Power Lawyers 2015: Hollywood's Top 100 Attorneys Revealed

5:49 PM 4/15/2015

by THR Staff

Dry legal wonks? Hardly. Cyberattacks, nude iPhone photos, runaway agents, sex scandals — it's all in a day's work for this year's crop of the industry's most powerful lawyers.

Steve Schofield
Full List
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  • Tom K. Ara

    Corporate

    Greenberg Traurig
    Loyola Law School

    WHY HE MATTERS He handled the financing and distribution for The Weinstein Co.'s largest TV deal ever (Netflix's $90 million check for Marco Polo). He also did TWC's deal for Netflix's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon sequel and advised Beijing-based DMG Entertainment on its U.S. investments.

    WHO'S THE SMARTEST PERSON IN HOLLYWOOD? "The Chinese. They're investing in Hollywood -- but not just for a ticket to the red carpet."

  • Karl Austen

    Talent

    Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris & Klein
    Harvard Law School

    WHY HE MATTERS He did Jonah Hill's deal for Arms and the Dudes, Kristen Wiig's for Ghostbusters and Zoolander 2 and helped put Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Oliver Stone's Snowden. He also took the lead on a big Game of Thrones cast renegotiation. Plus, three of his clients -- Eddie Redmayne, Gina Rodriguez and Transparent creator-producer Jill Soloway -- won Golden Globes this year, and Redmayne walked away with the Oscar.

    SECRET PASSION "Watching Marvel TV shows in bed with my wife and kids."

  • Jake Bloom

    Talent

    Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal LaViolette Feldman Schenkman & Goodman
    Cornell Law School

    WHY HE MATTERS Among this year's accomplishments: Johnny Depp's and Jerry Bruckheimer's deals for yet another Pirates of the Caribbean movie (the fifth); Sylvester Stallone's to make the Rocky spinoff Creed and another Expendables sequel; and Nicolas Cage's to make a third National Treasure movie, among others.

    LUNCH SPOT Bloom is a Mr Chow regular.

  • Christopher D. Brearton

    Corporate

    Latham & Watkins
    University of Virginia Law School

    WHY HE MATTERS Before he left O'Melveny & Myers in November, Brearton negotiated the International Olympic Committee's unprecedented media licensing deal with NBC (for $7.65 billion) and helped Starz launch its streaming service in the Middle East. He also reps Participant Media.

    LATEST SPLURGE "I just bought a bunch of 2000 Latour. I'm a total wine nerd."

  • Skip Brittenham

    Talent

    Ziffren Brittenham
    UCLA School of Law

    WHY HE MATTERS He handles more studio execs than anyone (Peter Chernin, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Jim Gianopulos, Tom Rothman, Rob Moore and Nina Jacobson) and this year helped Jeff Robinov start up Studio 8. Plus, he reps such stars as Harrison Ford, Oprah Winfrey and Bruce Willis.

    SECRET PASSION Brittenham writes graphic novels.

  • Harold Brown

    Talent

    Gang Tyre Ramer & Brown
    UC Berkeley School of Law

    WHY HE MATTERS This year he helped set up Steven Spielberg's deal to direct his next big project -- The BFG, about a giant who becomes friends with the queen of England -- and advised Michael De Luca as he exited Sony for a producing deal at Universal. Other supersize clients: Stephen King, Dwayne Johnson, Chris Hemsworth, Michael Mann, George Miller and Robert Zemeckis.

    SMARTEST PERSON IN HOLLYWOOD? "Some are not as smart as they think. But the really smart ones are the ones who are smarter than they think they are."

  • John Burke

    Corporate

    Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld
    Southwestern Law School

    WHY HE MATTERS Burke helped film financing company Dune Capital Management acquire a large chunk of Relativity Media in a deal that included Dune founder Steve Mnuchin joining Relativity's board as co-chairman along- side its founder, Ryan Kavanaugh.

    SECRET PASSION "I collect guitars. I can't play well, but my Gibson Hummingbird makes me sound good."

  • Richard S. Busch

    Litigator

    King & Ballow
    Loyola Law School

    WHY HE MATTERS In March, the Nashville-based Busch and co-counsel Mark Levinson won the biggest copyright-infringement case in years, getting a $7.3 million verdict for the family of Marvin Gaye after proving that Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" appropriated parts of Gaye's 1977 hit "Got to Give It Up." Other rock-star clients: Peter Frampton, James Taylor and Eminem.

    LATEST SPLURGE "A Tesla."

  • Joseph Calabrese

    Corporate

    Latham & Watkins
    Cornell Law School

    WHY HE MATTERS The chair of his firm's entertainment group, Calabrese departed O'Melveny & Myers with Christopher Brearton in November, but before then he negotiated a settlement between the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and Dick Clark Productions in a dispute over the rights to produce and distribute the Golden Globes. He also worked with Brearton on that $7.65 billion Olympics-NBC deal.

    LATEST SPLURGE "I always go to a full-service gas station on my birthday."

  • Lindsay Conner

    Corporate

    Manatt Phelps & Phillips
    Harvard Law School

    WHY HE MATTERS Conner is behind one of the biggest deals of 2015 to date: a three-year pact between Robert Simonds' new movie and television studio, STX Entertainment, and China's Huayi Brothers Media Corp. The Beijing-based company is supplying STX with $1 billion to spend on a slate of 12 to 15 films a year. Conner also helped Sony seal a $200 million co-financing slate deal with Lone Star Capital and Citibank.

    IF HE COULD SUE ANY FICTIONAL CHARACTER "I don't sue, but if I could negotiate with a fictional character, it'd be Frank Underwood on House of Cards."

  • Melanie Cook

    Talent

    Ziffren Brittenham
    UCLA School of Law

    WHY SHE MATTERS She’s negotiating Scott Rudin’s new TV deal at Fox and helped the producer move Jobs from Sony to Universal. She also sealed deals for Tim Burton to direct a live-action Dumbo for Disney, Barry Sonnenfeld to direct Nine Lives with Kevin Spacey and Chadwick Boseman’s five-picture pact to star as the Black Panther for Marvel.

    BEST THING HEARD DURING A NEGOTIATION "'We are not a New Testament studio. We will not turn the other cheek.'"

  • Robert Darwell

    Corporate

    Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton
    Georgetown University Law Center

    WHY HE MATTERS Darwell spent six years working on Ava DuVernay's Martin Luther King Jr. biopic, Selma, not only securing deals for its distribution but also advising the filmmakers to make sure the script didn't violate any copyrights (the King children own the rights to the late civil rights leader's speeches). He also worked on Foxcatcher, another of last year's Oscar nominees.

