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Akerman Acquires Two Music Copyright Gurus

03/23/15

Akerman Acquires Two Music Copyright Gurus


Akerman is at it again, plumping up their Intellectual Property Practice Group with a little help from lateral moves. Lawyers Ross Charap and Matthew Finkelstein have been harvested from their place at Arent Fox LLP, and are bringing their copyright acumen to the New York office of Akerman.

Matthew Finkelstein and Ross Charap (left to right)
What the two lawyers are known for, especially, is their involvement with copyright issues in the entertainment business, and with the music industry, specifically. Between them they’ve represented clients in the transaction of music assets values at $350 million, and this including six early Beatles hits, including “She Loves You,” and “I Saw Her Standing There,” as well as music performed by John Denver, Sheryl Crow, the Byrds, Creed, Evanescence, Leon Russell, and Bob Marley.

In particular, their clients have included Leroy Anderson, composer of “Sleigh Ride,” and Ben E. King, co-writer of “Stand by Me.”

The exact niche these lawyers fill is in the area of copyright terminations and recaptures. “Ross and Matt are among the elite group of lawyers with an intimate understanding of both music publishing and performing rights licensing, and they bring valuable experience in the complex area of copyright terminations and recaptures of copyrighted work,” said Mark Passler, co-chair of the Intellectual Property Practice Group. “Our clients will greatly benefit from this experience and their comprehensive knowledge of copyright and entertainment law.”

This isn’t the first lateral acquisitions Akerman has been up to this year. In fact, The American Lawyer has identified them as the top law firm in the United States for lateral partner hires, with the largest percentage increase by this means in 2014. Their preference for grabbing talent that has tested their mettle has beefed up their team, nearly doubling their Intellectual Property Practice Group with an increase of 14 lawyers this last year to a total of 36 lawyers working in Colorado, Florida, New York, and elsewhere.

Summary: Akerman is at it again, plumping up their Intellectual Property Practice Group with a little help from lateral moves.

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