×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Hollywood’s New Leaders: Law and Finance

Variety‘s Hollywood’s New Leaders profiles those to look out for in the worlds of film, TV, digital and more. For more of the New Leaders, click here.

Ken Deutsch, 37 (second from left)
Partner, Latham & Watkins
When he was at O’Melveny & Myers, Deutsch did deals for DreamWorks Animation, MGM, Miramax, Revolution Studios, Univision, Bank of America and others. In November, he and four co-workers left O’Melveny to open the Century City office of Latham & Watkins, specializing in entertainment, sports and media. Some of his most satisfying work has been for newer players such as Participant Media, Legendary and Cross Creek Pictures. “Turning those kind of companies into industry powerhouses is always a nice result for lawyers.”

Chad Fitzgerald, 39 (far left)
Partner, Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert
Fitzgerald litigates cases on behalf of the creators, writers and producers of such shows as “Family Guy,” “King of the Hill” and “Smallville” in disputes with studios. He’s repping Frank Darabont and CAA in their dispute with AMC over profits from “The Walking Dead,” scheduled to go to trial next year. “The typical argument we get from every entertainment company is basically, ‘How dare you. We made you rich.’ I really do feel like I’m on the side of justice.”

Justin Hamill, 37 (not pictured)
Partner, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison
Hamill joined Paul, Weiss directly after earning his J.D. at Boston College and rose to become deputy chair of the media and entertainment group and a member of the firm’s M&A group. In recent months, he’s played a lead role in WME’s acquisition of IMG Worldwide and Vice Media’s partnership with A&E Networks. “I help clients price risk. We have a good feel for how things will play out in the real world.”

Molly Lens, 37 (center)
Partner, O’Melveny & Myers
Lens has become one of her firm’s key entertainment litigators, helping Disney beat a long-running profit participation lawsuit brought by the creators of “Home Improvement,” repping Fox in a trademark infringement suit regarding “Empire” and defending Warner Bros.’ rights to exploit the J.R.R. Tolkien franchises “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit.” “Ultimately, you’ve got to like litigating and you’ve got to like the people that you’re working with, both inside the firm and your clients.”

Michael Maizner, 37 (not pictured)
Senior counsel, Loeb & Loeb
Maizner has become a go-to attorney for entertainment union and guild issues, with special expertise in child labor laws and reality-competition shows. Lately, an increasing amount of his time has been spent helping clients navigate the uncharted waters of the digital world. “When the industry first thought to address new media in the collective bargaining agreements, they were looking at short-form programming. They didn’t expect full-on hourlong dramas with Kevin Spacey.”

Christopher Perez, 32 (not pictured)
Partner, Donaldson + Callif
Perez has helped everyone from independent TV and film producers to YouTube creators take full advantage of their First Amendment rights. He’s secured insurance covering fair use, copyright, trademark infringement and personal rights issues for more than 400 narrative films and documentaries, including “Escape From Tomorrow,” which was shot surreptitiously at Disney World and considered by many to be unreleasable. “People know that fair use exists, but they don’t realize it’s as usable as it really is.”

John Tomlinson, 37 (far right)
Head of entertainment, Lockton Cos.
Tomlinson wanted to be a professional drummer, but when his college band broke up, he decided to go to work with his father, who helped pioneer the business of insuring touring bands. He designed anti-violence and terrorism policies for artists touring dangerous territories and devised event-cancellation and nonappearance coverage for EDM acts. He stepped in to help an act navigate around some political violence to make it to a concert. “Had we not been able to find a way to make that happen, the show would’ve had a big non-appearance claim.”

Crockett Woodruff, 38 (second from right)
Senior VP/senior relationship manager, entertainment, City National Bank
Woodruff has spent most of his banking career at City National. In the past year, he’s helped close 10-single picture transactions totaling over $150 million and six participations in various syndicated credit facilities totaling over $130 million “You see a lot of struggling producers who just need some direction. It’s great to see people’s dreams come true.”

More Biz

  • China’s Maoyan Tweaks Terms for $350

    China’s Maoyan Tweaks Terms for $350 Million IPO

    Maoyan Entertainment, the Chinese ticketing giant, has updated the terms of its share offer in order to keep its IPO on course. It aims to raise up to $350 million of new cash by floating on the Hong Kong stock market. In a new draft prospectus published Tuesday, the company revealed that it had brought [...]

  • 76th ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS --

    Tyler Perry: 6 Lessons He Shared at NATPE's 'Living the Dream' Summit

    MIAMI — Tyler Perry took time out of his “Madea’s Farewell” live stage tour and spent his Martin Luther King Jr. holiday giving an inspiring speech to aspiring producers and students gathered here for the annual NATPE convention. Perry was the keynoter Monday at the conference’s first ever “Living the Dream: A Career in Content” session [...]

  • FILE - In this Jan. 12,

    How to Watch the Patriots vs. Chiefs - AFC Championship

    The conference championships are set to take place Sunday, Jan. 20 ahead of Feb. 3’s Super Bowl LIII, with the top two teams in each the AFC and NFC conferences going head to head. The second game, the New England Patriots against the Kansas City Chiefs, is set to begin at 6:40 p.m. ET at [...]

  • The line of scrimmage between the

    How to Watch Rams vs. Saints Online - NFC Championship

    The conference championships are set to take place Sunday, Jan. 20 ahead of Feb. 3’s Super Bowl LIII, with the top two teams in each the AFC and NFC conferences going head to head. The first game, the Los Angeles Rams against the New Orleans Saints, is set to begin at 3:05 p.m. ET at [...]

  • MAGA Teens Taunting Native American Elder

    MAGA Hat-Wearing Teens Harassing Native American Elder Spark Condemnation From Hollywood

    The Internet erupted in outrage Saturday after a video of young men wearing MAGA hats and attempting to intimidate a Native American man at the Indigenous Peoples March in Washington D.C. went viral. The march is taking place amid the government shutdown, which is nearing the one-month mark and has interfered with many Native Americans’ [...]

  • Leonard Klady Dead: Film Journalist Was

    Leonard Klady, Veteran Film Journalist, Dies at 67

    Leonard “Len” Klady, a former Variety reporter and critic who most recently worked for Movie City News and Screen International, has died. His wife, Beverly Walker, said he had been diagnosed with cancer in November.  Klady was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and graduated from the University of Manitoba. He was a founding member of the [...]

  • Jordan Feldstein

    Roc Nation Seeks $11 Million From Insurer in Jordan Feldstein's Death

    Roc Nation filed a federal lawsuit Friday seeking $11 million from its insurance carrier following the death of Maroon 5 manager Jordan Feldstein. Roc Nation, a joint venture of Jay-Z and Live Nation Entertainment, partnered with Feldstein’s Career Artist Management in 2016. At the time, Roc Nation says it took out a “key man” life [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content