Alumni Newsletter 2018

Manatt Unite

Welcome from

Bill Quicksilver

Before I update you on the year that was, I have some exciting pieces of news to share about the year ahead.

Having had the privilege of serving as Manatt’s CEO and managing partner since 2007, it is time to usher in a changing of the guard. I am pleased to announce Donna L. Wilson as our CEO and managing partner-elect. To ensure a smooth transition, she will work closely with me for the next year and assume the role on July 1, 2019, at which time I will continue on as managing partner emeritus.

Donna joined Manatt as a lateral partner in 2013 and immediately established herself as an invaluable asset to both her clients and the firm. She currently chairs the firm’s privacy and cybersecurity practice and co-chairs both our financial services group and the financial services litigation and enforcement practice. She’s a member of our board of directors and compensation committee, in addition to being a notable author, media consultant and advocate for the LGBTQ community.

Donna is the second woman to lead Manatt, following in the footsteps of Maria Hummer-Tuttle, who was featured in last year’s alumni newsletter. Only 12 percent of the 350 firms participating in a recent Law360 survey had a woman in a managing partner, chair or similar role. Donna summed up the need for change in a recent interview with the publication, saying, “From Manatt’s viewpoint and mine, diversity and inclusion are not just the right thing to do, but they make good business sense. Clients have really been driving more inclusion and more advancement of women and minorities.” Please join me in wishing Donna the very best as she leads our firm into a promising future.

Edith Gould has retired as our executive director. For 31 years, Edith has been an invaluable Manatt partner and instrumental to the firm’s steady growth and success. We’re honored she will still work with us on select special projects while enjoying the retirement rewards of an incredible career.

In January, Kristan Morrell joined Manatt as our new chief operating officer.

Kristan has over 20 years of experience managing various functions within law firms, most recently serving Blank Rome, LLP, as their chief business officer when it acquired Dickstein Shapiro. At the time of the acquisition, Kristan had been serving as Dickstein’s COO, with oversight of and responsibility for all business operations, including marketing, finance, facilities, IT and human resources. Prior to that, Kristan served as Dickstein’s chief strategy officer. Before being elevated to that position, Kristan was Dickstein’s chief marketing officer.

She is based in our Washington, D.C., office.

As for this next piece of news, we could have not gotten here without you. On Oct. 11, Manatt will become the first law firm ever to be celebrated with the prestigious Los Angeles Heritage Award at a gala hosted by Project Restore at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel. This award honors all of Manatt’s past and current contributions to the economic and cultural health of the city, including entertainment, healthcare, technology, banking and financial services. Senior partner George David Kieffer will accept the honor on behalf of Manatt and the firm’s alumni. Previous recipients include The Los Angeles Times (1997), Michael D. Eisner of The Walt Disney Company (2000) and former mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa (2012). On behalf of the firm, I thank each of you for your contributions over the years that resulted in this honor.

Last summer, Manatt was named to The American Lawyer’s “A-List” ranking of the top 20 law firms in the nation for 2017, an honor based on results in five areas: revenue per lawyer, pro bono, associate satisfaction, diversity and, new for 2017, percentage of women equity partners. I am particularly proud of this ranking because it reflects so many of Manatt’s core values—achieving strong financial results, providing superior value to clients, investing in and developing our talented professionals, promoting diversity, and making a meaningful difference in our communities and profession.

Since our last alumni update a year ago, Manatt continued to do what we do best: respond to rapid changes in the industry, stay ahead of the pace of change and clearly distinguish ourselves from the competition. Our lawyers, consultants and advisors deliver the unique value that our clients are demanding; this strategy makes Manatt an essential partner at every stage of our clients’ businesses, not just when lawyers are needed to structure deals, manage transactions, or pursue and defend litigation.

Instead of trying to be everything to everyone and diluting our inherent strength, we continue to focus on key industries in which we’ve proven ourselves to be innovators and thought leaders capable of creating tremendous results for our clients. Twenty-three of our top 25 clients were in our core industry sectors: healthcare, financial services, entertainment and media, retail and consumer products, energy, and real estate.

Chambers honored nine Manatt practices and 23 lawyers as leading lawyers in business for 2018. Manatt Health chair William Bernstein received a Band 1 ranking for Healthcare – New York for the eighth consecutive year.

