KNOCK DOWN THE HOUSE

We are counsel for KNOCK DOWN THE HOUSE, the acclaimed documentary by Rachel Lears, which was purchased by Netflix at Sundance for a record $10 million.

KNOCK DOWN THE HOUSE

We are counsel for KNOCK DOWN THE HOUSE, the acclaimed documentary by Rachel Lears, which was purchased by Netflix at Sundance for a record $10 million.

Media Rights Capital

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

Dirty Wars

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

AMERICAN ANIMALS

We were production counsel for this "wildly entertaining" (Variety) scripted feature film that captivated the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.

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.

RADICAL MEDIA

We are counsel to film/TV production company Radical Media. With offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, Berlin and Shanghai, Radical is one of the premiere companies in the industry.

Web of Lies

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

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.

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.

Bruno

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

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.

BUZZFEED

We are outside counsel to BuzzFeed.

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.

PARTICIPANT MEDIA

We are among the outside counsel to Participant Media, whose projects have one multiple Academy Awards and have been nominated for over 50.

ENDEMOL SHINE GROUP

We are among the outside counsel for Endemol Shine Group, a global production powerhouse. Endemol Shine has 120 companies across all the world’s major markets.

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.

SELMA

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

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.

LAST CHANCE U

We're counsel for this award-winning, very popular Netflix series that goes behind the scenes at the top junior college football programs in the US.

GUANTÁNAMO DIARY

Our film/TV joint venture is executive producing PRISONER 760, the film version of the best-selling book. The movie is in production and stars Benedict Cumberbach, Jodie Foster, and Tahar Rahim.

UNTOUCHABLE

We are US production counsel for the BBC/Lightbox film, UNTOUCHABLE, about the rise and fall of Harvey Weinstein, premiering at Sundance 2019.

TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY FOX

We have been among the outside counsel to Twenty-First Century Fox.

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.

ALL THREE MEDIA AMERICA

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

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.

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.

WHITNEY

We are production counsel for this definitive biopic of Whitney Houston, directed by Oscar-winner Kevin MacDonald and produced by double-Oscar winner Simon Chinn.

SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN

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

Gold Rush - Raw Television

Production counsel for all nine seasons of Discovery's popular observational documentary television series, "Gold Rush."

MURDER MOUNTAIN

We're counsel for this acclaimed and popular documentary series.

LEAVING NEVERLAND

We are counsel for this explosive two-part film about Michael Jackson, by Dan Reed for HBO Documentary Films.

CITIZENFOUR

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

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.

ITV

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

SHOWTIME NETWORKS, INC.

We are among the outside counsel to Showtime Networks, Inc. At the moment, we are production and claims counsel for their hardhitting, controversial new Sacha Baron Cohen series, WHO IS AMERICA?.

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

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.

OCTOBER FILMS

We are US and UK counsel to October Films, one of the world's most respected and longest established factual television production companies. They have won over 100 international awards.

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.

PASSION PICTURES

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

Da Ali G Show

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

LIGHTBOX ENTERTAINMENT

We are 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.

Borat

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

HBO

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

THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS

We are production counsel to this most successful documentary film since Fahrenheit 9/11.

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.

Paramount Pictures

We are among the outside counsel for Paramount Pictures.

FORMULA 1: DRIVE TO SURVIVE

We're counsel for this Netflix documentary series.

SACHA BARON COHEN

We are production and claims counsel for Sacha Baron Cohen. We have been his counsel on DA ALI G SHOW, BORAT, BRUNO, THE DICTATOR, THE BROTHERS GRIMSBY, and his new Showtime series, WHO IS AMERICA?.

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.

CBS CORPORATION

We are among the outside counsel for the CBS television network.

NETFLIX

We are outside counsel for Netflix.

WHO IS AMERICA?

We are production and claims counsel for Showtime, Sacha Baron Cohen, and their hardhitting, controversial new series, WHO IS AMERICA?, a reincarnation of DA ALI G SHOW in the Trump era.

BAFTA

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

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

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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.