Thu Apr 29, 2010 @ 11:29AM PST
By Matthew Belloni
EXCLUSIVE: As the Walt Disney Co.'s
dumping sale of its Miramax specialty division slogs along as slowly as...well, as slowly as the average Miramax movie, we've been asked repeatedly which lawyers are repping the deal. Nobody's commenting, obviously, but we've been able to track down the major players.
Disney's corporate development group has engaged a team from LA's Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton led by Robert Darwell (right), Tom Leo
and Shaun Clark
. That's not surprising, given Sheppard Mullin's strong ties to Disney. The studio's former general counsel Lou Meisinger became a Sheppard lawyer before being appointed a superior court judge in 2008. And firm litigator Marty Katz is currently repping the Mouse House in its $250 million skirmish
over profits from "Who Wants to be a Millionaire," headed to trial next month.
It's hardly a secret that Disney has been negotiating most heavily with Miramax co-founders Harvey and Bob Weinstein. Less known are the Weinsteins' lead lawyers at O'Mel
veny & Myers, Steve Scharf, Joe Calabrese
and Matthew Erramouspe
, who are backed by a deep support team. All three are major entertainment finance attorneys and have repped the Weinsteins in the past.
Ron Burkle's Yucaipa Companies, the money behind the Weinsteins' bid, has its own legal team led by Loeb & Loeb's Susan Zuckerman Williams (left) and Harold Flegelman. Like the others, both are veterans of the film finance game.