×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Nina Shaw Has Repped the Leading Players in TV and Furthered Their Careers

TV player Is the Beverly Hills Bar Association’s 2013 Entertainment Lawyer of the Year

Nina Shaw has demonstrated a keen eye for emerging talent over the years, from Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx, signed when he was ensemble player on Fox TV’s sketch comedy “In Living Color” in the early 1990s, to Ava DuVernay, whom she helped transition from publicist to best director winner at Sundance for “Middle of Nowhere” in 2012.

But according to Shaw — who’s being honored on April 16 as 2013 Entertainment Lawyer of the Year by the Beverly Hills Bar Assn. — the secret to her success is more elemental. “I’m incredibly tenacious, but I also try so hard in my work to really listen to people and address their point of view,” says Shaw, who co-founded the firm Del, Shaw, Moonves, Tanaka and Finkelstein with Ernest Del in 1989. “In the end I always remember who I’m an advocate for.”

Recent beneficiaries of that advocacy include talkshow host Arsenio Hall, whom she repped in a deal with CBS Television to return to latenight this fall after a 19-year absence; and multi-hyphenate Nick Cannon, a client since he was 16, whom she keeps busy in television (as host of “America’s Got Talent,” film (as co-writer/director of Lionsgate’s upcoming “School Dance”) and technology (his signature Monster NCredible NErgy headphones).

Born and raised in Harlem, Shaw showed an interest in law at an early age (the caption under her high school yearbook photo reads “Future Lawyer”), but she also had passion for show business, stoked by Broadway shows she attended with her mother.

Today, young attorneys are lining up to be in entertainment law, but when Shaw decided to pursue that line after earning her J.D. from Columbia Law School in 1979, “some classmates felt sorry for me,” she says.

Shaw got schooled in the TV biz as a junior associate at O’Melveny & Myers in L. A., working for clients such as Norman Lear’s Tandem/T.A.T. Prods., which at the time had a sitcom slate at that included “Archie Bunker’s Place,” “Diff’rent Strokes” and “The Facts of Life.”

By the mid-1980s, Shaw was a partner in Dern, Mason, Swerdlow and Floum, repping clients such as Robert Guillaume, but she feels she didn’t come into her own until she put together the deal for the movie “Stand & Deliver.”

“It was the pivotal deal in my life,” says Shaw, who repped the film’s writer/producers Ramon Menendez (who also directed) and Tom Musca. “We sold it to Warners. . .and we got a homevideo deal that now would be considered top of the line.”

Today, she continues to rep longtime clients such as Laurence Fishburne and James Earl Jones, as well as tend to newer signings like Franklin Leonard, creator of the Black List survey of Hollywood’s best unproduced screenplays.

And what’s the key to remaining at the top of her game? “I think it’s important to live as much of your life as possible in the real world,” she says. “If you live a life that’s limited to the Westside of Los Angeles, you’re only going to see people like you.”

More Biz

  • Tencent Music Shares Drop Despite Solid

    Tencent Music Shares Drop Despite Solid First Earnings Report

    Proving that good is not always good enough, Tencent Music Entertainment shares fell 9 percent after the Chinese company released its 2018 earnings, wiping out $2.7 billion in market capitalization of what is arguably the biggest audio music service in the world. Chalk it up to big expectations and a short track record: Wednesday’s earnings [...]

  • Songs for Screens Powered by Mac

    Songs for Screens: Shaed Is the Latest Act to Get Rocket Fuel From an Apple Ad

    Nearly 16 years after the first iPod silhouette commercials became instant music-marketing vehicles for bands big, small and critically beloved, the so-called “Apple effect” continues to show little signs of fatigue. Just ask acts like Marian Hill, Sofi Tukker and Billie Eilish, who all scored recent chart hits as a direct result of their music’s [...]

  • Viacom HQ LA

    Viacom Stock Takes Hit Amid DirecTV Battle

    Viacom shares have taken a hit in trading Wednesday, a day after the company went public with its brewing battle over a new carriage agreement with AT&T’s DirecTV. Viacom shares were down more than 5% by midday, dropping to $26.05. On Tuesday afternoon, Viacom began warning viewers that its channels may go dark as of [...]

  • Bob Iger arrives at the Oscars,

    Bob Iger: 'Challenging Work of Uniting Our Businesses' Lies Ahead for Disney

    Bob Iger marked the historic occasion of Disney’s purchase of 21st Century Fox with a lengthy memo to staffers that was candid about the challenges of the massive integration of people and cultures that lies ahead for the media giant. “I wish I could tell you that the hardest part is behind us, that closing [...]

  • EMMA APPLETON as FEEF SYMONDS

    'Traitors' Producer 42 Hires Literary Manager Eugenie Furniss

    Eugenie Furniss is joining London- and Los Angeles-based management and production company 42 as literary manager, it was announced Wednesday. The company’s slate include movie “Ironbark,” a Cold War thriller starring Benedict Cumberbatch, and TV series “Traitors,” a spy thriller coming to Netflix in the U.S. at the end of the month. Furniss joins 42 [...]

  • Disney Fox Takeover Placeholder

    Fox Corp. Pays Disney Sale Dividend, Sets May 9 Investor Meeting

    Fox Corp. has handed over an $8.5 billion check to help Disney offset tax costs related to the 21st Century Fox acquisition. As spelled out in the Disney-21st Century Fox merger agreement, the Murdoch clan’s newly established Fox Corp. was on the hook to pay a special dividend to 21st Century Fox on the latter’s [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content