Our Lawyers
Our Scope
Selected Clients
Selected Matters
Corporate & Real Estate
Entertainment, Media,
New Media

SML LLP is a select boutique law firm of highly regarded and experienced attorneys who achieve strong results for our clients. Our typical lawyer has many years of experience as both an attorney in private practice and a successful senior executive, entrepreneur or investment banker. Our lawyers and advisers include former chief executive officers, senior investment bankers, chief financial officers, movie and television producers and entrepreneurs.

We pride ourselves on the fact that our lawyers not only understand the law as dealmakers and as litigators, but that they have experienced the law as both providers and consumers of legal services. When not acting as clients and decision-makers, our lawyers have extensive experience advising others and implementing our clients’ instructions to maximize results.

Our lawyers have experience in many disciplines, including business formation and transactions, securities, finance, litigation, restructuring and bankruptcy, intellectual property and real estate. Our lawyers also have experience in many industries. Most of our lawyers have extensive experience in the entertainment, media and fashion industries. Our lawyers also have extensive experience in the financial industry, manufacturing, technology, energy and real estate.

Unusually for a firm with so many highly regarded deal-makers, even our most senior transaction attorneys and advisers have extensive litigation experience and like our litigators, have successfully tried cases in California and elsewhere. We believe the combination of skills and experience found at SML is unique among law firms.

SML LLP’s mission is to provide sophisticated advice to our clients, and then achieve our clients’ goals with timely, innovative and effective solutions that protect our clients’ interests now and in the future.

SML is based in Beverly Hills, California, though our lawyers regularly travel throughout the United States and internationally to advise our clients and negotiate transactions.

Our Lawyers

Our senior lawyers and advisers include:

The former chief operating officer of major studio MGM/UA, who also was CEO of independent Island World and then CEO of a NewsCorporation unit that was controlling shareholder of Premiere Radio Networks. This partner also was a Merrill Lynch investment banker, vice chairman of hair care leader John Paul Mitchell Systems, the founding chairman of the Paul Mitchell cosmetology schools and CEO of a pioneering technology company. He is a published author, produced television and radio series and holds patents for wireless technology. Learn More >

The founding partner of one of Southern California’s most pre-eminent business law firms, who also founded a significant technology incubator, was a partner at Sheppard Mullin, a managing director of investment banking firms and a senior executive and advisor to dozens of emerging growth companies in energy, agriculture, commodity merchanting, financial services, medical devices, and mining. Learn More >

The former general counsel of Warner Bros.’ online and videogame divisions, who also served as vice president at 20th Century Fox and head of the New Media group at Loeb & Loeb. Learn More >

Our Scope

Firm lawyers regularly travel throughout the United States and internationally to advise clients and negotiate transactions. The Firm regularly participates in transactions throughout Asia, Europe and North America.

Selected Clients *

Brookstone Law
Classic Media
FB Merchandising Group LLC (Protege brand)
Fox Home Entertainment
Fox Television Studios
Gulf Capital Partners
John Paul Mitchell Systems
Merrill Lynch & Co.
National Hot Rod Association
Premiere Radio Networks
Prometheus Entertainment
SiTV, Inc.
Smashbox Cosmetics
Telemac Corporation
Universal Studios
Verdant Automotive Corporation
Warner Bros.
Western Federal Savings & Loan

* Includes current and former clients of the Firm and its lawyers.. A more complete list is available on our Representative Client section.

Selected Matters

The following sets forth just a few of the transactions and litigation handled by the Firm's lawyers. More complete information is available within the discussions of our practice groups.

