Billboard Names Brooklyn Law Leading School for Top Music Attorneys in 2023
Brooklyn Law School rocked it once again on the Billboard list of “Leading Law Schools of the Top Music Lawyers,” landing the No. 2 spot, thanks to alumni whose work included representing Rihanna for her Super Bowl halftime performance, fighting copyright infringement and piracy on behalf of music labels, and working to protect songwriters from generative AI technology.
The list, which Billboard published digitally on April 3, included Brooklyn Law School for the eighth time in the last nine years. There were eight alumni among the Billboard Top Music Lawyers, plus a faculty member: Brooklyn Law’s Adjunct Professor Vernon Brown, who, as CEO and president, of V. Brown & Company, was recognized for a “formidable” client list that includes Cash Money, Epic Records artist Pyrex, and Republic Records producer ATL Jacob, who was behind Future’s hit “Wait for U,” featuring Drake and Tems.
In the publishing category, two alumni at Sony Music Publishing were named: Peter Brodsky ’90, executive vice president of business and legal affairs/general counsel and Nicole Giacco ’00, senior vice president of business and legal affairs. According to Billboard, Sony Music Publishing’s legal team closed numerous landmark deals and renewals with music writers in the last year, including Ashley Gorley, Tainy, Anitta, Ryan Tedder, Danger Mouse and Måneskin, and simultaneously expanded its worldwide reach, opening offices in emerging markets including India and Nigeria.
“Just as Spanish-language songs have become more mainstream in the U.S., I look forward to learning new music with regional influences and seeing those songs reach even more listeners,” Giacco told Billboard. The team is also looking into ways to protect their songwriters as generative AI technology becomes mainstream, she added.
Talent and Litigation
In talent and litigation, Brooklyn Law School alumni shone just as brightly.
Jordan Bromley ’05, partner/entertainment group leader at Manatt Phelps & Phillips, was part of a team that handled two of the music industry’s top deals of 2022: Dundee Partners’ $1.1 billion acquisition of Kobalt Capital Limited’s music rights portfolio, KMR Music Royalties II; and Francisco Partners Management’s move to obtain a majority stake in Kobalt Investment.
Alex Kaplan ’00, a partner at Oppenheim + Zebrak, was part of a team that represents three major music groups and was chosen for its record of fighting on their behalf against copyright infringement and piracy.
Cynthia Katz ’10, a partner at Fox Rothschild was recognized for her work in advising client HarbourView Equity Partners on high-profile acquisitions of music catalogs, including works from Incubus, Brad Paisley, Lady A, and Sum 41.
Paul Schindler ’71, a shareholder/senior chair of New York entertainment and media practice at Greenberg Traurig, was listed as part of a team representing high-profile names including Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Kacey Musgraves, Arcade Fire, Kenny Chesney, and Marc Anthony, as well as companies and organizations including Spotify, The Recording Academy, Meta, Lululemon/Mirror, Equinox Media/ SoulCycle, and Epic Games.
Edward Shapiro ’91, a partner in the global entertainment and media industry group at Reed Smith, was lauded for one high-profile client. From Billboard: “Shapiro serves as counsel to Rihanna in all her endeavors, most recently handling her Super Bowl Halftime Show performance and new venture with PUMA.”
Dorothy Weber ’81, a partner at Herbsman Hafer Weber & Frisch, was part of a team credited for working on several catalog sales, including Regent Music and Jewel Music to Primary Wave, and the sale of jazz legend Sonny Rollins’ music rights to Reservoir, which includes publishing and recording rights to the jazz legend’s music.
In related news for alumni and attorneys seeking CLE credit, Professor Brown will be moderating a 3 p.m. panel discussion with ATL Jacob, legal journalist Eriq Gardner, and Republic Records Co-founder and CEO Monte Lipman as part of the Brooklyn Entertainment and Sports Law Society’s (BESLS) upcoming Entertainment Symposium on April 21.