Joseph Calabrese
Courtesy Calabrese
United States

Latham & Watkins



Joseph Calabrese chairs the entertainment, sports and media practice at Latham & Watkins, bringing his vast experience in negotiating distribution and licensing agreements, mergers and acquisitions, and structured finance transactions to the firm. His leap to Latham & Watkins from O’Melveny & Myers in 2014 signaled a sea change for entertainment law, bringing five partners with him (including Christopher Brearton, another Variety 500 attorney) as well as a raft of prominent clients.

He represents the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, negotiating its broadcast agreements for the Golden Globe Awards show and other transactions. He also serves as primary outside counsel for Legendary Entertainment, including the complex $3.5 billion acquisition of the company by China’s Dalia Wanda Group. His work extends to distribution, joint venture, and acquisition transactions for major motion picture studios including Warner and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Calabrese brings his combined expertise in sports and entertainment to bear in his ongoing work with the International Olympic Committee, in the development of a global broadcast channel for Olympic sports and activities. For this and his work with Legendary, he was named among the 2016 Top 100 Lawyers in California by the Daily Journal.

Variety named him as a Leading Dealmaker in 2014, and as one of the attorneys named in its 2016 Legal Impact Report.

Calabrese did his undergraduate work at Boston College, and received his law degree from Cornell University.


  • United States Olympic Committee
  • Latham & Watkins


  • Cornell University (NY, USA)
  • Boston College (MA, USA)

Variety Honors

  • Dealmaker's Impact
  • Variety Legal Impact

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What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given in your career?

“Stay out of the spotlight; it fades your suit.”

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“Early in my career, I had the good fortune to meet and work with Norman Lear and Jerry Perenchio; Hard to think of two more wise and inspirational people in this business.”

Deep Dive

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