Attorney at Law
Barrister
(England & Wales)
Phone: 310.278.8198
Cell: 310.770.1307
Fax: 310.860.2430
Email: aisaacs@rufuslaw.com

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Alexander Rufus-Isaacs

Alexander is an Oxford University graduate who began his career as a barrister in England in 1982. After trying over 50 cases, he moved to Los Angeles and was admitted to the California bar in 1988. He is a litigator with an emphasis on business, entertainment/media and insurance disputes. Many of his cases have international dimensions. Before co-founding Rufus-Isaacs, Acland & Grantham in 2010, he was a shareholder at Glassman, Browning & Saltsman, and had also worked at Rosenfeld Meyer & Susman. He is currently Secretary and Treasurer of the Beverly Hills Bar Association and was awarded its annual President’s Award in 2017. He has been selected as a Super Lawyer for 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 by Southern California Super Lawyer Magazine, and has been honored as a media litigator by numerous international law and business organizations.

Practice Areas:

General Business Litigation Alexander has appeared in arbitrations and state and federal court litigation involving issues such as fraud, breach of contract, business interference torts, partnership disputes, securities fraud, trade secrets, and employee mobility/restrictive covenant issues. He recently won a federal court trial involving securities fraud and breach of fiduciary duty, which resulted in his client being awarded significant damages. See: https://www.leagle.com/decision/infdco20170804828 He is currently representing the well known pet charity Wings of Rescue in a lawsuit over the ownership of a plane.

Entertainment Litigation Alexander has represented producers, financiers, distributors, managers, agents and talent in disputes involving film finance, international distribution/licensing, credits, profit participation/accounting, artist/manager, and copyright issues in state and federal court and in arbitrations under IFTA and other rules. Representative cases include Mokhtarian et al. v Saperstein et al., Los Angeles Superior Court (ongoing dispute between producer and investors, in which Alexander filed 13 successful motions for summary adjudication or judgment); Sandoval v Yeter and Warner Music Group, U.S. District Court (C.D. Cal.) (settled suit by singer against producer and record companies for royalties); ARP v Good Films et al., Los Angeles Superior Court (settled dispute between producer and investor/distributor); Future Films USA, LLC v. Sriram Das, Los Angeles Superior Court (settled dispute between producers); Initiate Productions, LLC v. American Cinema International, Inc. (successful IFTA arbitration by producer against foreign sales agent); Overlook Productions, Inc v. Good Universe  Development, LLC, Los Angeles Superior Court (represented writer in dispute with production company over option clause). He has represented legendary television production company Carsey Werner in numerous lawsuits, e.g., Carsey Werner Distribution, LLC v Telewizja Polsat S.A., U.S. District Court (C.D. Cal.) (recovered over $2 million on summary judgment against a foreign broadcaster), and The Carsey Werner Company LLC v British Broadcasting Corporation and Sugar Films Ltd. U.S. District Court (C.D. Cal.) (sued BBC and UK production company for copyright infringement). Other representative clients include Relativity Media Distribution LLC, Sound Point Capital Management, LC, Ingenious, Affirmative Entertainment, and BAFTA Los Angeles.

Media Litigation Alexander has significant experience with defamation and privacy torts, and has defeated numerous anti-SLAPP motions. He was plaintiff’s counsel in Williams v ABC et al.: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/judge-abcs-20-20-chris-426554, and is currently plaintiff’s counsel in Basile v Prometheus et al., a defamation lawsuit filed in Chicago against the publisher of the The Hollywood Reporter arising out of an article which falsely accused his client of being responsible for the Sony Studios cyber attack and devastated her career: http://deadline.com/2015/11/hollywood-reporter-lawsuit-sony-attack-defamation-prometheus-global-media-1201614685; the trial court denied defendant’s 4 jurisdictional and anti-SLAPP motions, which was affirmed on appeal. In 2019, he settled a defamation suit against Starz Entertainment and others arising out of their unauthorized use of plaintiff’s photograph in a 2018 documentary film about sexual abuse:  https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/what-haunts-us-sparks-lawsuit-starz-yearbook-photo-1143293. In 2018, he settled a case in which his client sued a therapy center and a disability insurer for unlawfully disclosing confidential psychiatric records. He has settled claims by four different clients against ABC since 2011 for libel, invasion of privacy, and breach of contract.

