Power Lawyers 2020: Hollywood's Top 100 Attorneys

6:00 AM 3/27/2020

by THR staff and Edited by Ashley Cullins

Forget nine-figure overall deals and exec poaching fights. For the lawyers on Hollywood Reporter's 14th annual power list, a war between writers and agents, collapsing theatrical windows and canceled productions amid a global pandemic are now just another day at the office.

Power Lawyers 2020 - Photographed by Donté Maurice -Splash 2020
“Our attorneys are an integral part of our process,” Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia tell THR. “They sit side by side with us as we look at the intricacies involved in all our endeavors and do an amazing job of holding our best interests as their core priority, regardless of the complexities of our deals.” From left: Matthew Thompson, Bianca Levin, Garcia, Johnson and Harold Brown were photographed by Donté Maurice March 5 at Atlanta Metro Studios in Atlanta.

“Our attorneys are an integral part of our process,” Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia tell THR. From left: Matthew Thompson, Bianca Levin, Garcia, Johnson and Harold Brown were photographed March 5 at Atlanta Metro Studios in Atlanta.

This story first appeared in the March 26 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.

  • James Adams

    Schreck Rose Dapello Adams Berlin & Dunham

    A theater major, New York-based Adams has a soft spot for actor clients who look for behind-the-camera opportunities — like Jack Ryan star and A Quiet Place Part II director John Krasinski, who struck a landmark first-look TV deal with Amazon Studios. Meanwhile, Rashida Jones will star in and executive produce Kenya Barris comedy Black Excellence for Netflix, where client Natasha Lyonne’s Russian Doll has been renewed.

    Please reboot M*A*S*H

    If I could eat only one food forever, it’s “The Equinox post-workout shake with a healthy scoop of vanilla ice cream.”

  • Karl Austen

    Jackoway Austen Tyerman Wertheimer Mandelbaum Morris Bernstein Trattner & Klein

    Austen’s longest-standing client, Matt Reeves, is directing The Batman while his shingle, 6th & Idaho, expanded its Netflix deal to include TV projects. Meanwhile, Seth MacFarlane moved from Fox to Comcast in a five-year, $200 million deal and Norman Reedus signed a $90 million holding deal with AMC for his role in the Walking Dead Universe. Other clients making waves include Jonah Hill, Kristen Wiig and Zoe Lister-Jones.

    We’ve hit peak content when "I’m pretty sure it’s already here. Now it’s even hard to watch the pilots of everything."

    Hollywood’s 2020 priority "Good health and peace."

  • Jill Basinger

    Glaser Weil

    While Basinger often keeps her clients out of the press, the litigator, who represents both accusers and the accused on #MeToo issues, continues to battle a very public rape lawsuit against client Russell Simmons. In 2019, she also sued Celine Dion on behalf of ICM, which claims the "My Heart Will Go On" singer failed to pay commission on a $500 million deal.

    If I could eat only one food forever, it’s "Really good mashed potatoes. When shit hits the fan, who doesn’t want really good mashed potatoes?"

    Please reboot "I'm going to give standard answers: The West Wing and Firefly."

  • John Berlinski

    Kasowitz Benson Torres

    Having spent seven years managing litigation at NBCUniversal before returning to private practice in 2013, Berlinski knows where to dig on the profit participation front. In 2019, he helped Bones stars Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz achieve a landmark win against Fox, and he’s now representing Gaumont Television’s former chief Katie O’Connell Marsh in a lawsuit that claims she’s been shorted millions in profits from series including Narcos and Hannibal. This past year, he also achieved a settlement for the developer of a Malaysian theme park that would have been called “Fox World” before Disney acquired Rupert Murdoch’s company and a deal was terminated.

    Please reboot Hart to Hart

    If I could eat only one food forever, it’s “Kale. Just kidding. My mom’s Thanksgiving stuffing.”

  • Jeff Bernstein

    Jackoway Austen Tyerman Wertheimer Mandelbaum Morris Bernstein Trattner & Klein

    Bernstein reps one of the biggest female stars in town, Margot Robbie, closing a deal for her to star in David O. Russell’s latest feature. He also extended the film and TV deal of her production company, LuckyChap, with Warner Bros. Elsewhere, Hilary Swank will star in and executive produce Away, while Tessa Thompson renegotiated her Westworld deal.

    We’ve hit peak content when "The streamers start paying significantly less than they are now."

    Please reboot The Wonder Years

  • Daniel Black

    Greenberg Traurig

    Black is a go-to for brands looking to branch out into Tinseltown. He repped The Pokémon Co. in adapting Detective Pikachu and negotiated toy brand Spin Master’s growing expansion into film and TV, including a PAW Patrol animated feature. He also brokered a deal between Turner Sports and client Caesar Entertainment’s Bleacher Sports for legalized betting, production of a new studio and upcoming content. Says Black, "That old adage of all roads lead to Rome, well, most entertainment roads lead to Hollywood."

    Hollywood’s 2020 priority "Equality in the workplace."

    We’ve hit peak content when "There are not enough executive producer/showrunners available for all the projects being ordered. We’re getting close to that point already."

  • Gordon Bobb

    Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein & Lezcano

    "We’re in the business of building careers, not just doing transactions," says Bobb, who negotiated Ava DuVernay’s eight-figure Netflix pact after her Emmy-winning When They See Us. Meanwhile, Pose’s Janet Mock became the first transgender woman to lock in a multimillion-dollar overall deal at Netflix, rising star Asante Blackk is becoming a series regular on This Is Us, and Lena Waithe landed an overall at Amazon Studios and multiple projects across TV and film, including a docuseries at Quibi.

    My biggest challenge now is "Dealing with circumstances outside of my control, like the WGA-ATA fight or the coronavirus."

    Please reboot "The Desmonds. It’s a sitcom set in the late '80s about a first-generation West Indian family living in London. It’s a traditional family sitcom but with universal themes that could be interesting to see in the Brexit landscape."

  • Leigh Brecheen

    Brecheen Feldman Breimer Silver & Thompson

    After veteran lawyers Jake Bloom and Alan Hergott retired in 2019, Brecheen left Bloom Hergott, her home of more than 20 years, to launch a firm with four colleagues who, she says, "share a common vision about how to negotiate and how to treat people." All her clients, including late night hosts Conan O’Brien and John Oliver and actors Mel Gibson and Jenny McCarthy, came with her. O’Brien says his lawyer "always exudes incredible calm, confidence and good cheer while at the same time getting a deal done with ruthless intelligence.”

    Hollywood’s 2020 priority "Making sure that huge corporations don’t deprive artists of all rights in the IP they create, particularly in future iterations."

    If I could eat only one food forever, it’s “Raspberries or coffee ice cream.”

  • Andrew Brettler

    Lavely & Singer

    Since the dawn of #MeToo, Brettler has been one of the busiest attorneys in town, representing clients including Bryan Singer, Danny Masterson and Ryan Adams. He also recently took the reins on Chris Brown’s defense (he’s accused of facilitating a sexual assault). Outside of #MeToo matters, Brettler helped extinguish the media wildfire that engulfed Kevin Hart after his life-threatening automobile accident. And one of Brettler’s most intriguing new clients is Saudi rainmaker Carla DiBello (he repped her in connection with a Wall Street Journal investigative report that delved into her connections to the country’s $300 billion Public Investment Fund).

    If I could eat only one food forever, it’s "Coffee."

    My biggest challenge now is "The prohibition against confidential settlements in certain cases hurts parties on both sides of the 'v.'"

  • Harold Brown

    Gang Tyre Ramer Brown & Passman

    "Subject to God knows what happens with this virus,” Brown says, Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale are taking their Back to the Future musical to the West End and George Miller is gearing up for the latest Mad Max film and Three Thousand Years of Longing. He also inked Steven Spielberg’s deal for West Side Story and Stephen King’s for HBO’s adaptation of The Outsider. On the exec side, he repped Michael De Luca in his deal at MGM. He says that might be the "showpiece" of his recent work — before quickly adding, "I hate to make anything the showpiece because every time I turn around somebody else is doing something interesting."

    If I could eat only one food forever, it’s "Doughnuts. And I probably could, but it would be a short life."

    Please reboot "The ones I would look to see rebooted never should be rebooted, as the reboot can only take away from the original. Who wouldn’t want to see a Who Framed Roger Rabbit or an ET rebooted with today’s technology, and yet who would? Not me."

  • Joseph Calabrese

    Latham & Watkins

    After Parasite’s surprise Oscar success, Calabrese closed a $275 million deal in which client Skydance Media received an investment from the film’s studio, CJ Entertainment, and Red Bird Capital Partners. He also extended HFPA’s TV deal for the Golden Globes with NBC through 2026 and advised the International Olympic Committee on multiple matters, including some involving the staging of the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Paris, 2026 Winter Olympic Games in Milan-Cortina and the 2028 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

    Please reboot Weekend at Bernie’s

    If I could eat only one food forever, it’s ... "The Chicken Milanese at Toscana."

