High-powered attorney Melanie Cook, whose clients include Tim Burton and Tom Stoppard, will now have her name on the door of the prominent Beverly Hills entertainment law firm Bloom, Dekom and Hergott, where she has been a partner for the last five years.
The elevation to name partner at the newly christened firm of Bloom, Dekom, Hergott and Cook puts her among the few female lawyers to enjoy such a distinction in one of Hollywood’s well-established, top-drawer law firms.
Veteran attorney Hermione Brown still is a name partner at Gang Tyre Ramer & Brown.
Linda Lichter, along with two of her former colleagues, Peter Nichols and Peter Grossman, recently relinquished their partnerships in Weissmann, Wolff, Bergman, Coleman & Silverman, to form their own firm, Lichter, Grossman & Nichols (Daily Variety, March 9).
In addition to Burton and Stoppard, Cook’s long list of feature and television writer, director, producer and actor clients include Scott Rudin, Barry Sonnenfeld, Clive Barker, Alek Keshishian, Forrest Whitaker, Keanu Reeves, James Spader, Laura Dern, Ed Harris, Holly Hunter, Molly Ringwald, Sam Elliott, David Viscott, Danny Elfman, Darren Star, Robin Schiff and Trilogy Entertainment.
Cook’s elevation is apparently unrelated to recent speculation that partner Peter Dekom is contemplating leaving the law firm to pursue a career in the entertainment industry, as did his former partner Tom Pollock, now MCA Motion Picture Group chairman.
It has been widely reported that Dekom was attempting to raise money to make a bid for Imagine Films Entertainment.
A number of sources indicated that while they no longer believe Dekom will put an offer on the table for Imagine, they predict that he will leave the practice of law if the right opportunity presents itself.
Dekom: No plans to leave
Reportedly, at Monday’s monthly partnership meeting where Cook was made a name partner, Dekom told his colleagues he had no immediate plans to leave. Dekom could not be reached for comment yesterday.
A source at the firm, however, said the partners agreed to give Dekom more time to decide what he wanted to do with regards to his future at the firm, which is expected to be resolved by early next year.
The firm’s head partner, Jake Bloom, said of Cook, “She’s fabulous, hard-working, and she deserves it.” Bloom refused to comment on the Dekom matter.
Bloom also downplayed rumors that he and his partners may be planning to merge the firm with another company in the foreseeable future.
“There’s been some loose talk but it’s never really been contemplated and it’s not on the near or middle agenda.”
Cook joined the firm of Bloom & Dekom as a partner in August 1987 after five years as a partner at Cooper, Epstein & Hurewitz. She began practicing in 1978 at Rosenfeld Meyer & Susman, right out of law school.
One of the first major transactions she was involved in when she joined the firm was helping Dekomset up Larry Gordon’s Largo Entertainment. Cook had represented JVC while at Cooper, Epstein, and brought the client–which funded Largo–with her to Bloom & Dekom. She also brought clients Burton and Ringwald with her.
Cook said yesterday, “This is a great firm with talented lawyers who are also wonderful people. It is rewarding to be recognized by my partners in this way.”
Partner Alan Hergott lauded Cook yesterday, saying, “She’s a powerhouse, everybody loves her and she’s totally successful in everything she undertakes.”
Hergott went on to say, “She’s a tremendous colleague, enormously popular within this law firm, and she generates a lot of money for this law firm.”
Rudin’s a fan
One longtime client is producer Scott Rudin, for whom Cook has done numerous deals, including engineering his overall arrangement at Paramount and helping move “Addams Family” from Orion to Paramount.
Rudin said, “She’s the best, she’s smart, she’s creative and takes the time to understand what’s important to clients. She goes purely beyond fiscal decisions–she’s a real counselor in the purest sense of the word and one of the very few people whose advice I ask and listen to.”
Bloom and Tom Pollock started the law firm about 20 years ago with Andy Rigrod.
Subsequently, Rigrod and Pollock left.
The firm’s other prestige clients include John Hughes, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Kim Basinger, Tom Hanks, Simpson/Bruckheimer, Larry Gordon, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, Ivan Reitman, Alec Baldwin, Demi Moore and k.d. lang.
Among the studio executives represented by the firm are Columbia Pictures Entertainment chairman Mark Canton and recently installed 20th Century Fox movie chairman Peter Chernin.