Appellate Cases Alexander has successfully conducted a number of appeals before the California and Illinois Court of Appeals. He recently won three appeals: One for a producer client in a published decision involving the application of the litigation privilege to an anti-SLAPP motion; another for a film finance company which sued a producer for tortious interference; and in Basile v Prometheus et al., which is referenced above, the Illinois Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s decisions in our client’s favor. https://courts.illinois.gov/R23_Orders/AppellateCourt/2020/1stDistrict/1190602_R23.pdf

Fine Art Litigation Alexander has significant experience with representing galleries and dealers in disputes involving the visual arts.

Insurance Litigation Alexander represents London Market insurers in bad faith and coverage litigation, monitoring/settling underlying cases, defense of insureds and subrogation actions.

Insurance Coverage Alexander renders complex coverage opinions to London Market insurers regarding general liability, commercial property, inland marine, personal lines (including homeowners), jewelers’ block, non appearance/contingency and fine arts policies. Alexander is listed in the Chambers USA Guide as a recognized insurance law specialist.

International Alexander has retained his professional license in England, and has close contacts in the UK’s legal, financial, insurance, political and government arenas. He has taken depositions in recent years from Singapore to Beirut. He is currently acting as local counsel in Los Angeles for News Group, publishers of The Sun, which has been sued for libel by Johnny Depp in England, and obtained orders under 28 U.S.C. §1782 requiring two LA-based witnesses to testify live via video link in the upcoming trial in London. See https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/amber-heards-makeup-artist-fighting-live-testimony-johnny-depps-uk-libel-trial-1296661

Education:

Inns of Court School of Law, London: 1981-82 (English Bar Finals)

City University, London: 1979-80 (Diploma in Law)

Oriel College, Oxford University: 1976-79 (Modern History – B.A. 1979, M.A. 1987)

St. Paul’s School, London: 1970-75

Professional Career:

Glassman, Browning & Saltsman, Beverly Hills, California: 2000-2009

Rosenfeld, Meyer & Susman, Beverly Hills, California: 1998-2000

Arter & Hadden, Los Angeles, California: 1992-1998

Parkinson, Wolf & Leo, Century City, California: 1989-1992

Barrister in private practice in London: 1982-87

Admissions:

2016, U.S. District Court for Northern District of Illinois/Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals

1989, U.S. District Court for Central District of California/Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

1988, California

1982, England and Wales

Bar Associations:

Beverly Hills Bar Association, Entertainment Law Section (Senior Chair, 2016-2017; London Chapter Chair, 2013-); Litigation Section (Executive Committee member 2020-); Board of Governors (2017-); Secretary/Treasurer (2019-2020)

California Lawyers Association

Los Angeles Copyright Society

California Society of Entertainment Lawyers (Treasurer 2013-2016)

British American Bar Association of Southern California (Co-Founder, 1998; President, 2002-present)

Middle Temple, London (1982-)

Professional and Civil Associations:

British Academy of Film and Television Arts, Los Angeles (Legal Advisor, 2002-2007; Director, 2003-2008; Secretary, 2005-2007)

British American Business Council, Los Angeles (President, 1998; Chairman, 1999)

Public Counsel/FEMA, Los Angeles (volunteer attorney)

Toynbee Hall, London (low income family support institute): 1985-87 (volunteer attorney)

Honors:

  • Beverly Hills Bar Association’s annual President’s Award for 2017
  • “Super Lawyer,” Southern California Super Lawyer Magazine, 2017-2020
  • Media Sector Litigation Law Firm of the Year (California) – Lawyer International’s Legal 100 for 2020
  • Media Lawyer of the Year (California) – Leaders in Law 2020 Global Awards
  • Media Sector Litigation Law Firm of the Year (California) – 2020 Corporate Intl Global Awards
  • Media Sector Litigation Law Firm of the Year (California) – M&A Today – Global Awards – 2020
  • Media Sector Litigation Law Firm of the Year in California – 2020 Global Law Experts
  • Media Sector Litigation Law Firm Of The Year (California) – ACQ5 magazine’s Global Awards for 2019
  • Media Sector Litigation Law Firm of the Year (California) – Global 100 for 2019
  • Leading Litigation Law Firm of the year 2019 (United States) – 2019 Global Business Insight Awards
  • California’s Leading Media and Entertainment Litigator of the Year – 2019 Leading Advisor Awards
  • Media Sector Litigation Law Firm of the Year (California) –  Corporate America Today – Annual Awards – 2019
  • Media Litigation within California – 2019 International Advisory Experts Award

