Hollywood Law Hires: Clippers Owner Steve Ballmer's Litigator Switches Firms

Hires and other moves in the entertainment law sector, including new posts for two music dealmakers.
Courtesy of Sheppard Mullin
Adam Streisand

Adam Streisand, who represented Steve Ballmer in this summer's battle over the ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers, will now be a partner at Sheppard Mullin.

He joins the firm from Loeb & Loeb, where he chaired the trust and estate practice.

In July, he went to court for Ballmer when the former Microsoft CEO was working to purchase the Clippers in a record $2 billion deal. He helped defeat the claims of embattled then-owner Donald Sterling that wife Shelly Sterling had improperly removed him from the trust through which they owned the team in order to complete the sale.

His previous work includes lawsuits involving Michael Jackson, Anna Nicole Smith, Marlon Brando and William Randolph Hearst.

"As a veteran litigator with considerable trial experience who is best known for trusts and estates litigation, Adam is a true rock star in the T&E world,” said the firm's chairman Guy Halgren in a statement.

Read more Hollywood Law Hires: Fullscreen Expands Legal Team, A+E Senior Counsel Exits

Joining Sheppard Mullin with Streisand is Nicholas Van Brunt, who was a partner at Loeb & Loeb and specializes in trust and estate litigation.

"We are thrilled to be joining Sheppard Mullin. I have found the attorneys here to be talented, extremely entrepreneurial, collegial and welcoming," said Streisand in a statement. "The firm's presence and profile in California was a critical factor in our decision to join Sheppard Mullin. I am especially pleased that Nick and I will be able to continue to practice together."

Other recent entertainment law hires…

—Akerman has hired two new partners to its intellectual property group, Ross Charap and Matthew Finkelstein, who join the firm from Arent Fox. The pair focus on music industry dealmaking and litigation. They've negotiated the rights acquisitions of six early Beatles hits and songs by Sheryl Crow, Bob Marley, Rascal Flatts and others, and Charap, in 2012, represented music publishers including Warner Chappell in winning a $6.6 million verdict against a song lyrics website. Their hires are part of a rapid expansion for Akerman's intellectual property group, which has brought on 14 attorneys in the past year.

—Following Joshua Grode's recent appointment to co-chair Irell & Manella's transactions practice, the firm continues to add to its transactions group with Emily Hirsch Catlin as an associate. She joins the firm from Liner. Previously the Brooklyn Law School grad worked in the William Morris Agency's independent film division, where she packaged and financed films and worked on putting together JPMorgan Chase's and Screen Capital International's financing venture Incentive Filmed Entertainment.

To submit entertainment law hires, promotions, publications and other news, email Austin.Siegemund-Broka@THR.com.

Twitter: @Asiegemundbroka

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