LOS ANGELES – Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP is pleased to announce that it has named Michael S. Hobel as co-chair of its Entertainment and Media Practice. Mr. Hobel joins current practice co-chair Susan A. Grode in this position. Both attorneys are fixtures at Katten and are well known as counselors to a number of the entertainment industry’s most prominent players. Mr. Hobel has spent the last three years as a partner with the firm, and Ms. Grode has been with Katten for more than 11 years.
“Michael is one of the finest attorneys in the entertainment industry and was a natural choice to fill this role,” said Ms. Grode. “His considerable legal skill, combined with proven leadership abilities and a strong vision for the future of this practice, will greatly benefit our clients and the firm.”
Mr. Hobel has more than 25 years experience representing media, entertainment and other companies in complex transactions involving valuable entertainment and other intellectual property rights and assets. His practice includes the representation of motion picture studios, networks and distribution and production companies in developing, producing, acquiring and exploiting motion pictures, television programs, sporting events, video games, merchandising and other entertainment properties. He represents companies and financial institutions in financing motion picture and television productions. He also represents companies acquiring, selling and investing in production, distribution and multimedia companies, as well as film and music libraries.
Mr. Hobel has considerable experience in domestic and international free, pay and cable television, home video and other media transactions, and his practice spans the theatrical motion picture as well as the scripted and reality television businesses. He is particularly interested in the convergence of entertainment and technology and has extensive experience in transactions involving the Internet and other digital media, including electronic sell-through and video-on-demand transactions. Mr. Hobel also counsels entertainment industry executives in connection with their employment contracts and individual talent agreements for film, television and music products and services.
Mr. Hobel’s knowledge and experience in intellectual property law, as well as the law of defamation, privacy and publicity, is extensive. He advises both entertainment and non-entertainment companies in the management and protection of their trademark, copyright and other intellectual property assets. He also has substantial experience in computer software and video game development, licensing and exploitation.
Ms. Grode concentrates her practice in entertainment, intellectual property, licensing, merchandising, interactive games, Internet and media law, counseling and representing domestic and international motion picture studios, film and television production and distribution companies. She also represents corporate image and book publishing, toy, Internet, e-commerce and software companies and theater and arts institutions. Before becoming a lawyer, Ms. Grode was vice president at the world’s largest art book publisher, and her decades of work in publishing provide clients with an unusual depth of experience in this area. Her clients include traditional book, magazine, comic book and e-publishing companies and best-selling authors of fiction, non-fiction and books for children.
Ms. Grode is recognized as one of the leading authorities on domestic and international animation, licensing and merchandising, having represented major motion picture and animation studios, as well as numerous production and toy companies. Her extensive work in television has included representing a host of top-rated animated television series and international clients and production companies in Europe and Australia. Ms. Grode also represents award-winning independent filmmakers, producers and financiers, from the development and funding of their projects through distribution. She also serves as outside general counsel to a number of production studios and toy companies, from their formative stages to their branding, trademarks and copyrights, acquisitions and productions, licensing, employment matters, drafting and negotiating agreements, and advising on company issues related to the entertainment industry.
Katten’s Entertainment and Media Practice offers its clients a bicoastal domestic and international representation. Clients are engaged in all aspects of entertainment, including feature motion pictures, television, animation, Internet, pay-per-view and video on demand, merchandising, licensing, technology, print and electronic book publishing, music, stage productions, interactive games and entertainment and communication systems, film finance, production and distribution, banking and related areas, labor relations, executive employment agreements, estate planning, copyright and trademark regulation and protection of intellectual property in all media worldwide. The practice’s clients include motion picture studios, networks and cable channels, independent motion picture, television and new media production and distribution companies, music companies, game developers and publishers, entertainment industry investors and individual entrepreneurs.