Published Decisions:

Basile v Prometheus Global Media, LLC, 2020 IL App (1st) 190602-U (June 30, 2020)  https://courts.illinois.gov/R23_Orders/AppellateCourt/2020/1stDistrict/1190602_R23.pdf

Basile v. Prometheus Global Media, LLC, 2016 WL 2987004 (N.D. Ill. May 24, 2016) (successful defense of jurisdictional motion in defamation case)

Future Films USA, LLC v. Sriram Das 2013 WL 265449, Cal.App. 2 Dist., Jan. 24 , 2013 (successful appeal against demurrer without leave to amend)

Bailey v. Brewer, (2011) 197 CA4th 781, 792–793, 128 CR3d 380, 390 (litigation privilege/ anti-SLAPP statute: a statement made in anticipation of litigation must relate to litigation that is contemplated in good faith and under serious consideration)

Price v. Stossel and ABC, (2008) 590 F.Supp.2d 1262, 1267 (discussing the good cause standard for discovery under the anti-SLAPP statute).

Speaking Engagements:

June 2020: moderator and interviewer for War Stories 2: Patricia Glaser on the Boxing Helena trial

May 2020: originator of the BHBA series, War Stories, and moderator of the first program featuring Pierce O’Donnell on the Art Buchwald trial. Each program features one of our most prominent trial lawyers discussing one of their trials in detail. The series will be archived and made available online by the BHBA.

February 2020: program chair and moderator of BHBA seminar on The New Wave of Defamation Cases

January 2020: program co-chair of litigation panel for BHBA’s Annual Entertainment Review 2019

January 2019: program co-chair of litigation panel for BHBA’s Annual Entertainment Review 2018

July 2018: program co-chair of BHBA seminar on How Blockchain Technology Is Going To Revolutionize The Entertainment Industry

April 2018: sole speaker at meeting of the London chapter of the BHBA presenting Annual Entertainment Litigation Review 2017

January 2018: program chair of litigation panel for BHBA’s Annual Entertainment Review 2017

July 2017: program chair of BHBA seminar on The Business and Legal Reality of Virtual Reality

April 2017: moderator and program chair of BHBA seminar entitled “Defamation In The Social Media Age,” with Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, Professor Rod Smolla and Neville Johnson

February 2017: program chair of BHBA seminar on copyright infringement cases involving screenplays

March 2016: program chair of BHBA seminar on copyright issues in art

November 2015: program chair of BHBA seminar on European Digital Single Market

October 2015: program chair of BHBA seminar on European tax credits and UK defamation issues

January 2015: program chair and moderator of BHBA seminar reviewing notable entertainment cases in 2014

May 2014: organizer and speaker at first live panel meeting of the London chapter of the Beverly Hills Bar Association (BHBA) contrasting Right of Publicity law in England and the USA

January 2014: program chair and moderator of BHBA seminar reviewing notable entertainment cases in 2013

June 2013: speaker at BHBA seminar on anti-SLAPP motions

January 2013: program chair of BHBA seminar reviewing notable entertainment cases in 2012

June 2012: program chair and moderator of a BHBA seminar on European entertainment law entitled “On The Other Side Of The Pond”

October 2011: program chair for a BHBA panel entitled “Entertainment Litigation: The Very Latest Developments From The Professionals At The Cutting Edge.”

August 2011: speaker on a BHBA panel entitled ‘What Every Transactional Lawyer Should Know To Avoid Litigation.”

July 2011: speaker on a BHBA panel entitled “Everything You Wanted To Know About Entertainment Law But Were Afraid To Ask.”

June 2011: program co-chair for a BHBA seminar on Reality TV.

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