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Our Work for the Entertainment Industry

Representative Cases:

Our Experts appraised a library of movie and television publication rights, for estate planning purposes.

Our Experts served as member of a Court-appointed accounting committee. The dispute was between the studio and show creators of a well-known 1970s American crime drama television series. The creators alleged there were inappropriate costs allocated to their participation statements and that the shows had been improperly cross-collateralized; the Court agreed. Our Experts recalculated 50 years of production expenses and imputed interest. This resulted in several million dollars being paid to the show creators.

Our Experts worked with a well-known character comedian. They were going through a divorce, and the spouse was alleging the concept behind the comedian’s characters was a marital asset. Our Experts ultimately concluded that the value of the character was the value of individual jokes told in character. Given the rate at which this comedian cycled through content, the value the spouse wished to claim was negligible. Our conclusion led to the parties to settle for significantly less than the opposing expert was claiming.

Our Experts were involved in a dispute between a reality TV celebrity and a national clothes store chain. The celebrity claimed they were owed licensing fees for use of their professional image and likeness when the chain issued a press statement saying the celebrity was not in line with their corporate image. Our Exerts reviewed the celebrity’s licensing history (largely alcohol brands and night clubs) and concluded their claimed damages were far overstated. The Court accepted our conclusions and saved our client several million dollars.

Out Experts appraised a pre-World War II film production company in current-day Romania. The company was taken over by the Nazi Party during WW2 in order to make propaganda, then nationalized once the Soviets took over leading into the Cold War. The current-day Romanian government declared that reparations would be made to business owners who had their businesses nationalized. The case was particularly challenging given the lack of records that survived to current day.

Our Experts were involved in a dispute between a class of group musicians and one of the largest labor union that represents them to the movie and entertainment industry. The union had hired a related-party to assist in the calculation of royalties for use of their music. This came at the class’s expense and the class alleged the union was breaching their fiduciary duty. Our Experts used statistical sampling to estimate by how much the royalties were being misallocated. Our Experts ultimately concluded that the relatively minor cost of the related-party services greatly outweighed the benefits to the class of getting proper royalty allocations.

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