Thank you for being a valued member of Manatt Alumni. Please keep us updated on your life and accomplishments in the year and years ahead. I hope our paths cross again soon, either professionally or socially, and that you enjoy this edition of Manatt Unite.

William T. Quicksilver
Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner

Bill Quicksilver

Alumni in Focus

Manatt alumni continue to do extraordinary things—both personally and professionally. This year, we profile one such alum.

An Interview With Paul Irving

  • Chairman, Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging (previously, President, Milken Institute), January 2011 to present
  • Chairman of the Board,, January 2012 to present
  • Director, East West Bancorp, April 2010 to present
  • Director, Pharos Capital BDC, Inc., 2018 to present
  • Distinguished Scholar in Residence, University of Southern California Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, January 2015 to present
  • 2010 Fellow, Advanced Leadership Initiative, Harvard University

Manatt History

  • Co-chair, 2006–2010
  • Chief Executive Officer, 1999–2006
  • Joined the firm in 1984

Paul Irving spent more than a quarter century at Manatt. Under his leadership, the firm grew dramatically through acquisitions and the enhancement of industry practices. His tenure also saw the expansion of Manatt’s consulting business to include ManattJones Global Strategies, LLC, and Manatt Health Solutions. In anyone else’s life story, the next fitting chapter might be retirement, or at least some well-deserved time off; but Irving soon found himself on a new mission: to fully harness the potential of Earth’s fastest-growing, underappreciated and untapped natural resource—its older citizens.

“I enjoyed my time in law practice; I appreciated our clients; I liked my Manatt colleagues. It was great fun running the firm,” Irving said about his decision to move to a new chapter in 2010. “But I felt that the learning curve had flattened, that I had kind of done what I could do in the firm and in the profession and was ready for an encore—for something new that would involve learning and social contribution and new relationships and different opportunities. So I got the opportunity to do a fellowship at Harvard—an interfaculty initiative of Harvard Business School, the Kennedy School, the Law School, the School of Public Health and the School of Education. The year on campus at Harvard gave me an opportunity to breathe and think and open myself to new possibilities, and it changed my perspective about the potential of doing something radically different.”

For Irving, something different came in the form of the Milken Institute, the nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank on a mission to increase global prosperity. Personal friendships, active searching and Manatt connections helped put the Institute in Irving’s orbit. “I actually had worked on a deal with Drexel a long, long time ago, so there was some history,” he said. “But, as with so many changes in life, there was a bit of planning and a bit of serendipity. The Milken Institute is a terrific platform for applied research, global convening and philanthropy. I had an opportunity to become president of the Institute and enjoyed it for several years.”

Irving wasn’t actively involved in aging-related causes prior to joining the Institute, but that changed soon after he arrived. On Irving’s inaugural listening tour, Milken’s chief development officer walked into his office and said, “We have a philanthropic supporter who’s interested in doing some kind of an impact project relating to aging in the United States, and thought you might have ideas.” Irving was interested, but realized that there was a lot to learn. “One of the benefits of having been around the block a few times is comfort in acknowledging what you don’t know and understanding how to reach out to others with real expertise for their help. So I convened a group of thought leaders and subject matter experts, who have all become close friends in the meantime, to discuss the challenges and opportunities that needed to be addressed. We ended up creating a data-driven index to assess the effectiveness of U.S. cities and metropolitan areas across the country, and their ability to enable what we defined as successful aging.”

Irving’s work was widely publicized and led to the formation of a new social organization, the Center for the Future of Aging. During this time, his book, The Upside of Aging: How Long Life Is Changing the World of Health, Work, Innovation, Policy, and Purpose, was published by Wiley. He also joined the USC Davis School of Gerontology and became active on a series of boards to champion healthy longevity and the roles older adults can play in business and the social sector. Irving got involved in the Obama White House’s Conference on Aging and became a frequent speaker at business, health and philanthropic conferences around the globe. He regularly contributes to the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, PBS and the Huffington Post. He’s now part of a National Academy of Medicine steering committee on healthy longevity.

In addition to leading business and policy initiatives, both domestic and global, Irving’s collective recently published a report called Silver to Gold: The Business of Aging. “It makes the case that businesses across the world should recognize the power and potential of the longevity economy—products, services and innovations for the fast-growing cohort of older people around the world,” he said. “And it offers evidence about the potential of older workers and intergenerational workforces as changing demographics and shifting retirement norms cause businesses to rethink their human capital strategies.”

