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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.
In addition to helping manage his current entertainment law firm, SmithDehn LLP, Russell is CEO of Convergent Media, overseeing international film and television development, financing, production and sales. Current Convergent projects include upcoming feature films GUANTÁNAMO DIARY (co-produced by Benedict Cumberbatch) and BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB ADIÓS (directed by Lucy Walker).
In his role as a lawyer, 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, BBC America, 20th Century Fox Film Corporation, 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.
Most recently, Russell has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Ulster Law School in Northern Ireland, where he has been teaching an innovative course in the business and law of film and television, together with executives of SmithDehn clients 20th Century Fox, HBO and Channel 4.