Stroock Boosts Entertainment Practice With New Hire In LA

Law360, New York (February 24, 2016, 3:35 PM ET) — Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP on Tuesday announced that it had bolstered its entertainment department in Los Angeles with the addition of a California-based industry veteran whose resume includes stops at Warner Bros. and Miramax.

Neil Sacker has joined the firm as special counsel in its Los Angeles office, bringing two-plus decades of experience that runs the gamut in the entertainment industry, from business and legal affairs to finance and operations.

Prior to joining Stroock, he was the president of Big Air Studios, a production and distribution company in Santa Monica, California. Sacker told Law360 that he is looking forward to joining forces with Schuyler M. Moore, head of Stroock’s entertainment practice group, whom he has long regarded as a “superstar” in the field.

“By combining our skill sets, we will offer distinctive business and legal services and advice to help clients achieve their goals and avoid risks that may not be obvious to others,” he said.

Sacker, a graduate of Yale Law School, spent early parts of his career as theatrical counsel at Warner Bros., where he oversaw legal issues related to the production of numerous movies. He also handled the drafting of agreements for writers, actors and other talent.

It was there that Sacker said he got some valuable advice from two of his mentors.

“Be a good listener and be humble,” he said. “Those things go a long way in Hollywood.”

In 1995, he joined Miramax, where he became one of the youngest executives to run the business and legal affairs department at a major studio, the firm said. Among other highlights, he oversaw the acquisition of rights to the “Lord of the Rings” franchise.

He has also worked as an executive at Yari Film Group, the producer of the Academy-Award winning movie “Crash,” and The Film Department, which was behind “Law Abiding Citizen,” starring Gerard Butler and Jamie Foxx.

“Neil is highly regarded for his legal ability, work ethic and practical business advice while also respected for his integrity and constructive and positive approach to others,” Moore said in a statement.

Sacker, who earned his bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, graduated from Yale Law School in 1986. He also worked as a litigation associate for Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP for about two years following law school.

Speaking about the move to Stroock, Sacker said that he has always been entrepreneurial and had thought about building a practice even while he was working on the inside of companies.

“I really enjoy working closely with different people,” he added. “I find people from Hollywood to be fascinating.”

Stroock on Tuesday also announced the hiring of Jesse J. Weiner, who comes on board as an associate in the entertainment department. Weiner, who is fluent in Mandarin, represents media companies and movie studios, among others, in their various business endeavors in China and the U.S., the firm said.

Weiner, who received his law degree from the George Washington University Law School, has also served as an adjunct professor at Renmin University School of Law, teaching international business transactions.

Stroock, which is nearly 140 years old, employs more than 300 lawyers, representing clients in transactional, regulatory and litigation matters.

[via Law360]