Manatt's L. Lee Phillips, a senior partner in the firm's Los Angeles office, has been recognized by The Hollywood Reporter for the seventh consecutive year as one of the most influential lawyers in entertainment. The publication's annual Power Lawyers list, which debuted in 2007, includes one hundred of the industry's most effective problem-solvers.
To determine this year's most powerful attorneys in Hollywood, The Hollywood Reporter researched the biggest deals and legal cases of the last twelve months. Lawyers were identified as talent dealmakers, litigators or corporate dealmakers and evaluated against their peers based on cases won and the nature of deals closed, as well as reputation within the community.
Phillips has been a leader in the music industry for more than 35 years, representing major musicians and recording artists such as Barbra Streisand, Steve Perry of Journey, The Eagles, Tracy Chapman and Neil Young.
The Hollywood Reporter calls Phillips a "rare" lawyer for handling both deals and disputes for music icons. For longtime client Barbra Streisand, Phillips recently renegotiated a pact to keep her at one label for her entire 50-year career. This past year he also played a part in getting the Beach Boys back on tour for their 50th reunion.
Phillips told the publication that he's currently defending clients against song ownership claims. "Right now, Burt Bacharach has a lawsuit in Italy by someone claiming they wrote the Italian lyrics to one of his songs; Paul Anka is being sued in Boston by a man who's claiming an interest in the Michael Jackson song 'This Is It' that Paul co-wrote," he said. "Unfortunately, celebrities become targets for these crazy lawsuits."