Five Latham & Watkins partners have been named to Billboard’s 2021 Top Music Lawyers list: Sy Damle, Andy Gass, Alli Stillman, Jonathan West, and Joe Wetzel. Billboard’s annual list recognizes “[t]he best legal minds in the business,” who have “played an essential role” in the music business in the past year.
Damle, Gass, Stillman, and Wetzel – copyright litigators and members of Latham’s Connectivity, Privacy, and Information Practice – were recognized for representing “some of the biggest brands in music, including Spotify, Pandora, Live Nation, SoundCloud, iHeartMedia, Twitch and Triller” and multiple major trade groups representing these companies in connection with music copyright litigation, music copyright royalty rate-setting proceedings, and related regulatory matters before the US Copyright Office and Department of Justice. In 2020, the team conducted an entire trial before the Copyright Royalty Board (to determine the statutory royalty rate for webcasting) remotely, by videoconference; represented the Digital Licensee Coordinator and its member digital music providers in the rulemaking process to implement the Music Modernization Act; and obtained important regulatory guidelines to help digital music providers and other stakeholders in the transition to the blanket license (which became effective January 1, 2021).
West – a member of the firm’s Entertainment, Sports & Media Practice – was honored for his transactional work and representation of high-profile clients including representing KKR in its acquisition of OneRepublic and its front man Ryan Tedder’s catalog, Eldridge Industries in its acquisition of The Killers’ catalog, and representing celebrity clients in intellectual property protection and licensing matters.