    LATEST SPLURGE "Two weeks ago, I bought an apartment in Paris overlooking the church in Saint-Germain-des-Pres."

  • Warren Dern

    Talent

    Sloane Offer Weber & Dern
    Southwestern Law School

    WHY HE MATTERS Dern specializes in hyphenates, as in writer-actor-producers. His clients include Amy Poehler, Jason Segel and -- the most hyphenated of all -- actor-writer-director-poet-producer James Franco, whom Dern helped sign to star in Hulu's Stephen King miniseries 11/22/63 even while Franco was busy directing his adaptation of John Steinbeck's In Dubious Battle (his fifth time at the helm in 2015).

    SECRET PASSION "Surfing. It's beautiful, the waves are great, and it's fantastic exercise."

  • Scott Edelman

    Litigator

    Gibson Dunn & Crutcher
    UC Berkeley School of Law

    WHY HE MATTERS Edelman represents Dr. Luke's record company, Kemosabe, in the music producer's legal battle with pop star Kesha, who is accusing him of sexual abuse and harassment as well as financial wrongdoing. But Edelman also fights less sensational battles, like the one between NBC and the estate of Knight Rider creator Glen A. Larson.

    LATEST SPLURGE "In February, I went on a diplomatic mission with the American Jewish Committee to Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Cyprus and Israel. It was a life-changing trip."

  • David Eisman

    Corporate

    Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom
    UCLA School of Law

    WHY HE MATTERS He advised Brett Ratner's RatPac Entertainment as it continued its global expansion by executing investments in China, among other places. He also helped UTA purchase New York's N.S. Bienstock agency and advised on its hiring of 12 ex-CAA agents. And in the latest development: He will represent an Arnold Schwarzenegger company in the international launch of branded watch products.

    HOW MANY SUITS DO YOU OWN? "Eight. All Gucci or Burberry. Quality over quantity."

  • Craig Emanuel

    Talent

    Loeb & Loeb
    Monash University School of Law

    WHY HE MATTERS Representing Ryan Murphy and his ever-expanding television empire (FX's American Horror Story and American Crime Story and Fox's Scream Queens) could be a full-time job all on its own. But Emanuel does have other clients, including Julie Delpy, Vanessa Marcil and Daniel Day-Lewis.

    SECRET PASSION "Photography. I blogged [my photos] every day for a year. I would do it in the middle of the night -- my wife complained that she was a blog widow."

  • Bonnie Eskenazi

    Litigator

    Greenberg Glusker
    Stanford University School of Law

    WHY SHE MATTERS She's making Bob Marley the Marlboro Man of marijuana, helping the late reggae singer's estate seal a first-of-its-kind deal to license his name and likeness for a brand of cannabis to be sold in the growing number of states where it's legal (like Colorado, Oregon, Alaska and California). Lighting up likely will commence by year's end. Meanwhile, Eskenazi represents the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien in its continuing case against Warner Bros. and the Saul Zaentz Co. for the use of Hobbits without permission in merchandise and casino games.

    SECRET PASSION "I love opera. I studied voice with a student of soprano Rise Stevens. I don't really sing much anymore, but I go to the opera all the time."

  • James Feldman

    Talent

    Lichter Grossman Nichols Adler & Feldman
    Harvard Law School

    WHY HE MATTERS Feldman helped Viola Davis strike a deal for one of the most coveted TV gigs of the season -- the lead in Shonda Rhimes' hit How to Get Away With Murder. He also negotiated the sale of digital network Geek & Sundry to Legendary Entertainment, which included a development deal for co-founder Felicia Day.

    SECRET PASSION "Architecture and city planning -- ask me about the Hollywood Central Park!"

  • Patti Felker

    Talent

    Felker Toczek Gellman Suddleson
    UC Berkeley School of Law

    WHY SHE MATTERS Felker negotiated four back-to-back films in 2015 for Zac Efron, and also reps Jeremy Renner, Jesse Eisenberg, and rising star Dave Franco. But she says her biggest recent accomplishment is the deal for Vin Diesel to star in Ang Lee's upcoming drama, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk.

    STRANGEST THING HEARD DURING A NEGOTIATION "Harvey Weinstein saying, 'I'm the iceman.'"

  • Bert Fields

    Litigator

    Greenberg Glusker
    Harvard Law School

    WHY HE MATTERS At 86, Fields is still the last guy you want cross-examining you in a courtroom -- as former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling discovered in July during the trial over the sale of his $2 billion basketball team. "You're a good lawyer, aren't you?" Sterling said to Fields at one point during the contentious proceedings. "How long have you been practicing?" Long enough. Sterling, of course, lost ownership of the team.

  • Sam Fischer

    Talent

    Ziffren Brittenham
    UCLA School of Law

    WHY HE MATTERS One of the biggest rainmakers at the Ziffren firm, Fischer in the past year also made Stacey Snider's deal to move from DreamWorks to become co-chair at 20th Century Fox, reupped Fox president Emma Watts and negotiated Gary Newman's title to include co-CEO of Fox Networks Group.

    LATEST SPLURGE "A private guided trip to Morocco."

  • Ruth Fisher

    Corporate

    Gibson Dunn & Crutcher
    UCLA School of Law

    WHY SHE MATTERS Her big deal this past year was repping DirecTV in a multiyear agreement with the NFL to continue the expansion of the Sunday Ticket package. Raising the stakes was DirecTV's proposed merger with AT&T, with a successful NFL renewal one of the conditions of the deal.

    STRANGEST THING HEARD DURING A NEGOTIATION "'We are not ordering more food until we have an agreement!'"

  • David Fox

    Talent

    Myman Greenspan Fineman Fox Rosenberg & Light
    Western State College of Law

    WHY HE MATTERS Director James Wan is having a banner year -- Furious 7 just raced past the billion-dollar mark -- and his other clients are doing well, too. Fox helped producer Dan Lin launch his Lego Movie empire and helped Grey's Anatomy showrunners Tony Phelan and Joan Rater secure an overall deal at CBS.

    HOW MANY SUITS DO YOU OWN? "Two. One for weddings, one for funerals."

