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Entertainment and Sports Law Litigation

Players On the Move

A look at moves among attorneys, law firms, companies and other players in entertainment law.


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Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein has added veteran sports and entertainment lawyer Traci V. Bransford in Atlanta from the Stinson law firm. She will be a partner and leader of Parker Poe’s sports and entertainment industry team. Bransford focuses her practice on transactional law for clients in music, TV, film, literary publishing and sports. She has negotiated with sports facilities and entertainment venues for clients and deals with such issues as intellectual property management, contract negotiation and brand strategy, according to information from Parker Poe. From 1998 to 2002, Bransford served as general counsel to famed musician Prince and oversaw legal affairs of his corporate entities, including Paisley Park Enterprises, according to Parker Poe and her Linked In page. Record label 10K Projects, riding high on the success of Trippie Redd and other rappers, has promoted Blake Brown-Grakal to general counsel. The appointment comes on the heels of the seven-year-old company’s striking a joint venture with Warner Music Group, the third largest record label globally. Under the deal, 10K will operate as a stand-alone, independent label but with the efficiencies that go with Warner’s sales and operating infrastructure. 10K Projects was founded in 2016 by Eliot Grainge, son of Universal Music Group CEO Lucian Grainge. Brown-Grakal joined 10K Projects in 2020 as associate director of business and legal affairs. It was his first in-house legal post. Before that, he was an associate for two years at Jacobson, Russell, Saltz, Nassim & de la Torre. In addition, from 2012 to 2020, Brown-Grakal was a founding partner and director of operations for Dream No More Studios, which bills itself as “the leaders in hyper-realistic avatar development.” Brown-Grakal is filling the GC vacancy created by the March 2022 departure of Danielle Price for Republic Records, where she became executive vice president. New York City-based Vice Media promoted an in-house attorney to general counsel, following its 2023 sale in bankruptcy. The news and entertainment company has promoted Jason Guberman from senior vice president for business and legal affairs to general counsel, according to a LinkedIn post from Guberman. Guberman, who has been with Vice since 2018, is a former director of business affairs for ABC News and earlier gained in-house experience at British broadcaster ITV and the American media company Viacom. Guberman’s promotion comes as chief legal officer Maria Krasnikow Harris quietly departs. Harris a former Revlon and Body Shop attorney who took the post in October 2022, exited Vice in December. In response to an inquiry from, Harris said, “I resigned after helping the company navigate the sale process over the last year. I’m very excited for Jason’s promotion to the role. I’m taking some time off and exploring new opportunities.” Vice, once a new media darling with a valuation as high as $5 billion, lost steam in recent years amid executive churn and an inability to translate its large audience into robust digital ad sales. A group of lenders led by Fortress Investment Group, Soros Fund Management and Monroe Capital bought it out of bankruptcy for $350 million in July. In September, Vice Media chief operating officer Cory Haik predicted in an interview with Digiday that the company would be profitable in 12 to 18 months. Part of that vision apparently relies on further cuts on top of multiple rounds of layoffs that began more than a year ago. The latest layoffs, rolled out last month, amounted to a “hallowing out” of the news division, CNN reported. The Buffalo Bills have filled their legal-chief vacancy by plucking a 35-year veteran from one of Buffalo’s largest law firms to fill the role. Terrence Gilbride, who specialized in commercial real estate at the law firm Hodgson Russ, where he had spent his entire legal career, has joined the National Football League franchise as chief legal officer and senior vice president. He replaces Kathryn D’Angelo, whom the team fired last month, saying she was in an inappropriate romantic relationship with Chief Operating Officer John Roth. The Bills also fired Roth, taking the position that the relationship was unethical because D’Angelo reported to him. She’d been with the team seven years, rising to acting general counsel in 2022 and general counsel in April. The Bills did not respond to a request for comment from about Gilbride’s appointment, which was first reported by The Buffalo News, and Gilbride declined to comment. The Buffalo News said Gilbride already has a business relationship with Terry Pegula, who owns the Bills as well as the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League. The newspaper said Gilbride helped advance Pegula’s HarborCenter project, a $200 million-plus entertainment and lodging development built nearly a decade ago adjacent to KeyBank Center, where the Sabres play. Gilbride’s real estate expertise likely will serve the football team well as it moves forward with plans for a new, $1.4 billion stadium across from Highmark. Under the stadium deal struck last year with local and state officials, the Bills agreed to remain in western New York for at least three more decades. Groundbreaking was this summer. Barnes & Thornburg has added Daniel A. Cohen to its Atlanta office from Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, bringing on a partner who Barnes & Thornburg said “has built one of the most robust collegiate athletics practices in the industry.” Cohen represents educational institutions and their athletics departments in sports law and Title IX cases involving gender equity issues. Cohen said in an interview that he was moving to a firm that included former Indiana U.S. Sen. Birch Bayh, who authored the legislation that became Title IX in 1971. (It now includes Bayh’s son, Christopher Bayh, who is a partner at Barnes.) Cohen said his clients include colleges and universities in 32 states, which he represents on Title IX matters. They include athletics departments in every Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) conference, he said. His practice focuses on counseling colleges and universities on compliance about gender equity, sexual misconduct matters related to Title IX as well as athletics legal strategic planning. Cohen began practicing law as an attorney with Rogers & Hardin in Atlanta in 2000. He is the latest addition to Barnes & Thornburg’s Atlanta office, which has more than doubled its lawyer head count, increased its total employees, deepened or added practice areas and relocated to a larger office in Buckhead since 2019. Barnes & Thornburg’s largest office is in Indianapolis, and the firm operates with almost 700 lawyers in 23 offices in 17 states and Washington, D.C. International law firm Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner’s election of 24 new partners effective Jan. 1 includes Jim Dudukovich, who practices in the areas of advertising, marketing, social media, entertainment, music, sports and transactional work. He joined Bryan Cave in 2020 in a counsel position after working as a counsel with Barnes & Thornburg and in in-house positions that included 18 years with Coca-Cola.

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