For the 12th consecutive year, Pryor Cashman has been named a top U.S. law firm by The Legal 500. As in previous years, the firm's Copyright, Media + Entertainment, Immigration and Mergers + Acquisitions (M&A) practices, along with numerous individual attorneys, were ranked among the best in the country.

Leading Copyright Practice

Legal 500 praised the firm's Copyright practice, declaring it "prolific in disputes involving the music industry, but also highly skilled in other areas, such as entertainment and book publishing."

Donald Zakarin, head of the firm's Litigation Group, was recognized for representing the National Music Publishers' Association and the Nashville Songwriters Association International in a dispute against Apple, Google, Amazon, Spotify and Pandora concerning the rates and terms for the use of musical compositions by interactive streaming services. Following a six-week trial before the Copyright Royalty Board, Zakarin and a team of Pryor Cashman attorneys secured an increase in the royalty rates payable to songwriters over the period 2018 through 2022, simplified the terms, and awarded the songwriters much-needed protection against the revenue displacement and deferment strategies of the streaming services.

Frank Scibilia, co-head of the firm's Copyright practice, was lauded for his work on behalf of Sony and ATV Music Publishing in a litigation against a Beatles tribute act, which sold unlicensed recordings of the band's compositions.

Additionally, Ilene Farkas, co-head of the Music Litigation practice, was recognized for advising Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson on three separate lawsuits involving the song Uptown Funk. Legal 500 also commended her work defending Grammy-winning singer and songwriter Ed Sheeran against claims that his song Thinking Out Loud infringed the song Let's Get it On, performed by Marvin Gaye.

A Standout in Media + Entertainment

The firm's Media + Entertainment Group received top honors from Legal 500, including an acknowledgement of its "impressive music sector expertise." Zakarin, Farkas and Scibilia were each ranked in this area, as was James Janowitz, who co-heads the Group, and Intellectual Property Group Chair Brad Rose.

"Compassionate" and Innovative Immigration Attorneys

Lauded as "very responsive" and "efficiently operating," the firm's Immigration Group was ranked for its work on behalf of indigenous and multinational companies as well as artists and entertainers. Legal 500 observed, "the team has particular expertise in sports immigration law, where it advises leagues, teams and individual athletes."

Group Chair Colleen Caden was named a leading attorney in the field, as was Avram Morell, who Legal 500 called a "compassionate," "out-of-the-box thinker." Maria Fernanda Gandarez was praised for helping the partner of a high-level executive obtain an annotated B-2 visa, after being initially refused due to an error made by the interviewing embassy officer.

Debuting on the Legal 500 list was Dina Weinstein, who was named a "Rising Star" in immigration law.

Trusted Counselors for Middle-Market M&A Deals

Known for advising domestic and international companies in a range of industries, including energy, software, technology, advertising, apparel and life sciences, the firm's Mergers + Acquisitions (M&A) practice was once again ranked among the country's best for middle-market deals.

Legal 500 highlighted the team's work for SBE Entertainment Group, the owner of major hospitality brands, on a $319M strategic sale of a 50% interest in the company to Paris-based AccorHotels. Its representation of Greenlane Holdings in the acquisition of VaporNation and private equity firm TriSpan Rising Stars' acquisition of the Rosa Mexicano restaurant chain were also touted.

Corporate Group Co-Chairs Eric Hellige and John Crowe were named top attorneys in the field, along with Ali Panjwani.

The Complete Legal 500 Rankings

The Legal 500 U.S. rankings are based on work achievements, depth and experience of practice, and independent reviews from clients and peer law firms across the country. The awards are given to elite legal practitioners, based on the most comprehensive research into the U.S. legal market.

The complete 2019 rankings can be viewed here.

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