  • Russell Frackman

    Litigator

    Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp
    Columbia University School of Law

    WHY HE MATTERS A recipient of a Grammy Foundation Service Award this year, he's representing record companies in a case that could potentially have a major impact on the music world: whether streaming services such as SiriusXM and Pandora have to pay royalties on pre-1972 songs.

    SECRET PASSION "The New York Yankees. I grew up in Brooklyn but have been a fan of the Yankees forever."

  • Bryan Freedman

    Litigator

    Freedman & Taitelman
    University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law

    WHY HE MATTERS He's the guy repping UTA against CAA's claims that the agency illegally poached 11 agents during March's big defection. In 2014, he helped several stars (he won't name names) deal with the nude photo iCloud hack.

    IF HE COULD SUE ANY FICTIONAL CHARACTER "Vincent Chase from Entourage for commissions he owed Ari Gold."

  • John Gatti

    Litigator

    Manatt Phelps & Phillips
    USC School of Law

    WHY HE MATTERS One of the top copyright experts in Hollywood, he's repping Alcon Entertainment, the company behind the Point Break remake, against the theatrical production Point Break Live. He's also repping CBS over copyright claims against the Hawaii Five-O theme song and helping to protect the owners of the Batman film rights as the Caped Crusader gets set to appear in upcoming Justice League and Lego movies.

    SECRET PASSION "Sports trivia and Italian food."

  • Seth Gelbum

    Talent

    Loeb & Loeb
    Georgetown University Law Center

    WHY HE MATTERS He bridges Hollywood and the Great White Way, helping clients like The Weinstein Co. with April's premiere of the musical adaptation of Finding Neverland on Broadway. He also worked with composer Lucy Simon (Carly's older sister) on the new Doctor Zhivago musical, which also opened in April after spending nearly a decade in development.

    ROCK BAND HE WOULD JOIN "Bob Dylan's backup band -- The Band -- but only when they went off on their own."

  • Harvey Geller

    Litigator

    Gradstein & Marzano
    Loyola Law School

    WHY HE MATTERS With partner Henry Gradstein, he's handling a case involving pre-1972 music rights -- there are a bunch of them at the moment -- this one repping Flo & Eddie of the rock band The Turtles ("Happy Together") against SiriusXM and Pandora for playing their music without paying royalties.

    SMARTEST PERSON IN HOLLYWOOD? "Larry Kenswil, the former head of digital for Universal Music Group. After seeing his first MP3 player in 1998, he said, 'We are all doomed.' "

  • Michael Gendler

    Talent

    Gendler & Kelly
    UCLA School of Law

    WHY HE MATTERS He set up Shonda Rhimes' new overall deal with ABC; negotiated for Meryl Streep to do Into the Woods and the upcoming Ricki and the Flash; forged Julie Kavner's agreement to voice seasons 27 and 28 of The Simpsons; and helped David E. Kelley set up three TV projects, including the limited series Big Little Lies, starring Oscar winners Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, at HBO.

    SECRET PASSION "Voice lessons once a week. I've been at it for a year and a half."

  • Cliff Gilbert-Lurie

    Talent

    Ziffren Brittenham
    UC Berkeley School of Law

    WHY HE MATTERS He looks after the Dick Wolf empire (Law & Order: SVU, Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D.), Tina Fey's interests (negotiating the deal for her Netflix series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) and longtime client Sandra Bullock (sealing her deal to star in Our Brand Is Crisis, a George Clooney-produced film about an American political consultant hired by a Bolivian strongman).

    SECRET PASSION "Model railroads and stamp collecting."

  • Patty Glaser

    Litigator

    Glaser Weil Fink Howard Avchen & Shapiro
    Rutgers School of Law

    WHY SHE MATTERS In a big case this past year, she repped video game company Sweetpea in its lawsuit against Hasbro over Dungeons & Dragons sequel rights. And Glaser has helped clients from Ryan Seacrest to Rush Limbaugh to Paula Deen (when she got in trouble for using the N-word).

    ROCK GROUP SHE WOULD JOIN "I'd be a backup singer for Carole King -- or maybe one of The Shirelles."

  • Carlos Goodman

    Talent

    Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal LaViolette Feldman Schenkman & Goodman
    UCLA School of Law

    WHY HE MATTERS This year, most of the drama has been offscreen for Goodman's clients. Quentin Tarantino (temporarily) called off Hateful Eight after the script was leaked online; Matt Damon decided to return to the Bourne franchise after director Paul Greengrass was invited back (Damon had walked away after Greengrass left over creative differences with Universal). Goodman also struck deals for Christian Bale (to star with Brad Pitt and Ryan Gosling in Adam McKay's The Big Short) and Steve McQueen (a six-part series for HBO titled Codes of Conduct).

    IF HE COULD BE ANY ROCK STAR? "Jack White. He's from Detroit, my hometown."

  • Josh Grode

    Corporate

    Irell & Manella
    Loyola Law School

    WHY HE MATTERS Grode jumped to Irell in August and has spent his first six months at the new firm negotiating $1 billion worth of deals, including structuring the financing for Macro, the new media company focused on multicultural audiences founded by former WME agent Charles King.

    HOW MANY SUITS DO YOU OWN? "Seven -- three blue, three gray, one black. All the same brand. One less decision to make every day."

  • Allen Grubman

    Talent

    Grubman Shire & Meiselas
    Brooklyn Law School

    WHY HE MATTERS He's not just a music industry lawyer -- he's the music industry lawyer. Clients include Lady Gaga, Elton John, U2, John Mellencamp and Bruce Springsteen.

    IF HE COULD BE ANY ROCK STAR? "Frank Sinatra."

  • Tom Hansen

    Talent

    Hansen Jacobson Teller Hoberman Newman Warren Richman Rush & Kellar
    USC School of Law 

    WHY HE MATTERS He negotiated the deal that will keep client Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man's suit for at least three more movies. He also cut the deal for David Lynch's return to TV for a Twin Peaks reboot before it unraveled over budgets. Other clients: Al Pacino and Kevin Spacey.

    SMARTEST PERSON IN HOLLYWOOD? "The best CEO is Bob Iger, but Scott Rudin's a really smart guy, too."

  • Alan Hergott

    Talent

    Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal LaViolette Feldman Schenkman & Goodman
    Northwestern University Law School

    WHY HE MATTERS He struck a deal for client Jake Gyllenhaal to reteam with Antoine Fuqua on The Man Who Made It Snow, which already has been snapped up by The Weinstein Co. He also reps Brad Pitt, Russell Crowe and Neil Patrick Harris, who just sealed a deal with NBC for a primetime variety series.

