MUSIC'S HOTTEST LAW FIRMS: GANG, TYRE, RAMER, BROWN & PASSMAN

Donald S. Passman first joined the entertainment firm Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown in the 1970s, shortly after graduating from Harvard Law School. Under mentor Payson Wolff, who clerked for Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren and represented Capitol Records, Warner Bros. Records and Bob Hope, Passman learned how to draft contracts for entertainment law from one of the best to ever do it. Passman made his bones during Mo Ostin’s tenure at WBR, which would lean on the firm’s music department as an outside resource.

Passman is also known for writing what has long been considered the music-business bible, All You Need to Know About the Music Business, originally published in 1991; the eleventh edition will be out in October. This edition will cover the shift of power to the artists, the effect of AI on music and other new information.

The firm’s music department is led by Passman and partners Gene Salomon and Ethan Schiffres. Superstars P!nk and Taylor Swift, who are both performing in stadiums in 2023, have been longtime clients of the firm. Passman and team also rep Adele, who just extended her Las Vegas residency, Camila Cabello and EGO-winner Ludwig Göransson, among other A-list music clients. The firm repped Neil Diamond in his catalog sale to UMG last year, along with Elton John’s Disney+ special, Elton John Live: Farewell From Dodger Stadium.

Prior to joining the firm in December 2000, Salomon spent 13 years at Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp as partner and head of its music practice. Salomon also serves as chair of the board of the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games.

Schiffres, a fellow Harvard Law graduate (2010), previously held roles at O’Melveny & Myers’ Century City offices. He graduated from Duke in 2005 with a degree in public-policy studies, after which he worked in sales for Sony BMG and in marketing/A&R for Red Light Management in New York. Schiffres is involved in the City of Hope’s music-business and entertainment-industry initiatives and works on firm clients including Stevie Wonder, Anthony Ramos and Green Day.

Go to the complete Gang, Tyre spread here

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The firm recently brought in new attorneys Leni Ackerman and Julie Rappaport Smith to the music team.

Prior to joining the firm, Ackerman was an associate in Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s Los Angeles office, where she represented media, sports and entertainment companies in various types of business transactions. These entities included Square, Inc. in its acquisition of a majority stake in TIDAL, SpringHill Entertainment in significant capital raises and restructurings, a group of investors purchasing interests in the Boston Red Sox and Eros International in its merger with STX Entertainment. Ackerman is a “double Long-horn”—she received both her law degree and Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

Smith graduated from New York University School of Law in 2001, after which she worked as a transactional attorney at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in the firm’s New York offices. Subsequently, Smith spent 17 years as an attorney at record labels, including Columbia Records, Epic Records and Ultra Music, and most recently as senior vice president, business and legal affairs for Alternative Distribution Alliance.

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