“Bioscience is doing its part to promote health and extend human life, but our public and private institutions and culture have fallen well behind in adapting to changing age demography. It’s high time to shift the way we think about aging and recognize older people not as a burden but as a human capital asset, with the potential for not only longer lives but also healthier and more fulfilling lives.”

Those changes are circling back to Manatt and the legal profession at large. “As changing times have thankfully shifted the way progressive professional services firms think about race, gender and sexual identity, the demographic age shift will change the way firms think about age. Changes in the composition of staffing in professional services firms across the U.S. and around the world are inevitable; new thinking about aging and how younger and older colleagues complement each other might be the next frontier for firms like Manatt; I hope Manatt can continue to be a leader in that regard.”

Irving continued, “One of the accomplishments I’m proudest of during my time running the firm was the acquisition of the Kalkines, Arky, Zall & Bernstein law firm that led to the creation of Manatt Health; part of that was recognition of the increasing importance of health in the U.S. economy; part of it was a shared recognition with KAZB’s leadership that professional services could and should be delivered in new ways—and that lawyers could be successfully complemented with equally talented non-legal professionals for the benefit of clients.”

As chairman of, a nonprofit thought-leading organization started by Mark Freedman, Irving continues his advocacy. “Older people may be our only growing natural resource, but their value for society is not being maximized,” he said. “One of the things that we know at Encore is that older adults can change the lives of younger people for the better. We have a current campaign called Generation to Generation, to recruit one million older adults to serve kids in the U.S.” Another Encore campaign, Encore Fellows, takes people from leadership positions and places them in nonprofits to help young social entrepreneurs.

“I think I’m working harder now than I worked when I was a lawyer. I absolutely love what I do. I joke with people and say that the things I do today, certainly compared to law practice, are no way to make a living, but they feed a need to serve, and I have a passion for the work. I travel more; I’m working more hours; it’s kind of crazy, I suppose. My wife laughs at me, rolling her eyes about my ‘relaxing’ encore career.”

Irving feels his time in the legal profession set him up to succeed in his social sector work. “The things you learn as a lawyer, the discipline of planning cases, the discipline of structuring and effecting deals, are disciplines that apply well in accomplishing social objectives, change and mission-focused work. Good lawyers are really good at GSD—Getting Stuff Done.”

As Irving moves forward, he credits both Tom Phelps and Chuck Manatt for their mentorship and invaluable perspectives. “Tom’s kindness, generosity and positive energy always resonated; Chuck Manatt set a professional example about the importance and value of a life outside the law. And whether that life was politics or engagement in social service or business, those things were important in creating a rounded, productive and effective person.”

Irving continued, “Bill Quicksilver and others will remember Chuck’s instructions on profession, investment, community engagement and family; Chuck wanted to know how his younger colleagues were doing on all those fronts. It was important for a lawyer to be successful and accomplished in his or her profession. It was important to think about investment for financial security. It was critical to spend time involved in and giving back to the community—in political activity, and in contributing other things outside the law. And it was important that the lawyer focus on his or her family—their significant other and kids. It was a good frame in which to encourage us to see problems and opportunities in new ways—outside the casebook or the statute—to look for creative solutions and to bring a broad and multifaceted experience to the service of clients. That approach assisted me in my work as a lawyer and is manifested daily in my current work.

“I hope my friends at Manatt remember that financial success should be an outcome, not an objective. It should be an outcome of recruiting and retaining great, interesting and diverse people. It should be an outcome of doing good work for fantastic clients. It should be an outcome of intelligence, creativity and innovation. I’m a proud Manatt alum, and I’m happy to hear that the firm is doing well. If members of the firm or fellow alumni reach out, I’ll be glad to connect—although I may be in London or Singapore. These days, one never knows.”

And finally, a sidebar…

One of Irving’s fond Manatt memories—after his tenure at the firm—recalls a time when the nation wasn’t as bitterly divided as it is today. “I walked into the president’s office at the George Washington University in D.C. to have a chat with Steve Knapp, then GW’s president. I’m regularly at GW’s Milken Institute School of Public Health—another small-world story since both Chuck and Tom attended law school at GW, and Chuck served for a time as the chair of GW’s board. There on the wall was a picture of Chuck and Frank Fahrenkopf, who, of course, was the chairman of the Republican National Committee when Chuck was the chairman of the Democratic National Committee. It was the two of them basically hugging. It was both a happy memory, on the one hand, and quite sad on the other, because it reflected a very different time in our politics—a time when good people did reach across the aisle to work more collaboratively.”

