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.

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.

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.

Da Ali G Show

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

CBS CORPORATION

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

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.

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.

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.

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

BAFTA

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

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.

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.

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.

TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY FOX

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Dirty Wars

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

HBO

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

SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN

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

MURDER MOUNTAIN

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

SELMA

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

CITIZENFOUR

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

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.

Media Rights Capital

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

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.

UNTOUCHABLE

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

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.

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.

Borat

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

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.

LEAVING NEVERLAND

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

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.

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?.

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.

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?.

THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS

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

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.

Bruno

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

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.

AMERICAN ANIMALS

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

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.

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.

Paramount Pictures

We are among the outside counsel for Paramount Pictures.

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.

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.

ITV

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

Whether a client is involved in film or television development, financing, production, distribution, litigation, contract negotiations, visa applications, or any other legal matter, expert guidance is needed to get to the desired destination and avoid costly mistakes. Clients of our firm can depend on highly trained attorneys and other legal professionals with many decades of collective experience in handling some of the most specialized fields of the law. To learn more about our areas of special expertise, as well as some of our more high-profile cases and matters, click on any of the links to the left, or scroll down to the desired section further down the page.

Film and Television

With offices in Los Angeles, New York, Washington DC, London, Mysore, and Derry/Londonderry, we are one of the leading US and UK providers of legal services in the television and motion picture industries. Clients from both sides of the Atlantic and the Pacific, such as Paramount Pictures, HBO, Channel Four, 20th Century Fox, ITV, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Media Rights Capital, and BBC Worldwide, have retained us. Over 100 production companies also have done so. The services we provide are too numerous to list completely, but here's an attempt:

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  • all types of production counsel services
  • all types of business affairs services
  • research/advice on US/UK content/compliance issues
  • packaging and sales
  • filming guidelines and advice
  • litigation and/or litigation support
  • out-of-court resolution of claims
  • AccuMark title searches/reports
  • title opinions
  • fair use and other copyright opinions
  • other legal opinions/clearances
  • trademark and copyright registrations
  • production agreements
  • commissioning agreements
  • talent agreements
  • writers' agreements
  • director's agreements
  • actors' agreements
  • music producer's agreements
  • cinematographer's agreements
  • casting agreements
  • location agreements
  • appearance consent agreements
  • deal memos in advance of agreements
  • insurance agreements
  • soundtrack agreements
  • all types of licensing agreements
  • music/composition agreements
  • stills/clips agreements
  • online channel streaming agreements
  • same for other 3rd party platforms
  • sales/acquisition agreements
  • chain of title searches/reports
  • distribution agreements
  • agreements for live shows/performances
  • first look agreements
  • option agreements
  • U.S. work permits/visas
  • crew deal memos/agreements
  • presenter's agreements
  • shareholder agreements
  • completion bond agreements
  • E&O and other insurance applications
  • lab access letters
  • bank mandates

Copyright Law

Our attorneys frequently handle copyright issues, not only for media clients, but also for companies and individuals in multiple industries, all over the world. We help our clients avoid claims, and protect their rights. In addition, our outstanding team of US-law-trained attorneys in India handle copyright registrations at low cost, and at great speed, with no compromise in quality. If and when litigation is unavoidable, our Western lawyers, supported by our expert litigation support team in India, provide a top-tier defense or prosecution at affordable cost. For example, we recently turned the tables on a copyright claimant who made the mistake of suing our clients Sacha Baron Cohen and the largest independent film studio in Hollywood. We not only won the case, at a record low cost, below the insurance deductible, but we also were able to use a threatened motion for attorneys' fees to persuade the plaintiff and his law firm to drop their appeal. Historically, we have handled some of the most significant copyright cases in the United States, including:

  • Thomson v. Larson (the "Rent case")
  • Carell v. The Shubert Organization et al (the "Cats case")
  • Wildmon v. Channel Four Television Corporation
  • Ridenhour v. Malt Liquor Companies (the "Chuck D case")
  • Cheever v. Academy Chicago Publishers

Libel Defense

We are expert in obtaining dismissals of libel claims against television networks, production companies, publishers, journalists, and other media defendants. For example, one or more of our attorneys have obtained the dismissal of libel claims against Channel Four Television Corporation, Sacha Baron Cohen, HBO, Viking Press, Warner Books, Simon & Schuster, Penguin Books, New American Library and other media defendants. To help avoid libel and related claims, we provide pre-publication content review and other legal advice to facilitate television programming and motion picture production for several major studios, networks and others. We are an active member of the Media Law Resource Center, and we are approved counsel for Hiscox Insurance, Axis Pro (formerly Media Professional Insurance), The Chubb Group, Navigators, and other media insurance carriers. Some of the more well-known known libel and related cases our attorneys have worked on include:

  • Doe v. HBO (the "Ali G" case)
  • Prentice v. McPhilemy (the "Committee case")
  • Welch v. Penguin Books USA, Inc.
  • Randall v. Warner Books, Inc.
  • In re King World Productions, Inc.

Trademark Law

We are expert in prosecuting false advertising claims, as well as in defending and/or registering trademarks and rights of attribution, under the Lanham Federal Trademark Act. With the expert help of our highly-trained India team, we are able to perform trademark and title searches, and provide trademark and title opinions, in record time, and at low cost, with no sacrifice in quality. When it comes to trademark disputes, whether in the USPTO or in court, we have had considerable success in defending our clients, and/or prosecuting infringers. Some of the more prominent trademark cases our attorneys have worked on include:

  • Carell v. The Shubert Organization et al (the "Cats case")
  • R/Greenberg Associates, Inc. v. Portfolio Networks, Inc.
  • Ridenhour v. Malt Liquor Companies (the "Chuck D case")

Entertainment Law

Our Los Angeles, New York, Washington DC, and London professionals have been called upon to represent or counsel some of the biggest names in the arts and entertainment worlds, including, just to name a few, Paramount Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, MGM, Media Rights Capital, HBO, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Sacha Baron Cohen, The Royal Opera, ITV, Erykah Badu, Channel Four Television (UK), Philip Glass, Graham Norton, BBC Worldwide, Chuck D, American Broadcasting Companies, Miramax Films, The Matthew Marks Gallery, Terry McMillan, MTV Networks, and George C. Wolfe. We handle everything from contract drafting and negotiations, to visa applications, to content review, to litigation.

Internet Law

As the power and influence of the Internet continue to explode, intellectual property and other issues have multiplied exponentially. From disputes over domain names, to battles over software ownership at dot.com companies, to litigation involving defamation and website design and hosting, our firm has been called upon to handle a variety of Internet matters, from which our expertise in this area has grown dramatically.

Media Law

We have decades of collective experience and training in representing prominent television companies, motion picture studios, book publishers, magazines, journalists, and theatre companies. We have become particularly experienced in providing content review and other legal advice to facilitate television programming for major networks, movie studios and others. And when it comes to media defense litigation, our skill and success rate are legendary.