  • Dale Cendali

    Kirkland & Ellis

    Cendali has helped Fortnite developer Epic Games ward off a number of copyright lawsuits from personalities who lay claim to in-game dances. "It’s a relatively new art form and there are always new issues," she says of the video game industry. She also helped Take-Two in disputes over in-game tattoos on athletes in NBA 2K20 and "cheat menus" in Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto V.

    Hollywood’s 2020 priority "Getting people back in theaters despite the coronavirus."

    If I could eat only one food forever, it’s "Ice cream (pistachio, if I have to be specific)."

  • Stephen Clark

    Lichter Grossman Nichols Adler Feldman & Clark

    Clark’s client Rian Johnson is already working on a sequel to his $300 million-grossing whodunit Knives Out, while prolific feature director Tate Taylor is taking on his first network series, Fox’s Filthy Rich. The lawyer also moved Black Monday showrunner Jordan Cahan’s overall deal from Sony to Universal. "My clients have evolved with the business, which is why I retain an optimistic view," says Clark, who also reps John Wick 3 writer Shay Hatten and producer Ram Bergman.

    If I could eat only one food forever, it’s "Tacos."

    Please reboot Wiseguy

  • Robert Darwell

    Sheppard Mullin

    Increased demand for global content has boosted Darwell’s practice. He worked on seven films that screened at the Toronto festival, including Focus’ Harriet and Amazon Studios’ Honey Boy. Disney Animation, meanwhile, has kept him busy as it preps projects for Disney+. For Gaumont, he’s inked deals for Paul McCartney’s High in the Clouds (Netflix) and James Wan’s Train to Busan (New Line).

    Hollywood’s 2020 priority "Business as usual, with a social conscience."

    Please reboot “I generally prefer new, fresh, original stories; however, I am very much looking forward to the return of One Day at a Time.”

  • Warren Dern

    Sloane Offer Weber & Dern

    Todd Phillips turned to Dern when setting up his now Oscar-winning, $1 billion-grossing movie Joker. Client Paul Feig moved his overall from the Disney-owned Fox, where he’d been since 2013, to Universal, setting up Dark Army in the studio’s Monster Universe. Amy Poehler, Zack Snyder and J.A. Bayona, who’ll direct Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series, also are clients.

    If I could eat only one food forever, it’s “Pizza.”

    We've hit peak content when “Not sure we will ever know.”

  • Ken Deutsch

    Latham & Watkins

    When MGM decided to push No Time to Die’s release because of the coronavirus pandemic, it turned to Deutsch. The consigliere also assisted New Republic Pictures in striking co-financing deals with Amblin for the Oscar-nominated 1917 and with Paramount for Elton John biopic Rocketman. Client A24 will produce a slate of films for Apple and licensed its film library to Netflix, and Deutsch advises ICM Partners, which obtained a $150 million equity investment from Crestview Partners.

    We’ve hit peak content when "My kids get bored of their phones."

    Please reboot "Back to the Future (maybe sans the third installment)."

  • Kelly Dybala

    Sidley Austin

    Dallas-based Dybala specializes in working with private equity firms and their portfolio companies, with a focus on financing transactions and debt restructurings. She repped Univision in a deal that will see an investor group led by former Viacom CFO Wade Davis acquire a 64 percent stake. She has also advised clients on deals involving the likes of casino operator Affinity Gaming and Newport Television.

    Please reboot "I would love to see a reboot of Cheers. During my senior year of college, I lived with three other women in the basement of our sorority house, and there was no cable in our room (this was, of course, before the days of Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime!), but we had a TV with a VCR. Someone had a tape of the last episode of Cheers, and I think we must have watched that episode at least 100 times!"

    My biggest challenge now is “Balancing giving cutting-edge legal advice to my clients (e.g. coronavirus impact on deals, navigating the 2020 presidential election, making sure we’re getting the right financing terms for a particular deal, etc.) and being available to them on a moment’s notice, with my family obligations. I’m a mom of four busy kids and I have the best husband in the world."

  • Scott Edelman

    Gibson Dunn & Crutcher

    Yes, all lawyers are busy, but Edelman has an especially active calendar. "I have five trials scheduled this year," he says, including representing AMC in closely watched lawsuits over profits for The Walking Dead. Plus, he’s defending Universal Music Group from musicians who are upset over recordings allegedly destroyed in a massive backlot fire and Sony in litigation over the distribution of Days of Our Lives.

    Hollywood’s 2020 priority "Making sure the casting couch is forever banished."

  • Craig Emanuel

    Paul Hastings

    One client takes up about a third of Emanuel’s time: Ryan Murphy. The creator has a $300 million Netflix deal, which the rep continues to oversee as Murphy churns out new series. Emanuel also represented producer Dede Gardner when Plan B entered into an overall TV pact with Amazon and production company Radical Media in its partnership with Oprah Winfrey and Prince Harry on their mental health series for Apple.

    My biggest challenge now is "I think the biggest professional challenge in 2020 continues to be trying to find a balance between work and having a life. I think the demands on people in our industry today is incredibly high. I feel like I’m on call 24/7 and I’m in the service business and my job is to represent my clients. But I think we all find that the down time and the ability to actually take a mental break continues to be challenging."

    If I could eat only one food forever, it’s "I admit it. I’m a carnivore. And I know it’s probably not politically correct in a day and age where I have a wife who is a vegetarian and a daughter who is a vegan, but I’m a carnivore and I love meat."

  • Jeff Endlich

    Morris Yorn Barnes Levine Krintzman Rubenstein Kohner Endlich & Gellman

    "There is such a huge demand for content creation, and it’s across all platforms," says Endlich, who reps one of Hollywood’s most prolific creators: Taika Waititi, who took home an Oscar for his script for satire Jojo Rabbit. Waititi’s upcoming projects include (but are certainly not limited to) Searchlight soccer drama Next Goal Wins, Marvel’s next Thor movie and two projects based on Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for Netflix. Endlich’s roster also includes Raphael Bob-Waksberg (BoJack Horseman) and Liz Feldman (Dead to Me).

    My biggest challenge now is "Working from home during a global pandemic with my 7-year-old and two 4-year-olds who have lots of energy and no place to go."

    If I could eat only one food forever, it’s "Pizza from Star Tavern in New Jersey."

  • Jamie Feldman

    Lichter Grossman Nichols Adler Feldman & Clark

    Feldman has a knack for crafting innovative overall deals for the industry’s top filmmakers — like Steven Soderbergh’s sprawling cross-platform pact with WarnerMedia, which will see the director create content for Warner Bros., HBO and HBO Max. The rep, who works with talent including Viola Davis and Dev Patel, also negotiated Barry Jenkins’ overall at Amazon, where he’s making Underground Railroad  into a massive limited series. 

    If I could eat only one food forever, it’s "Philly cheesesteak."

    My biggest challenge now is "The overall increase in volume of work, which I think is something everybody is feeling."

  • Patti Felker

    Felker Toczek Suddleson Abramson

    Amid discussions of coronavirus action plans, Felker took a moment to share, "This is the year for overall deals," citing Umbrella Academy showrunner Steve Blackman’s multiyear deal with Netflix and One Day at a Time showrunner Gloria Calderón Kellett’s deal at Amazon. “It’s finally great to be a female lawyer,” continues Felker, whose recent signings include Maggie Gyllenhaal and director Nicole Riegel. "I’ve been doing this since 1983, and you finally have that feeling where women want women to represent them." She adds that many of her longtime clients are “having their moment,” such as Pose star Billy Porter. “That’s the nicest thing about getting older with your clients: There’s things you hoped and planned for that you actually get to see through.”

    Hollywood’s 2020 priority "Making sure that they have safe working environments."

  • Sam Fischer

    Ziffren Brittenham

    Three of TV’s top shows will hit streamers thanks to Fischer: The Simpsons at Disney+ on behalf of client James L. Brooks; Friends at HBO Max, for exec producers Kevin Bright, Marta Kauffman and David Crane; and The Office at NBCUniversal, for which he advised Greg Daniels. "The studios recognize these are crown jewels," Fischer says. "It’s not that negotiations were easy, but they were very transparent and open. They all paid a very fair price." He also continues to work with the Obamas via their Hollywood production company Higher Ground, as well as Steve Levitan, Matt Damon, Joss Whedon and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Among the executives he reps, Stacey Snider struck a deal with Elizabeth Murdoch to form production company Sister.

