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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

AMERICAN ANIMALS

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

HBO

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

Web of Lies

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

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.

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.

MURDER MOUNTAIN

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

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.

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.

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.

Bruno

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

THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS

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

SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN

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

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.

Da Ali G Show

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

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.

Paramount Pictures

We are among the outside counsel for Paramount Pictures.

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

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.

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.

SELMA

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

UNTOUCHABLE

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

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?.

ITV

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

CITIZENFOUR

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

Dirty Wars

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

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.

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.

FORMULA 1: DRIVE TO SURVIVE

We're counsel for this Netflix documentary series.

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.

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.

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.

BAFTA

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

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.

CBS CORPORATION

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

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 released Guantánamo prisoner Mohamedou Ould Slahi.

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?.

Borat

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

LEAVING NEVERLAND

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

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.

Gold Rush - Raw Television

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

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.

Media Rights Capital

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

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.

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.

TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY FOX

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

SmithDehn Plans New Office in Northern Ireland; Plus a New Film and Television Company

back to list

As reported this week in Screen Daily, a leading source for international news of the film and television industry:

"US media law firm SmithDehn LLP is planning to open an office in or near Derry, Northern Ireland, where it will expand its involvement in film and TV. The US firm, whose clients have included Twentieth Century Fox, HBO, Channel 4 and ITV, has partnered with production outfit Social Construct Films to form Convergent Media, with the ambition to branch into TV development, financing, production and sales. At a launch event this week, the company unveiled plans for a film project which it described as a 'positive, uplifting, scripted drama about Northern Ireland.' Convergent Media’s Creative Director and Founder Zak Kilberg said the company has three feature films and three television series in development for production. SmithDehn partner and Convergent Media chief executive Russell Smith said: 'This is a natural progression for our law firm, as we’ve developed both expertise and extensive contacts in the business, from Los Angeles to the UK and Ireland. Our tie-up with Convergent Media is a match made in heaven, allowing us to merge those strengths with the proven talents of our new film and television collaborators.'”

Once home to the "The Troubles" of Northern Ireland, Derry/Londonderry is now internationally recognized as a shining example of peace and progress. Derry also is one of the world's best five tourist destinations, according to last year's editions of Lonely Planet and Rough Guide. As the BBC reported last week, SmithDehn noticed Derry and its surrounding areas on both sides of the border "because Derry is a spirited and enthusiastic city." As one of our partners said in the BBC report: "Derry has a magic, it has a spirit, it has the X-factor that we are looking for, and talent that is under-utilised."

As for Social Construct Films ("SCF"), which is SmithDehn's partner in forming Convergent Media, SCF is a US-based, Sundance award-winning company with a diverse slate of completed feature films (including titles acquired by IFC, HBO, Lionsgate, and Tribeca), together with a growing presence in development, packaging and international sales.

The plans for SmithDehn Northern Ireland and Convergent Media came on the heels of the first semester of an internationally acclaimed graduate-level course run by SmithDehn at the University of Ulster, together with top executives of HBO and Channel 4. Quoted in The Lawyer magazine, one of SmithDehn's partners summarized the situation as follows: “Our film and television course in Derry has been a wildly successful experiment. It has proven to us that in and around Derry and the Northwest of Ireland, there is an amazing supply of under-utilised talent. We want a European front office, not a back office.” The magazine went on to report that "the Vice President for Legal affairs at HBO, Peter Rienecker, taught the programme alongside HBO’s Senior Vice President and Chief Counsel for Programming and Marketing, Viviane Eisenberg." Channel 4 General Counsel Prash Naik also co-taught the course. The former Vice President for Legal Affairs at Discovery, Laura Farina, who recently joined SmithDehn, will join the faculty next year.

Our latest news also attracted the attention of the Irish Film & Television Academy, which hosts the Irish version of the Oscars. The IFTA's news outlet reported this week as follows:

"At a launch party in Derry attended by HBO executives, Derry City officials, filmmakers, production companies, and hundreds of other supporters from across the UK, the US, and Ireland, SmithDehn and Convergent Media laid out bold plans for film and television development, financing, production, sales, and legal services. The local hiring process for these companies is already underway in both Northern Ireland and across the border. SmithDehn Northern Ireland (‘SDNI’) plans to hire and train legal talent from across the Northwest of Ireland to service SmithDehn's hundreds of film/television clients regarding US legal matters. SmithDehn's attorneys are the legal architects behind ‘Da Ali G show’ and ‘Borat’, as well as acclaimed features like ‘Searching for Sugar Man’ and ‘The Imposter.’ At the New York/New Belfast Conference and Index 50 Luncheon at Fordham University next month, sponsored by The Irish Echo and KPMG, SmithDehn will be one of 50 transatlantic companies honoured for their business between the U.S. and Ireland.... Social Construct Media's Creative Director and Founder Zak Kilberg said this: 'We are thrilled to be in partnership with SmithDehn and to be launching our European company together, in the NorthWest of Ireland. There is a vast wealth of untapped creative talent, resources, and stories here, ready to be discovered, utilized and told. We're excited to connect all of this to the worldwide film and television market.'”