No clients are leaving Hollywood heavyweight legal firm O’Melveny & Myers but several lawyers are making a move to a new firm, and O’Melveny has named new heads of its valuable transactional entertainment division. The shifts at O’Melveny are detailed below, but Christopher Brearton, Joe Calabrese, Nancy Bruington, Ken Deutsch and Robert Haymer are departing to join the L.A. offices of Latham & Watkins. Those additions, and Lisbeth Savill being added to the London office, will of course be a big jolt to L&W and move it up the competitive entertainment practices ladder. As of yet, none have formally made the move to L&W — though its obviously a done deal. Read the OMM statement here:
CENTURY CITY ─ NOVEMBER 11, 2014: O’Melveny & Myers LLP has named Stephen Scharf, Matthew Erramouspe, and Bruce Tobey as the new transactional co-heads of the Firm’s highly respected Entertainment, Sports and Media Practice. For nearly 100 years, O’Melveny has represented motion picture studios; television, music, digital and new media companies; professional sports teams (and their owners); financial institutions; strategic investors; and individual talent on groundbreaking and significant industry disputes and transactions. With the increasing convergence of the computer hardware and software, telecommunications, consumer electronics, entertainment, and media industries, O’Melveny’s team of approximately 50 litigators and dealmakers is uniquely positioned to help clients navigate the changing world of entertainment, sports, and media.
Scharf has been a pioneer of contemporary film finance and at the forefront of the Asia entertainment boom, guiding clients as they expand their global operations. Scharf’s prominence as an international entertainment dealmaker has earned him mentions on the Daily Journal’s Top 100 Leading California Lawyers and as one of “50 Game-Changing Entertainment Attorneys” in Variety. A substantial part of Scharf’s practice involves motion picture financing transactions including banking transactions, joint ventures, securitizations, structured financings, tax shelter financings, and equity investments.
Erramouspe also has been a leader of increasing China and US filmmaking relations and recently brought together industry leaders to discuss the art of dealmaking at the inaugural U.S. China Film & TV Industry (UCFTI) Expo. He represents motion picture studios, production companies, distributors, investors, sponsors, investment banks, private equity funds, and hedge funds in all aspects of film finance, production, distribution, and other facets of events and live content. Erramouspe has been recognized by Chambers, which named him a leader in Media and Entertainment Transactional Law, and by Variety as a top dealmaker.
Tobey’s experience as both a highly regarded entertainment transactions lawyer and former Chief Operating Officer of CBS Films, Executive Vice President of Paramount Pictures Corporation, and General Counsel and Vice President of Broadband Sports will help guide the practice with an insider’s perspective of the legal challenges studios are facing. He was noted in Variety for excellence in entertainment law and by Legal 500 as a leading lawyer for media, technology, and telecoms and broadcast transactions.
“Our clients could not be in better hands than with these three sought-out entertainment lawyers,” said Bradley J. Butwin, Chair of O’Melveny. “Stephen, Matthew, and Bruce, together with our leading entertainment litigators, are furthering a legacy laid down by John O’Melveny, Deane Johnson, Donald Petroni, and others. Today, entertainment companies are facing an expanding global market and a changing digital media landscape, and O’Melveny’s award-winning entertainment lawyers are poised to help them achieve their goals.”
In addition to advising on deals that define the entertainment industry, O’Melveny’s litigation and trial practice has continued a long and rich history of representing entertainment clients in their most important matters, with recent successes in such high-profile cases as Warner Bros.’ victorious fight to secure the rights to its iconic Superman franchise, concert promoter AEG Live’s defeat of a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Michael Jackson’s family in their attempt to hold AEG Live responsible for the King of Pop’s untimely death, and Hulu LLC’s defeat of claims under the Video Privacy Protection Act in one of the most closely watched privacy cases in the country.
“We are fortunate to have the leadership of Stephen, Matthew, and Bruce and look forward to working closely with them to serve our great entertainment clients,” said Daniel Petrocelli, Chair of O’Melveny’s Business Trial and Litigation Practice.