  • David Fox

    Myman Greenspan Fox Rosenberg Mobasser Younger & Light

    Fox’s clients broke new ground, with Christopher McQuarrie signing on to write and direct two Mission: Impossible movies, Leigh Whannell rebooting Universal’s monster movies with The Invisible Man (and will now test release windows with an accelerated VOD opening) and David Koepp writing his first novel, which he’s now adapting. Other clients include The Witcher creator Lauren Schmidt and the prolific James Wan

    We’ve hit peak content when "I don’t see it happening soon. Content is more transient than ever, so the demand for new content is increasing."

    If I could eat only one food forever, it’s "Is breakfast a food?"

  • Jeff Frankel

    McKuin Frankel Whitehead

    Frankel has spent the past year shoring up overall deals for TV creators. He landed On My Block co-creator Lauren Iungerich at Netflix, Little America co-creator Lee Eisenberg at Apple and New Girl creator Liz Meriwether at 20th Century Fox TV. “All of these overall deals are driven by a demand for quality content,” says Frankel. Plus, client Milo Ventimiglia will star in a USA limited series as Evel Knievel (a childhood hero of Frankel’s).

    Hollywood’s 2020 priority "Harmony for all playing in the sandbox."

    If I could eat only one food forever, it’s "Sushi."

  • Bryan Freedman

    Freedman & Taitelman

    At the forefront of the burgeoning esports business, Freedman is representing Turner "Tfue" Tenney, a professional gamer and former member of organization FaZe Clan, in his ongoing dispute over an "oppressive" contract. "It's the Wild West in some respects," says Freedman. "Turner standing up for himself gives everyone else the pause to at least read their contracts closely." Elsewhere he's representing Gabrielle Union in her fight against America's Got Talent over its alleged "racially insensitive" workplace, as well as Megyn Kelly and Jordan Belfort.

  • Matt Galsor

    Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger

    Galsor orchestrated the deal for AMC's The Walking Dead movies for Universal. "I can't think of another example of a movie based on a TV show that's still ongoing and doing well," he notes. Meanwhile, he handled deals for Tom Cruise and Chris Hemsworth in the Mission: Impossible and Thor franchises, respectively, and negotiated Amr Salama's pact with Netflix for an Arabic-language series — "They call him the David Fincher of Egypt," says Galsor. Fincher is also a client, and so are James Cameron and Vin Diesel.

    We've hit peak content when "7-Eleven launches an SVOD service."

    Please reboot "Weekend at Bernie's. Maybe it’ll be the death knell for all future reboots."

  • Jonathan Gardner

    Cohen Gardner

    Gardner has a penchant for representing buzzy directors, including Ryan Coogler and Boots Riley. In the past year, there's no one hotter than Bong Joon Ho. The two began working together after Snowpiercer's 2013 release, so Gardner saw every step of Parasite's history-making Oscars ride. He remains tantalizingly mum about details of the HBO adaptation and Bong's next steps, saying, "There is a great number of incoming calls, but he's not really interested in director-for-hire-type projects. Bong explores his own dreams and obsessions as a filmmaker."

    If I could eat only one food forever, it's "Scotch."

    My biggest challenge now is "Managing the coronavirus business depression."

  • John Gatti

    Manatt Phelps & Phillips

    What kind of lawyer would Vin Diesel have in his corner? The actor is being accused of breach of contract in a lawsuit involving xXx: Return of Xander Cage and Gatti is representing co-defendant Revolution Studios in the fight (which was revived by an appeals court). He also reps Tracy Chapman, who is suing Nicki Minaj over a sample, and is handling several #MeToo matters.

    Please reboot Shane

    If I could eat only one food forever, it’s "No hesitation at all: pizza. Not even a doubt. Anything but anchovies. I would eat Vito's Pizza on La Cienega and it would probably be his sausage and pepperoni pizza."

  • Bruce Gellman

    Hansen Jacobson Teller Hoberman Newman Warren Richman Rush & Kaller

    Gellman struck multiple overalls for clients, including Dan Fogelman (This Is Us) for 20th Century Fox Television, Jennie Snyder (Jane the Virgin) for CBS Studios and Adam F. Goldberg (The Goldbergs) for ABC Studios. "Studios are investing in talent and writers they believe in, who can create multiple shows," Gellman says. "That's the theme." Other clients include Denise Thé (Westworld), Debora Cahn (Homeland) and Dave Andron (Snowfall).

    Hollywood's 2020 priority "Pay equity."

    My biggest challenge now is "Time management."

  • Gregg Gellman

    Morris Yorn Barnes Levine Krintzman Rubenstein Kohner & Gellman

    As Lulu Wang's The Farewell became a critical darling, Gellman negotiated her deals to write and direct Amazon drama The Expatriates and Big Beach's sci-fi feature Children of the New World. He also began negotiating projects under Kenya Barris' massive Netflix deal, including Kid Cudi's animated anthology Entergalactic and comedy Black Excellence, in which Barris will star for the first time. “I look at our job as a consigliere,” Gellman says. “The micro is negotiating a specific deal. The macro is helping clients develop a strategy unique to their priorities that will be executed over the long term.”

    If I could eat only one food forever, it's "Hickory cheeseburger with extra sauce and fries well done at The Apple Pan."

    We've hit peak content when "Major studios and/or platforms, whether networks or streaming, start to disappear. But probably before we get to that extreme, what we've really seen over the last year is the market value for any deal, at least in the TV business, has really increased. If we see the market value for any particular type of service start to reduce, that will be an indicator. They're only going to pay less if they feel less urgency, less of an appetite for our clients' projects and services. The likely reason that would happen is if they have so much content that it’s less of an imperative."

  • Michael Gendler

    Gendler & Kelly

    Gendler represents a collection of top showrunners. Shonda Rhimes is readying her first two projects out of her groundbreaking Netflix deal for a fall launch: Bridgerton and an untitled Anna Delvey series. "There's a lot of ongoing work that comes with these giant deals," says Gendler, who also works with Meryl Streep and Steve Martin. Meanwhile, David E. Kelley has six new shows in production at a slew of outlets, Courtney Kemp has four Power spinoffs at Starz and Alex Kurtzman is overseeing CBS All Access’ Star Trek franchise and adapting James Comedy's book A Higher Loyalty as a miniseries.

    Hollywood's 2020 priority "Electing a president who is not Donald Trump."

    If I could eat only one food forever, it’s "Francesinha." 

  • Rick Genow

    Goodman Genow Schenkman Smelkinson & Christopher

    As Henry Golding's star continues to rise, Genow negotiated his turn as the titular commando in G.I. Joe spinoff Snake Eyes and helped set up his banner, Long House Productions, which already has a pact with China's Starlight Cultural Entertainment Group. Genow also got Christian Serratos cleared from The Walking Dead to star as late Tejano icon Selena Quintanilla for Netflix and still reps another recently emancipated woman, Meghan Markle (he won't reveal what she's working on). On top of the usual dealmaking, Genow also oversaw the merger of his firm with Goodman Schenkman, which was completed in January.

    Please reboot "Given what's going on now, The Andromeda Strain."

    We've hit peak content when "We'll never hit peak content. We'll just hit a level of diminishing returns."

  • Cliff Gilbert-Lurie

    Ziffren Brittenham

    Gilbert-Lurie spent much of 2019 working on two complex, intertwined deals for megaproducer Dick Wolf that total more than $1 billion — first sorting out streaming rights for Wolf's iconic Law & Order series between NBCUniversal's Peacock and Disney-backed Hulu, and then inking a massive new five-year overall deal with Universal TV, Wolf's home for 36 years. "Nothing rises to this level of intensity," says Gilbert-Lurie, whose client list also includes Greg Daniels, Patrick Stewart, Sandra Bullock and Tina Fey (who also has a new UTV deal).

    Hollywood's 2020 priority "We have to get transparency of streaming numbers so we can better represent our clients. How do you know how aggressive to be when you don't have the numbers?"

    Please reboot "One of my favorite shows growing up was FBI and now Dick is doing that."

  • Carlos Goodman

    Goodman Genow Schenkman Smelkinson & Christopher

    The go-to rep for auteurs and top talent wore his tux proudly as Quentin Tarantino's box office hit Once Upon a Time in Hollywood earned 10 Oscar nominations, including best picture and best director, while Ford v Ferrari star Christian Bale earned a Golden Globe nom for the second year in a row. Elsewhere, Goodman made an overall TV deal for Steve McQueen at Amazon and inked Alex Garland's deal to create, write and direct Devs for Hulu/FX.

    We've hit peak content when "I think the demand for content production will continue to grow — the only issue is when and how drastically will the SVOD premiums reduce."

    Hollywood's 2020 priority "Getting the ATA/WGA dispute behind us and working through the AMPTP/WGA contract renewal without a major work disruption."

