Six DLA Piper lawyers named to Variety's 2019 Legal Impact Report

DLA Piper is pleased to announce that six of its lawyers have been selected for the 2019 Variety Legal Impact Report highlighting the top attorneys in the entertainment business.


Tom Ara, co-chair of the Entertainment Transactions and Entertainment Finance practices; Robert Sherman, co-chair of the Entertainment Finance practice; David Markman, co-chair of the Entertainment Transactions practice; and Los Angeles-based partners Michael Garfinkel and Afshin Beyzaee were named “Legal Impact Honorees,” and Los Angeles-based associate Katherine Imp was recognized in the report’s “Up Next” list of young attorneys.


Ara has been involved in a multitude of transactions throughout the world in both traditional media and emerging technologies, representing media companies, financiers and industry participants of all types in financing and strategic industry transactions. He advises feature film studios, television networks, production companies, Internet and mobile-based content producers and distributors in corporate transactions as well as in the development, production and distribution of feature films, television programs and digital content. Variety recognized his involvement in a number of significant deals and marquee clients over the past year, including the representation of Disney in the acquisition of Fox studios, and highlighted his insights on pure-streaming companies that have “mushroomed into much bigger development, production and distribution enterprises.”


Beyzaee brings together a deep understanding of both corporate and tax issues to provide his clients with holistic solutions to their business and transactional needs. Clients regularly look to him for his innovative and creative approaches to overcoming structural roadblocks and his understanding of the corporate, tax and business issues they confront. His clients have included publicly traded and privately held corporations, S corporations, partnerships, business trusts, limited liability companies, professional services firms, private equity and real estate funds, real estate developers, financial institutions and trade associations. Variety notes: “Hollywood business management firms, which provide wealthy clients with banking, accounting and personal services, are in consolidation mode and Beyzaee represents key sellers: sector-giant Nigro Karlin Segal Feldstein & Bolno; Altman Greenfield & Selvaggi; and David Weise & Associates.”


Garfinkel is an entertainment and media litigator with more than 25 years' experience navigating his clients' most challenging issues. He represents studios, production companies, talent agencies, advertising agencies and artists in matters involving intricate industry-specific agreements, trademark, copyright and right of publicity disputes, trade secrets and defamation. The editors noted his recent representation of “Endeavor/WME, ICM Partners and Lantern Entertainment in acquiring The Weinstein Co. assets.”


Markman counsels both traditional production companies and new media clients regarding entertainment transactional issues from project acquisition and financing to distribution and sales, and serves as production counsel, negotiating on behalf of production entities with above and below-the-line talent, bond companies and banks for film and television projects. He also represents writers, actors, directors, producers and showrunners in the television, film and new media industries. The profile notes his representation of “Cole Sprouse for acting and endorsement gigs; Daisy Fuentes and ‘ShabbyChic’s’ Rachel Ashwell for various brand-licensing ventures.”


Sherman focuses his practice on domestic and cross-border financings and strategic transactions for clients in the entertainment and media industries, representing banks, private equity funds, opportunity funds, sponsors, independent production companies, senior, subordinate and mezzanine lenders, motion picture studios, TV and film production and distribution companies, record companies, music publishers, concert and other live event promoters and other participants in complex motion picture, TV, digital content and music industry transactions. The editors featured his representation of “Raven Capital on buying Open Road Film assets for $87.5 million, Raven providing a credit facility to a content library, sale of the 400-title Roger Corman film library and White Oak Global Advisors.”


Imp represents production companies, studios, networks and independent financiers, producers, sales agents and distributors in the financing, development, acquisition, production, distribution and exploitation of motion picture, television, commercial and new media content. Variety additionally highlighted her work with “app companies and brands, including Match Group, Tinder and PlentyOfFish on talent- and guild-related issues for their short-form branded content.”


DLA Piper’s market-leading international team of media, sport and entertainment lawyers, located throughout the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, advise on finance, borrowing, investment and corporate issues, production and rights acquisitions, exploiting media rights, staging and exploiting live sports and other events, intellectual property protection and enforcement, regulatory and administrative issues, antitrust and competition law, stadium and arena development and on the resolution of disputes.