Joel Katz exits law firm Greenberg Traurig

Veteran music industry lawyer Joel Katz has resigned from law firm Greenberg Traurig, as of December 31.

A statement issued by Greenberg Traurig Executive Chairman Richard A. Rosenbaum read that “Katz has, by mutual understanding, resigned” from the firm, which employs approximately 2,200 attorneys across 40 locations in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

Katz was founding Chairman of the firm’s global entertainment and media practice and the founding shareholder of its Atlanta office.

During his career, Katz has legally represented artists such as James BrownB.B. KingWaylon Jennings and Willie Nelson.

He was also a key figure in the deal which saw the Michael Jackson Estate’s 50% ownership of Sony/ATV sold to Sony for $750m in 2016

Katz began his career in 1971 leading his own law practice, Katz, Smith and Cohen, which became one of the nation’s largest entertainment law firms.

In 1988, he merged his practice with Greenberg Traurig and his client roster grew to include more than 50 artists.

Among those names were Kenny ChesneyJamie FoxxJosh GrobanSammy HagarFaith Hill, the estate of Whitney HoustonJulio IglesiasMichael Jackson/estate of Michael Jackson, Little Big Town, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Justin Timberlake and others.

Katz is planning to launch his own law firm, according to aVariety report, which citing sources, writes that he will be ‘bringing many of his clients with him’.

In January 2020, Katz was accused of sexual harassment by Deborah Dugan, the former CEO Recording Academy, where he Katz acts as general counsel.

“We thank Mr. Katz for his contributions over the years and have no further comment at this time.”

Richard A. Rosenbaum, Greenberg Traurig

Writing in a statement, Greenberg Traurig Executive Chairman Richard A. Rosenbaum, said: “Joel Katz has, by mutual understanding, resigned from the firm as of December 31, 2020.

“Our global entertainment practice remains strong, diverse and among the largest, most dynamic and highest rated in the world, led by Chair Bobby Rosenbloum in Atlanta, assisted by Vice Chairs Barbara Meili in New York and Dan Black in Los Angeles, as well as Jay Cooper, the founder of our Los Angeles Entertainment Practice, leading music industry lawyers Jess Rosen in Atlanta and Paul Schindler in New York, and many others.

“We thank Mr. Katz for his contributions over the years and have no further comment at this time.”

 Music Business Worldwide

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