  • Michael Hobel

    Katten Muchin Rosenman

    Hobel's specialty is working with legacy and streaming-first distributors as they navigate the changing dealmaking landscape, including helping Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman's Quibi lock in programming ahead of its April 6 launch. "My streaming and pay TV clients have been really active with innovative deals," notes Hobel, whose other clients include HBO, Epix and AMC Networks.

    Hollywood's 2020 priority "Mitigating and recovering from coronavirus impacts."

    Please reboot Time Bandits

  • Andrew Hurwitz

    Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz

    Hurwitz has seen firsthand how good it is to be an IP owner in Hollywood right now. He represented the Roald Dahl estate in its (reportedly $1 billion) deal with Netflix, and another to bring Matilda the Musical to the big screen, and works with the Agatha Christie estate. Meanwhile, he negotiated Spotlight director Tom McCarthy's eight-figure overall with Fox 21 TV and The Favourite co-writer Tony McNamara's pact for The Great at Hulu.

    We've hit peak content when "The studios and networks stop giving first-time television writers the opportunity to run their own shows."

    Hollywood's 2020 priority “Like the rest of the world, digging out from the wreckage of the coronavirus crisis.”

  • Craig Jacobson

    Hansen Jacobson Teller Hoberman Newman Warren Richman Rush & Kaller

    Jacobson put together one of the most unique deals of his career when repping Spotify in its podcast partnership with the Obamas, a negotiation that he describes as "complicated but fun." He also crafted Bonnie Hammer's contract to run Comcast's new TV content and distribution studio and The Irishman producer Jane Rosenthal's overall with Netflix. In addition, the L.A.-based Jacobson keeps busy with N.Y.-centric clients Lorne Michaels, Trevor Noah and Ryan Seacrest.

    If I could eat only one food forever, it's "Salmon."

    My biggest challenge now is "Finding the next deal with a big intellectual challenge to it."

  • Matthew Johnson

    Ziffren Brittenham

    Johnson's powerhouse clients include Barack and Michelle Obama, Tyler Perry and Adam McKay. Following the latter's split with producing partner Will Ferrell, the rep, who divides his time between Costa Rica and Los Angeles, helped set up the next chapter of McKay's career. So far, that includes a feature deal with Paramount, a TV deal with HBO, a podcasting deal with Sony Music and a Jennifer Lawrence movie at Netflix. Meanwhile, clients Phil Lord and Chris Miller are under a TV pact with Sony and a film deal at Universal, and Alfonso Cuarón is working on new projects under his Apple overall.

    Please reboot The Wire

    My biggest challenge now is "Coronavirus and a WGA Strike."

  • Ivy Kagan Bierman

    Loeb & Loeb

    The legal mind representing film, TV and digital companies in negotiations with unions, Kagan Bierman in May also brokered the first major agreement between the WGA and a talent agency, Verve, since the union began its dispute with the ATA. On the other side of her business, Kagan Bierman, a go-to investigator of office misconduct claims, helped Time's Up create its safety guide for entertainment employees and trained independent producers on harassment, discrimination and bullying prevention as well as best inclusion practices as part of the Producers Guild's independent production and safety initiative.

    Please reboot The West Wing

    If I could eat only one food forever, it’s "Do I have to really admit this? I’m going to be really honest, Charles Chips potato chips. There is a nostalgia for me because the Charles Chips truck would come and deliver the big canisters of potato chips and pretzels as a little girl. I also find that I’m one of those people that, in stress, I go for crunch foods."

  • Adam Kaller

    Hansen Jacobson Teller Hoberman Newman Warren Richman Rush & Kaller

    Kaller has one of the most diverse client rosters in Hollywood, from digital stars like Lilly Singh (who launched her NBC late night show in September) to traditional talent like Darren Criss (who will star in Ryan Murphy'sHollywood). "My practice is the natural evolution of the business at large," says Kaller, who also reps TV writers like This Is Us co-showrunners Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger and Chicago Fire showrunner Derek Haas and set up podcaster Leon Neyfakh's new series Fiasco on Luminary.

    My biggest challenge now is "I would have said the WGA-agency fight, but now I'm saying the coronavirus."

    Please reboot "Office Space. It’s a genius movie that never got a fair shake.”

  • Mitch Kamin

    Covington & Burling

    For most of the major record labels (including Warner, Sony and Universal), Kamin fought to ensure internet service providers took piracy seriously. For TV networks, including Fox News and AMC, he took on cable companies over carriage rates. But he's particularly proud of his pro bono work, including representing the city of L.A. against the federal government over grant money withheld because of Trump's immigration agenda.

    Hollywood's 2020 priority "Ending all forms of discrimination in the industry."

    If I could eat only one food forever, it’s “Spaghetti Bolognese.”

  • Arash Khalili

    Loeb & Loeb

    When streaming superstar Tyler "Ninja" Blevins made the surprise announcement that he would be leaving Amazon-owned Twitch for Microsoft's Mixer, it sparked a war over online talent that dominates the market today. Khalili, as a business and legal adviser to Blevins, was instrumental in the landmark deal. "There was nothing on the shelf for a deal of that magnitude," says Khalili. Outside of that "marquee transaction," Khalili inked deals for Blevins with Adidas and the NFL, while also restructuring Megan Ellison's Annapurna Pictures.

  • Dale Kinsella

    Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert

    This summer, Kinsella will be telling a jury that AMC owes $270 million to his clients Frank Darabont and CAA. Other trials further down include producer Neal Moritz's against Universal over Fast & Furious franchise profits and a case brought by two producers who worked on the original television adaptation of Stephen King's It, who say Warner Bros. denied the right to participate on the recent film blockbusters.

  • Kelly Klaus

    Munger Tolles & Olson

    Klaus has become a favorite litigator for MPAA members, including Disney, Warner Bros. and Netflix. He represented the plaintiffs in a copyright lawsuit against VidAngel when the streaming/filtering service was sued for copyright infringement. In June 2019, a jury ordered VidAngel to pay more than $62 million in damages for copyright violations. He also continues his work on the forefront of First Amendment cases in Hollywood.

    Please reboot  "I would be delighted to see The Brady Bunch make a return."

    My biggest challenge now is "If you're ligating hard-fought cases, the challenge is to always stay in command of facts and the law. That's the core of being a good lawyer."

  • Deborah Klein

    Jackoway Austen Tyerman Wertheimer Mandelbaum Morris Bernstein Trattner & Klein

    With Booksmart, Hustlers and Dead to Me, Klein saw client Will Ferrell and Jessica Elbaum's production company Gloria Sanchez have a knockout year, and secured the female-focused outfit first-looks at Netflix for TV and Paramount for film. She inked Jim Carrey's pacts for Kidding and Sonic the Hedgehog, along with five (yes, really) new movie deals for Samuel L. Jackson including Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard, The Last Full Measure and The Banker. Her roster also includes Paul Rudd, Toni Collette and Linda Cardellini.

    If I could eat only one food forever, it's "Graeter's mocha chocolate chip ice cream."

    Hollywood's 2020 priority "Teleportation."

  • Alex Kohner

    Morris Yorn Barnes Levine Krintzman Rubenstein Kohner & Gellman

    Kohner helped Matt and Ross Duffer parlay the Stranger Things buzz into a nine-figure overall deal at Netflix that allows them to monetize the success of the series, rare for a distributor known for buying out the backend. Longtime client John Cho recently booked the lead in the streamer's Cowboy Bebop series and Pete Chiarelli will pen Crazy Rich Asians 2.

    Hollywood's 2020 priority "Remembering how lucky we are to get to do what we do."

    My biggest challenge now is “Navigating an industry that seems to change by the hour.”

  • Tara Kole

    Gang Tyre Ramer Brown & Passman

    When the Obamas' production company wanted Riz Ahmed for its fiction film, an adaptation of 2017 novel Exit West, Kole helped seal the deal. (Ahmed will star in and executive produce the project.) The lawyer also brokered Hobbs & Shaw team David Leitch and Kelly McCormick's first-look deal at Universal. She oversaw the return of Michelle Dockery to Downtown Abbey for the 2019 film and Sarah Hyland's last season on Modern Family.

    Please reboot Roadhouse

    Hollywood's 2020 priority "Resolving the labor issues."

  • Michael Kump

    Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert

    The Kardashians' favored attorney in business disputes, Kump helped Kim, Kourtney and Khloe win more than $10 million from Haven Beauty, which used the Kardashians' name to promote a beauty brand after ending payments to the sisters (the case is currently on appeal). Kump also repped Sandra Bullock in a fake endorsement case and a Live Nation subsidiary in a trademark infringement matter.

    We've hit peak content when "The streaming services start lowering prices and/or cutting back offerings and services."

    Please reboot "I always like the originals better but one of the greatest movies of my younger generation was Dr. Strangelove. It would be interesting to see that in a more modern adaptation."

