Firm: Barnes, Morris, Klein, Mark, Yorn, Barnes & Levine
The practice: Its partners view themselves as the next generation of entertainment lawyers, but with 10 years as a firm under their belts and an imminent move to Century City, the Santa Monica-based firm has already arrived. Barnes Morris’ entertainment practice covers the spectrum of actors, writers, directors and authors.
Along with Michael Barnes, who handles the firm’s corporate work, Morris founded the firm in 1996. His first clients were “South Park” creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker. Today, Morris’ comedy clients also include Eddie Izzard, Mike Judge and Steve Coogan. He also represents Chris and Paul Weitz, Minnie Driver and Matthew McConaughey, whom he has repped since admiring his performance in 1996’s “A Time to Kill.”
Morris credits the firm’s success to strategic hiring, growth from within and the good fortune of having clients who have blossomed along with the firm.
Klein joined the firm in 2000, bringing with her comedy clients Jim Carrey, Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn. She helped her clients jump from smaller deals to huge paydays, steering Carrey from his $300,000 salary in “Ace Ventura, Pet Detective” to a record-breaking $20 million for “The Cable Guy.” She represented Ferrell on “Anchorman,” which he famously sold based on a pitch. Klein also reps top-booking standup Dane Cook.
Yorn, who joined the firm shortly after its inception, boasts a client roster that includes Scarlett Johansson, Ellen DeGeneres and the Wayans brothers.
Stephen Barnes, who joined the firm in 2002, represents Chris Rock and John Singleton.
Levine has a broad-based practice that ranges from comedian Zach Galifianakis to skateboarding legend Tony Hawk.
POV: “The business is dividing between those who see trouble everywhere and those who see opportunity everywhere. We see opportunity everywhere,” Morris says.