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Cardozo School of Law
Boyarski is negotiating record and publishing deals for Meek Mill, the rapper’s first contracts since he was pardoned by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf for drug and gun charges stemming from an arrest when he was a teen. The firm also represents singer/songwriter JVKE, producers Cirkut, Louis Bell and Tainy, and handled merchandise and publishing deals for the estate of Earth, Wind & Fire’s Maurice White.
I admire “Clive Davis, who’s the perfect combination of savvy executive, smart lawyer and talented creative. He found ways to make his own success and didn’t rely on luck to get there. What I admire most is that, later in his career, Clive identified the need for community and used his leadership and influence to establish a Grammy week celebration event as a means to honor music creators, executives and living legends. Bringing people together to appreciate music art is special.”
Brooklyn Law School
With a client list that includes a variety of artists from Death Cab for Cutie and ODESZA to veteran acts like Eagles, Jackson Browne and Tracy Chapman, Bromley’s team closed more than $3 billion in IP transactions over the past 18 months. He continues to advocate for artists’ rights through his work with the Music Artists Coalition and led negotiations for California’s Music Business Exemption in the controversial AB5 legislation.
The actor who’d play me “The guy who played Gollum or Tom Cruise. Can’t decide.”
An industry rule made to be broken “There are no rules in the music industry.”
UCLA School of Law
Keeping up with Kelly Clarkson is enough work to fill a year — representing the Grammy winner for matters related to The Kelly Clarkson Show, The Voice and American Song Contest, her highly anticipated new album and those cute Wayfair commercials — Brynes still found time to help other artists, including Travis Scott and his partnership with Nike and collaboration with Dior, the sale of Blake Shelton’s catalog, and deal extensions for Halle and Chloe Bailey with Beyoncé’s Parkwood Entertainment.
How I start my workday “To-do list!”
How I end my workday “There is no end.”
Carter + Woodard
Georgia State College of Law
Carter’s recent highlights count negotiating the catalog sale for Metro Boomin and the rollouts for both his album Heroes & Villains and Lil Yachty’s Let’s Start Here as well as the latter’s film appearances in On the Come Up and The System. She has also been excited about her firm’s recent expansion into representing more media companies, including Kevin Hart’s Hartbeat, Tenderfoot TV, oneRPM and Central City Productions (producer of the Stellar Awards and Black Music Honors). Noting the rise in legacy artists and songwriters who are selling their music publishing catalogs, Carter says it’s the complete opposite of what she’d have advised her clients 25 years ago, when the practice was considered taboo.
The key to success in the music biz is … “understanding your role, the landscape of the industry and effectively navigating both with aptitude. A lot of people think that success is based solely on whom they are standing next to, which does play a part, but one must also deliver and do so with as much integrity as possible.”
Granderson Des Rochers
Albany Law School
Granderson represented Quality Control Music (Migos, City Girls, Lil Baby) in its $300 million deal with Scooter Braun’s HYBE America. He’s also done big deals for Nicki Minaj, A$AP Rocky and J. Cole, and is particularly proud of his work with breakthrough British singer RAYE, who left her major label and independently released her debut album, went viral on TikTok and launched an international smash with “Escapism.” He says, “It’s validation that her art is really that compelling.”
The actor who’d play me “Idris Elba.”
An industry rule that’s meant to be broken “Categorizing art.”
Beyoncé’s surprise concert in Dubai — her first live performance in four years — was one of many accomplishments for Lande. He also represented Queen Bey for the release of her album Renaissance, which helped her become the most decorated artist in Grammy history, as well as her brand ambassadorship with Tiffany. Lande worked on Jennifer Hudson’s deal to make her a producer on the musical A Strange Loop, which won her a Tony and earned her EGOT status. He also represented Justin Timberlake, Pharrell, BTS, Shakira, Rosalía and Olivia Rodrigo in various deals and worked on the renegotiation of SZA’s pact with RCA Records, where she recently released her record-breaking and chart-topping SOS album.
John F. Kennedy University School of Law
LaPolt says signing Mary J. Blige, of whom she has been a huge fan since the release of No More Drama!, was a career highlight. In addition to her work with artists like Cardi B, The Kid LAROI and 21 Savage, LaPolt has been a key adviser to Congress on the RAP Act (Restoring Artistic Protection Act), which aims to rein in the practice of citing an artist’s rap lyrics as evidence in criminal proceedings against them. Another bright spot in LaPolt’s year was being honored with the Visionary Award by nonprofit organization Friendly House, the first residential substance abuse recovery program in the country created by and for women.
I admire “[Epic Record chair] Sylvia Rhone, because she keeps re-creating herself.”
The key to success in the music biz is … “consistency, and not having your head up your ass.”
Mark Music & Media Law
USF School of Law
Mark, who reps Billie Eilish and Benny Blanco, says he’s seeing an increase in artist-friendly solutions for music releases, including worldwide distribution companies, offering artists both advances and deals that allow them to own their masters and keep the majority of the profits. Mark says a highlight of the past year has been watching his firm grow with the addition of young, curious and enthusiastic lawyers.
I admire “Jay-Z. To continue to operate at such high levels of creative and business achievement is an incredible feat, and he does it maybe better than anyone has.”
