BLAST! FILMS

We're counsel to this award-winning film and television company, which for over 20 years has developed a reputation for high-quality, distinctive and innovative content.

THREE DAYS OF TERROR: THE CHARLIE HEBDO ATTACKS

We're production counsel for this acclaimed HBO/BBC film by Dan Reed, about the murderous assault on the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine in Paris

BAFTA

Handling contract drafting and negotiations for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts

AXIS PRO MEDIA INSURANCE

We have been retained to provide legal advice to one of the world's leading providers of E&O and other media insurance for the film and television industry.

WE ARE THE GIANT

We're counsel on this acclaimed film, inspired by the Arab Spring. It tells stories of ordinary individuals transformed by moral and personal challenges.

PATHÉ PRODUCTIONS LIMITED

Among the counsel for this distinguished production company, acclaimed for such films as SELMA, MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, and PHILOMENA.

LISTEN TO ME MARLON

We are production counsel to this 2015 Sundance-selected, 2016 Oscar-Short-Listed, Marlon Brando biopic released by Universal Studios and Showtime.

The Flaw - Studio Lambert

Production counsel for Studio Lambert's "The Flaw," a telling documentary about the recent economic crisis.

Stairway to Heaven

Counsel for this BBC Films documentary feature presented by Louis Theroux and produced by two-time Oscar-winner Simon Chinn.

Manhunt

Production counsel for the Primetime Emmy Award Winning HBO Documentary based on Bin Laden expert Peter Bergen's highly acclaimed, bestselling book.

Raw TV

US production counsel for Raw TV, a multi-award winning production company with a reputation for gripping narrative, visual innovation and journalistic vigour.

FANTASTIC LIES

We are production counsel for this acclaimed ESPN documentary for Netflix, produced by Lightbox, on the subject of the Duke Lacrosse rape scandal

Paranormal Witness - Raw Television

Production counsel for "Paranormal Witness," the docudrama series that brings to life true stories of people who have lived through explanation-defying paranormal experiences.

BBC AMERICA

We've been retained by the cable network with the best in British entertainment, including sci-fi, comedy, reality, drama, documentary, and movies.

THE BENGALI DETECTIVE - NATIVE VOICE FILMS

US Production counsel for "The Bengali Detective," feature documentary about an overweight dance obsessed intrepid detective, providing unprecedented look at modern India through the prism of crime.

The Graham Norton Show

We provide production legal services to the UK's most popular television talk show, broadcast by the BBC.

ERIC CLAPTON: LIFE IN 12 BARS

We were production counsel for this feature-length Showtime Documentary about the life of legendary guitarist Eric Clapton, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.

DARK HORSE

Production counsel to this Sundance-premiering, inspirational film about a barmaid who breeds a racehorse, invading a province of the privileged.

Dirty Wars

We served as production counsel for this award-winning, widely acclaimed investigative documentary about U.S. covert operations across the globe.

OCTOBER FILMS

Based in London and New York, our client October Films is one of the UK's most respected and longest established factual television production companies. They have won over 100 international awards.

HOMEGROWN

We're production counsel to this HBO Film by Emmy-winning director Greg Barker, which offers a gripping, insider’s account of America’s counter-terrorism machine.

NATIONAL BIRD

We are honored to be production counsel for this scathing, "bird's eye" documentary, directed by Sonia Kennebeck and exec produced by Wim Wenders and Errol Morris, about the US military drone program.

Paper Heart

Production counsel for "Paper Heart," the award-winning documentary about love starring Charlyne Yi and Michael Cera.

RACE FOR THE WHITE HOUSE

We are counsel for this groundbreaking CNN series narrated by Kevin Spacey, and produced by Kevin Spacey and Raw TV.

Lion Television

US Counsel for Lion Television, one of the most successful independent production companies in the United Kingdom.

ALL THREE MEDIA AMERICA

We're among the counsel for All3Media America, the LA-based, multi studio production hub for one of the world's leading creators of high-quality content.

TOUTS

Our latest Irish punk rock clients, the Derry/Londonderry band, TOUTS. With a name like TOUTS, it doesn't get more "in yer face" than this.

Media Rights Capital

Among counsel to MRC, the industry’s largest independent film, TV and digital studio.

BOARDWALK PICTURES

Boardwalk Pictures is an award winning multimedia production company that develops and produces content for a variety of partners and distribution platforms, including most major networks.

James Bond

We've been retained as production counsel for MGM's 50th Anniversary James Bond film.

Stones In Exile

Production counsel for" Stones In Exile," a documentary film about the 1972 Rolling Stones album "Exile on Main St.," widely regarded as one of the greatest albums of all time.

