2019 Vault Rankings
Pryor Cashman’s dual locations in the entertainment industry hotspots of New York and Los Angeles are indicative of the full-service firm’s most well-known practice: Entertainment. Pryor Cashman has brushed legal shoulders with some of the biggest icons in pop culture, including Simon & Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, Tony Bennett, Neil Diamond, Paul Newman, Elton John and Lady Gaga, though the firm has morphed into a full-service firm that serves the mid-market in nearly every way.
From Entertainment to Full-Service
The beginnings of Pryor Cashman are consistent with its strongest practice today: the firm was founded as an entertainment law boutique firm. In 1963, Pete Pryor and David Braun, entertainment lawyers specializing in the motion picture, music and publishing industries, joined forces with Gideon Cashman, a well-known litigator who had served as Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Criminal Division in the Southern District of New York. In its early days, the firm saw clients the likes of Simon & Garfunkel; Peter, Paul and Mary; Faye Dunaway; Neil Diamond; Bob Dylan and major talent agency Creative Management Associates focused on civil litigation, copyright, unfair competition and corporate counseling. In the 70s, Pryor Cashman took its first steps on the road toward becoming a full-service firm, adding securities, tax and corporate financing to its practices. The 80s straight into the new millennium marked a period of significant expansion for the firm, as it added to its practices labor and employment, banking, bankruptcy, criminal defense, family law, litigation, corporate, real estate and intellectual property. In 2003, Pryor Cashman opened its L.A. office, which has doubled in size over the past year.
Pryor Cashman’s transition to a full-service firm was clearly successful, as nearly all of its practice areas have been singled out for recognition. Its IP practice has been honored by World Trademark Review, Intellectual Property Today and Trademark Insider. Chambers top-ranks its M&A, Media and Entertainment and Corporate practices, Legal 500 its Copyright, IP, Media, Technology, Telecom, IP Litigation and Real Estate, and Law360 its Media and Entertainment Practice. Even the Hollywood Reporter and Crain’s New York Business have called Pryor Cashman one of the “Best Places to Work in New York City.” Their current client list is extremely wide-ranging in both transactional and litigation work.
From the Red Carpet to Pryor Cashman’s Offices
If a song’s in the Top 40, it’s likely to face a copyright suit, but Pryor Cashman is there to help. The firm’s accomplished Entertainment practice represents some of the brightest stars in the music industry in copyright battles. Some of your favorite songs which owe their copyright defense to Pryor Cashman include Kanye West’s “Stronger,” Elton John’s “Nikita” and Nelly Furtado’s “Do It.” But it’s not just copyright infringement that brings celebrities knocking at Pryor Cashman’s door; the firm also assisted Lady Gaga in social media investment and Justin Timberlake in men’s fashion ventures. Last year, Shechtman and the Labor and Employment group represented actors from “Hamilton” to bring the original cast members (all of whom belong to Actors’ Equity Association) a share of the smash musical’s profits.
Spider-Man vs. Pryor Cashman
Pryor Cashman earned its own place in pop culture when a villain in Spider-Man comic book series was named after the firm. Pryor Cashman the character, also known as “The Kingmaker,” appears in the Osborn arc of the series as a “highly dangerous” accomplice to prominent Spider-Man nemesis Green Goblin. Perhaps Pryor Cashman’s casting was a case of art imitating life; Pryor Cashman (the firm) was involved in arbitration against producers of the Broadway stage show Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark on behalf of its client The Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC). The arbitration concerned unpaid royalties to Julie Taymor, a member of the SDC and the original director of the show.
IN THE NEWS
Major Food Group Revamps Former Four Seasons Restaurant
Pryor Cashman represented Major Food Group (owners of Carbone, Dirty French, Santina, Sadelle’s, ZZ’s Clam Bar and Parm) in its partnership with Seagram Building owner Aby Rosen on opening new restaurants in the space that was previously home to the iconic restaurant, The Four Seasons.
The Big Bang Theory Vs. “Soft Kitty” Copyright Suit
Pryor Cashman successfully represented Warner Bros. Entertainment, CBS, Fox Broadcasting, Turner Broadcasting and Chuck Lorre Productions in a copyright infringement action brought by the daughters of Edith Newlin, a pre-school teacher and nursery-rhyme writer, claiming that the use of the song “Soft Kitty” in the hit television sitcom The Big Bang Theory used their mother’s lyrics without permission.
Advising Russell Simmons on $167M Sale of Prepaid Card Company
Pryor Cashman represented music mogul / entrepreneur Russell Simmons in the $167 million sale of UniRush, LLC, the prepaid debit card company he co-founded, to prepaid card giant Green Dot Corporation (NYSE: GDOT).
An Artful Victory for Robert Motherwell’s Art Foundation
Pryor Cashman obtained a significant summary judgment victory for The Dedalus Foundation (f/k/a The Robert Motherwell Foundation) in a long-running suit against its former director, Joan Banach.
Pryor Cashman Advises on Landmark Digital Streaming Rate-Setting
Pryor Cashman is advising NMPA and NSAI on their Written Direct Statement to the Copyright Royalty Board proposing rates and terms payable by interactive streaming and limited download services such as Amazon, Apple, Google and Spotify.
7 Times Square
New York, NY 10036
Phone: (212) 421-4100
Employer Type: Private
Managing Partner: Ronald H. Shechtman
Hiring Attorney: Philip R. Hoffman
Total No. Attorneys 2016: 148
2 out of 2 (2016) (2Ls only)
New York, NY (HQ)
Los Angeles, CA
Banking & Finance
Bankruptcy, Reorganization & Creditors' Rights
Executive Compensation, ERISA & Employee Benefits
Hotel & Hospitality
Intellectual Property Litigation
Labor & Employment
M&A & Private Equity
Media & Entertainment
Restaurant, Food & Beverage
Restrictive Covenants + Trade Secrets
Securities + Corporate Finance