Jenner & Block has announced that prominent media, entertainment and sports lawyer David W. Sussman has joined the firm’s nationally recognized Content, Media & Entertainment (CME) Practice as special counsel in the New York office.
Sussman has more than 25 years of experience in legal and leadership positions at some of the most prominent companies in the media industry, having served as the chief legal officer at NBC Universal’s Content Distribution Group, general counsel and executive vice president at MTV Networks and general counsel and chief operating officer of the New York Yankees.
“We are excited to welcome David to the firm,” said Andrew H. Bart, co-chair of Jenner & Block’s CME Practice. “As a seasoned lawyer and strategic business advisor, his deep understanding of the media, entertainment and sports industries will help us expand and enhance the capabilities that our practice can offer to its clients.”
In particular, Sussman has routinely counseled senior management on litigation risk, as well as the potential business risks of new competitive, legal or regulatory developments. He represents network, studio and online distributors and other media companies as well as sports teams and leagues in transactions, licensing arrangements, content distribution agreements on both traditional and digital platforms, start-up opportunities, intellectual property protection, and compliance. Sussman also provides those clients counsel on mergers, acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures and strategic alliances.
Susan J. Kohlmann, managing partner of the firm’s New York office, added that Sussman “is a highly skilled lawyer who has been responsible for critical deals and litigation of many iconic New York companies.”
Before joining the firm, Sussman helped establish an entertainment and media practice at an international law firm, where he represented companies on transactions, licensing arrangements and litigation in the entertainment and media industry. In addition to his roles at NBC Universal, MTV and the New York Yankees, he also served as an operating partner at a middle-market private equity firm, where he developed and led acquisitions of businesses across the entertainment, sports and media sector.
As a former chief legal officer and general counsel, Sussman joins a long list of GCs who have joined Jenner & Block. In January, former Olin Corporation General Counsel George H. Pain joined the firm as a partner, effective March 1. Other former GCs and chief legal officers who are currently or have recently been partners at Jenner & Block have come from organizations such as the Federal Communications Commission, General Dynamics, General Motors, 3M Corporation, SPX Corporation, Exelon and others.
Sussman earned a J.D. from Columbia University School of Law and a B.A. and M.A. in political theory from the University of Pennsylvania.