Show-Biz Attorneys Thrive With Expanded Roles

As studios become international conglomerates with pursuits that surpass the realm of basic filmed entertainment, the practice now requires an international deal-making skillset to coincide with the rapid growth.

Schuyler Moore, a partner in Stroock’s Entertainment Practice Group, represented Chinese state-owned broadcaster Hunan TV and Broadcast Intermediary Co. Ltd. to fund film distribution and production at Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.  The $1.5 billion deal, which closed last week, is the largest by a Chinese investor in a Hollywood studio and Moore will travel to China next month for a formal press announcement.

With recent international transactions such as Hunan and China Film Group Corp., Moore believes that investment signals a new wave of more hefty deals to come.  He says, “Foreign investments in U.S. films have been going on for years, but the difference now is that it includes China.  I think this deal is really going to open it up.  When I’m in China, I’m going to make the rounds to a lot of other media companies.”

Matthew C. Thompson, partner and co-head of Stroock’s Entertainment Practice Group, also has an international reach.  He recently advised Toronto-based Entertainment One Ltd. as it partnered with the Santa Monica, California company Mark Gordon Co. to create an independent studio.  Regarding growth in the industry, Thompson said, “If you look at the trend worldwide, 2014 was one of the strongest years.  In the near term, that trend will continue.  There’s tons of money looking for deployment and one of the marquee alternative assets out there is media.”

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