Alumni Updates

Manatt alumni enjoyed many great achievements in the past year, embarking on new professional endeavors and making a difference in their communities. They include:

  • Merlin Brittenham joined Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America as a senior director in the legal department.
  • Deborah Brown is working as the chief strategy and innovation officer for health at the New York City Office of the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services.
  • Wendy W.Y. Chang was named one of ten new Los Angeles County Superior Court judges by Gov. Jerry Brown.
  • Edward Choi was promoted to director of the product law group at Apple.
  • Terri DiPaolo joined TKO as head of sponsorship.
  • Geoffrey Jones joined Monarch Global Strategies as CFO and SVP of business development.
  • Rashi Keserwani, the fiscal forecasting manager for the city and county of San Francisco’s Human Services Agency, is running for Berkeley’s City Council in District 1.
  • Ariel Levin joined the American Hospital Association as a senior associate director.
  • Andrew Manshel is the new assistant commissioner of the New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications.
  • Alison Mijares Paul was promoted to vice president and customer segment consultant for Consumer Banking & Merrill Edge at Bank of America.
  • Keith Nevitt joined Kaiser Permanente as a senior consultant.
  • Nancy Whang joined Southern California Gas Co. as senior counsel.

Manatt is interested in learning about alumni happenings. Send news of your career updates, advancements and honors to

Manatt in the Community

Giving back has been a fundamental value of Manatt’s since the firm’s origins, and in 2017, its professionals continued to demonstrate their commitment by performing over 26,000 pro bono hours, making 2017 the second-highest pro bono performance year in the firm’s history. Last year, 75 percent of the firm’s lawyers provided at least 20 pro bono hours, with an average of 73 hours per lawyer.

Housing Extended for 1,700 Puerto Rican Hurricane Evacuees

Manatt is working with LatinoJustice to represent plaintiffs in a lawsuit seeking relief for Puerto Rican hurricane evacuees whose federal housing assistance vouchers were set to expire. Craig de Recat, a partner in the firm’s litigation practice and co-chair of the firm’s national trial practice, is leading Manatt’s efforts.

Had the vouchers expired, the evacuees could have been evicted from the hotels they were residing in. A judge ordered federal emergency officials to extend vouchers for temporary hotel housing for nearly 1,700 Puerto Rican hurricane evacuees.

Major Victory in Case Against Gun-Selling Website

Manatt played an important role in a case that will have major implications for gun sales over the Internet. Working pro bono with the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence and Wisconsin law firm Cannon & Dunphy, partner Jacqueline Wolff and counsel Sam Katze led the Manatt team in a lawsuit against over the sale of a gun that was used in a mass shooting in Wisconsin.

On April 19, the Court of Appeals of Wisconsin unanimously held that Armslist, the largest online gun market, can be held liable for negligently facilitating illegal gun purchases through its website. This is the first decision by a court holding that Armslist can be held liable. The court reversed a decision by the trial court, which had determined the federal Communications Decency Act barred the case.

The case was brought on behalf of Yasmeen Daniel, whose mother was killed in a mass shooting at a Wisconsin spa, in which a gun bought through a listing on Armslist was used. The gun was purchased by a prohibited purchaser who was able to evade a background check because the sale occurred through a private seller.

The complaint alleges that Armslist entered the online gun business after Craigslist, Amazon and other websites stopped allowing gun sales because of the danger that prohibited people would obtain them. Guns sold through Armslist have been tied to previous crimes, including the murder of Jitka Vesel in Chicago, which led to an unsuccessful suit against Armslist.

Family Gets Day in Court to Recover Nazi-Confiscated Art

Manatt filed an amicus brief, pro bono, for Holocaust survivors organization The 1939 Society, supporting a family whose great-grandmother had been forced by the Nazis into “selling” a painting by the renowned impressionist artist Camille Pissaro. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled in favor of the family’s heirs, who had been attempting to recover the artwork for many years.

