9:21am PT by Matthew Belloni
Ex-Universal Music Lawyer Harvey Geller Joins Steptoe & Johnson
Harvey Geller, an entertainment litigator specializing in big-money music disputes, has joined Steptoe & Johnson. Geller arrives at Steptoe from Universal Music Group, where he was deputy general counsel and senior vp business and legal affairs.
As head of litigation at UMG, Geller was at the center of the music industry's most important legal battles of the past decade. He played a key role in developing the industry's response to the piracy epidemic and served on the front lines of landmark legal cases over Napster, Grokster and Limewire. He left in May amid a broader executive shakeup at the company.
“Harvey has a strong reputation as one of the leading copyright litigators in the music business, particularly in the recording industry’s high-profile battles with ‘New Media’/Internet companies, said Roger Warin, chair of Steptoe, in a statement to THR. "Few lawyers have been more actively involved in litigating Internet, digital, new media and DMCA issues than Harvey. His arrival will boost our expertise and profile for intellectual property and for entertainment matters.”
Mark Neubauer, managing partner of Steptoe’s Century City office, added: “Both friend and foe acknowledge that Harvey is one of the brightest in the field of copyright litigation. We welcome the addition of someone who has so influenced the intellectual property and entertainment world. The skill and success which he provided to UMG for so many years is now available to a large swath of clients.”
Geller will be based in the firm's Century City office as "of counsel" in its intellectual property group.
“Steptoe’s deep expertise in complex litigation coupled with its impeccable reputation provides a great platform for me," Geller said in a statement. "I am looking forward to utilizing the experiences I have gained over the past 25 years to handle intellectual property, Internet, new media and entertainment litigation matters for the firm’s existing clients, as well as my many contacts in the intellectual property and entertainment communities.”