  • Bob Lange

    Kleinberg Lange Cuddy & Carlo

    After the fallout over his infamous Access Hollywood chat with now President Donald Trump and subsequent three-year hiatus from TV, Billy Bush returned to news in 2019 thanks to the efforts of Lange. He also signed Sylvester Stallone and Kate Beckinsale and continues to rep Mark Hamill and Carrie-Anne Moss, who is returning as Trinity in Matrix 4.

    My biggest challenge now is "The continued vertical and horizontal consolidation of the traditional entertainment companies is an ever-increasing challenge."

    If I could eat only one food forever, it’s "Grilled salmon."

  • Bianca Levin

    Gang Tyre Ramer Brown & Passman

    Dwayne Johnson will become a supervillain thanks in part to Levin, who handled his deal for Black Adam as well as those for Red Notice and Young Rock. She also negotiated Henry Cavill’s turn in The Witcher and Melina Matsoukas’ deal for Queen & Slim and her first-look at FX, and helped Honey Boy director Alma Har’el create Time’s 100 Women of the Year initiative. "She is an incredible force,” Levin says of her client. “I’m proud to have her voice in our industry getting recognition for women and people of color.”

    If I could eat only one food forever it’s "French fries."

    Please reboot Martin

  • Jared Levine

    Morris Yorn Barnes Levine Krintzman Rubenstein Kohner & Gellman

    Levine set up Jordan Peele and his Monkeypaw Productions with a huge five-year first-look at Universal Pictures that includes the upcoming horror reboot Candyman. "While many TV deals recently jumped into the nine-figure arena, I can’t think of [another] deal that’s exclusively feature films to hit that stratosphere," he says. Plus, he secured Ramy Youssef a first-look at A24 after the success of his Hulu series Ramy and got the ball rolling on Stephen Curry’s Unanimous Media deal with Sony Pictures, negotiating deals for the NBA star both behind and in front of the camera.

    Please reboot "This is going to be an odd one, a movie I remember from school with Clint Eastwood called The Eiger Sanction. It was based on a book. I thought that was a cool movie, and something that could actually be remade today."

    My biggest challenge now is "Trying to juggle what’s a nice work load with some unfortunate collateral anxiety-causing events: the potential WGA strike, the continuing WGA strife, the coronavirus impact. How do you power through and keep the course through abnormalcy."

  • Jamie Mandelbaum

    Jackoway Austen Tyerman Wertheimer Mandelbaum Morris Bernstein Trattner & Klein

    "You no longer just go on the show as a showrunner," says Mandelbaum, who reps a stable of writer directors. "You make an overall deal as the price of admission.” He’s made recent deals for 911’s Tim Minear at 20th TV, The Americans’ Joe Weisberg at FX and Grey’s Anatomy’s Krista Vernoff at Disney. The lawyer, who also reps Handmaid’s Tale showrunner Bruce Miller, brokered a hefty deal for Nicholas Braun to star in a new WeWork series.

    We’ve hit peak content when "Talent salaries start dropping."

    Hollywood's 2020 priority "Electing Democrats up and down the ballot."

  • Glen Mastroberte

    Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom

    Mastroberte represented beIN Media Group in the sale of a 49 percent Miramax stake to ViacomCBS, which included a $375 million production funding commitment. He also represented Spotify in its nearly $200 million purchase of The Ringer and negotiated founder Bill Simmons’ contract. Other clients include Glassman Media (which sold to Endeavor Content), A24 (which has a multiyear financing and distribution deal with Apple TV+) and Facebook.

    If I could eat only one food forever, it’s "Pizza, preferably Neapolitan."

    My biggest challenge now is “Dealing with the fallout of the coronavirus and its impact on the industry.”

  • Mickey Mayerson

    Paul Hastings

    "Parasite offered a glimmer of hope that there are opportunities for movies to find audiences through independent distribution," says Mayerson, whose clients include Fibonacci Films, Old Hill Capital and Indian Paintbrush. He handled a deal with the TV side of Motion Picture Corporation of America, which primarily produces movies for Netflix and Hallmark. The deal is, according to Mayerson, a testament to “the adaptation that clients need to go through in order to not only thrive, but survive.”

    We’ve hit peak content when "Netflix decides to sell itself."

    Hollywood's 2020 priority "Restoring health to the independent feature film business."

  • Joel McKuin

    McKuin Frankel Whitehead

    McKuin helped to craft unprecedented dual overall deals for Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage’s Fake Empire. The team behind Hulu’s Looking for Alaska signed with both Apple and CBS TV Studios. "Writers are being valued in a way they never have been before,” says McKuin, who reps some of Hollywood’s top scribes. This includes Noah Hawley, who will wrap his fourth season of Fargo and is set to write and direct a new Star Trek franchise, and You co-creator Sera Gamble, who has an overall at Universal Content Productions.

    If I could eat only one food forever, it’s "Pizzeria Mozza’s fennel sausage pizza comes to mind."

    My biggest challenge now is “Of late, navigating through this coronavirus disruption. Both on behalf of clients and internally at our firm. We are so fortunate to have an amazing team that is adapting to the situation with professionalism and grace.”

  • John Meigs Jr.

    Hansen Jacobson Teller Hoberman Newman Warren Richman Rush & Kaller

    Meigs saw big change in his clients’ lives in 2019. "Seeing Winston [Duke] being able to buy a house based on the money we got for [Netflix film] Spencer Confidential, these things are really gratifying," he says, adding that he’s proud of Kaley Cuoco developing her own Big Bang Theory follow-up, HBO Max’s adaptation of Chris Bohjalian’s The Flight Attendant: "She had me reach out to the author and optioned the book before anyone even knew about it." Other in-demand clients include Issa Rae (The Lovebirds, Insecure) and Betty Gilpin (The Hunt, GLOW).

    Please reboot Love Jones

    If I could eat only one food forever, it’s "Creole food from Harold & Belle’s."

  • Darrell Miller

    Fox Rothschild

    Longtime client Angela Bassett has become a powerhouse behind the scenes and is doing "dynamic and diverse things," says Miller. She’s a director, an exec producer on her Fox show 911 and its spinoff, and is continuing her partnership with Ryan Murphy on his projects. Also on Miller’s roster are newcomers Teyonah Parris, who signed on for Disney+ series WandaVision, and Da’Vine Joy Randolph, who’s stealing scenes in Hulu’s High Fidelity and starring in Lee Daniels’ The United States vs. Billie Holiday.

    Hollywood’s 2020 priority "Trying to accept the redefined consumer consumption habits. That’s the biggest priority because that’s what is crippling the theaters, who are doggishly holding on to the same way things are done."

    My biggest challenge now is "The world of exclusivity coupled with short orders. The old world was 22 or 26 episodes on one network. Today, you’ve got networks only ordering six, eight or 13 episodes but still getting the same level of exclusivity as a broadcast network who would employ you for a year. The biggest challenge is having all these people vying for exclusivity and creating a nightmare for the talent and filmmakers who are aspiring to be employed and make the same amount of money as in the old days."

  • Marcy Morris

    Jackoway Austen Tyerman Wertheimer Mandelbaum Morris Bernstein Trattner & Klein

    "I pride myself in being tough and fair in negotiations, and not making enemies," says Morris, whose longtime client Kate Hudson had a banner year. Her deals span athleisure (Fabletics), alcohol (King St. Vodka), podcasting (Sibling Revelry, which she records with her brother Oliver) — and, of course, film and TV projects like Netflix’s Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon. Morris also brought Jordana Brewster back into the Fast & Furious fold for F9, where the main challenge was “catching her up to many others who had been in the franchise from the beginning.”

    We’ve hit peak content when "There’s so much to watch that I can’t keep up. But as long as people are watching and subscribing, they’re going to keep making shows."

    Hollywood's 2020 priority "Keeping everyone healthy and safe."

  • Aaron Moss

    Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger

    Moss has no shortage of billable hours thanks to "bro sports network" Barstool Sports, for which he helped fend off a number of lawsuits from "run-of-the mill, copyright troll stuff" to a wiretapping case from the mayor of Somerville, Massachusetts, and a contentious battle with actor Michael Rapaport. Says Moss, "The dozen or so Barstool Sports things took up about a third of my time in 2019."

    Please reboot Alfred Hitchcock Presents

    We've hit peak content when "I think we’re already there. No one can keep up anymore."

  • Bob Myman

    Myman Greenspan Fox Rosenberg Mobasser Younger & Light

    Client Damon Lindelof’s Watchmen is an unmitigated hit, but the lawyer and the writer-producer took quite a roller-coaster ride thanks to controversial political satire The Hunt, which was pulled from release at the eleventh hour last fall. When the feature finally hit theaters March 13, it met another complication: the coronavirus pandemic. Myman’s roster also includes Angela Lansbury, Benjamin Bratt and Laura Prepon.