This Ninth Circuit decision was the third published opinion reversing the district court and remanding the case for further proceedings in this long-running saga. The district court had granted summary judgment for the defendant museum in Madrid (created by the Spanish government), concluding that the museum had acquired good title to the painting through Spain’s law of prescriptive acquisition—similar to adverse possession but for personal property.

Manatt’s amicus brief challenged the district court’s choice-of-law analysis and argued for a more thorough examination of the correct factors in determining whether Spanish or California law should apply.

Employment and labor counsel Stan Levy led the Manatt team, which included associates Christie Bahna, Sarah Gettings and Connie Lam and assistance from appellate partner and co-chair Ben Shatz.


As in years past, Manatt and its professionals received a number of awards in the past year from prominent legal, business and community educational organizations.

  • The Daily Journal recognized three Manatt teams with 2018 “California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year” awards for their extraordinary achievements in various sectors of the law:

    Litigation partners Barry Landsberg, Harvey Rochman and Craig Rutenberg were recognized for their work on behalf of Dignity Health in Minton v. Dignity Health, an “eye-catching case” that turned on a nearly decade-old precedent.

    Appellate partner Joanna McCallum was recognized for her successful argument before a Second District Court of Appeal panel that led to a significant victory for victims of domestic violence in California.

    Land use co-chair Victor De la Cruz, associate Salvador Pérez and former associate C.J. Laffer were recognized for their work in helping elderly residents stay in their homes after an apartment with assisted living services sent them eviction notices in 2016.
  • Start Small Think Big awarded Irah Donner, a partner in the firm’s intellectual property (IP) practice, with its first-ever Volunteer Service Award for his commitment to provide IP advice to a wide variety of small businesses through the nonprofit organization.
  • OneOC honored a Manatt pro bono team led by class actions partner Adrianne Marshack at the 2018 Spirit of Volunteerism event for the team’s successful representation of a woman involved in a domestic violence and defamation action. In addition to Adrianne, partner Yuri Mikulka, associates Caleb Bean and Kristin Haule, and former associate Eric Chen were honored.


Manatt professionals continue to serve on important legal, nonprofit and government boards. This year, several of our professionals were involved in significant domestic undertakings.

  • George Kieffer, a partner in the firm’s government and regulatory practice, was elected chair of the University of California Board of Regents, the culmination of a long history of service to the University of California and higher education. George also chairs the Los Angeles Civic Alliance and is on the board of directors for both the Central City Association of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.
  • Margaret Levy, a counsel in the firm’s litigation practice, was appointed to the Central District of California’s Magistrate Judge Merit Selection panel for a three-year term, effective January 1, 2018.
  • Amy Briggs, chair of the firm’s insurance recovery practice, and Deborah Kelly, a partner in the firm’s employment and labor practice, will be inducted into the Litigation Counsel of America, an invitation-only trial lawyer honorary society. Membership is limited to 3,500, representing less than one-half of 1 percent of American lawyers.
  • Benjamin Shatz, co-chair of the appellate practice, was elected to the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers, the nation’s oldest lawyers’ organization dedicated to appellate practice. The organization comprises California lawyers with substantial appellate experience.
  • Donna Wilson, CEO and managing partner-elect and financial services group co-chair,  was inducted as a fellow into the prestigious American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers, a professional association of lawyers skilled and experienced in handling consumer financial services matters.


Manatt practices have again been ranked for excellence by leading legal rankings organizations, and the firm was recognized for promoting and maintaining a diverse work environment.

  • Manatt was named to The American Lawyer’s “A-List” ranking of the top 20 law firms in the nation for 2017. The rankings are based on results in revenue per lawyer, pro bono work, associate satisfaction, diversity and percentage of women equity partners.
  • Working Mother magazine again named Manatt among the “50 Best Law Firms for Women” in 2017, honoring the firm’s excellence in creating a flexible workplace and innovative professional development programs designed to retain women lawyers and advance them into the leadership pipeline.
  • Manatt earned a perfect score of 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign’s 2018 Corporate Equality Index, a national benchmark survey that reports  on corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ workplace equality.
  • For the seventh consecutive year, Manatt was awarded the Women in Law Empowerment Forum’s Gold Standard Certificate in 2017, which recognizes the leadership roles achieved by women partners.
  • Chambers USA recognized 22 firm lawyers and nine practices in its 2017 list of leading lawyers for business in the United States.
  • Best Lawyers in America included 67 Manatt lawyers in its list of “America’s Leading Lawyers” for 2017.
  • Manatt practices were ranked among the top in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, with nine Tier 1 national rankings and 25 Tier 1 metropolitan rankings. Manatt was also recognized as Law Firm of the Year in the category “Entertainment Law–Music.”
  • U.S. News & World Report also named Manatt “Law Firm of the Year” in both Advertising Law and Entertainment Law–Motion Pictures and Television, designations given to only one law firm in each of the 74 practice areas.
  • Manatt received nine national practice area rankings in the 2017 edition of The Legal 500 United States, which also included two Manatt partners as “Leading Lawyers.”

