So I told you last night that bigtime entertainment lawyer Deborah Klein is leaving the Century City law firm that bears her name, Barnes Morris Klein Mark Yorn Barnes & Levine and how it caught all her partners by surprise. I just learned she’s on her way to Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum & Morris and taking all her clients with her, including Jim Carrey, Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn, Samuel Jackson, Paul Rudd, Mina Suvari and Toni Collette among others. That’s a marquee boost for Jackoway Tyerman which already reps Nicole Kidman, Cameron Diaz, J.J. Abrams and others.
The timing of Klein’s departure is interesting because Barnes Morris Klein has made a huge effort to become more high-profile on the occasion of its 10th anniversary in 2006. It moved into expansive and expensive lavishly decorated digs in the CAA building in Century City, it hired an outside publicist, and it arranged for a major article on the firm to appear in Variety. But I’m told Klein disagreed with these and other management decisions and requested over the summer to become an “independent satellite” inside the firm. Still, as late as Friday managing partner Kevin Morris had no idea Klein was about to leave.
I recently wrote about Klein in my LA Weekly column about The Worst Talent Deal Ever. And I also wrote extensively about Jackoway Tyerman, which used to be Barry Hirsch’s firm until he defected to start his own practice, and then sued his former partners.