The section divided lawyers into six categories, including Talent, Litigation, Corporate, IP-Tech, Government and Labor, with music business attorneys represented in the first three.


Grubman Tops List of Eight Music Business Attorneys Who Make the List, Three More in Litigation Category
Such music industry legal heavies as Allen Grubman, John Branca, Don Passman, John Frankenheimer, Gary Stiffelman, Joel Katz, Jay Cooper and Lee Phillips made Hollywood Reporter’s list of the Top 100 Power Lawyers in the entertainment business today. See the entire 40-page special edition here.

In addition, Chuck Ortner, Larry Stein and Harry Weitzman, who all have music business clients in their entertainment mix, made the list in the Litigation category.

The section divided lawyers into six categories, including Talent, Litigation, Corporate, IP-Tech, Government and Labor, with music business attorneys represented in the first three.

Here are some highlights:

Allen Grubman, Grubman Indursky & Shire, N.Y.: The music business’ “sole superpower attorney” reps the likes of John Mellencamp, Les Moonves, Tom Freston, Clive Davis, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, Mariah Carey, Elton John and Sting.

John Branca, Ziffren Brittenham Branca Fischer, Gilbert-Lurie Stiffelman Cook Johnson Lande & Wolf, L.A.: When Michael Jackson is the best man at your wedding, you know you’re at the pinnacle of the music industry. Represents 29 members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, including Carlos Santana, Aerosmith and Leiber & Stoller.

Don Passman, Gang Tyre Ramer & Brown, Beverly Hills: Best-selling author and Harvard Law grad’s recent work includes deals which have led to new albums from Usher and Radiohead’s Thom Yorke. Other clients include Janet Jackson, Tina Turner, Quincy Jones, R.E.M., Green Day and Tom Waits.

John Frankenheimer, Loeb & Loeb, L.A.: Co-Chairman of firm’s Entertainment Division has a client list which includes Diana Ross, Vince Gill and Duncan Sheik, as well as Bertelsmann and Irving Azoff’s Frontline. Recent legal gigs include the sale of BMG Music Publishing to UMG, Bronfman’s acquisition of WMG and Bug Music’s purchase of Windswept.

Gary Stiffelman, Ziffren Brittenham Branca Fischer Gilbert-Lurie Stiffelman Cook Johnson Lande & Wolf, L.A.: Clients include Justin Timberlake, Eminem, Yo-Yo Ma, Trent Reznor, Maroon 5, Toni Braxton, Britney Spears, Mandy Moore and Glen Ballard. Pioneered Korn’s groundbreaking deal with EMI/Virgin, Prince’s Batman soundtrack with Warner Bros. and Rolling Stones’ Steel Wheels tour.

Joel Katz, Greenberg Traurig, Atlanta: “He owns the South,” said one top lawyer. His clients include B.B. King, Jimmy Buffett, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson as head of his firm’s 80-lawyer entertainment division. Started out in the business repping James Brown, as well as companies like Coca-Cola, Nokia and NARAS. Recent deals include Josh Groban’s pact with Warner Bros.

Jay Cooper, Greenberg Taurig, L.A.: This one-time studio musician became a lawyer because “My friends were getting busted for drugs, so I started going to court for them.” Clients include Sheryl Crow, James Taylor, Jerry Seinfeld, Mel Brooks and film composer James Horner. Recently worked as legal rep on Live Earth concerts.

Lee Phillips, Manatt Phelps & Phillips, L.A.: Reps Journey’s Steve Perry, whose “Don’t Stop Believing” played a large role in The Sopranos finale. Reps Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne and Barbra Streisand, as well as Randy Jackson, The Eagles, Carly Simon and Brian Wilson.


Chuck Ortner: Proskauer Rose, N.Y.: Defended Rick Rubin in a plagiarism lawsuit against him and Run DMC by members of the Knack. Also repped Madonna on an appeal from a Belgian infringement suit.

Larry Stein, Drier Stein & Kahan, Santa Monica: Sat by Frank Zappa’s side when he testified before Congress in their examination of rock lyrics in the wake of Tipper Gore’s Parents Music Resource Center.

Howard Weitzman, Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert, Santa Monica: Has repped such public figures as Oprah Winfrey, O.J. Simpson and Paris Hilton, as well as Courtney Love, Nicole Ritchie and Sugar Ray Leonard.