Manatt in Action

Whether we are guiding transactions, resolving disputes, or helping clients navigate the complicated waters of law and regulation, we have embodied the highest standards in our work and in the way we serve our clients. Here are some highlights* of our work from the past year.

*We respect our clients' need for confidentiality; however, some of our clients have permitted us to talk about our work for them.


Dignity Health
Manatt obtained a major victory for Dignity Health in a lawsuit brought by a transgender plaintiff claiming violations of the Unruh Civil Rights Act, a case that has broad ramifications for religiously affiliated hospitals in California. The court sustained Dignity Health’s demurrers to the plaintiff’s first amended complaint, without leave to amend, finding that the case was governed by a California Supreme Court ruling that explored healthcare providers’ religious freedoms. The plaintiff’s appeal is pending.

Following complaints from members that HIV-related information was allegedly disclosed improperly, Aetna was quickly faced with numerous class actions (including approximately seven class actions filed across the country), individual member lawsuits and several government inquiries. Manatt was successful in consolidating numerous class actions into a single venue, and in negotiating a settlement of the consolidated class actions, avoiding protracted litigation. (The motion for preliminary approval is pending in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.)

Mount Sinai Health System
Mount Sinai Health System engaged Manatt to serve as corporate counsel in the creation of Sema4, an innovative, for-profit health information company that Mount Sinai formed by spinning out several genetic testing and data sciences components from its Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences and the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology. Sema4’s goal is to revolutionize clinical diagnostics by combining comprehensive screening and diagnostic testing, predictive modeling, cutting-edge technologies, and open-access data.  

State of North Carolina
Working directly with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Manatt is advising North Carolina on key strategic issues related to Medicaid transformation, including potential approaches to care management, value-based payments and behavioral health in a Medicaid managed care environment. The project also supports the state’s efforts to expand health coverage under Medicaid. Manatt conducts weekly briefings with senior state officials, drafts legislative language, and provides ad hoc research on complex legal and strategic inquiries.

The Commonwealth Fund
Manatt is supporting The Commonwealth Fund in developing its vision for a digital health advisor (DHA)—an integrated suite of digital services that would provide consumers with health information, connect them with providers and empower them to achieve their health goals. Manatt is performing research to understand possible business models that can support the types of use cases envisioned in the DHA prototype, called Sage. The DHA is key to connecting  providers with patients and helping consumers address health-related questions, decisions and tasks.

Manatt served as healthcare regulatory counsel to Humana in a transaction involving the acquisition of Curo, one of the nation’s largest hospice providers. The acquisition was carried out by a joint venture owned by Humana and two private equity firms—TPG Capital and Welsh Carson. The transaction is set to close in the summer of 2018.

Entertainment and Media

Boom! Studios
Manatt represented Boom! Studios, a comic book and graphic novel publisher, in its sale of a minority stake in the company to 20th Century Fox. The deal will help Boom! develop more original and licensed content for its catalog as well as solidify its position in the business. Fox’s investment in Boom! became even more lucrative when Disney announced it would be acquiring Fox properties, bringing forth tremendous potential for comics in the Boom! catalog to be developed into films.

Perfect World Pictures
Manatt represented Beijing-based Perfect World Pictures in a $250 million ultimates-based loan facility with East West Bank and J.P. Morgan as part of Perfect World’s $500 million, five-year, 50-film co-finance agreement with Universal Pictures. The $500 million deal represents the first-ever direct investment by a Chinese company in the film slate of one of the six major Hollywood studios, and the largest Chinese investment ever in a Hollywood film slate.

