Entertainment Industry Professionals

We combine experience in the media, entertainment, and sports industries with an understanding of Hollywood's business and political landscapes. These qualities distinguish our practice and enable us to offer practical, knowledgeable counsel to clients across this dynamic field.

Professionals in the arts, entertainment, media, and sports can face challenging legal issues. Their personal and business concerns often involve complex matters that span taxation and wealth planning, business transactions, intellectual property, labor and employment matters, and dispute resolution. All of these issues must be expertly handled in a manner that provides the utmost regard for both their celebrity and their privacy. Whether you need assistance structuring or enforcing a business contract, devising a charitable planning strategy, or negotiating an endorsement campaign, Venable can help. 

We understand the challenges professionals in the entertainment industry face. Our attorneys work side by side with business and personal managers, agents, attorneys, and other advisors who represent professional entertainers, athletes, and others in these high-profile industries. Whether structuring a business transaction, negotiating an employment agreement, creating an estate plan, or closing a sponsorship deal, we provide informed and effective legal counsel.

Sound Advice to Preserve Success

With success comes responsibility. Your clients' tax strategies should be optimized. Their retirements should be secure. Their families should be provided for. Their charitable giving should be carefully thought out. We work alongside you to provide informed guidance on the list of tax- and business-related needs your clients face.

Our industry experience enables our attorneys to deliver tax planning that recognizes issues unique to entertainment and sports professionals. It also means estate planning expertise to manage the challenges faced by high-net-worth individuals, retirement planning that incorporates an array of sophisticated compensation and equity arrangements, and charitable planning that brings creativity to the range of options.

Helping Your Clients Build on Their Success

As your clients branch out and build on their successes, their business and legal needs broaden. Venable's attorneys have substantial expertise in these special businesses and are veterans at representing a range of enterprises throughout these industries. In other words, we have the industry savvy to help you keep your clients' interests secure.

We provide strategic advice and counsel to clients across a broad range of business transaction issues. We guide you and your client through the nuances of the process, advising on such matters as business formation, choice of business entity, contracts and agreements, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, partnerships, and more.

Protecting Your Client's Name, Work, and Brand

Trademark and copyright issues arise frequently for entertainment and sports professionals. Since your client's name, likeness, and right of publicity are his or her brand, we work with you to help you protect them.

When someone asks to use your client's creation, or to work with your client in a sponsorship, co-venture, or co-branding opportunity, trademark, copyright and licensing issues are present. We help ensure that your client achieves maximum benefit while protecting and enhancing the value of his or her good name.

Unfortunately, disputes in this area are not uncommon. When one arises, we work closely with you and your client to address all options, up to and including litigation. Should a matter proceed to litigation, we'll devise a strategy that balances a strong advocacy on behalf of your client's needs with the sensitivity that such matters demand.

Guiding Your Client Through Complex Employment Situations

A carefully drafted employment agreement is critical for the protection of your clients' interests. Occasionally, however, situations can arise that require the advice of counsel experienced in employment matters.

We'll help you navigate through challenging employment contract matters to obtain a result that is in your client's best interest. In addition, we help entertainment professionals in an array of labor issues, including pertinent union/guild matters and various litigation needs.

Assistance in Resolving Disputes

Legal disputes are an unfortunate reality. While negotiation may be desirable, it is not always effective in achieving optimal results. When faced with such a situation, we draw on the strengths of a firmwide team of over 200 litigators to work diligently alongside you to ensure that your clients achieve the best possible result.

Particular strengths of our team include litigating breach of contract claims, intellectual property disputes, labor and employment concerns, and libel, slander, and First Amendment issues.

Practice Focus

  • Advertising and sponsorships
    • Branding relationships and opportunities
    • Co-Ventures
    • Entertainment property marketing and distribution
    • Joint ventures with nonprofits
    • Marketing and advertising campaigns
    • Product placement
    • Sponsorships
  • Business planning
    • Formation and operations
    • Mergers and acquisitions
    • Partnership agreements
    • Strategic alliances
  • Entertainment professionals
    • Asset contributions
    • Charitable planning
    • Choice of entity
    • Estate and tax planning
    • Income tax issues
    • International tax issues
    • Privacy
    • Tax controversies
  • Litigation and dispute resolution
    • Breach-of-contract
    • Claim prevention
    • Copyrights and trademarks
    • Discrimination
    • Fraud
    • Intellectual property disputes
    • Labor and employment issues
    • Libel, slander, and First Amendment issues
    • Trade secrets
    • Unfair competition
    • Wage-and-hour claims
    • Wrongful termination
  • Product development and production
    • Advertising
    • Contract negotiations
    • Development and production funding
    • Financing
    • IP Litigation
    • Licensing and distribution
    • Merchandising
    • Post-production
    • Project development
    • Rights acquisition
    • Trademarks

Client Focus

  • Athletes
  • Direct-response advertisers
  • Directors
  • Distributors
  • Financiers
  • Internet entrepreneurs
  • Managers and management
  • Media-buying companies
  • Motion picture studios
  • Music artists
  • Payroll companies
  • Personal agents
  • Post-production companies
  • Production companies
  • Radio producers
  • Sound stages
  • Special effects companies
  • Talent (of all kinds)
  • Talent agencies
  • Television producers
  • Writers