    My biggest challenge now is "Trying to balance work and spending time with my grandchildren."

    If I could eat only one food forever, it’s "Hickory burger at the Apple Pan."

  • Peter Nelson

    Nelson Davis

    Nelson negotiated a precedent-setting deal with Disney for the acquisition of Peter Jackson’s documentary Get Back, featuring The Beatles’ last recording sessions and concert in 1969. He also closed a deal for Allison Janney to star in the Netflix movie Lou, produced by J.J. Abrams, and reps one of the most in-demand young actors, 10-year-old Azhy Robertson, who appears in Marriage Story, HBO’s The Plot Against America and Ray James for Apple.

    If I could eat only one food forever, it’s "Fresh crab, of any kind. I grew up in Pennsylvania, where frozen fish sticks were what passed for seafood."

    We've hit peak content when "We can’t see the forest for the trees."

  • Jeanne Newman

    Hansen Jacobson Teller Hoberman Newman Warren Richman Rush & Kaller

    Newman’s client Tracee Ellis Ross is switching gears from Black-ish to play a singing diva in Universal’s High Note, while Patti LuPone is doing a Netflix show with Ryan Murphy ("It’s a special role that people will be surprised to see her in," Newman teases). She also helped revive Endemol’s Extreme Makeover (HGTV) and locked in a Netflix deal to adapt The Circle for international markets from Stephen Lambert’s Studio Lambert banner.

    My biggest challenge now is "Staying positive."

    If I could eat only one food forever, it’s "Swedish fish."

  • Robert Offer

    Sloane Offer Weber & Dern

    Offer’s slew of superheroes includes Robert Pattinson, who’ll star in The Batman and Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, and Gal Gadot, who renegotiated her Wonder Woman deal and secured a big payday for Netflix’s Red Notice. Benedict Cumberbatch inked a Jane Campion indie and a new Doctor Strange pact, and Brie Larson landed Life Undercover, an Apple series in which she will star and executive produce.

    We’ve hit peak content when "The Bachelor gets eight hours per week on the schedule."

    Please reboot The Love Boat

  • Anthony Oncidi


    As counsel for the Recording Academy, Oncidi is embroiled in the explosive dispute between the Grammys organizer and former CEO Deborah Dugan, a case that threatened to upend the music industry awards. Additionally, he represented the Recording Academy’s charitable arm, MusiCares, in a now-resolved lawsuit filed by its former vp Dana Tomarken, who claimed she was fired in retaliation for raising concerns about financial decisions made by Dugan’s predecessor, Neil Portnow. He’s also the point attorney for Viacom and other studios in their exec poaching battle with Netflix and repped CAA against UTA over a group of defecting agents (the two sides settled last year).

    My biggest challenge now is "Making Hollywood safe from the 'seven-year rule.' May it never again imperil an ongoing employment relationship."

    Please reboot "Contagion. Paging Steven Soderbergh. In view of recent events, we may need this to become a weekly podcast."

  • Jodi Peikoff

    Peikoff Mahan

    Viewers excited to see Cynthia Erivo play Aretha Franklin in the next season of Nat Geo’s Genius have Peikoff to thank, in part. She also negotiated America Ferrera’s surprise exit as a star and exec producer of NBC’s Superstore and role as EP of Netflix’s Gentefied, and Hedwig and the Angry Inch writer John Cameron Mitchell’s foray into podcasting.

    Hollywood’s 2020 priority "The thoughtful dialogue around inclusion is great, and now the practice needs to catch up."

    Please reboot "The Mary Tyler Moore Show or Golden Girls, but can’t imagine either could be done as well."

  • Daniel Petrocelli

    O'Melveny & Myers

    Netflix can't recruit employees anymore at Disney's Fox studios thanks to Petrocelli's work in a lawsuit filed after the streamer poached two execs. Petrocelli will go to an appeals court to preserve that injunction while handling an Irving Azoff outfit's antitrust case against terrestrial radio operators and defending Kesha from Dr. Luke's defamation claims.

    If I could eat only one food forever, it's "Dark chocolate ice cream."

    Hollywood's 2020 priority “Settle the Writers Guild dispute. It’d be very useful if these packaging arrangements could be clarified and probably remodeled.”

  • Marvin Putnam

    Latham & Watkins

    As Hollywood #MeToo disputes proliferate, studios and networks increasingly are conducting internal investigations. Putnam has become a go-to attorney in such situations (ICM being one well-reported example). He represents Miramax and former Weinstein Co. board member Tim Sarnoff in a slew of Harvey Weinstein-related lawsuits. So far, Putnam is battling 100 in suits filed in the United States against either client, a difficult task considering the media scrutiny surrounding the cases. Also high-profile is his work on behalf of the Association of Talent Agents in its packaging fees battle with the WGA.

    Please reboot "Family Ties seems ripe, with Clinton-era parents and a Trumpian teen."

    My biggest challenge now is "It will be navigating the post-COVID-19 world. We have no idea what that will look like, but it isn’t going to look like today — or, more pointedly, last week."

  • Jeremiah Reynolds


    A go-to litigator for A-list clients and in conflicts over independent films, Reynolds currently represents a U.K. company that claims the distributors of Traffic, Gangs of New York and Ali downplayed the films' revenue to circumvent millions in fees. He's also fighting STX for allegedly backing out of a deal to co-finance an adaptation of Killers' Game on behalf of client Endurance Media and has sued distributor Aviron for allegedly shortchanging producers on licensing fees.

    Please reboot The Rockford Files

    My biggest challenge now is "Trying to explain complex accounting and rights disputes to recently appointed judges who have no experience in civil litigation or entertainment."

  • Ken Richman

    Hansen Jacobson Teller Hoberman Newman Warren Richman Rush & Kaller

    Several of Richman's showrunner clients landed lucrative overall deals across town. The Good Place's Mike Schur and 30 Rock's Robert Carlock inked major deals at Universal, while Barry's Alec Berg and Veep's David Mandel signed pacts with HBO. He also reps Elisabeth Moss, who stars in The Invisible Man on top of her Emmy-winning role in The Handmaid's Tale, as well as Full Frontal host Samantha Bee.

    My biggest challenge now is "Helping my clients and firm navigate the impact of the coronavirus."

  • Marissa Roman Griffith

    Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

    As MRC's lead dealmaker, Roman Griffith spearheaded the co-production and co-financing pacts for such films as Knives OutDora and the Lost City of Gold and The Lovebirds. On the TV front, she put together the financing agreements for shows like The GreatThe Outsider and Ozark. (MRC and THR share a parent company, Valence Media.) And she repped Portfolio Funding Company in its acquisition of 191 titles from The Weinstein Co. library.

    If I could eat only one food forever, it's "Lobster. (I have expensive taste.)"

    Hollywood's 2020 priority "Investing in original content."

  • Nancy Rose

    Schreck Rose Dapello Adams Berlin & Dunham

    The New York-based attorney negotiated the biggest indie film deal ever by selling worldwide rights to client Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton live capture to Disney for $75 million. Rose also spearheaded the pact for Miranda's film adaptation of In the Heights and his directing debut with Tick, Tick Boom. Elsewhere, Rose closed a rich multiyear overall deal for The Affair co-creator Sarah Treem with Fox 21 and reps theater-film crossovers including Kenneth Lonergan and Tony Kushner.

    We've hit peak content when "We're there already. We are inundated with content everywhere (elevators, phones, laptops, cabs, airplanes) with providers competing for even one second of attention. For my sanity, I have a rule: Never look at my phone in the morning until I’ve first looked outside — at the pavement, the traffic lights, the park across the street and the sky."

    Hollywood's 2020 priority "Many of our country's institutions are in need of healing and that includes Hollywood. The agencies, the WGA and studios need to reach an agreement. Writers need support from all of their advocates."

  • Bobby Rosenbloum

    Greenberg Traurig

    Atlanta-based Rosenbloum has been at the fore of the music industry's shift to digital over the past two decades. Lately, that means serving as lead counsel for TikTok owner ByteDance on content deals, assisting Spotify with its music licensing agreements and leading music content deals for Equinox Media and SoulCycle. As chair of the firm’s entertainment and media practice, he also works with Amazon Studios and Luminary.

    If I could eat only one food forever, it's "Sushi."

    My biggest challenge now is "Assisting companies whose businesses are outside of the music space to understand the dramatic changes confronting the industry and develop strategies for licensing music content that work for their financial models."

  • Gretchen Rush

    Hansen Jacobson Teller Hoberman Newman Warren Richman Rush & Kaller

    Rush is a magnet for top female talent. She brokered deals for Jennifer Lawrence to star in Adam McKay's Netflix movie Don't Look Up and for Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington to headline and produce Hulu's Little Fires Everywhere. But her biggest deal of the year was Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss' five-year overall pact with Netflix. "It was my entire summer," says Rush of the negotiation, which involved six other buyers.

