Hollywood Law Impact List

Firm: Hirsch Wallerstein Hayum Matlof & Fishman

The practice: One of the more venerable of the big-name transactional attorneys — and perhaps the toughest negotiator of them all — his last-minute demands and “unsigned deals” have earned him no surfeit of friends at the studios over the years.

But with a client roster that includes Julia Roberts, Jennifer Lopez and Francis Ford Coppola, Hirsch’s profile remains among the highest in the profession — even without his headline-grabbling divorce last fall from his old firm, Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum & Morris.

“The biggest change in the business is the lack of available options for talent across the board because of all the animated and so-called comicbook movies being made these days,” says the 1957 USC Law grad and licensed psychotherapist, remarking on the key evolution of the talent-representation business over his four decades in the field. “It has shrunk the opportunities, especially in the dramatic area, for major talent. You see the same thing on TV, where reality and gameshows have eaten up a lot of the primetime availability for talent.”

POV: “I don’t see it as tough or not tough,” says Hirsch when asked about his well-known tenacity on the dealmaking front. “I see it as protecting a client in all the areas that he or she needs protection in. If you’re committed to doing that, it may be perceived as tenacity.”

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