Eric J. Bakewell

Partner

Los Angeles
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
2029 Century Park East
Los Angeles, CA 90067-2905
T 310 855 3070
F 310 855 3099
ebakewellwillkie.com

Eric Bakewell, a partner in the Litigation Department, is an experienced litigator who represents clients in entertainment, trusts and estates, intellectual property, privacy, and other complex commercial litigation. Eric’s clients include entertainment companies, service providers, financial institutions, nonprofit organizations, and technology companies. He also represents high-net-worth individuals, entrepreneurs, entertainers, and intellectual property rights holders. Eric has significant experience representing clients in jurisdictions throughout the country.

Eric excels in achieving positive outcomes in litigation involving failed purchase and sale transactions, partnership and shareholder disputes, trust and estate administration, intellectual property rights, and real estate transactions. Eric is a trusted advisor whose clients rely on his sophisticated knowledge of pre-litigation solutions and dispute avoidance strategies. His clients value his significant courtroom experience when litigation is inevitable.

Eric is active in the local community. He is a board member for Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA) and serves on LAFLA’s Pro Bono Committee.

Eric Bakewell, a partner in the Litigation Department, is an experienced litigator who represents clients in entertainment, trusts and estates, intellectual property, privacy, and other complex commercial litigation. Eric’s clients include entertainment companies, service providers, financial institutions, nonprofit organizations, and technology companies. He also represents high-net-worth individuals, entrepreneurs, entertainers, and intellectual property rights holders. Eric has significant experience representing clients in jurisdictions throughout the country.

Eric excels in achieving positive outcomes in litigation involving failed purchase and sale transactions, partnership and shareholder disputes, trust and estate administration, intellectual property rights, and real estate transactions. Eric is a trusted advisor whose clients rely on his sophisticated knowledge of pre-litigation solutions and dispute avoidance strategies. His clients value his significant courtroom experience when litigation is inevitable.

Eric is active in the local community. He is a board member for Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA) and serves on LAFLA’s Pro Bono Committee.

Selected Significant Matters

Eric advised on the following significant matters*:

Commercial Litigation

  • Prevailed at trial on antitrust claims seeking damages in excess of $12 billion against a computer memory manufacturer relating to price and supply of computer memory chips
  • Succeeded in getting dismissal the pleading stage of privacy claims relating to collection and use of alleged personal information
  • Obtained early dismissal of claims against virtual reality pioneer in action relating to the operation and effect of an easement on adjoining properties
  • Achieved a favorable settlement of professional malpractice claims on behalf of a small business owner against an accountant
  • Successfully prosecuted and defended actions relating to denial of benefits under commercial and professional insurance policies
  • Won award of frivolous litigation sanctions against plaintiff pursuing trade secret misappropriation claims
  • Advised individual and corporate clients involved in litigation related to failed mergers and acquisitions, asset sales, shareholder disputes, and alleged fraudulent activity
  • Represented computer memory, wireless communications, and technology companies in high-stakes litigation relating to antitrust, royalty, and licensing disputes
  • Counseled pharmaceutical manufacturer in connection with federal grand jury proceedings and related civil litigation involving government approval process, pricing disputes, and benefits offered to industry participants for blockbuster diabetes drug

Entertainment Industry Litigation

  • Won more than 35 motions to dismiss fraudulent transfer and other related claims in bankruptcy court litigation on behalf of a client in the entertainment industry
  • Prevailed in a published appellate decision against harassment, discrimination, and right of publicity claims asserted against a high-profile actor, comedian, and producer
  • Won on appeal affirmance of dismissal with prejudice, of a wrongful death complaint against a production company related to a notorious fatality surrounding the production of promotional content for a major motion picture
  • Represented an international music professional and his affiliated companies in a dispute related to allocation of profits and revenue, contract damages, and other associated harm
  • Represented a media company in a dispute with a producer of a well-known television series and movies regarding rights to entertainment properties at various stages of development and exploitation
  • Briefed several California anti-SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) motions arising out of entertainment and film financing litigation

