Four Pepperdine Caruso Law Alumni Named Billboard Top Music Lawyers 2021
Pepperdine Caruso Law alumni Sid Fohrman (JD '00), Christiane Kinney (JD '98), Andranise Baxter (JD '16), and Guy Blake (JD '94) have been named among Billboard's Top Music Lawyers for 2021. Fohrman is a partner and head of the music industry team at Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton; Kinney is the founder and president of Kinney Law P.C.; Baxter is an associate at Myman Greenspan Fox Mobasser Younger & Light; and Blake is the managing partner at Granderson Des Rochers.
Partner/head of music industry team, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton
Fohrman has worked with high-profile clients like Spotify, Peloton and Vevo. But the recent accomplishment he is most proud of is the pro bono representation of American Song Archives: The Bob Dylan Center and Woody Guthrie Center in connection with the Fire in Little Africa project. The multimedia hip-hop collaboration commemorates the 1921 massacre in Tulsa, Okla.'s Greenwood neighborhood known as Little Africa that "included an exclusive license agreement with Capitol Music Group for release on Motown Records," says Fohrman.
Most Lasting Legacy of 2020 Will Be: "The year live concert streaming broke through — juxtaposed with the reminder that the in-person live concert experience can never be replaced."
President, Kinney Law
After closing $36 million in catalog sales in late 2018 and early 2019 at a previous firm, Kinney went solo in 2020 just as the pandemic struck. She dove into the world of virtual reality and built the legal infrastructure for BRCvr, an official virtual Burning Man experience on behalf of client Big Rock Creative. She represents legacy artists in renegotiations triggered by rights terminations and heirs of legacy artists in seeking money they're due. She has also represented LGBTQ+ business enterprise-certified public benefit corporations to help struggling LGBTQ+ artists during the pandemic.
The Song That Got Me Through the Pandemic: " 'Lean on Me' by Bill Withers. So many people have been crippled by this pandemic — mentally, spiritually and financially. For me, some of that melts away whenever I hear that song."
Associate, Myman Greenspan Fox Rosenberg Mobasser Younger & Light
Managing partner, Granderson Des Rochers
Launched in 2019, Granderson Des Rochers identifies itself as "one of the most diverse transactional entertainment law firms in the country," says Blake. "We built the firm to service the needs of a clientele as diverse as our partnership, associates and staff." Those clients include A$AP Rocky, J Balvin, blackbear, J. Cole, H.E.R., Lil Baby, NeYo, Paramore, Shaggy, Bernie Taupin, Hayley Williams and Young Thug, as well as Quality Control Music, Sessions, Live Triller and Wave XR. They are served by practice groups in the areas of music, film/TV, comedy, new media and technology, fashion, branding and entertainment finance. "Our mission is to continue to champion diversity and advance our professional and social objectives," says Blake.
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