12:41pm PT by Jonathan Handel
Labor Attorney Ivy Kagan Bierman Honored as Entertainment Lawyer of the Year
In an exuberant ceremony overseen by Kate Flannery (The Office), Loeb & Loeb entertainment labor attorney Ivy Kagan Bierman was feted Wednesday night as the Beverly Hills Bar Association’s 2015 Entertainment Lawyer of the Year.
It was a family affair, with musical entertainment from Grammy-winner Patti Austin and Bierman’s brother Shelly Berg, jazz pianist and music school dean at the University of Miami, and guest speakers that included Bierman’s sons Sean Kagan and Sam Bierman and Sean’s husband Arata Tomiyoshi Kagan.
“It was amazing” to have my family there, Bierman told The Hollywood Reporter. “Each one said something different that really reflected who they are.”
Bierman is one of a corps of about a half-dozen or so management-side entertainment labor partners at Los Angeles law firms. She notably represented the late Joan Rivers as the WGA tried to organize Fashion Police.
The guild was “waging a vicious, personal attack” on Rivers, said Bierman, who stresses her ability to maintain good relations all around and negotiate labor agreements quickly.
“You lawyers are more important than our therapists,” said Melissa Rivers in a taped statement.
Said Bierman, “I smile when my clients say, ‘You saved our production.’”
She differentiates herself by saying that she performs quickly under fire. “I’m 24/7 and [can help a company] withstand organizing or get a good collective bargaining agreement in place.” At the cutting edge, she said, “the guilds and unions are making new media a focal point of their organizing activities.” Many provisions of the agreements depend on categorizing the medium a project is intended for, but “we’re going to see more blurring of lines.”
Bierman, who has been a THR Power Lawyer, is a board member of the Anti-Defamation League and Women in Film. She said she tries to be a positive force in the industry, community and the world, and adds “I hope I inspired people.”
Multiple shoutouts highlighted Bierman’s fashion-forward style as well as her substance, and the honoree did a pirouette on-stage to give the audience a peek at her outfit’s sheer back, a look that wouldn’t have been out of place on a red carpet.
Remarks were also offered by the bar association’s Susannah Jeffers, Linda Spiegel, Marc Staenberg and Leigh Leshner, and the award was presented by Loeb & Loeb deputy chairman Mickey Mayerson.
Another feature of the evening at the Beverly Wilshire: square-jawed Secret Service officers and a bomb-sniffing dog patrolling outside, maintaining security for a former attorney apparently staying at the hotel, Vice President Joe Biden.
Bookmark The Hollywood Reporter’s Labor Page for the most in-depth coverage of entertainment unions and guilds.