Hollywood Law Impact List
Firm: Hansen Jacobson Teller Hoberman Newman Warren & Richman
The practice: It’s hard to turn on the TV and not see shows that bear the imprint of Jacobson and Newman’s clients, be it news (Katie Couric and Anderson Cooper), drama (“CSI’s” Ann Donahue), comedy (“Ugly Betty” exec producer Ben Silverman), reality (“Big Brother” showrunner Allison Grodner), gameshows (“Deal or No Deal” creator Endemol) or latenight (“Saturday Night Live” creator Lorne Michaels).
Jacobson’s practice is, as he puts it, “as eclectic and diverse as you can get.”
He provides counsel to newsies such as Couric and Cooper and to film big shots such as Sam Raimi, David Fincher and Scott Stuber.
Jacobson even reps some actors, such as Jennifer Aniston and Matthew Fox.
The past year saw Jacobson working on two of the biggest deals in the news biz: Cooper’s multimillion-dollar reup at CNN and Couric’s headline-grabbing defection to CBS. The latter negotiation should go down as one of the most memorable in Jacobson’s career.
“It was the most intense, most interesting and most fun deal,” he says, noting that CBS Corp. topper Leslie Moonves, along with news/sports chief Sean McManus, personally negotiated for the Eye.
Newman’s clients might not have made as many headlines, but they certainly had an impact — particularly in the unscripted genre.
Known as the queen of reality legal reps, Newman — who in the last year launched the Jorian Hill winery with husband, 20th Century Fox TV prexy Gary Newman — has pioneered the art of importing overseas talent in the unscripted arena to the U.S. Starting with Endemol co-founder John DeMol (still a client), she reps a small battalion of reality producers, including Grodner, Silverman (with Jacobson), R.J. Cutler, the Jay and Tony Show, Scout Prods. (“Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”), Shine, Stuart Krasnow and Evolution Film and Tape.
Newman says working with scripted producers — including Donahue, Tim Kring (“Heroes”) and Amy Sherman-
Palladino (“Gilmore Girls”) — “gave me entry into the reality world. I’ve always represented storytellers, whether they’re telling scripted or unscripted stories.”
Like his partners, Hansen’s practice is also diverse. Having helped do the original deal for “Twin Peaks,” he’s big on indie power players, including David Lynch, John Waters, Don Roos and Curtis Hanson, but also reps mainstream names like John Wells, John Woo and Jon Stewart. On the thesp side, his clients include several vets who’ve had career resurgences in the past year, including Sally Field, Robert Downey Jr. and Pierce Brosnan. Oh, and he reps Mel Gibson, too.
Warren reps one of the game’s more star-packed talent rosters, which includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Reese Witherspoon, Colin Farrell, Drew Barrymore and Kirsten Dunst.
POV: “You’ve got to be willing and open to learn new things and risk doing a kind of deal you’ve never done before,” Jacobson says.