Entertainment lawyer Jeff McFarland is on the move again


Morning sunrise over the Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles, California. REUTERS / Mike Blake

  • McFarland heads to McKool Smith in LA after a year at McDermott
  • Previously, he co-led the media and entertainment practice at Quinn Emanuel

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(Reuters) – McKool Smith brought in senior McDermott entertainment attorney Will & Emery who has represented actors, producers, screenwriters, film production companies and video game publishers.

Jeffery McFarland’s move to McKool Smith comes just over a year after his stint at McDermott from Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, where he was previously co-chair of the company’s national media and entertainment practice.

He will be director of McKool Smith’s Los Angeles office, the Texas-based testing firm said Thursday.

McFarland had joined McDermott on the belief that his clients could benefit from the wide range of legal services provided by McDermott. But there was a lot of conflict between McFarland’s clients and those of his new firm.

“It was not the right solution for my clientele,” said McFarland.

He said he wanted to return to a more testing-oriented business. He described the 135-year-old lawyer McKool Smith as being the perfect height and having an ideal crop.

Former McFarland clients include video game publisher Activision Blizzard Inc, cast members on the “Modern Family” television show, and various production companies.

He was among Quinn Emanuel’s lawyers who sued Walt Disney Co in federal court in 2017 on behalf of a longtime Hollywood screenwriter and producer who accused the studio of copying his hit animated film “Zootopia “from his work without permission. Disney ultimately prevailed in the federal litigation.

“We have been involved in a number of high profile litigation in the entertainment industry, including our successful Quincy Jones case against the Michael Jackson estate,” said David Sochia, Managing Director of McKool Smith, in a statement. “Jeff’s arrival will certainly help us expand our practice given his extensive network and extensive experience in complex litigation in the entertainment industry.”

McFarland isn’t the only entertainment lawyer this week. Greenberg Traurig touted the arrival of a lawyer with ties to musical artists and private equity firms buying catalogs of musical artists, while Willkie, Farr & Gallagher have poached at least five entertainment-related partners from Venable, including the former vice president of its entertainment and media litigation. group.

McDermott also took his sideways packages this week – on Wednesday Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo said they had hired two restructuring lawyers from the Chicago-based firm.

Read more:

Mintz snatches McDermott partners Brown Rudnick

Entertainment Lawyers Jump Between New and Established Los Angeles Firms

McDermott hangs entertainment lawyer in latest Quinn Emanuel partner pickup

Disney stole ‘Zootopia’, writer says in US lawsuit

David thomas

David Thomas reports on legal affairs including law firm strategy, hiring, mergers and litigation. He is based in Chicago. He can be reached at d.thomas@thomsonreuters.com and on Twitter @ DaveThomas5150.

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