    If I could eat only one food forever, it's "Fries!"

    Please reboot "I’m not a fan of reboots. I just wish Modern Family didn’t have to end."

  • Faiza Saeed

    Cravath Swaine & Moore

    After repping Disney in its acquisition of 21st Century Fox's major entertainment assets and Time Warner in its sale to AT&T, Saeed took on more mega-deals, advising Viacom's board on the company's $30 billion recombination with CBS Corp. and Hasbro on its $4 billion acquisition of Entertainment One. She also represented Disney in its $10.6 billion sale of the Fox Regional Sports Networks to Sinclair and the $3.47 billion sale of its interest in the YES Network to an investor group.

  • Michael Schenkman

    Goodman Genow Schenkman Smelkinson & Christopher

    It was a whirlwind year as Schenkman's firm Bloom Hergott dissolved with the retirement of Jake Bloom and Alan Hergott, reconstituted as Goodman Schenkman, then merged with Stone Genow. "We received kudos from various members of the community, including some of our friendly competitors," he notes. Meanwhile, he inked Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas' rich deal for Tenet, and a two-picture pact with Universal for M. Night Shyamalan.

    Hollywood's 2020 priority "Avoiding self-inflicted disruption while the world experiences unprecedented disruption."

    We've hit peak content when "When my 95-year-old father-in-law hawks me to watch his new favorite series on Netflix."

  • Ira Schreck

    Schreck Rose Dapello Adams Berlin & Dunham

    While his roster includes stars like Kevin Hart, Sarah Jessica Parker and Ang Lee, it was boosting the careers of two newcomers that Schreck says were the "deepest experiences of the past year." One is bringing deaf actress Lauren Ridloff (The Walking Dead) into the Marvel fray in Eternals and the other was setting up Ali Stroker in the stage production of Oklahoma!, making her the first actress to use a wheelchair for mobility on Broadway. Then there’s writer-actress Heidi Schreck (no relation), who is developing Amazon’s Priestdaddy series and Hulu’s Joan Didion show amid the breakout success of her play What the Constitution Means to Me.

    Please reboot The Odd Couple

    If I could eat only one food forever, it’s "Manna."

  • Robert Schwartz

    Quinn Emanuel

    Schwartz scored a big win for Elon Musk in December when a judge ruled the billionaire didn't defame a British cave explorer when he called him "pedo guy" on Twitter. He also helped Kanye West settle with EMI Publishing after an eight-month battle and is quietly representing victims of sexual harassment and abuse. Says Schwartz, "We hold people accountable, we don't hold press conferences."

    My biggest challenge now is "Finding time to goof off."

    Please reboot "CNN."

  • P.J. Shapiro

    Ziffren Brittenham

    TV's golden age has kept Shapiro busy this year. He shepherded Fleabag phenom Phoebe Waller-Bridge's deal at Amazon and Succession head Jesse Armstrong's overall pact at HBO deal. He explains, "These mega overall deals have essentially shifted the backend to the front end." On the features side, he helped transition John Cena from wrestler to full-time movie star, with roles in the ninth Fast & Furious movie and Warner Bros.' Suicide Squad sequel. Emma Stone, Daniel Kaluuya and Selena Gomez are also clients.

    If I could eat only one food forever, it's "Pad Thai with a side of pizza and a scoop of ice cream — and maybe a slice of butter cake."

    Please reboot "Howard Stern’s Private Parts — Part Deux.”

  • Nina Shaw

    Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein & Lezcano

    Time's Up co-founder Shaw remains committed to equitable representation in her day job, too: She brokered Nia DaCosta's jump from indie to studio filmmaking with Candyman, negotiated John Legend and his banner Get Lifted's ABC overall deal and is helping Oscar winner Regina King expand her talents with a Netflix multiyear producing pact and her feature directorial debut One Night in Miami.

  • Lawrence Shire

    Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks

    Shire guided George Cheeks out of NBC and into a shiny new role as president and CEO of CBS Entertainment Group. The veteran NYC lawyer is also working with Richard Plepler on his new venture, Eden Productions, and its exclusive deal at Apple. Shire continues to represent talent including LeBron James, Drake and Robert De Niro. And major tech platforms Spotify and Facebook rely on him to help their continued push into storytelling through podcasting and original video, respectively.

    Hollywood's 2020 priority "Keeping everyone healthy."

    We've hit peak content when “Don’t think we ever will given all the new platforms and what seems to be the shorter lives of series.”

  • Amy Siegel

    O'Melveny & Myers

    Siegel repped ViacomCBS in its deal with beIN Media to acquire a 49 percent stake in Miramax, and Univision in its rebranding of its sports network Univision Deportes as TUDN in its alliance with Mexico's Grupo Televisa. She also worked with Square Enix in deals to adapt video games, such as Just Cause, for the big screen. Other clients include Warner Bros. and Bron Studios.

    Please reboot My So-Called Life

    If I could eat only one food forever, it’s "Steak."

  • Gregory Slewett

    Ziffren Brittenham

    Little Women scene-stealer Florence Pugh earned her first Oscar nomination, and it was Slewett who helped her take on that role as well as A24 horror flick Midsommar. Meanwhile, Yesterday breakout Himesh Patel landed roles in Christopher Nolan's Tenet and Station Eleven at HBO Max, and Jon Watts will return to helm the third Sony-Marvel Spider-Man movie. The highlight for Slewett was seeing Michael B. Jordan "flourish as a producer and a voice behind the camera," as he did in Just Mercy. The actor will star in and produce Tom Clancy adaptation Without Remorse, and his company Outlier Society will have three shows this year.

    If I could eat only one food forever, it's "Kale salad from Porta Via."

    Hollywood's 2020 priority "Continue the path to greater inclusiveness because it really has been a slow burn and we need to speed it up and make it better and more comprehensive."

  • Jason Sloane

    Sloane Offer Weber & Dern

    Sloane reps some of the biggest names in movies, including the Chrises: Evans, who is in negotiations for Warner Bros.' Little Shop of Horrors, and Pratt, who garnered a new deal for Jurassic World: Dominion. Meanwhile, Tom Hardy got a hearty deal for Venom 2, Mark Wahlberg mapped big bucks for Uncharted, Will Smith received a princely sum for King Richard, Michael Fassbender scored with Taika Waititi's Next Goal Wins and Anne Hathaway found her way to Sesame Street.

    Hollywood's 2020 priority "Restoring the health of the theatrical business and the business in general."

    Please reboot "The Sting and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid with Leo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt. Their chemistry in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was great!"

  • Mitch Smelkinson

    Goodman Genow Schenkman Smelkinson & Christopher

    Smelkinson's first client, Craig Mazin — whom he's repped for 25 years — won numerous awards for HBO's Chernobyl, which he created and wrote, while Anthony Hopkins was lauded for his performance in The Two Popes. Elsewhere, Smelkinson negotiated final-season deals for Modern Family's Ty Burrell and Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Paul Dano's turn as the Riddler in Matt Reeves' upcoming The Batman.

    Please reboot Logan's Run

    My biggest challenge now is "Counseling clients on the career impact of recent events."

  • Cheryl Snow

    Gang Tyre Ramer Brown & Passman

    Snow reps a slew of multihyphenates including Jim Parsons, who signed an overall deal at Warner Bros., where he'll executive produce Call Me Cat, and Irishman scribe Steven Zaillian, who's showrunning, writing and directing every episode of Ripley for Showtime. Meanwhile, Ben Stiller will direct and executive produce Severance for Apple TV+. While streamers want to buy out the backend, she says many clients still "want to play for the upside."

    Hollywood's 2020 priority "Avoiding strikes."

    If I could eat only one food forever, it’s "Dark chocolate."

  • Orin Snyder

    Gibson Dunn & Crutcher

    Snyder helped Jerry Seinfeld beat a lawsuit claiming that he stole Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee from the guy who directed the pilot. He's assisting Facebook in navigating the morass triggered by Cambridge Analytica's data harvesting of tens of millions of users. Plus, he'll defend AMC this summer in a $270 million suit over Walking Dead profits.

  • Christopher Spicer

    Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

    Spicer's work as the lead lawyer for Comerica Bank helped bring the massive hit Joker to the big screen (he closed a $100 million revolving credit facility to Bron Studios to co-finance a slate of Warner Bros. films including the R-rated $1 billion earner). Though Hollywood-China transactions have largely dried up, Spicer finalized several on behalf of East West Bank including Perfect Universe's film-slate financing deal with Universal and Bona Film Group's investment in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

    Hollywood's 2020 priority "Resolving the WGA-talent agency situation."

    We've hit peak content when "The streamers get in the mix on live sports."

