From professional sports leagues and teams, to rock ‘n’ roll icons, gaming pioneers and vanguard media companies, Willkie represents leaders of every kind across the entertainment, sports and media industries. Our deep bench of talented attorneys, including many of the foremost lawyers in the field, provides seamless transactional, intellectual property and litigation services to A-list talent, athletes, industry executives, leagues and teams, management and production companies, established networks and streaming platforms, and virtually any organization operating in the entertainment space. Clients rely on us to advise on business planning strategies, negotiate and structure transactions, navigate complex investments, provide counseling on branding and sponsorship opportunities, and protect valuable IP assets. When disputes arise, our entertainment litigators - backed by a team of experienced trial lawyers - work creatively and efficiently towards a favorable outcome for our clients.

Entertainment Transactions

Our transactional attorneys represent the interests of management companies, production studios, networks and streaming services, music brands, gaming and esports developers, virtual and augmented reality companies, social media and metaverse platforms, and virtually any organization involved with developing, producing and monetizing audio/visual content or digital works, both domestically and internationally.

Clients rely on us to negotiate and structure mergers and acquisitions, strategic partnerships, financing transactions and joint ventures, and secure key service providers and talent through executive compensation plans and equity incentive arrangements. We draw on the experience of our intellectual property attorneys to help clients develop and protect their brand strategy and monetize content through licensing and distribution agreements, sale transactions, sponsorship deals and promotional partnerships and events.

Entertainment Industry Professionals

As trusted advisors to industry professionals, we represent celebrities, A-list talent, influencers, athletes and other public figures in connection with endorsement and brand ambassador deals across a wide variety of industries, including consumer-facing brands such as apparel, wellness and fitness, beauty, skin care, spirits and other retail products, real estate and technology, including the emerging area of digital currencies and non-fungible tokens (“NFTs”). Our cutting-edge Private Clients group supports this work by handling complex business planning and income tax planning matters unique to entertainment and sports professionals.


Our attorneys have a deep understanding of the opportunities and legal challenges that can arise in the sports arena. We represent nascent and existing leagues, teams, associations, sports facilities, professionals and investors in a broad range of matters, including dispute avoidance and litigation, enforcement and compliance investigations, antitrust matters, intellectual property disputes, employment and compensation arrangements, and a full spectrum of corporate and real estate transactions. Our team is experienced in domestic and international matters and stands ready to help clients navigate the ever-changing landscape of the sports world.


Our multidisciplinary team of leading music lawyers provides guidance and transactional support to clients with recording and publishing agreements, complex licensing structures, joint ventures and investments, contracts for festivals, concerts and other live events, and the purchase and sale of music catalogs and other revenue streams. We also regularly advise social media, sports, fitness, digital media and technology companies in the integration of music assets.

Entertainment Litigation

When disputes arise, our entertainment litigators, led by veteran first-chair trial lawyers, apply a creative and efficient approach to help clients meet their objectives. In addition to handling a full spectrum of business and partnership disputes, our litigators are skilled in protecting valuable intellectual property assets by prosecuting and defending our entertainment clients' copyrights, trademarks, right of publicity, idea submission claims and other intellectual property assets.

Legal 500 2022 recognizes Willkie as a “Firm to Watch” for Media and Entertainment Litigation.


Representative Experience

Our team has a diverse background in the entertainment, sports and media industries. Some of our recent noteworthy engagements include:

  • Brillstein Entertainment Partners in its sale to Wasserman
  • Dennis DeYoung, founding member of the rock band Styx, on the sale of his music publishing catalog rights and master recording rights to Primary Wave
  • Joopiter, Inc., a global digital-first auction house and content platform founded by Pharrell Williams, in connection with seed financing from Lightspeed Venture Partners 
  • North Road Company, a global content studio founded by Peter Chernin, in the acquisition of leading Turkish film and TV producer Karga Seven Pictures 
  • Plan B Entertainment, the production company founded and led by Brad Pitt, Jeremy Kleiner and Dede Gardner, in the sale of a majority stake to Mediawan 
  • Ryan Reynolds in the sale of Mint Mobile, in connection with T-Mobile’s acquisition of Mint Mobile and one other brand for up to $1.35 billion 
  • Shamrock Capital Advisors in its investment in Boardwalk Pictures, an award-winning production company  
  • Shamrock Capital Advisors in its investment in The Religion of Sports Media, Inc., an award-winning sports media production company founded by Gotham Chopra, Tom Brady and Michael Strahan 
  • Shamrock Capital Advisors in its Series D investment in VidMod, the leading platform for Intelligent Creative 
  • SPIN in its partnership with 101 Studios to develop and produce film, television and podcast projects based on SPIN’s IP and music magazine library 
  • The Chernin Group (TCG) as lead investor in the Series D funding round for the Premier Lacrosse League 
  • The estate of Joe Cocker in the sale of the singer’s music catalog to Iconic Artists Group
  • Producers and principals of Venture 10 Studio Group in connection with its roll up into V10 Entertainment, Inc., a newly formed company backed by Clarion Capital Partners, and the acquisition of a majority stake in Vin Di Bona Productions and Fishbowl Worldwide Media, the producers of the America’s Funniest Home Videos franchise 
  • ForgeLight LLC, an operating and investment company focused on the media and consumer technology sectors, in the acquisition of Univision, a leading Spanish language media company in the United States

Recognition & Awards