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A Columbia Law School graduate and former partner at Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz, Russell Smith has 30 years of experience in counseling and representing corporate and individual clients, especially in the film and television industry.

Russell performs transactional, compliance, and other problem-solving work for broadcast networks, motion picture studios, and television/film production companies. Russell also has handled trials and/or appeals in dozens of federal and state courts across the US, including cases in New York, California, Illinois, Texas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi and Ohio.

Russell has counseled companies such as Paramount Pictures, HBO, Sony Pictures Entertainment, STARZ, the BBC, 21st Century Fox Film Corporation, Showtime, STX Entertainment, Sky Television (UK), Lightbox, Media Rights Capital, ITV, All3Media, John Wiley & Sons, Reed Elsevier, Miramax Films, MTV Networks, Universal Records, Simon & Schuster, Channel Four Television (UK), American Broadcasting Companies, Def Jam Records, Penguin Books, Warner Books, Matthew Marks Gallery, Spin Magazine, and the Estates of Elvis Presley, Andy Warhol, and John Cheever. He has been the legal architect for pathbreaking, legally difficult projects such as DA ALI G SHOW, BORAT, BRUNO and others, and he has represented hundreds of production companies in the US and the UK.

In addition to practicing law and helping manage SmithDehn LLP, Russell is CEO of Convergent Media, overseeing international film and television development, financing, production and sales. Some of the many Convergent projects include upcoming feature film GUANTÁNAMO DIARY (produced with Benedict Cumberbatch and others) and the acclaimed, "New York Times Critics Pick" BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB ADIÓS (directed by Lucy Walker), which was released worldwide in 2017, including on 80 screens in the US. Russell is also Head of Production for Divergent Pictures, currently producing BACK CHANNEL TO CUBA, AMERICAN SPRING, and several other projects.

Russell also been a Visiting Professor at the University of Ulster Law School in Northern Ireland, where he has helped teach an innovative course in the business and law of film and television, together with executives of SmithDehn clients 21st Century Fox, HBO and Channel 4.