Corporate and Real Estate Transactions

Sale of major studio MGM/UA Communications Co. for $1.8 billion of cash and assumption of debt
Merger of Metro Traffic Networks for $1.9 billion of stock with Westwood One, a Viacom company
Acquisition of more than 20 television stations and cable operating systems in transactions aggregating more than $1 billion
Acquisition of controlling interest in Premiere Radio Networks and subsequent merger with Jacor (now Clear Channel) for approximately $300 million of stock and cash
Acquisition from bankruptcy of one of a leading marketing services company in the retail industry, formation of a joint venture with its principal competitor and ultimate sale of the joint venture to a private equity firm for more than $100 million
Sale of Smashbox Cosmetics to Estee Lauder and formation of joint venture for Smashbox Studios
Initial public offerings of numerous companies in varied industries, including Westwood One, Falcon Classic Cable Income Properties L.P., Station Casinos, Inc., Glacier Water Services Inc., PDT, Inc., QAD, Inc.
Control acquisitions and $100 million-plus debt restructurings of public companies, including Live Entertainment, Cherokee Inc., and Imperial Credit Industries, Inc.
Major restructurings and liquidations through prepackaged, prearranged and free-fall bankruptcies across a broad array of industries, including Mortgage and Realty Trust, Bucyrus Erie Co., and Finley, Kumble, Wagner, Underberg, Manley, Myerson & Casey
Purchasing and leasing of a $1.5 billion commercial real estate portfolio
Multiple leasing transactions exceeding 10 million square feet of general office, medical office and retail shopping center space

Learn More about Corporate and Real Estate Transactions >

Entertainment, Media, New Media

Represented Universal Studios in its negotiations to create MovieLink, a co-venture between major studios. MovieLink was the first company to offer legally downloadable movies from the Internet (later acquired by Blockbuster)
Slate financing exceeding $1 billion on behalf of Columbia and TriStar, and for MGM secured in the United States, Europe and Asia
Structured and closed the first Internet Explorer co-branded agreement between Microsoft, Time-Warner and Warner Bros.
Formation of studio joint ventures in Germany, Japan, France, Canada and the U.K.
Licensing agreements with all major television networks, national pay and basic cable programming services, syndicators and Internet content providers, representing both licensors and licensee
Talent agreements on behalf of all above-the-line and below-the-line talent, representing both licensors and licensees for theatrical motion pictures, television, direct to video and Internet programming
Development, production, financing, distribution and exhibition agreements, representing parties in all capacities with regard to such agreements for theatrical motion pictures, television, direct to video and Internet programming
Packaging and production services agreements for all genres, including scripted, reality, game, documentary, animation and news, representing parties in all capacities with regard to such agreements
Endorsement agreements with leading athletes and celebrities, including NBA and NFL athletes

Learn More about Entertainment, Media, New Media >


Co-Lead counsel representing California consumers in mass joinder cases against Bank of America and Countrywide for fraud, unfair competition and related claims, including landmark case Ronald v. Bank of America, et al.
Prosecuted corporation’s claims of insider trading and abusive short sales against major investment banks, including Charles Schwab, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch, among others
Defended multiple firms and individuals in $1 billion action for concealment, fraud, and misappropriation, securing early dismissal of all claims, disqualification of opposing counsel, fees and costs and a reference to the State Bar on filing of AntiSLAPP motion, motion to dismiss and motion to disqualify
Sued offshore and selling shareholders of widely-held private corporation for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and violation of California Trade Secrets Act, resulting in cancellation of defendants’ shares, cancellation of the company’s remaining financial obligations to defendants and a cessation of infringing activities
Sued major wireless operator on behalf of a technology provider, securing a $10 million settlement
Prosecuted claims in federal court for misappropriation of trade secrets, trade libel and related causes of action on behalf of a well-known production company

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This website constitutes attorney advertisement. The information on this website and all information accessed through the SML website are for general information purposes only. Nothing on this website or accessed through this website should be taken as legal advice. Prior successes are not a guarantee of future results. The outcome of litigation and transactions can never be assured. This website is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this website does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Certain SML lawyers are “of counsel” to SML LLP and may represent certain clients independent of SML LLP. Except to avoid conflicts, SML LLP does not monitor or supervise these independent practices and is not responsible for the performance of its “of counsel” lawyers when they are rendering services independent of SML LLP. Copyright © 2011 SML LLP. All rights reserved.