Joel A. Katz, chairman, Media & Entertainment, Greenberg Traurig

Dealmakers Impact Report 2011: Lawyers

Entertainment lawyer Katz’s Atlanta-based practice, which he started 40 years ago, boasts such high-profile clients as the Michael Jackson estate, the Grammy Awards, James Taylor, Jimmy Buffett and Willie Nelson, along with Fortune 500 companies like Coca-Cola and Nokia.

KEY DEALS: Just completed an unprecedented new 10-year contract between the Recording Academy and CBS Television for the Grammy awards and affiliated television specials.

“It was a very tough negotiation, but we finally got it done,” says Katz, who also just hammered out another new 10-year contract with the CMA and ABC Television for the Country Music Awards and affiliated television specials.

He’s also working with the Jackson estate and Sony on Sony’s bid for EMI music publishing, did L.A. Reid’s new deal at Epic Records as well as his “X Factor” agreement, and started up EAC, the USO’s first-ever entertainment advisory council, on which he serves as chairman.

“The entertainment business is going through so much change,” he notes. “Record companies are becoming entertainment companies.”


TOP CAUSE: TJ Martell Foundation, Kennesaw State U.

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