FIRECRACKER FILMS

We are counsel to these world-famous, award-winning creators of stylish, attention-grabbing, talked about content.

The Dictator

We have been providing legal services in connection with Sacha Baron Cohen's "The Dictator."

The Shine Group

The Shine Group is the UK's largest independent production company. We have been providing production counsel services to two of its award-winning members: Shine TV and Dragonfly Productions.

SECRET LIVES OF AMERICANS

Counsel for groundbreaking documentary series by All3Media America and Participant Media.

CHUCK NORRIS VS. COMMUNISM

We are counsel to this Sundance-selected film showing how VHS tapes of Western movies sowed the seeds of revolution.

HBO

Our attorneys have been among the production and claims counsel to Home Box Office, Inc.

Locked Up Abroad

We are production counsel for "Locked Up Abroad," the National Geographic Channel's series that features inside accounts of capture, imprisonment, and pure terror, far from home.

Death of a President - Chicago Borough Films

Production counsel for "Death of a President," the Emmy Award-winning docudrama involving the fictional assassination of President George W. Bush.

InRealLife

We're counsel on Beeban Kidron's acclaimed, absorbing feature film that addresses the relationship between teens and the Internet.

LOVE PRODUCTIONS

We are among the counsel to this award-winning independent production company, specializing in thought-provoking, entertaining television.

The People's Couch

We're production counsel to this hysterical, hit unscripted Bravo series that delivers the buzziest watercooler moments of the television season.

PASSION PICTURES

We are counsel to this multiple Oscar winning film and television company behind Searching for Sugar Man, The Imposter, and Project Nim, to name a few.

Fear Thy Neighbor

Production counsel to this Investigation Discovery series about what happens when a homeowner unwittingly takes up residence next to psycho or when evil minds decide to lay down roots right next door.

Da Ali G Show

Production and litigation counsel to Sacha Baron Cohen's multiple-Emmy-nominated, path-breaking television series, "Da Ali G Show."

Bruno

Production and litigation counsel to Sacha Baron Cohen's award-winning film "Bruno."

The Pitch

Providing legal advice for this acclaimed TV series about the ad business.

PLAN B ENTERTAINMENT

Among the counsel for Brad Pitt's production company, acclaimed for SELMA, 12 YEARS A SLAVE, THE BIG SHORT, THE DEPARTED, and other important films.

The War On Democracy

Production Counsel for "The War on Democracy," John Pilger's award-winning, Lions Gate documentary about the U.S. role in Latin America.

Virunga

We are production counsel for this Oscar-Nominated 2014 documentary about the fight to save Virunga National Park, the last refuge of moutain gorillas.

Nutopia

We are among the counsel for this award-winning TV production company created by former Discovery Channel US President Jane Root.

LIGHTBOX ENTERTAINMENT

US and UK counsel for this LA-and-London based production company founded by multiple Oscar and Emmy Award winning Simon Chinn and Jonathan Chinn, and funded by Channel 4.

CONDÉ NAST ENTERTAINMENT

Condé Nast Entertainment (CNÉ) is an award-winning next generation production and distribution studio with content across film, television, social and premium digital video, and virtual reality.

THE BBC

We have been among the outside counsel for the BBC, where SmithDehn's Philip Wheeler was a senior in-house solicitor for 11 years.

IS O.J. INNOCENT? THE MISSING EVIDENCE

We are production counsel for this investigatory series by All3Media America, narrated by Martin Sheen for Investigation Discovery

GUANTÁNAMO DIARY

Together with Benedict Cumberbatch and others, our film/TV joint venture is executive producing the film version of the NY Times best-selling book by current Guantánamo prisoner Mohamedou Ould Slahi

LA 92

We were production counsel for this Primetime-Emmy-Award-winning feature, looking back at the protests and violence after the verdict in the Rodney King trial, through rarely seen archival footage.

Sony

Among counsel for Sony Pictures and Sony Pictures Television, producers and/or distributors of some of the most successful motion pictures and programs in the world.

THE STORY OF GOD

We are production counsel for this six-part series on the National Geographic Channel, starring Morgan Freeman, and produced by Revelations Entertainment.

The Yes Men Fix the World

Production Counsel for "The Yes Men Fix the World," the award-winning documentary film using alter-egos to expose large corporations and government agencies.

My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding

Production counsel for the hit series exploring the secret world of American Gypsies, produced by Firecracker Films and broadcast by TLC.

Real Detective

Every detective has one. The case that takes him or her to the brink. The one that takes hold and won't let go. From investigation Discovery and WAM Group (Toronto). We’re production counsel.

BRITDOC

We are counsel to this non-profit foundation, supported by Channel 4, which empowers independent documentary filmmaking.

K Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute

We have been counsel to this renowned yoga institute in Mysore, India, founded by the late Sri K Pattabhi Jois, who spoke at the opening of our India office.

HCC INSURANCE

We are among the preferred claims defense counsel for one of the world's largest media insurance companies.

SACHA BARON COHEN

We have been production and claims counsel for Sacha Baron Cohen for over a dozen years. We have been his counsel on DA ALI G SHOW, BORAT, BRUNO, THE DICTATOR, and THE BROTHERS GRIMSBY.

BUSINESS OF FILM & TELEVISION COURSE - UNIVERSITY OF ULSTER

Together with top executives from clients HBO & Channel 4, we're teaching a graduate course in the business of film and television, at the University of Ulster, in Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland.

THE FINAL YEAR

An insiders' account of President Barack Obama's foreign policy team during their final year, as they set out to define their legacy, promote diplomacy - and react to the rise of Donald Trump.

BOLSHOI BABYLON

We are counsel to this HBO Films / Altitude Films release, featuring a behind-the-scenes look at the scandal-rocked, Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow.

SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN

Production counsel for the late Malik Bendjelloul's sensational, Oscar-winning "Searching for Sugar Man," released by Sony Pictures Classics.

UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA

We are production counsel for this Primetime Emmy-Award-wining hit CNN series that follows comedian and political provocateur W. Kamau Bell as he explores communities and challenges across America.

Ealing Studios

We are among the counsel to this legendary television/film production company, which is the oldest continuously working film studio in the world.

CITIZENFOUR

We're among the counsel for this Oscar-winning (Best Feature Documentary) about Edward Snowden and national security in post 9/11 America.

The Green Prince

DANGEROUS PERSUASIONS

We're production counsel for this gripping Discovery series that follows extraordinary, true accounts of psychological manipulation of everyday people.

Biggie & Tupac

Production Counsel for Nick Broomfield's "no holds barred," feature-length documentary on the murders of two rap music icons, Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur.

THE BROTHERS GRIMSBY

Among the counsel for Sacha Baron Cohen on the Sony Pictures blockbuster action comedy, THE BROTHERS GRIMSBY

Hillsborough

We're counsel for this compelling ESPN/BBC feature film by producer/director Daniel Gordon, who takes on one of the darkest days in European football.

So Television

We provide legal services to this top-ranked, BAFTA-winning, UK production company founded by Graham Norton and Graham Stuart.

ITV

US counsel to the largest and most popular commercial television network in the United Kingdom.

Gold Rush: Alaska - Raw Television

Production counsel for the hit observational documentary television series, "Gold Rush: Alaska," about a group of men who risk everything in search of gold.

Royal Opera House

Providing U.S. legal assistance regarding the acclaimed, controversial opera, "Anna Nicole," about the life and death of Anna Nicole Smith.

FREMANTLE MEDIA

We are among the outside counsel to one of the world's largest and most successful creators, producers and distributors of outstanding entertainment brands.

20th Century Fox

Our attorneys have served as counsel for 20th Century Fox Film Corporation and the Fox Entertainment Group.

Channel 4

U.S. counsel to Channel 4, Britain's second largest broadcast network and one of the world's most challenging and creative producers of television programs and films.

STOP AT NOTHING: THE LANCE ARMSTRONG STORY

We're production counsel for this riveting film from producers of Academy Award winning, ONE DAY IN SEPTEMBER, and BAFTA-winning Alex Holmes.

BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB: ADIOS

This "NY Times Critics Pick," directed by two-time Oscar Nominee Lucy Walker and theatrically released worldwide, was produced by our joint venture, Convergent Media. We also served as counsel.

Project Nim

Production counsel for "Project Nim," a revealing bio doc about a chimpanzee named Nim, raised & nurtured like a human child in 1970s experiment aiming to show that apes can communicate with language.

SELMA

Honored to be representing the director and producers of this important, Academy-Award-winning film.

Borat

Production and claims counsel for the multi-Oscar nominated comedy, "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan."

Four Lions

Production counsel for "Four Lions," the BAFTA-award winning comedy about a group of British jihadists who push their abstract dreams of glory to the breaking point.

Paramount Pictures

We are among the outside counsel for Paramount Pictures.

THE YES MEN ARE REVOLTING

Continuing as counsel to "The Yes Men" in their third acclaimed feature film, designed to draw awareness to the issue climate change.

The Imposter

Production counsel for "The Imposter," an astonishingly true story about a French man who fools everyone into believing he is a missing Texas boy, including the boy's family.

THE F-WORD WITH GORDON RAMSAY

We have provided production counsel services for this TV series on Fox, featuring master chef Gordon Ramsay

Channel 5

US counsel for the highly popular and diverse Channel 5, Britain's fifth and final terrestrial broadcast network, launched in 1997.

