New partner may bring high-profile clients

In a deal that puts many several top actresses into play, United Talent Agency has tapped David Guillod, a partner and head of talent at management and production shingle Handprint Entertainment, as a new partner.

Deal, inked late Tuesday night, ends nearly a monthlong courtship.

“We have worked closely with David for many years,” said UTA chairman Jim Berkus. “His skill, influence and perspective will all be great assets to UTA. We see this as a natural fit.”

The question is whether his clients will become great assets to UTA; most of them are repped at other agencies, and it is not immediately clear how many will make the leap with him.

Handprint manages the careers of top actresses like Jennifer Lopez, Julia Stiles, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Denise Richards, Monica Potter and “Law & Order’s” Angie Harmon.

A spokesman for UTA said “many of Guillod’s clients are expected to join the shop shortly,” but declined to identify who might be in that group.

Handprint principal Jeff Pollack said that as of Wednesday afternoon, he did not know of any Handprint clients who had yet decided to change agencies. That of course, could still change, but he noted that Stiles had just left UTA for CAA in January.

Lopez likely to stay at ICM

Does that make her more or less likely to return? No one can say for sure. However, insiders did say that Lopez and Rupert Everett are all but certain to remain with their longtime agents at ICM.

For his part, Guillod said he shares “UTA’s vision of finding and representing the very best and original talent to be found anywhere” and called the percentery “a truly dynamic and outstanding agency.”Handprint’s Pollack said he was glad that the UTA talks had finally ended, calling the rampant rumors of Guillod’s departure over the past few weeks “a distraction that’s over.”

He also emphatically denied there was any talk of a dissolution of the Handprint partnership, which also includes principal Benny Medina, as a result of Guillod’s departure.

“We’ve had our best year to date,” said Pollack, pointing to Handprint-produced pics and skeins such as the greenlit MTV Films/Paramount Pictures release of Cuba Gooding starrer “Fighting Temptations” and Fox’s midseason replacement order for “Septuplets.” He also added that Handprint plans to open a New York office in the near future.

As head of the talent department at Handprint, Guillod worked with a wide range of clients, also including Terrence Howard, Ja Rule and Scott Foley.

Guillod also has been sharing representation of current UTA talent clients Garcelle Beauvais, Christine Taylor, Simon Rex and Christa Miller.

Under the terms of his employment, clients of Canada-based Pacific Artists are also expected to follow Guillod to UTA for U.S. representation, including Kristin Kruek (“Smallville”), Jane MacGregor (“Slap Her, She’s French”) and A.J. Cook (“Final Destination 2″).

Before Handprint Entertainment, Guillod was a partner in Onorato/Guillod Entertainment, a management company acquired by Handprint in 1997.

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