Variety Identifies Manatt Entertainment Partners as Game-Changing Dealmakers

In its recently published Legal Impact Report, Variety named Manatt entertainment partners Aydin Caginalp and Lindsay Conner as two of the nation’s lawyers who are shaping the entertainment industry. The Report features 50 leading lawyers who are considered “game changers” in the field.

Caginalp was featured by Variety for his representation of BMG Rights Management in its acquisition of several high-profile music companies, which involved the purchase of several hundred thousand copyrights. Caginalp has represented BMG in a string of acquisitions over the past few years, the most recent being Bug Music, Chrysalis, Stage 3 and Evergreen. Through his representation, Caginalp has helped BMG grow from a small investment with 15 employees at its formation in 2009 as a joint venture between international media giant Bertelsmann and private equity firm KKR to the fourth-largest music publisher in the world, worth between $800 million and $1 billion.

For Conner, Variety highlighted his work as lead counsel for Sony Pictures Entertainment in its $150 million slate deal with Hemisphere Capital Management, cofinancing such tentpoles as “The Smurfs,” “The Adventures of Tintin” and “Men in Black 3.” The film-slate deal, which closed in July 2011, was one of only two slate deals to be signed in the past five years. In addition, Conner represented Goldman Sachs in its 50-50 partnership with CBS on the “CSI” franchise and Eton Park Capital Management, which controls a $15 billion hedge fund, in connection with its ownership of mezzanine debt for the Film Department.

“The No. 1 job of the lawyer is to be a dealmaker rather than a deal-breaker,” Conner told Variety. “If a deal ought to be made, then the lawyer’s job is to find a way to make it on a basis that is sound both economically and legally.”

View the Legal Impact Report here.