The Tornante Co.
Manatt represented The Tornante Co., owned by former Disney CEO Michael Eisner, with two major series production deals with Netflix and Amazon. The first was a deal with Netflix for the financing, production and distribution of an animated adult series titled Tuca & Bertie. The second was a deal with Amazon for the finance, production and distribution of an animated adult series titled Undone.

Content Partners
Manatt represented Content Partners, a billion-dollar fund that buys copyrights and participations in film and television programs, in the acquisition of the entire Initial Entertainment Group film library from Tango Films.

Warner Bros. Records
In a suit that was the first of its kind to be filed in decades, Manatt served as lead counsel for Warner Bros. Records in a multimillion-dollar action against the heavy metal band Avenged Sevenfold arising from the band’s termination of its recording agreement with the label under California’s so-called seven-year rule. Manatt defeated the band’s motion for summary judgment in its entirety, paving the way to the record label’s successful resolution of the matter.


Aera Energy
Manatt obtained a significant victory for Aera Energy LLC, an oil and gas exploration company, in the first phase of a multiphase litigation challenging the constitutionality of Measure Z in Monterey County, CA. The measure, a ballot initiative that voters approved, targeted restrictions on operations critical to ongoing oil production in Monterey. While Measure Z was upheld, elements that were struck down allow current oil operations in Monterey County to continue.

California Independent Petroleum Association
Manatt represented the California Independent Petroleum Association. in obtaining a preliminary injunction against the California Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) to prevent the immediate, arbitrary and unlawful shut-in of potentially thousands of Class II injection wells. These wells are critical to the production of oil and natural gas resources in California, and have operated safely for decades without adverse impact on drinking water supplies. Without the injunction, DOGGR could have ordered the shut-in of potentially thousands of Class II injection wells.

Hull Street Energy
Manatt represented Hull Street Energy, a private equity firm that acquires, optimizes and grows middle-market power businesses, in its $107 million leveraged acquisition of Maxim Power USA from Maxim Power Corp. Maxim Power USA owns natural gas–fired power plants in New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Montana. Manatt’s work included environmental due diligence, permit transfers and FERC-related compliance activities.

Financial Services

BMO Harris Bank N.A.
Manatt defended BMO Harris Bank N.A. in a string of multistate residential mortgage-backed securitizations (RMBS) lawsuits. ResCap Liquidating Trust as successor to Residential Funding Company LLC filed suit in the U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota in St. Paul, seeking repurchase damages and indemnification arising out of the sale of allegedly defective residential mortgage loans packaged into RMBS. Manatt’s litigation team reached a favorable settlement for BMO in this litigation, and is now preparing to defend the next rounds of major RMBS litigation for BMO and other major banks.

Manatt represented Bolstr, a Chicago-based digital lending platform, in the sale of its digital lending platform to Key Bank. Manatt also served as regulatory counsel. The fintech software will enable KeyBank to provide faster and easier access both to SBA loans and to traditional capital for business owners.

Bond Street Marketplace
Manatt represented Bond Street Marketplace in its sale to the Goldman Sachs Group, a multinational finance company engaged in investment banking, investment management, investing and lending, equities trading, and fixed-income currencies and commodities trading. The sale was strategic for Goldman’s new marketplace lending unit (Marcus), rolled out to the small-business lending market to complement the firm’s robust launch in the consumer sector. The new unit will focus on small-business loans of between $50,000 and $500,000.

Community Bank
Manatt is serving as legal counsel to Community Bank in its $880 million acquisition by CVB Financial Corp., a holding company for Citizens Business Bank. This landmark transaction combines two of the oldest banks headquartered in Southern California, transforming the banking landscape in the region.

CU Bancorp
Manatt served as legal counsel to CU Bancorp in its merger with PacWest Bancorp, in which PacWest acquired CU Bancorp in a transaction totaling approximately $705 million. The combined company will have approximately $25 billion in assets and 87 branches.

Keefe, Bruyette & Woods
Manatt obtained a full victory for investment banking firm Keefe, Bruyette & Woods (KBW) in a pair of putative class actions arising out of the $1.7 billion merger of Talmer Bancorp., Inc., and Chemical Financial Corp. The plaintiffs alleged that KBW aided and abetted Talmer’s board of directors’ alleged breaches of fiduciary duty arising out of the merger. In cases of first impression in Michigan, Manatt achieved back-to-back dismissals of the actions.