Intellectual Property Litigation

  • Won a California anti-SLAPP motion in a malicious prosecution action against a company holding valuable trademarks and copyrights
  • Obtained temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction, and permanent injunction blocking the auction of major entertainment industry awards
  • Defended intellectual property rights relating to entertainment industry awards against infringement by unauthorized third parties, including ticket brokers, auction platforms, and companies and individuals tying their products and services to the intellectual property
  • Developed litigation and pre-litigation strategies for trademark and copyright holders in the entertainment industry to protect intellectual property against unauthorized use
  • Counseled companies and individuals in various industries regarding the fair use of copyrighted photographic images, online images, graphics, illustrations, and characters
  • Prosecuted and defended companies and individuals holding patent rights in high-stakes litigation involving mobile communications, computer memory and semiconductors, and electronic commerce
  • First-chaired a claim construction hearing and developed an infringement theory in patent infringement litigation involving a mechanical patent

Nonprofit Litigation

  • Won dismissal with prejudice of negligence, interference, defamation, breach of fiduciary duty, and privacy claims brought by the former president of a nonprofit association against a statewide professional association
  • Prevailed on a motion to dismiss and subsequent appeal in federal court related to claims that a national nonprofit association and the association's former president violated civil rights and committed state law torts
  • Developed a strategy that led to defeat of contract and negligence claims brought against a national nonprofit association by one of its members
  • Achieved favorable results in representing nonprofit organizations in the entertainment industry seeking to enforce intellectual property rights and defend against claims of improper cooperation with other industry participants
  • Obtained a favorable pre-litigation resolution for a nonprofit foundation involved in animal rights and protection, defending against sustained social media attacks, dissemination of negative information, and pressuring of funding sources
  • Represented national, regional, and state nonprofit organizations in federal and state court litigation involving commercial, contract, fraud, and technology disputes

Partnership Disputes

  • Awarded a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction freezing all assets in various bank accounts in a partnership dispute
  • Achieved favorable pre-litigation resolution of a dispute relating to alleged partnership for augmented and virtual reality projects
  • Obtained judgment against an entity and an individual who reneged on an agreement to buy a set of nightclubs and entertainment lounges
  • Represented directors, officers, managers, and shareholders in partnership disputes and litigation related to breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, profit sharing, corporate governance, excessive compensation, and entity dissolution

Trust and Estate Litigation

  • Won at trial for the beneficiary of an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT) by defeating claims of competing putative beneficiaries and securing benefits of multiple life insurance policies
  • Prevailed on an anti-SLAPP motion challenging the validity of a settlement agreement resolving numerous cases and litigation conduct by a trustee relating to the underlying litigation
  • Advised trustees in civil and probate court proceedings related to distribution of assets, wrongdoing by beneficiaries, reclamation of trust property, and elder abuse
  • Negotiated complex settlements resolving litigation and involving distribution of trust assets, property exchanges, estate and gift tax liabilities, trust funding, and wrongdoing by trustees or beneficiaries
  • Prosecuted and defended trustees in cases involving allegations of malfeasance by trustee, misuse of trust assets, and misappropriation of trust assets
  • Represented trustees and beneficiaries in various disputes relating to distribution of trust assets, conduct of trustees, and theft of trust assets by other beneficiaries

*Eric advised on these matters prior to joining Willkie.

Selected Professional and Business Activities

  • Board Member, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles

Recognition, Honors & Awards

  • Super Lawyers, Rising Stars, Business Litigation, Entertainment and Sports, General Litigation, Appellate, Antitrust Litigation, Southern California, 2013 - 2017

Recognition, Honors & Awards

  • Super Lawyers, Rising Stars, Business Litigation, Entertainment and Sports, General Litigation, Appellate, Antitrust Litigation, Southern California, 2013 - 2017
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