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Jeff Holmes is a Los Angeles media and entertainment attorney, and litigator in the Los Angeles federal and state courts, with 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 Jeff was publicly described by the Chairman of the Board 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 private practice, both before and after joining SmithDehn LLP, Jeff has been counsel in numerous federal and state litigation matters. For example, while at SmithDehn he recently represented the producers of the HBO two-part documentary, LEAVING NEVERLAND, in court battles with the companies owned by Michael Jackson and his estate.
In his personal life, Jeff has many interests, especially involving world travel and exploration. He is President of the Adventurer's Club of Los Angeles, a group of explorers, travelers, journalists, authors and scientists who have traveled, for example, to the rough country of Baja California, to the summit of Mount Ararat and the Matterhorn, in 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, to 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, and on small craft to numerous islands of the Pacific, as well as many other places.