New York and Los Angeles, October 2, 2013 – Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP announced today that former NBCUniversal attorneys John Berlinski and Mansi Shah have joined the firm as partners in its Los Angeles office to launch its entertainment litigation practice. Berlinski was SVP, Head of West Coast Television Litigation, and Shah served as Senior Litigation Counsel at NBCUniversal.
Berlinski will chair the firm’s Entertainment Practice Group, which will primarily represent television and film entertainers, talent agencies, and others with “backend” profit participation interests, and specialize in maximizing those interests. He and Shah, with more than a decade of combined experience overseeing audits and defending profit participation claims for the studios, will represent talent in the audit process and negotiate favorable resolutions to audit claims, as well as, where necessary and appropriate, litigate those claims.
“We are thrilled that John and Mansi have decided to join the firm,” said Marc Kasowitz, the firm’s founding and managing partner. “They bring impressive industry backgrounds, which perfectly complement the powerful litigation practice we’ve established throughout the country. Talent can now retain industry insiders for their most significant disputes and bring to bear the type of resources previously reserved for the big Hollywood Studios.”
“There are few, if any, who understand the complexities of studio accounting and profit participation litigation like John and Mansi,” said Linda Kornfeld, the Los Angeles office managing partner. “They are a great addition to the firm as we continue to grow in Los Angeles and throughout California.”
Kasowitz opened its Los Angeles office at 2029 Century Park East in May. The firm also has California offices in San Francisco and Silicon Valley.
As Senior Vice President & Head of West Coast Television Litigation at NBCUniversal Media LLC, Berlinski managed all of the company’s West Coast television litigation, as well as pre-litigation disputes involving profit participation, copyright, idea theft, right to privacy, and labor and employment, among others. He also led a team of lawyers dedicated to providing NBCUniversal with advice regarding the negotiation of profit participation contracts, the issuance of accounting statements, audits, and the resolution of audit claims. Prior to joining NBCUniversal, Berlinski was a litigator with a global law firm in Los Angeles. He earned his J.D. from University of Michigan and his B.A. from Cornell University.
As Senior Litigation Counsel at NBCUniversal Media, LLC, Shah handled a variety of entertainment disputes, including serving as the lead lawyer for the team responsible for NBCUniversal’s television profit participation litigation and all legal issues concerning profit participation audits, including providing the company with advice regarding the negotiation of profit participation contracts, the issuance of accounting statements, audits, and the resolution of audit claims. Prior to joining NBCUniversal, she was a general litigator with a global law firm in Los Angeles and London, England. She earned her J.D. from University of California, Los Angeles - School of Law, her LL.M. from London School of Economics and Political Science, and her B.S. from University of Illinois.
“Mansi and I are excited to join such a highly acclaimed firm,” said Berlinski. “While our studio backgrounds should enable us to resolve most disputes without initiating litigation or impairing key industry relationships, we look forward to partnering with Kasowitz’s deep bench of nationally recognized trial lawyers should litigation be necessary.”
“John and I are eager to use our extensive knowledge of entertainment litigation, and of profit participation claims in particular, to help the firm grow the Kasowitz brand in Southern California,” said Shah.
About Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman LLP
Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman LLP is a national law firm, numbering more than 375 lawyers, primarily focusing on complex commercial litigation. The firm has offices in New York, Washington, DC, Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, Houston, Atlanta, San Francisco, Miami, and Newark. For more information, visit www.kasowitz.com