    SECRET PASSION He collects art.

  • Barry Hirsch

    Talent

    Hirsch Wallerstein Hayum Matlof & Fishman
    USC School of Law

    WHY HE MATTERS He represented Jared Leto in his deal to play the Joker in 2016's Suicide Squad and helped producer Dimitri Rassam secure the rights to the French novel The Little Prince for an animated film with the voices of James Franco and Jeff Bridges (it premieres at Cannes).

    HOW MANY SUITS DO YOU OWN? "Two. Both black."

  • Jim Jackoway

    Talent

    Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris & Klein
    Yale Law School

    WHY HE MATTERS On top of working with longtime clients J.J. Abrams and Seth MacFarlane, Jackoway has been helping Israeli media company Keshet -- producers of Hatufim, the series on which Homeland was based -- expand its presence in the U.S. with the murder mystery Dig.

    SECRET PASSION "When I first moved to L.A., I bought a sailboat but sold it about 20 years ago. So I recently took it up again."

  • Craig Jacobson

    Talent

    Hansen Jacobson Teller Hoberman Newman Warren Richman Rush & Kaller
    George Washington University Law School

    WHY HE MATTERS He negotiated three new TV series for David Fincher, helped Chelsea Handler land her $10 million deal with Netflix and handled Sam Raimi's reboot of his Evil Dead franchise with a straight-to-series order from Starz.

    CAREER-MAKING DEAL Getting Victor Kaufman and Barry Diller to finance Ben Silverman's Reveille Productions in 2002.

  • Matthew Johnson

    Talent

    Ziffren Brittenham
    NYU School of Law

    WHY HE MATTERS Phil Lord and Christopher Miller alone could have kept Johnson busy during the past year, between deals with Warner Bros. for the Lego Movie franchise and The Flash and with Sony for an animated Spider-Man movie. That's in addition to returning to their television roots producing Fox's The Last Man on Earth, starring Will Forte, which just scored a second season. Other clients include Ice Cube and Antoine Fuqua, who came aboard to direct Magnificent Seven and is developing a sequel to The Equalizer.

    CAREER-MAKING DEAL Tyler Perry's agreement with Lionsgate for 2005's Diary of a Mad Black Woman. "The deal structure coupled with the movie's success set the stage for everything that was to follow in Tyler's amazing career."

  • Neville Johnson

    Litigator

    Johnson & Johnson
    Southwestern Law School

    WHY HE MATTERS Best known for aggressive accounting lawsuits against studios, he has six cases pending over home video profits and just filed one over Disney's refusal to allow Richard Dreyfuss to pick an auditor in connection with residuals from 1991's What About Bob?

    STRANGEST MOMENT "At Anthony Pellicano's recent deposition in prison in Texas, he refused to take the oath that he would testify under penalty of perjury."

  • Joel Katz

    Talent

    Greenberg Traurig
    University of Tennessee College of Law

    WHY HE MATTERS The Atlanta-based attorney negotiated the deal for George Strait's The Cowboy Rides Away Tour (the Arlington, Texas, gig set the record for the largest indoor concert in North America). Katz also repped Michael Jackson's estate in a deal with BMI for rights to his public performances and handles Nashville-based record label Big Machine, where Taylor Swift is signed.

    HOW MANY SUITS DO YOU OWN? "More than 15."

  • Martin Katz

    Litigator

    Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton
    University of Michigan Law School

    WHY HE MATTERS For Miramax, Katz handled the epic eight-year litigation by producer Saul Zaentz against the studio over profits from The English Patient, which finally settled on the eve of the trial in June 2014. Katz now is defending Global Eagle Entertainment in a copyright-infringement case filed by Universal Musical Group over music supplied to airlines for in-flight audio programming. The case is scheduled for trial in the fall.

    HOW MANY SUITS DO YOU OWN? "Down to three -- not bad for a litigator."

  • Bruce Keller

    Litigator

    Debevoise & Plimpton
    Boston University School of Law

    WHY HE MATTERS The chair of his firm's IP litigation practice represented ABC, CBS and NBC in the networks' suit against live TV streaming service Aereo for copyright infringement, and after the broadcasters won at the Supreme Court, he successfully got a judge to grant an injunction, causing Aereo to file for bankruptcy.

    IF HE COULD BE ANY ROCK STAR? "I'd love to be Nick Lowe in 'Cruel to Be Kind.' "

  • Richard Kendall

    Litigator

    Kendall Brill & Klieger
    USC School of Law

    WHY HE MATTERS On behalf of longtime client Paramount, Kendall defeated a group of Wall Street investors' 6-year-old claims that they hadn't seen returns on their investment in films including Mean Girls and Team America: World Police. The former federal prosecutor also defended MTV after the network was sued by the family of a dead man whose body was shown on rapper T.I.'s reality show T.I.'s Road to Redemption (the case settled on the eve of trial).

    IF HE COULD SUE ANY FICTIONAL CHARACTER "Stannis Baratheon in Game of Thrones. What's to like about him? His comeuppance will come sooner or later. It'd be nice if a dragon took care of him."

  • Howard King

    Litigator

    King Holmes Paterno & Berliner
    UCLA School of Law

    WHY HE MATTERS King soon will be appealing the "Blurred Lines" copyright case, which resulted in a $7.3 million jury verdict against his clients Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke. But it wasn't all losses this year: On behalf of Iggy Azalea, King got a judge to issue an injunction preventing distribution of her early work. And he helped client Dr. Dre score big with Apple's $3 billion acquisition of Beats.

    ROCK BAND HE WOULD JOIN "Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young & King."

  • Dale Kinsella

    Litigator

    Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert
    UCLA School of Law

    WHY HE MATTERS He represents monsters and zombies. As Walking Dead ex-showrunner Frank Darabont's lawyer, he's advising the filmmaker and his agents on how to handle the tens of million in profits from cable TV's No. 1 hit. He also is helping Legendary Pictures prepare for an upcoming trial brought by three producers who claim they were unfairly ousted from 2014's Godzilla.

    BIG SPLURGE "A cabin in Montana. My secret passion is fly-fishing."

  • Deborah Klein

    Talent

    Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris & Klein
    USC School of Law

    WHY SHE MATTERS Klein is deep in the Marvel business, negotiating deals for Paul Rudd to star as Ant-Man (out in July) and for Samuel L. Jackson to return as Nick Fury in Avengers: Age of Ultron. She also helped Megan Fox reinvigorate her stalled career (and make amends with Michael Bay) by negotiating her deal to star in last year's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and its 2016 sequel.

