new firm is formed by Matthew Johnson, PJ Shapiro and Gregory Slewett of Ziffren Brittenham and Tara Kole of Gang Tire Ramer Brown & Passman. Shapiro, who is Ziffren Brittenham’s managing partner, did not respond to a request for comment.
Willkie opens Los Angeles office with three hires at Venable
Downtown Music sells catalog of 145,000 songs to Concord for $ 400 million, sources say