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Top Entertainment Lawyer Joins Latham & Watkins

By November 28, 2016Press Releases

November 28, 2016…Latham & Watkins LLP1 is pleased to announce that Lex Kuo has joined the firm’s Entertainment, Sports & Media Practice to serve the Greater China region.  He advises Chinese and international clients on cross-border financing, development, production and distribution of media and entertainment projects, and is fluent in Mandarin and English. Kuo joined the firm in Hong Kong, will be integrating with the firm’s team throughout Greater China and expects to return to Beijing to join Latham’s office there in 2017.

Kuo brings his experience in Sino-foreign co-financing, co-production and licensing of film and television titles, strategic cooperation and joint ventures and other aspects of the media and entertainment industry in Greater China to Latham’s preeminent entertainment, sports and media platform. He offers an insider’s perspective, having worked in-house at The Walt Disney Company in Beijing, where he advised on legal matters related to Disney’s local content; and as host and producer of music radio programs and syndicated radio shows. Kuo also offers an outside counsel perspective and experience, having advised producers, distributors and financiers of motion picture and other content in China in private practice.

Joe Calabrese, Global Chair of Latham & Watkins’ Entertainment, Sports & Media Practice, said: “At a time when Chinese entities are making unprecedented investments in media and entertainment ventures, Lex adds notable experience and astute industry insights  to our global entertainment, sports and media team. He has worked in the industry in Greater China both as an in-house executive and an outside advisor, which brings valuable perspective and on-the-ground capabilities for clients in the region.”

Kuo joins an experienced Entertainment, Sports & Media Practice that has advised on a broad range of sophisticated matters in Greater China and throughout Asia. The below matters are representative of the group’s work:

  • Served as outside counsel to Legendary Entertainment in its US$3.5 billion acquisition by Dalian Wanda Group, the largest cross-border cultural acquisition by a Chinese entity to date. The deal bolstered China’s position in the global entertainment industry and demonstrated expanding relationships with US film companies. Legendary has produced blockbuster films such as “Jurassic World” and “Godzilla,” and its Hong Kong-based production company, Legendary East, will soon release its first movie, “The Great Wall.” The group is also involved in Dalian Wanda’s newest entertainment industry transaction, advising the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) in the acquisition of Dick Clark Productions, which co-produces the annual Golden Globe Awards with the HFPA.
  • Represented Chinese internet and digital media giant Tencent in a number of groundbreaking transactions, including: a multi-year new media broadcast license for the exclusive digital distribution rights to all major National Basketball Association (NBA) games in China, the first granting of such expansive rights by the NBA to a partner outside the US; and the acquisition of exclusive internet rights to ESPN’s editorial and live sports content, a first-of-its kind agreement giving Chinese internet users direct access to premium ESPN reporting on soccer, basketball and other sports broadcast in Chinese.
  • Advised Adam Goodman, the former president of Paramount Film Group, in the formation and capitalization by China-based Le Eco of a new U.S. media company, Le Vision Entertainment, further strengthening LeEco’s commitment to premium global content.

Yilong Du, Office Managing Partner of Latham in Beijing, said: “We are delighted to welcome Lex to the firm. He will be a tremendous asset to our team throughout Greater China. China is an innovative and dynamic market, and the entertainment, media and game  sector is among the most active, enjoying substantial new inbound and outbound investment opportunities. Lex’s knowledge of the business and his connections with the key players in China makes him an exciting addition to our team in Asia and globally.”

Kuo said: “I am excited to join Latham and its preeminent Entertainment, Sports & Media Practice, which has earned an enviable reputation in the market for creativity, teamwork and leadership. I look forward to advising clients within Greater China and globally in conjunction with my colleagues, particularly as the nexus between Hollywood and China continues to grow stronger.”

Kuo is qualified to practice law in key jurisdictions including California and New York and is a Registered Foreign Lawyer in Hong Kong. He received his law degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. He joins Latham from Covington & Burling LLP’s Beijing office.

About Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins is a global law firm with approximately 2,200 lawyers in its offices located in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the United States, including: Barcelona, Beijing, Boston, Brussels, Century City, Chicago, Dubai, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Milan, Moscow, Munich, New York, Orange County, Paris, Riyadh, Rome, San Diego, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, Silicon Valley, Singapore, Tokyo and Washington, D.C. For more information on Latham & Watkins, please visit the website at www.lw.com.

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