  • Ken Kleinberg

    Talent

    Kleinberg Lange Cuddy & Carlo
    UCLA School of Law

    WHY HE MATTERS With help from Kleinberg, client J.K. Rowling is back in the tentpole business, writing the original screenplays for a planned trilogy of Harry Potter spinoffs (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is in preproduction for Warner Bros.). Kleinberg also is conducting audits of Warners regarding the eight Harry Potter films, merchandising and theme park attractions. And he represented Mick Jagger and Victoria Pearman's Jagged Films in a deal with HBO for its untitled rock 'n' roll drama that was picked up to series (Martin Scorsese directed the pilot).

    HOW MANY SUITS DO YOU OWN? "Twenty-five."

  • Michael Kump

    Litigator

    Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert
    University of Michigan Law School

    WHY HE MATTERS Thanks to Kump, Michael Keaton was spared having to spend the week after the Oscars in a Chicago courtroom after a judge dismissed a breach-of-contract suit filed by disgruntled investors in Keaton's directorial debut, The Merry Gentleman. Kump similarly got Neill Blomkamp and Elysium producer MRC off the hook for a copyright-infringement claim. The Kardashians, Starz and Seth MacFarlane are longtime clients of the litigator, who also holds a Ph.D. in philosophy.

    SMARTEST PERSON IN HOLLYWOOD? "A 19-year-old who is today unknown but who is spending all of her or his time coming up with ways to revolutionize the industry tomorrow."

  • David Lande

    Talent

    Ziffren Brittenham
    University of Pennsylvania Law School

    WHY HE MATTERS He negotiated and oversaw Justin Timberlake's 134-show concert tour (which grossed more than $230 million) and structured the agreement for Jimmy Fallon and Timberlake to do the commercials launching Apple's iPhone 6. Not bad for a guy who began his career representing Mike Tyson after he bit off part of Evander Holyfield's ear.

    HOW MANY SUITS DO YOU OWN? "Fewer every year. The most important person in the room is seldom wearing a suit."

  • Bob Lange

    Talent

    Kleinberg Lange Cuddy & Carlo
    University of Michigan Law School

    WHY HE MATTERS His biggest deal this past year was for Texas Rising, the follow-up to History's Hatfields & McCoys limited series made by client Thinkfactory. He also got Mark Hamill back into a Jedi robe, overseeing his deal to return as Luke Skywalker in December's Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

    STRANGEST THING HEARD DURING NEGOTIATIONS "'This is the best we can do.' In the first round."

  • Linda Lichter

    Talent

    Lichter Grossman Nichols Adler & Feldman
    U.C. Berkeley School of Law

    WHY SHE MATTERS Two of Lichter's producer clients, Mireille Soria (Home) and Bonnie Arnold (How to Train Your Dragon 2), now are co-presidents of DreamWorks Animation. Meanwhile, client Bill Prady is bringing the Muppets back to ABC (while continuing to executive produce The Big Bang Theory).

    LATEST SPLURGE "A trip to a tiger park in India with a tiger preservation group. We were 10 feet from a 10-foot tiger!"

  • Steve Marenberg

    Litigator

    Irell & Manella
    University of Chicago Law School

    WHY HE MATTERS Marenberg spends a lot of time defending studios in profit disputes (like the one he's working on for Summit over Twilight's earnings), but lately he has been on the offensive. He has been outspoken in his battle with Marty Singer over trademark-infringement allegations between QED Holdings (his client) and its former CEO Bill Block. The case, says Marenberg, involves "two totally different views of the world: Marty Singer's and the rest of us."

    HOW MANY SUITS DO YOU OWN? "Four, plus a lucky powder-blue tie. It doesn't work every time, but I've had good results."

  • Kevin Masuda

    Corporate

    Munger Tolles & Olson
    Harvard Law School

    WHY HE MATTERS When Masuda began representing Beats Electronics four years ago, the company wasn't worth much. In 2014, Beats was sold to Apple for $3 billion in a deal Masuda spent more than three months negotiating. He now represents an NFL team -- he won't reveal which one -- in an attempted move to Los Angeles. Hint: It's not the St. Louis Rams.

    STRANGEST THING HEARD DURING NEGOTIATIONS "Somebody asked me if I was Chinese, and I said no. He then told me how much he hated Chinese people. I told him my wife is Chinese."

  • Mickey Mayerson

    Corporate

    Loeb & Loeb
    Columbia Law School

    WHY HE MATTERS He long has represented big banks interested in film financing -- City National, OneWest and Bank of America -- but lately he also has been helping filmmakers raise money. He made the deal for Brett Ratner's RatPac raising $400 million -- by partnering with Dune and others -- for a slate investment in Warner Bros., and he worked on financing for Don Cheadle's Miles Davis biopic as well as Warren Beatty's long-awaited Howard Hughes project.

    SECRET PASSION "Biblical archaeology."

  • Joel McKuin

    Talent

    McKuin Frankel Whitehead
    Harvard Law School

    WHY HE MATTERS He's closed deals for Kristen Stewart (to star in Ang Lee's and Woody Allen's upcoming films) and helped writers like Fargo Emmy winner Noah Hawley (who'll be contributing to Universal's new series based on the studio's old monsters) and Spider-Man scribe James Vanderbilt (making his directing debut with Truth, a film about Dan Rather).

    SECRET PASSION "I'm a closeted musician. I play keyboards, guitar, drums and bass. I've been to Coachella 13 years in a row."

  • Jon Moonves

    Talent

    Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein & Lezcano
    University of Virginia Law School

    WHY HE MATTERS He's the one who ironed out a new deal with CBS for The Good Wife co-creators Robert and Michelle King. He's also been cutting deals for Bethany Mota (the most searched fashion designer on Google) as well as Nia Vardalos and Ray Romano.

    STRANGEST THING HEARD DURING A NEGOTIATION "In negotiations for Everybody Loves Raymond, I was thrown out of my brother's [CBS chief Leslie Moonves] office."

  • Schuyler Moore

    Corporate

    Stroock & Stroock & Lavan
    UCLA School of Law

    WHY HE MATTERS If it's based in China and it wants to spend money in Hollywood, he probably represents it. His clients: Hunan TV (which invested nearly $400 million in Lionsgate's slate), China Film Group (the giant state-owned company) and Pegasus (which is co-financing Crouching Tiger 2 with The Weinstein Co.). Closer to home, he closed the financing on Oliver Stone's Snowden.