  • Kathleen Sullivan

    Quinn Emanuel

    Sullivan, a former Stanford Law School dean, leveraged her Silicon Valley connections and became a forceful voice shaping law. She's involved in the marathon battle between Mattel and MGA, had a key case before the Supreme Court over whether North Carolina has sovereign immunity from a filmmaker's copyright claims and is seeking to reverse a decision allowing the Friday the 13th screenwriter to reclaim franchise rights from the film's producer.

    If I could eat only one food forever, it's "Should say something else, but it's steak."

    Hollywood's 2020 priority “Taking Harvey Weinstein-type behavior seriously and recognizing the phenomenal wave of female talent.”

  • Matthew Thompson

    Sidley Austin

    "It's hard to survive as an independent producer and distributor in today's market if you're not part of a broader organization," says Thompson, who represented Entertainment One's management in its $3.8 billion acquisition by Hasbro. The attorney also helped Rian Johnson and Ram Bergman form T-Street and enter into a joint venture with MRC, and advised Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia in the formation of Siete Bucks Spirits as part of their recent Teremana tequila launch and in their joint venture with IMG for Athleticon, an athletics, wellness and entertainment convention.

    Hollywood's 2020 priority "Making sure we all recover well from the current unsettled times."

    If I could eat only one food forever, it’s "Japanese. Not just sushi: izakaya, bento boxes. Love it all."

  • Bruce Tobey

    O'Melveny & Myers

    Tobey put together a complex deal for ViacomCBS' stake in Miramax, weaving together an M&A contract with an operating agreement as well as giving Paramount the right to distribute Miramax's library. He helped negotiate Bona Film Group's investment in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and CBS' partnership with Nina Tassler and Denise Di Novi's indie production banner PatMa, which includes a first-look deal for shows like the upcoming American Martyrs. "I think we'll see more of these as distribution platforms need more and more products to feed their pipelines," Tobey says.

    Hollywood's 2020 priority "Stay relevant. There's a lot of competition for consumers' time and eyeballs. There are some kids filming themselves dancing and someone is watching that instead of our TV show. That’s threatening. So our priority is to stay relevant and change to be a leader in the world in high quality entertainment."

    We've reached peak content when "I hope we never know. I hope it always gets better. We may be drowning in it, but I hope that the cream will always rise to the top. I hope there never is a peak. I hope it gets more creative and less redundant. That’s always a challenge."

  • Fred Toczek

    Felker Toczek Suddleson Abramson

    Toczek balances his growing list of television players (Bill Hader saw a renegotiation for Barry, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's Point Grey Pictures continues making inroads in setting up comic book properties, Jon Bokenkamp added an eighth season to The Blacklist) with his growing list of emerging stars such as Anya Taylor-Joy (Emma) and Kaitlyn Dever (Unbelievable). “What’s been unique on the TV side is that the numbers of buyers have expanded and they each have their own idiosyncrasies,” he says.

    Please reboot Harry Potter

    We've reached peak content when "Every person who watches TV or movies sees their story represented."

  • Steve Warren

    Hansen Jacobson Teller Hoberman Newman Warren Richman Rush & Kaller

    A go-to rep for A-list movie stars, Warren crafted deals for Leonardo DiCaprio to reunite with Martin Scorsese in Killers of the Flower Moon, Charlize Theron to star in her first Netflix film, The Old Guard, and Colin Farrell to play Penguin in The Batman. The talent attorney, who reps Millie Bobby Brown, Constance Wu, Jessica Chastain and both Fanning sisters, also struck a deal with CBS for Drew Barrymore's daytime talk show.

    Hollywood's 2020 priority "To do whatever possible to unite our country and get us on a path of empathy, inclusivity and compassion during our election."

    We've hit peak content when "The deals start going down."

  • David Weber

    Sloane Offer Weber & Dern

    Weber's clients won back-to-back best actor trophies at the Oscars: first, Rami Malek for Bohemian Rhapsody and then Joaquin Phoenix for Joker. The attorney set up the former's deal to star as the villain in the upcoming James Bond movie No Time to Die. Weber also reps actors Ryan Reynolds and Alison Brie, along with directors David Ayer and Jean-Marc Vallée.

  • Michael Weinsten

    Lavely & Singer

    After a couple of years in court, Weinsten helped the founders of Gurney Productions (Duck Dynasty) settle a very bitter power struggle with the U.K.'s ITV. He's now representing Ellen DeGeneres and Sandra Bullock in a lawsuit against anonymous operators of websites touting their false endorsements. A suit against unknown defendants can be challenging, but Weinstein says he’s already identified a few of them through subpoenas. Weinsten also has a heavy #MeToo caseload including defending actor David Caruso.

  • Alan Wertheimer

    Jackoway Austen Tyerman Wertheimer Mandelbaum Morris Bernstein Trattner & Klein

    Wertheimer is a master at negotiating tentpole terms, including J.J. Abrams' return to the Lucasfilm fold to direct Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and Patty Jenkins's upcoming Wonder Woman 1984. Among other clients, Nicole Kidman made the awards rounds for her performance in Bombshell and Wes Anderson is headed back to the box office with The French Dispatch.

  • Douglas Wigdor

    Widgor Law

    Wigdor is best known as a thorn in the side of Fox (he has repped some 20 current and former staffers in suits involving claims of sexual harassment, retaliation and racial discrimination). He also was at the center of the biggest #MeToo case to hit Hollywood, representing six Harvey Weinstein accusers including model Tarale Wulff, who testified during the convicted mogul's trial. "It was really gratifying to have played a role in that prosecution," Wigdor says. “It’s just the beginning. There are lots of other women who want their day in court.” Also explosive was the EEOC complaint he filed on behalf of ousted Recording Academy CEO Deborah Dugan, citing gender discrimination, sexual harassment and unlawful retaliation. Wigdor also repped former NBA star Charles Oakley in a lawsuit alleging defamation, assault, battery and false imprisonment against James Dolan and Madison Square Garden (the case is currently in the process of being appealed).

    Please reboot "The Paper Chase. I still recall being a young child watching Professor Kingsfield questioning his law students and knowing that is exactly what I want to do. Twenty years later, I graduated law school."

    Hollywood's 2020 priority "Gender equality and fair treatment of woman. Harvey Weinstein is now a convicted felon, but we still have a long way to go in eradicating decades of misogyny and unequal pay."

  • Bryan Wolf

    Ziffren Brittenham

    Wolf has proven himself uniquely adept at getting fledgling Hollywood companies up and running. The suit helped guide Michael Ellenberg's outfit MediaRes into production on Apple TV+ flagship series The Morning Show (starring client Steve Carell), as well as three more upcoming series. As he did with client Hasbro, the lawyer is assisting Scholastic with its Hollywood ambitions — the children's book publisher made a deal to give access to its IP for development to Erik Feig's Picturestart. Speaking of Hasbro, the toy manufacturer paid a massive $4 billion to acquire indie studio Entertainment One.

  • Kevin Yorn

    Morris Yorn Barnes Levine Krintzman Rubenstein Kohner & Gellman

    Scarlett Johansson and Zoë Saldana reaped benefits from deals made in previous years thanks to the performance of movies such as Avengers: Endgame. Saldana also renegotiated her deal for a third Guardians of the Galaxy while Johansson became the highest paid actress in Hollywood. Ansel Elgort signed on for Steven Spielberg's take on West Side Story and finalized a deal to star in HBO Max's Tokyo Vice. Other clients include Ellen DeGeneres, Jenny Slate and Neil Meron.

    My biggest challenge now is "To be able to gracefully adapt to a changing world without losing my mind and help others through that."

    Hollywood's 2020 priority "Connecting to a higher source or purpose."

  • Susan Zuckerman-Williams

    Paul Hastings

    Continued consolidation is driving Zuckerman Williams' business. She advised Vine Alternative Investments in its acquisition of Lakeshore Entertainment's 300-title library and international sales operation, and the ongoing deal for Vine to take over a restructured EuropaCorp, in which it has a controlling stake. She repped SunTrust Bank in arranging a syndicated loan facility to Industrial Media, the indie TV company whose assets include American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance, and also Sight Unseen Pictures in its financing of Bad Education.

    We've hit peak content when "When the children of the original Survivor tribes are the ones playing in the next season."

    Hollywood's 2020 priority "It's all about the virus now."

    Profiles written by Trilby Beresford, Ashley Cullins, Mia Galuppo, Eriq Gardner, Lesley Goldberg, Natalie Jarvey, Katie Kilkenny, Borys Kit, Pamela McClintock, Ryan Parker, Bryn Elise Sandberg, Patrick Shanley, Tatiana Siegel, Piya Sinha-Roy, Rebecca Sun and Georg Szalai.

    This story first appeared in the March 26 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.