The key to success in the music biz is … “staying at the table.”
Angela N. Martinez, P.A.
Florida State University College of Law
Martinez scored major goals at the 2022 FIFA World Cup — working deals for clients like Ozuna, who performed during the closing ceremony, and Prince Royce, who appeared in a prime TV spot for Google Pixel. Another proud moment for Martinez — who also works with Luis Fonsi, CNCO and Camilo — was helping Colombian songwriter Feid step into the spotlight as an artist. Says Martinez, “It reminded me of when I worked with Pitbull, where it was really from the ground floor up.”
The actor who’d play me “Natasha Lyonne”
An industry rule made to be broken “It doesn’t have to be in your language for you to understand it.”
Atlanta Law School
Among recent accomplishments were asset deals on behalf of Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley, Lady A, Martina McBride and Rhett Akins. He also did celebrity spirits deals for the likes of Paisley, Alan Jackson, Kane Brown and Jon Pardi, and it was Rosen who inked the contract that made Cindy Mabe the first woman to become chair of Universal Music Group Nashville.
How I start my workday “A 3-mile walk with my dogs, which clears my head for the day.”
How I end my workday “A classic Aperol spritz.”
Myman Greenspan Fox Rosenberg Mobasser Younger & Light
Harvard Law School
In the last year, Rosenberg was thrilled to negotiate both the sale of Justin Bieber’s catalog and the transaction that brought on the Matt Pincus-led MUSIC firm as an investor in the Love Renaissance (LVRN) record label. Rosenberg says one of the more interesting trends he’s observed as of late is music consumers forcing the industry to examine ways of making something old into something new, with deep cuts from several years ago experiencing streaming surges on fan-driven platforms like TikTok, including The Weeknd and client Ariana Grande’s 2016 hit “Die for You,” which was a recent global No. 1.
I admire “Beyoncé, not just because she’s the queen, but because she is using her platform to amplify those voices/stories that may not otherwise have access to a platform. The attention she brought to the LGBTQ+ community — and specifically to the black trans community — through her most recent album, Renaissance, spoke volumes about her as an artist and as a human being.”
An industry rule made to be broken “Industry rule No. 4080: The shady accounting practices of the majors will soon require full transparency. The rise in market share of indie distributors and their more direct, user-friendly accounting practices will likely force the majors to rethink their decades-long system.”
Rothenberg Mohr & Binder
Columbia Law School
Among the highlights of Rothenberg’s last year are negotiating sponsorship deals for Charlie Puth, closing publishing catalog deals for Logic and Jon Bellion (his second publishing catalog), who’s producing albums for Tori Kelly, the Jonas Brothers and Jon Batiste. As to recent trends, Rothenberg says the market for catalog and asset deals of all types remains robust in the face of strong headwinds, including rising interest rates.
How I start my workday “I like to fire up the day with an early run or other workout, and I enjoy taking the kids to school, and then I dive in!”
How I end my workday “Still working on an answer to this one!”
Sedlmayr & Associates
Boston University School of Law
A recent bright spot for Sedlmayr this past year was working with Drake and his creative partners at OVO Sound to acquire full ownership and control of their record label (utilizing a buyout provision Sedlmayr originally negotiated for them over a decade ago). A recent trend he notes is the continued growth of his law firm’s owner-operated record label clients such as APG (Mike Caren), CMG Enterprises (Yo Gotti), Alamo Records/Santa Anna (Todd Moscowitz), Shady Records (Eminem/Paul Rosenberg), Encore Recordings (Joie Manda), Generation Now (DJ Drama/Don Cannon/Lake Sheezy), Grade A Productions (Lil Bibby) and We The Best Music Group (DJ Khaled).
I admire “Martha Braithwaite of Capitol Records, because she is the most straightforward business and legal affairs head.”
The key to success in the music biz is … “sublimating your own ego for the benefit of the artist.”
Brooklyn Law School
Rihanna’s return to the spotlight kept Shapiro busy, representing her for the Oscar-nominated song she performed in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, along with her long-awaited live appearance in the Super Bowl halftime show. He also inked Rihanna’s Puma deal and set up endorsement pacts for Anitta with Lays, Pepsi, Shein and OnlyFans, and won a multimillion-dollar verdict for Kaskade arising from his canceled Las Vegas residency at the defunct KAOS nightclub.
How I start my workday “I try to do something hard and uncomfortable every morning to start my day.”
How I end my workday “Planning what I’m going to do tomorrow morning.”
Loeb & Loeb
NYU School of Law
White inked Sony publishing deals for clients Regina Spektor and Nessa Barrett and an AWAL distribution pact for Young the Giant — and extended her K-pop credentials beyond BTS, working a Republic deal for Tomorrow X Together and Interscope/Ingrooves pacts for three other HYBE acts. She also set up a Super Bowl spot for Verizon Wireless.
The actor who’d play me “I would love it to be Kate Hudson.”
How I end my workday “Not sure if my workday is ever really over, but lately I have been watching the Miami Open on the Tennis Channel — Carlos Alcaraz is truly mesmerizing.”
A version of this story first appeared in the April 12 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.
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