    IF HE COULD BE ANY ROCK STAR "Oh God, please, I want to be Mick Jagger. I idolize Mick Jagger."

  • Aaron Moss

    Litigator

    Greenberg Glusker
    Harvard Law School

    WHY HE MATTERS You know you're a tough litigator when Godzilla comes to you for protection. Moss also has battled on behalf of Batman and Spider-Man, but his most recent fight involved James Bond. He helped Universal put to rest a lawsuit brought by MGM that alleged the upcoming film Section 6 was a 007 knockoff.

    LATEST SPLURGE "An Omega watch, which was actually one of the exhibits from a big copyright case we won for Costco."

  • Bob Myman

    Talent

    Myman Greenspan Fineman Fox Rosenberg & Light
    USC School of Law

    WHY HE MATTERS When The Big Bang Theory postponed production last summer for contract renegotiations, Myman got co-star Simon Helberg $1 million an episode for the show's 10th season. This past year, he also negotiated film deals for Billy Bob Thornton and a Warner Bros. TV deal for Damon Lindelof.

    SECRET PASSION "I swim and surf."

  • Peter Nelson

    Talent

    Nelson Davis
    UC Hastings College of the Law

    WHY HE MATTERS The veteran negotiator is as good at getting his clients into jobs (David Duchovny's return to The X-Files for Fox's reboot) as he is at getting them out (director Edgar Wright's exit from Marvel's Ant-Man).

    SMARTEST PERSON IN HOLLYWOOD? "I'm a fan of [Ziffren Brittenham partner] Ken Ziffren's brain. He is a well-dressed computer."

  • Jeanne Newman

    Talent

    Hansen Jacobson Teller Hoberman Newman Warren Richman Rush & Kaller
    USC School of Law

    WHY SHE MATTERS This year she'll be guiding longtime client Matthew Weiner into his post-Mad Men period while helping to bring new episodes of the trippy British import Black Mirror to the U.S.

    LATEST SPLURGE "Taking my family," including husband Gary Newman, 20th Century Fox TV co-chairman/CEO, "to Fiji for Christmas."

  • Peter Nichols

    Talent

    Lichter Grossman Nichols Adler & Feldman
    Stanford Law School

    WHY HE MATTERS He's repped Luc Besson for 20 years (helping last year with Lucy) and also crafted deals for directors Dean DeBlois (How to Train Your Dragon 2) and Billy Ray (Julia Roberts-Nicole Kidman film Secret in Their Eyes).

    HOW MANY SUITS DO YOU OWN? "One."

  • Robert Offer

    Talent

    Sloane Offer Weber & Dern
    UCLA School of Law

    WHY HE MATTERS Unbroken star Jack O'Connell is the latest addition to a client list that includes Ryan Gosling, Andrew Garfield, Edward Norton, Jack Black, Ashton Kutcher -- oh, and Angelina Jolie.

    STRANGEST THING HEARD DURING A NEGOTIATION "'That seems fair.'"

  • Anthony Oncidi

    Litigator

    Proskauer Rose
    University of Chicago Law School

    WHY HE MATTERS One of Hollywood's biggest labor lawyers will rep CAA in court and in arbitration over the dozen agents who defected to UTA earlier this year.

    IF HE COULD BE ANY ROCK STAR "Mick Jagger. Not only is he still relevant at 71, he looks great. And he studied at the London School of Economics."

  • Charles Ortner

    Litigator

    Proskauer Rose
    Brooklyn Law School

    WHY HE MATTERS Ortner has represented Lady Gaga, U2 and Kanye West, as well as the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences. He's the top lawyer for the Grammys, which paid off last year when Michelle Obama gave the keynote at the Grammy Museum's Jane Ortner Education Award luncheon.

  • Jodi Peikoff

    Talent

    Peikoff Mahan
    Cardozo Law

    WHY SHE MATTERS Over the past 12 months, the New York-based Peikoff has negotiated deals for such up-and-comers as Mark Rylance (to star in Steven Spielberg's The BFG), Ezra Miller (to star in Warner Bros.' The Flash) and Felicity Jones (in Star Wars: Rogue One).

    STRANGEST THING HEARD DURING A NEGOTIATION "'We can only give you $2,000 for an eyebrow trainer.'"

  • Daniel Petrocelli

    Litigator

    O'Melveny & Myers
    Southwestern University School of Law

    WHY HE MATTERS His most headline-grabbing case was a victory for Fox against American Idol contestants who claimed racial discrimination. His other suits include four on behalf of SiriusXM that could have a huge impact on who has the rights to music made before 1972.

    IF HE COULD BE ANY ROCK STAR "Lew Soloff, the trumpet player for Blood Sweat & Tears."

  • Michael Plonsker

    Litigator

    Plonsker Law
    University of Illinois College of Law

    WHY HE MATTERS This top copyright lawyer helped James Franco resolve a claim that threat­ened the release of his Charles Bukowski biopic, and he defended the heirs of Hawaii Five-0 creator Leonard Freeman against charges by Freeman's former agent that he was owed $100 million.

    SECRET PASSION "Writing a screenplay."

  • Glenn Pomerantz

    Litigator

    Munger Tolles & Olson
    Harvard Law School

    WHY HE MATTERS He represents the NCAA in an antitrust case on whether college athletes should be paid (Pomerantz is appealing a ruling in favor of the athletes) and Universal Music Publishing in disputes over royalties paid by Pandora and other streamers.

    CAREER-CHANGING CASE "When the Justice Department asked me to leave my firm and represent the government challenging the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile."

  • Marvin Putnam

    Litigator

    O'Melveny & Myers
    Georgetown University Law Center

    WHY HE MATTERS He was able to preserve on appeal AEG's victory in the wrongful death lawsuit brought by Michael Jackson's family. He's now representing Fox in an effort to keep Empire as the title to its hit series.

  • Bruce Ramer

    Talent

    Gang Tyre Ramer & Brown
    Harvard Law School

    WHY HE MATTERS His A-list clients include American Sniper director Clint Eastwood, as well as Oprah Winfrey, David O. Russell, Alejandro G. Inarritu, Cameron Crowe, Tom Shadyac, Milos Forman and George Miller.

    FICTIONAL CHARACTER HE'D MOST WANT TO SUE "We gave up our litigation department years ago."

