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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 media, entertainment and business 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 before that, he was at Rosenfeld Meyer & Susman. He is Vice President and a Governor of the Beverly Hills Bar Association, has been selected as a Super Lawyer for 2017-2022 by Southern California Super Lawyer Magazine, and has been honored as a media litigator by numerous international law and business organizations.

Practice Areas:

Media Litigation: Alexander has significant experience with defamation and privacy torts, and has filed or defended many anti-SLAPP motions. Though he primarily acts for plaintiffs, Alexander was Los Angeles counsel for News Group, publishers of The Sun, in the successful defense of a libel action brought in the High Court in London by Johnny Depp, obtaining several orders under 28 USC 1782. See He is co-counsel for journalist Ruth Barrett in a case against The Atlantic for defamation and other torts: He represents legendary chess player Nona Gaprindashvili in a defamation lawsuit filed against Netflix over a statement in The Queen’s Gambit. See He represented the plaintiff in Basile v Prometheus Global Media, 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 which settled in 2022: Other representative claims include a defamation suit against Starz Entertainment and others arising out of their unauthorized use of plaintiff’s photograph in a documentary film about sexual abuse:; and claims on behalf of several different clients against ABC for libel, invasion of privacy, and breach of contract, including Williams v ABC et al.:

Entertainment Litigation: Alexander represents producers, financiers, distributors, managers, agents and talent in music, film, television, and digital distribution. His cases have involved disputes over film finance, international distribution/licensing, credits, accounting issues, unpaid royalties, 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 producers and investors, in which Alexander won 13 motions for summary adjudication or judgment); Weinberger v UMG Recordings, Inc., Los Angeles Superior Court (ongoing suit by A&R executive client for unpaid royalties); 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). Other representative clients include Bitmax LLC, Relativity Media Distribution LLC, Sound Point Capital Management, LC, Ingenious, Affirmative Entertainment, and BAFTA Los Angeles.

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, trade secrets, privacy (including HIPAA), non-profit corporations, and employee mobility/restrictive covenant issues.

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 the client’s favor.

Insurance Litigation Alexander represents London Market insurers in bad faith and coverage litigation, monitoring/settling underlying cases, defense of insureds and subrogation actions regarding general liability, commercial property, inland marine, personal lines (including homeowners), jewelers’ block, non appearance/contingency and fine arts policies.

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 litigated and/or taken depositions in many countries, including Singapore and Lebanon.


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

Previous 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


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); 2nd Vice President (2020-2021); Vice President (2021-2022)

Lord Reading Law Society, Montreal, Canada (honorary life member)

Los Angeles Copyright Society (2015-present)

California Society of Entertainment Lawyers (member 2012-present, Treasurer 2013-2016)

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

Middle Temple, London (1982-present)

Professional and Civil Associations:

Constitutional Rights Foundation, Los Angeles (volunteer attorney scorer for mock trials by high school students, 2020-2021, 2021-2022)

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)

Press Articles:

California like England? LA Times, August 3, 1997


Beverly Hills Bar Association’s annual President’s Award for 2017

“Super Lawyer,” Southern California Super Lawyer Magazine, 2017-2021

Media Sector Litigation Law Firm of the Year (California) – Lawyer International’s Legal 100 for 2021

Media Sector Litigation Law Firm of the Year (California) – 2021 Corporate Intl Global Awards

Media Sector Litigation Law Firm of the Year (California) – M&A Today – Global Awards for 2021

Media Sector Litigation Law Firm of the Year in California – 2021 Global Law Experts

Media Sector Litigation Law Firm Of The Year (California) – Gamechangers (ACQ5) Global Awards for 2021

Media Sector Litigation Law Firm of the Year (California) – Global 100 for 2021

Media Sector Litigation Law Firm of the Year (California) –  Corporate America Today – Annual Awards for 2021

Media Lawyer of the Year (California) – Leaders in Law 2020 Global Awards

Leading Litigation Law Firm of the year 2019 (United States) – Global Business Insight Awards

California’s Leading Media and Entertainment Litigator of the Year – 2019 Leading Advisor Awards

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) (defeated appeal against orders in client’s favor denying anti-SLAPP and other motions in defamation case against The Hollywood Reporter)

Danelle Sandoval v. Burak Yeter, Warner Music Group, at al., 2019 WL 7905731 (C.D. Cal.) (successful motion to compel depositions and written discovery, plus award of sanctions)

Goodman v Dohmen, 2017 WL 3319110 (C.D. Cal.) (findings of fact and conclusions of law in bench trial awarding client substantial damages for breach of fiduciary duties in securities fraud case)

Williams v Cahill, 2014 WL 1234218 (Cal. Ct. of Appeal) (defeated appeal against order in client’s favor on anti-SLAPP motion in defamation case against ABC)

Future Films USA, LLC v. Sriram Das 2013 WL 265449 (Cal. Ct. of Appeals) (successful appeal against order granting demurrer)

Bailey v. Brewer, (2011) 197 CA4th 781, 792–793, 128 CR3d 380, 390 (defeated appeal against order in client’s favor denying anti-SLAPP motion)

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

Rosalie Tapper et al., v. Edward J. Wedelstedt et al., 2008 WL 2477391 (Cal. Ct. of Appeals) (defeated appeal against ruling on motion seeking to enforce arbitration clause)

Bill Medley v. Sandals Resorts Intern., 2001 WL 34349043 (L.A. Superior Court) (defeated motion for summary judgment against client plaintiffs in major voice misappropriation case, leading to substantial settlement)

Speaking Engagements:

March 2022: moderator and program chair of BHBA seminar entitled ANTI-SLAPP ACROSS THE USA: Developments in State Anti-SLAPP Laws, with Tom Burke, Laura Lee Prather and Lane Shetterley –   

December 2021: interviewer for War Stories: Neville Johnson on the Sanders v ABC trial –

June 2021: panelist and program chair of BHBA seminar on the BHBA’s Inner City Pro Bono Legal Clinic program:

May 2021: moderator and program chair of BHBA seminar entitled Section 230 – The Furious Debate Over the Future of Free Speech on The Internet, with Jeff Kosseff, Carrie Goldberg,  Cathy Gellis and Doug Mirell:

Interviewed for BHBA’s Litigator’s Corner, November 2020:

June 2020: 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 entitled The New Wave of Defamation Cases with Charles Harder and Bobby Schwartz –

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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