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Four attorneys who have served as senior members of Netflix’s legal and business affairs team are exiting as part of a restructuring, including 16-year company veteran Bryony Gagan, who oversaw global content production, acquisition and distribution. Gagan has the title vice president of legal affairs, as do nine-year company veteran Amy Paquette and 13-year veteran Tim Mizrahi, who also are leaving. The fourth departure is nine-year veteran Stephen Zager, vice president and associate general counsel. The news was first reported by Deadline. “It’s been a true privilege to be part of Netflix for the past 16 years and to help it grow. I look forward to watching what the company and the colleagues I so admire and respect do next,” Gagan said in a statement to Entertainment Law & Finance affiliate Law.com. Gagan arrived at the company in 2008, just a year after it launched streaming to supplement its DVD-by-mail service. Her duties at Netflix were sweeping, including oversight of global labor relations and oversight of negotiations with producers, talent and studios around the globe that produced original content for the company. Paquette led Netflix’s business and legal affairs team handling original films. She joined the company in 2014 after more than nine years at Alliance Films. Mizrahi joined the company as director of content acquisition in 2010 and two years later became vice president of business and legal affairs for that division. He headed the team responsible for intellectual property, marketing and consumer products, as well as a team behind its global studio operations and partnerships. Zager joined Netflix in 2014 as senior finance counsel. Three years later, the company promoted him to associate general counsel. According to his LinkedIn profile, he led a global legal team of 70 overseeing corporate governance, finance, mergers and acquisitions, real estate, rights management, legal operations, screen credits and procurement. “Parting ways with these valued leaders — all of whom have been at the company for many years — is very hard,” chief legal officer David Hyman said in a statement to Law.com. The departures came shortly after the Writers Guild of America reached an agreement with the studios that ended the nearly five-month-long writers’ strike. The pact will substantially increase costs for studios, which was still trying to reach an agreement with SAG-AFTRA to resolve the actors’ strike that began several months ago. A spokesperson for the Los Gatos, CA-based Netflix said its restructuring was “designed to help meet the future business needs of Netflix.” The spokesperson said that “it was thoughtfully planned, incorporating suggestions from senior leaders, who knew that it could result in the loss of their roles.” … Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. general counsel Jamal Haughton is jumping aboard Charter Communications Inc. as legal chief. Charter, the nation’s No. 2 cable operator, has named Haughton executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary, effective Nov. 6. He succeeds Rick Dykhouse, who is retiring after 17 years with the cable operator. Dykhouse will remain as executive counsel to CEO Chris Winfrey to help support the transition. Stamford, CN-based Charter, which operates its cable systems under the Spectrum moniker, has more than 100,000 employees, 30.6 million internet customers and 14.7 million video subscribers. Like all cable operators, it is combating cord-cutting, as customers flock to streaming services. One of its strategies is to offer a lower-cost cable service without the sports networks, whose carriage fees are one of the major components of cable bills. Haughton had served as legal chief of New York-based MSG since December 2021. The publicly traded company owns New York’s Madison Square Garden, The Theater at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall and Beacon Theatre; and The Chicago Theatre. Before that, he was general counsel for the North American arm of electronics giant Samsung and associate general counsel of Cablevision Systems Corp. … The Walt Disney Co.’s chief international counsel Peter Wiley is leaving the company after 27 years. Wiley spent his entire in-house career with Disney, joining it in 1996 after working at the London-based law firm Frere Cholmeley Bischoff for five years. He’s been based in London since becoming chief regional counsel for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) in 2005. In 2016, he became chief international counsel, his LinkedIn profile says. The role included supporting the launch of the Disney+ subscription streaming service in more than 100 countries. “After more years than I care to mention, I have decided that now is the right time for me to take a short break, properly disconnect for a moment and then focus on what might come next,” he wrote on LinkedIn. It’s not clear what options Wiley, who is in his 50s, is considering. He could not be reached for comment. Succeeding Wiley as chief regional counsel for EMEA is Nikki Keat, another 27-year Disney veteran. She most recently was deputy chief counsel for international consumer products. She’s been based in Paris but will relocate to London for her new role. Disney is based in Burbank, CA, and has 220,000 employees, 54,000 of whom are based outside the United States. … The Buffalo Bills has fired general counsel Kathryn D’Angelo, along with chief operating officer John Roth, because the two were in a romantic relationship, the Associated Press and The Athletic reported. The Athletic said the franchise considered the relationship professionally unethical because D’Angelo reported to Roth. D’Angelo had been with the Bills for seven years, starting as counsel in 2016. She was promoted to assistant general counsel in 2019 and became acting general counsel in 2022, when longtime legal chief Gregg Brandon took a leave of absence. The team gave her the full GC title in April 2023. Three months later, it restructured leadership — appointing Roth, finance chief Josh Dziurlikowski and D’Angelo to jointly run the NFL franchise. As D’Angelo rose in the organization this year, the team gave her the additional title of senior vice president of business administration. Roth was a relative newcomer to the organization. In January, following a 24-year career as a portfolio manager at Fidelity Investments, he became chief operating officer of the Buffalo Sabres, an NHL franchise that, like the Bills, is owned by the Pegula family. Roth, who’d gotten to know Sabres and Bills president Terry Pegula through his Fidelity work, became COO of the Bills in July. The AP and The Athletic said Roth and D’Angelo’s relationship was the cause of their firing, citing anonymous sources. D’Angelo, Roth and a Bills spokesman did not respond to messages from Law.com. … Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz announced it has added Camilla Chan as a partner in the law firm’s litigation group. She will be based in the firm’s Los Angeles office. She comes to Frankurt Kurnit from Raines Feldman. Chan handles a range of commercial, entertainment, and intellectual property litigation matters. Her clients include publicly traded companies, small businesses, high net worth individuals, and celebrities. In her entertainment and intellectual-property litigation practice, Chan represents actors, writers, directors, film financiers and production companies.
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Notable court filings in entertainment law.