  • Ken Richman

    Talent

    Hansen Jacobson Teller Hoberman Newman Warren Richman Rush & Kaller
    Harvard Law School

    WHY HE MATTERS In addition to striking deals for showrunners and executive producers (Mike Schur with Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Jenni Konner with Girls and Alec Berg with Silicon Valley), he handled negotiations for stars launching series (Will Forte with The Last Man on Earth and Ellie Kemper with Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt).

    ROCK BAND HE WOULD JOIN None. He'd rather be "New York Mets general manager. "

  • Lawrence Rose

    Talent

    Gang Tyre Ramer & Brown
    USC School of Law

    WHY HE MATTERS Lately he's been counseling his clients to get in touch with their past projects. He's helped Ben Stiller with the upcoming Zoolander 2 as well as Chris Carter with Fox's limited-series revival of The X-Files.

    IF HE COULD BE ANY ROCK STAR "The fifth Beatle."

  • Nancy Rose

    Talent

    Schreck Rose Dapello & Adams
    George Washington University Law School

    WHY SHE MATTERS She reps the creators of two of the most buzzed-about shows out there — Beau Willimon, who made House of Cards for Netflix, and Sarah Treem, a brain behind Showtime’s The Affair.

    IF SHE COULD BE ANY ROCK STAR "Annie Lennox. Her voice now is as good as it was when she started."

  • Mathew Rosengart

    Litigator

    Greenberg Traurig
    Boston College Law School

    WHY HE MATTERS The former clerk to retired Supreme Court Justice David Souter (the two still go mountain climbing together) is now handling the cases of celebrities and those who dress them. In addition to his other clients (including Sean Penn), Rosengart is representing Jill Lincoln and Jordan Johnson, longtime stylists at Rachel Zoe Studio who left the company in March to strike out on their own and were threatened with a lawsuit over revenue from such clients as Jennifer Lawrence.

    ROCK BAND HE WOULD JOIN "Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. I’ve been to more than 50 Springsteen concerts."

  • Gretchen Rush

    Talent

    Hansen Jacobson Teller Hoberman Newman Warren Richman Rush & Kaller
    UCLA School of Law

    WHY SHE MATTERS A protegee of partner Steve Warren, she negotiated Jennifer Lawrence's next role, in David O. Russell's Joy, as well as a deal for Appian Way — Leonardo DiCaprio's company — to again partner with Netflix (they did last year’s Oscar-nominated doc Virunga together).

    SECRET PASSION "Beer pong."

  • Kelli Sager

    Litigator

    Davis Wright Tremaine
    University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law

    WHY SHE MATTERS The First Amendment specialist is defending NBCUniversal in several theft-of-idea cases, including one over the authorship of the movie The Purge. More locally — and topically — she's representing the Los Angeles Times in an effort to get reports on police shootings.

    LATEST SPLURGE "A trip to the Galapagos Islands. It was not cheap."

  • Michael Schenkman

    Talent

    Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal LaViolette Feldman Schenkman & Goodman
    UC Berkeley School of Law

    WHY HE MATTERS Brothers Christopher and Jonathan Nolan keep Schenkman hopping, but he also handles business for such writers as Bill Dubuque (who's now negotiating a deal at Universal) and the team of Jeremy Lott and Cory Goodman, who just received $2 million from Sony for a Robin Hood reboot.

    SMARTEST PERSON IN HOLLYWOOD? "Pamela at The Grill."

  • Ira Schreck

    Talent

    Schreck Rose Dapello & Adams
    Columbia Law School

    WHY HE MATTERS Schreck negotiated longtime client Sarah Jessica Parker's return to HBO with her new comedy series, Divorce. He also is assisting Paul Blart: Mall Cop star Kevin James with his possible return to television through a first-look deal with Sony.

    LATEST SPLURGE "The Apple Watch. Not that crazy $10,000 one — I’m talking the $600 one. I got it because I'm an early adopter; I got one of the first iPhones."

  • Robert Schwartz

    Litigator

    O’Melveny & Myers
    USC School of Law

    WHY HE MATTERS In January, the high-stakes litigator got a settlement for James Bond's producers in a suit against Universal for a 007-esque spy movie called Section 6. Universal is moving forward with the film, but the plaintiffs retain the right to sue again if the lead character turns up in a tuxedo and an Aston Martin.

    STRANGEST THING HEARD DURING A TRIAL "'Even if your wife goes into labor, we're not stopping the trial.'"

  • P.J. Shapiro

    Talent

    Ziffren Brittenham
    USC School of Law

    WHY HE MATTERS Shapiro closed Emma Stone's deals to star in last year's Oscar best picture, Birdman, and Woody Allen's next film. He's also aiding Elizabeth Banks in her transition to director (with Pitch Perfect 2).

    HOW MANY SUITS DO YOU OWN? "I've got four or five. My favorite is a blue Tom Ford — it's the fanciest piece of clothing I own."

  • Nina Shaw

    Talent

    Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein & Lezcano
    Columbia Law School

    WHY SHE MATTERS She handled Lupita Nyong'o's segue from 12 Years a Slave to Star Wars (and from Star Wars to Disney's Queen of Katwe). She also helped Ava DuVernay move from Selma to directing a CBS pilot (For Justice, based on a James Patterson novel, with Robert De Niro exec producing).

    IF SHE COULD SUE ANY FICTIONAL CHARACTER "Perry Mason. And I'd win."

  • Martin Singer

    Litigator

    Lavely & Singer
    Brooklyn Law School

    WHY HE MATTERS There's been no shortage of work this year for a lawyer specializing in celebrity sex scandals. Singer got dismissals in the suits filed against X-Men director Brian Singer, represented Bill Cosby in multiple sexual-assault suits and did all he could to scrub nude photos of more than 35 actresses and models from the Internet.

    ROCK BAND HE WOULD JOIN "I'm more of a Motown man."

  • Jason Sloane

    Talent

    Sloane Offer Weber & Dern
    UCLA Law School

    WHY HE MATTERS He represents so many superheroes, he could start his own Justice League. Chris Evans (Captain America), Hugh Jackman (Wolverine), Tom Hardy (Mad Max) and Michael Fassbender (Magneto) all rely on him for legal advice. And ironically, his wife, actress Embeth Davidtz, played Mary Parker in two Spider-Man films.

    IF HE COULD BE ANY ROCK STAR "Keith Richards."

