Entertainment law has always had international aspects, but now it is a truly global practice area. And given the exceptional quality of the seminars that the Entertainment Law Section of the Beverly Hills Bar Association puts on each month, we began to consider the idea of opening chapters in other entertainment centers across the world. It fell to me, as the token Brit, to explore the possibility of a UK chapter. After numerous emails and phone calls, I had a list of around 50 UK media lawyers who had expressed quizzical interest (we don’t “do” unbounded enthusiasm). Interestingly, there is no organization of entertainment/media lawyers in London, so we may have found a niche. However we were faced with a major obstacle, namely, the extreme reluctance shown by my countrymen to attend anything so mundane as a meeting of fellow lawyers for fear of being stigmatized as a social outcast, for whom there are no invitations to attend glittering dinner parties that evening. This will take time to change, but at the first meeting last September (2013), which was hosted by one of London’s large media firms, around 25 people showed up, which was viewed as a decent start. We had originally hoped to organize the meetings around a live webcast, but the time difference makes that unworkable, so we went with the next best thing, which was to show a DVD of a relevant seminar, and at the first meeting, we showed the DVD of Ken Ziffren’s “State of the Industry” seminar the previous month. The reaction was polite applause, naturally, masking great interest. Over drinks afterwards, several attendees came up and asked if they could borrow the DVD and watch it again. The reason was very simple – UK lawyers who advise UK clients about the US market need to know which subscription models work, what the price points are, what are the standard release windows, and a myriad of other important details. The second meeting in November featured a DVD of the seminar about Clearances, and on February 27th, our third meeting featured the DVD of the recent Annual Review seminar at the offices of Marriott Harrison off Chancery Lane, courtesy of Tony Morris, and had a strong turnout of around 25, with several new members showing up. [See attached photo]. The flow reverses on March 19th, when Martin Kelly of Harbottle & Lewis, whose firm represents the Royal Family, Angelina Jolie, Madonna and others on right of publicity issues, will be on the panel for the Publicity Rights seminar. And future panels may include speakers from London via videolink. Any lawyers in London who are interested are invited to join the LinkedIn group:*5invite_cs*5connections.anp_6540154_1390962748157_1

Alexander Rufus-Isaacs


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