Web of Lies

We are production counsel for this compelling Discovery series that reveals stories of deception and homicide triggered by online interactions.

STARZ

Owned by Lionsgate, our client Starz is a leading global media and entertainment distributor/producer, with over 5,000 TV episodes and feature films each year on its several channels.

MUSCLE SHOALS

Counsel to this multiple award winning feature doc, starring Aretha Franklin, Mick Jagger, Etta James, Percy Sledge, Bono, Gregg Allman, Paul McCartney, Alicia Keys, Etta James, and Kieth Richards.

Studio Lambert

We're among the counsel to this award-winning, fast-growing independent production company based in Soho, London.

PHILIP GLASS

One of our partners, Russell Smith, has provided legal advice and related services for Philip Glass, the world's most successful living music composer.

SmithDehn LLP Expands Hollywood Film and TV Practice; Adds LA Entertainment Attorney Jeff Holmes

back to list

In a significant expansion of SmithDehn LLP's entertainment law practice, involving for the first time a year-round, physical presence of our firm in Los Angeles, acclaimed LA media and entertainment attorney Jeff Holmes has joined us. The addition of Jeff complements our work for an already growing Hollywood clientele, which has included Twentieth Century Fox, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Media Rights Capital, and HBO, as well as top-notch talent such as Sacha Baron Cohen, for whom we have been production and claims counsel in relation to "Ali G," "Borat," and "Bruno."

Jeff has vast experience in every aspect of legal work for television and film production companies and projects. As Executive Vice President of MGM Worldwide Television, Vice President for Business Affairs at Twentieth Century Fox, and COO and Executive Vice President of Skouras Pictures, and in the course of his later private practice, Jeff has become a leading expert in his field.


At MGM, where the Chairman of the Board publicly described Jeff as the company’s “superstar," Jeff reported directly to the President and was responsible for all legal aspects of the company's television division. In particular, Jeff negotiated and oversaw the administration of TV output and volume licensing agreements (including such deals as the renewal of the MGM/Showtime pay-TV output agreement in the United States — one of the largest deals in MGM’s history). Jeff also helped establish and supervise the administration of MGM's interests in basic and pay TV channels in Latin America (CineCanal, Telecine, and MGM Networks Latin America), Portugal (Telecine Portugal), Japan (Star Channel), Australia (Optus), Israel (TelAd), India (Zee), and Turkey (Digiturk). Jeff also negotiated co-production and acquisition agreements for films and TV series, supervised and resolved the day-to-day issues of MGM's TV and advertising sales offices in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, Toronto, London, Sydney, and Hong Kong, and handled issues involving MGM’s Technical Services, Rights Clearance, and Contract Administration departments.


At Twentieth Century Fox, Jeff created and implemented a program to acquire distribution rights to independent feature films, negotiated and drafted TV output agreements throughout the world, negotiated and drafted co-production and format agreements, administered acquisition of third party libraries (involving a wide variety of contract, collection, and agency issues), and supervised in-house counsel.


At Skouras Pictures, the distributor of acclaimed films such as "The Comfort of Strangers," “My Life As A Dog” and "Blood Simple," Jeff reported directly to the CEO, and managed all aspects of production, acquisition, distribution, financial planning, business affairs, and legal functions. Jeff also was a member of the Board of Directors, participated in taking the company public, and negotiated and implemented a wide variety of agreements, including pay, pay-per-view, syndication, and basic television agreements, international subdistribution licenses, an acquisition and distribution agreement with Paramount Pictures (under which about 30 first-run films were acquired and distributed), a series of joint venture acquisition and distribution agreements, financing agreements, and an asset purchase agreement for the sale of the company's film library. Jeff also oversaw motion picture production (including the negotiation of interparty agreements, talent negotiations, and budget review), and prepared and implemented significant overhead reductions, while liaising with outside counsel, auditors, producers, subdistributors, and lenders.


In his personal life, Jeff has many interests, especially involving world travel and adventure. He is a Director of the Adventurer's Club of Los Angeles, a group of explorers, travelers, journalists, authors and scientists who have gone, for example, to the rough country of Baja California, to the summit of Mount Ararat and the Matterhorn, to the Amazon jungles and over the Humac Mountains into Brazil from French Guiana, to Antarctica and the length of the Mackenzie River to the Artic, to rivers of the Nile and Congo, river runs of the Grand Canyon of the Colorado and El Sumidero Canyon of Mexico, to the "Lost World in Venezuela," the jungles of New Guinea, the outback in Australia, on small craft to numerous islands of the Pacific, and to many other places.