  • Larry Stein

    Litigator

    Liner
    USC School of Law

    WHY HE MATTERS The guy who invented the vertical integration lawsuit — and who is still working on Lego Movie producers Dan Lin and Roy Lee's wrongful termination suit over Godzilla — has branched out into some interesting cases. Last year, he repped rapper Rick Ross, who was being sued by a former cocaine kingpin who claimed Ross had appropriated his name and likeness.

    STRANGEST THING HEARD IN A COURTROOM "'I was married to him when I was Nefertiti and he was King Tut.'"

  • Richard L. Stone

    Litigator

    Jenner & Block
    Loyola Law School

    WHY HE MATTERS Stone helped engineer the broadcasters' successful efforts against Aereo and also played a big hand in battles over Dish's Autohop. In his latest case, he’s tasked with protecting broadcasters against claims they are exploiting college athletes.

    SMARTEST PERSON IN HOLLYWOOD? "Kim Kardashian. She is famous simply for being well known and has figured out how to make a fortune off of it. Brilliant."

     

  • Matthew Thompson

    Corporate

    Stroock
    UC Hastings College of the Law

    WHY HE MATTERS This year, Thompson repped eOne in its $133 million purchase of 51 percent of the Mark Gordon Co. (Criminal Minds, Grey's Anatomy, Ray Donovan) and rolled up Mark Burnett and Roma Downey's family-focused Lightworkers Media, then sold a controlling interest to MGM for $343 million.

    IF HE COULD BE ANY ROCK STAR "Jim Morrison."

  • Bruce Tobey

    Corporate

    O’Melveny & Myers
    UCLA School of Law

    WHY HE MATTERS The former CBS Films COO and Paramount executive vp orchestrated a partnership between Lionsgate and Hunan TV, with the Chinese entertainment brand co-financing Lionsgate's $1.5 billon slate for the next three years.

    IF HE COULD SUE ANY FICTIONAL CHARACTER "Littlefinger from Game of Thrones."

  • Fred Toczek

    Talent

    Felker Toczek Suddleson Abramson
    USC School of Law

    WHY HE MATTERS Toczek got Seth Rogen $8.4 million for The Interview and then helped navigate the thorny marketing and distribution issues that ensued. He also helped Shailene Woodley increase her fee for Divergent sequel Insurgent and secure the female lead in Oliver Stone's Snowden.

    SECRET PASSION "Talmud study."

  • Steve Warren

    Talent

    Hansen Jacobson Teller Hoberman Newman Warren Richman Rush & Kaller
    Harvard Law School

    WHY HE MATTERS He helped Reese Witherspoon have a comeback year (she produced Gone Girl and Wild and got an Oscar nom for her role in the latter). Warren also guided Colin Farrell to his comeback in True Detective and the much-buzzed-about The Lobster. Other clients: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence and Charlize Theron.

    SECRET PASSION "Game shows. I appeared on three in the '80s. I won $76,000."

  • David Weber

    Talent

    Sloane Offer Weber & Dern
    USC School of Law

    WHY HE MATTERS He negotiated Joaquin Phoenix's deal to star in Woody Allen's next movie and Ryan Reynolds to star in Deadpool. Other clients: Jon Hamm, Christoph Waltz, Louis C.K. and Dane DeHaan.

    ROCK BAND HE WOULD JOIN "The Traveling Wilburys."

  • Howard Weitzman

    Litigator

    Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert
    USC School of Law

    WHY HE MATTERS O.J.'s former attorney is now defending Justin Bieber in various suits. He also advised Floyd Mayweather on the terms of his long-awaited bout with Manny Pacquiao and continues to protect Michael Jackson's estate against a flood of lawsuits.

    CAREER-CHANGING CASE "Defending John DeLorean in the biggest case in the world 30 years ago."

  • Alan Wertheimer

    Talent

    Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris & Klein
    Stanford Law School

    WHY HE MATTERS Lots of his clients were up for Oscars this year: Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel) and Ido Ostrowsky and Nora Grossman (The Imitation Game). "Werth" also helped Gary Ross finally get moving on The Free State of Jones, a Civil War drama with Matthew McConaughey.

    LATEST SPLURGE "A 1969 Austin-Healey Sprite I bought a month ago."

  • Alonzo Wickers

    Litigator

    Davis Wright Tremaine
    UC Berkeley School of Law

    WHY HE MATTERS Electronic Arts turns to him whenever celebs complain about their image being used in a video game (like former NFL Hall of Famer Jim Brown). He’s also defending Showtime in a suit filed by Floyd Mayweather's former boxing opponents, who are unhappy with their appearances on Showtime's All Access. Wickers, from time to time, also reps THR.

    SMARTEST PERSON IN HOLLYWOOD? "My husband." [Casey Bloys, executive vp at HBO; the two were married in 2008, during the five-month period before Prop 8, when gay marriage was first legal in California.]

  • Bryan Wolf

    Talent

    Ziffren Brittenham
    Columbia Law School

    WHY HE MATTERS He helped Jeff Robinov launch his new Studio 8, securing $750 million in startup money, and also got DreamWorks Animation to pay AwesomenessTV the balance on its $125 million acquisition.

    CAREER-CHANGING DEAL "The [Judd] Apatow deal for The 40-Year-Old Virgin."

  • Kevin Yorn

    Talent

    Morris Yorn Barnes Levine Krintzman Rubenstein Kohner & Gellman
    Tulane Law School

    WHY HE MATTERS He consults on all things Ellen DeGeneres — her talk show, her sitcoms in development, her investments in new media startups — and also negotiates for such clients as Scarlett Johansson.

    SECRET PASSION "Music on vinyl."

  • Ken Ziffren

    Talent

    Ziffren Brittenhamn
    UCLA School of Law

    WHY HE MATTERS He goes so far back, he represented Steve McQueen the actor. Now he’s the film czar of L.A., repping the whole industry in its negotiations with California for tax credit legislation.

    LATEST SPLURGE "A Berluti briefcase."

  • Susan Zuckerman Williams

    Corporate

    Loeb & Loeb
    USC School of Law

    WHY SHE MATTERS She raised some eyebrows by negotiating a deal for The Weinstein Co. to distribute the Crouching Tiger sequel on Netflix and Imax at the same time. But nobody can fault her work ethic: She closed the sale of Eli Roth's Knock Knock while in a hospital waiting for stitches.

    STRANGEST THING HEARD DURING NEGOTIATIONS "'Sweetie, there isn't any Diet Coke. Can you get some?'"

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