David C. Friedman, executive VP and general counsel, Summit Entertainment

Dealmakers Impact Report 2011: Executives

In 2007, Friedman left Paramount to become the in-house legal counsel for Summit, trading a staff of 75 for five. As someone who evaluates risk on a daily basis, he felt the move was worth it. “It was an opportunity to start (with) a new business plan and provide my own input,” he says. Friedman now oversees everything from refinancing the company’s credit facility, to taking advantage of foreign tax incentives, to aggressively going after trademark and copyright infringement cases. “We definitely can get deals closed quicker than other businesses,” he says. “We don’t have to go 10 layers up the chain to get something approved. We cut to the chase and make the decision.”

KEY DEALS: Negotiated Summit’s refinancing, closing the $750 million term and revolving facility in March. Pacted with HBO on a five-year exclusive output deal starting in 2013.

SPARE TIME: Three kids

TOP CAUSE: The Jewish Federation

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