Real Estate

American Musical and Dramatic Academy
Manatt is assisting the American Musical and Dramatic Academy College and Conservatory of the Performing Arts (AMDA) with the redevelopment of its approximately 2.5-acre campus in Hollywood with educational, commercial and high-rise residential uses that will take advantage of AMDA’s prime location in the heart of Hollywood.

Jay Paul Co.
Manatt assisted Jay Paul Co., a San Francisco-based developer, in the development of 181 Fremont, a 70-story tower that features 432,000 square feet of commercial office space and 67 condominium residences on the top 17 floors of the building. Facebook, Inc., has signed on as Jay Paul’s commercial tenant. The new development will be one of only two projects that directly connect to the new Transbay Transit Center, expected to become San Francisco’s “Grand Central Station.”

Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Manatt is representing the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) in its ambitious plan to transform the existing museum campus and the way visitors will view its permanent collection. In addition to assisting LACMA with the real estate design, development and construction, Manatt is providing strategic advice on land use and entitlement matters, coordinating the Environmental Impact Report, and obtaining government approvals and permits. The project involves the demolition of four buildings on the museum campus, which is prompting peripheral discussions related to historic significance issues. The new plan, being designed by renowned architect Peter Zumthor, is a bold, single-story, 400,000-square-foot design that includes a bridgelike section spanning Wilshire Boulevard, one of Los Angeles’ most traveled and iconic corridors. The demolition is scheduled to begin in late 2018, and the new museum is targeted to open in conjunction with the opening of the new Los Angeles Metro Rail line in 2023.

Mount Saint Mary’s University
Manatt is representing Mount Saint Mary’s University in its first Brentwood campus development project in more than three decades—the University’s Wellness Pavilion. We are advising the university with the project’s entitlements and Environmental Impact Report, and negotiating with various homeowner groups in the area to obtain their support.

Olive Hill Group
Manatt represented Olive Hill Group, LLC, a firm specializing in the development, acquisition, repositioning and renovation of commercial assets, in its $117 million purchase of 520 Broadway, a 112,987-square-foot Class A office building in downtown Santa Monica, CA. The building is in proximity to the Santa Monica light rail station, the Third Street Promenade and Santa Monica Place. The area is home to tech giants including Google, Facebook, Snapchat, SpaceX, Amazon and Microsoft.

Toll Brothers
Manatt represented Toll Brothers in its purchase of 169 home lots at Pacifica San Juan, a master-planned community in Orange County, CA. Toll Brothers’ acquisition of the 259-acre development marks Orange County’s largest residential land transaction of the past year. Manatt’s work also included performing land use due diligence in connection with the transaction. 

Hahm International Inc. and Levand Steel & Supply Corp.
In a rare eminent domain lawsuit filed by the United States, Manatt successfully secured a jury verdict on behalf of Hahm International Inc. and Levand Steel & Supply Corp., and four other individual clients, over the United States taking 1,000+ acres of Mojave Desert land that contained a permitted iron ore mine. After a six-day trial, Manatt secured a $30.2 million verdict for our clients, along with a more than $1.7 million award of interest.

New to Manatt

Manatt continued to attract top talent from across the country. Since the beginning of 2017, 15 new partners and managing directors have joined the firm:

Keith Anderson, Partner
Manatt Health, Chicago

Anita Boomstein, Partner
Global Payments, New York

Christopher Broderick, Partner
Intellectual Property, Los Angeles

Benjamin Chu, Managing Director
Manatt Health, New York

Kalidou Gadio, Partner
Corporate and Finance, Washington, D.C.

Rich Hartunian, Partner
Corporate Investigations and White Collar Defense, New York

Deborah Kelly, Partner
Employment and Labor, Washington, D.C.

Shannon Lorbiecki, Director
Manatt Health, Chicago

Michael Merritt, Managing Director
Manatt Health, New York

Linda Moroney, Partner
Manatt Health, Chicago

Gregg Nunziata, Partner
Government and Regulatory, Washington, D.C.

Jack Quinn, Partner
Government and Regulatory, Washington, D.C.

Robert Rebitzer, Managing Director
Manatt Health, San Francisco

Ned Sherman, Counsel and Director
Manatt Digital, Los Angeles

David Smith, Partner
Land Use, San Francisco and Costa Mesa