Meet the team
MICHELLE FOX, ESQ.
MICHELLE FOX, ESQ.
Michelle Fox is a savvy, hands-on trial and transactional lawyer with over nine years of litigation and advisory experience. With a focus on complex business, entertainment and employment matters, she has earned a reputation for her diligence and ability to guide clients through even the most contentious and nuanced disputes and negotiations. Balancing efficiency and attention to detail, Michelle also conducts workplace investigations and comprehensive reviews of internal policies, practices, and forms.
Before joining Smith Entertainment Law Group, Michelle practiced at Harris St. Laurent & Wechsler, where she counseled companies and individuals through contract conflicts, business torts and partnership issues and represented high-net-worth individuals in employment disputes, exit negotiations, private arbitrations and more. Earlier in her career, Michelle practiced at Greenspoon Marder LLP, where she worked with Kerry Smith and acquired broad-based transactional experience within the entertainment industry, including in television and film.
Some of her significant representative matters prior to joining SELG include:
- Obtaining several favorable settlements on behalf of a talent management company in connection with contract disputes with its entertainment industry clients.
- Successful mediation of a dispute on behalf of two of the three co-founders of a popular social media application after they were cut out of their startup business.
- Defeating an application for a temporary restraining order in Delaware Chancery Court on behalf of a 50% owner of a digital marketing business whose co-owner sought to cripple the company pending his petition to dissolve the business.
Over the years, Michelle has defended and taken deposition testimony in more than 150 cases, negotiated the settlement of seven-figure lawsuits, and has successfully argued numerous motions at the pretrial and trial stages. Clients rely on her analytical attention to detail; opposing counsel have learned not to underestimate her in the courtroom or at the negotiating table.
Michelle graduated summa cum laude from the University of Florida in 2008. Through the Teach for America program, she taught at a south Bronx elementary school for two years before receiving her J.D. from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in 2013, where she actively participated in the Moot Court Honor Society. She is admitted to practice in New York and New Jersey.
BRIAN MARSHALL HAND, ESQ.
BRIAN MARSHALL HAND, ESQ.
Brian Hand is a corporate attorney specializing in structuring and negotiating complex business transactions involving mergers and acquisitions, debt and equity financing, joint ventures, partnerships, technology licensing, succession planning and corporate governance. He works with both domestic and international companies in a broad variety of industries, including life sciences, entertainment, tech, financial services, travel and leisure, and health and wellness, and with family offices. Brian also advises entrepreneurs and start-ups and acts as an outside general counsel to several businesses, overseeing all aspects of their legal activities, including intellectual property, litigation and regulatory compliance matters.
Brian brings over 35 years of experience to his legal practice with a flexible, practical, and personalized approach. He sees every client as unique with individual needs. The depth of Brian’s knowledge and experience enables him to provide “bespoke” and insightful representation tailored to fit the requirements of diverse clients. Brian serves on the Board of Directors and as corporate Secretary of many companies. He is a member of the New York State Bar, the Business, International, and Science and Technology Law Sections of the American Bar Association, and BioLaw Europe.
Brian has been married to his wife, Debra, for 30 years. They are the parents of two adult daughters. Brian’s interests outside work include travel, history, sports, theater, exploring wineries, sampling single malt scotch and low-stakes poker.
J.D. Fordham University School of Law, 1986
B.A. Queens College of the City University of New York, 1982
SENA HARLLEY, ESQ.
SENA HARLLEY, ESQ.
Sena has experience representing clients in a plethora of practice areas including, real estate, contract law, intellectual property, civil litigation and business formation and acquisitions.
Prior to joining SELG, Sena was an associate at Ross L. Schiller & Associates, P.C. He also worked previously as a summer Associate for Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP.
Sena is admitted to practice in the State of New York, and he is also a licensed real estate broker in the State of New York. In his off time, Sena enjoys traveling, music, playing league basketball and participating in local community service initiatives.
JOHN MAATTA, ESQ.
JOHN MAATTA, ESQ.
John D. Maatta primarily focuses his practice on entertainment and media transactions including the development and production of motion pictures, television and streamed content and matters related to the representation of content creators and performers and the distribution of programming by broadcast, cable and streaming platforms.
John is also a highly experienced trial lawyer who has tried lengthy and complex jury trials and litigated matters in both State and Federal courts.
John is experienced with issues involving production, finance, distribution, affiliate relations, human resources, broadcast standards and matters involving media-related technology, marketing, advertising and branding. In addition, he advises creators and distributors of entertainment content.
Additionally, John advises and actively works with entrepreneurs and management teams at start-up and growth phase companies.
- Entertainment & Media Transactions
- Media-related Technology
- Entertainment Production
- Network Distribution
- Entertainment & Commercial Litigation
- General business and corporate transactions
- CEO, Wizard Brands, Inc.
- Co-CEO of Creek Road Miners
- COO, EVP & GC, The CW Television Network
- COO, EVP & GC, WB Television Network
- VP Warner Bros.
- VP Lorimar Telepictures
- Chairman, Trader Vic’s Restaurant Corp.
John spent several years as a senior executive at Warner Bros. and The CW Television Network. Most recently he served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel at The CW Television Network. For six years immediately prior to that, he served as the Co-Head of the CW Television Network, where he was the Chief Operating Officer responsible for the following operating departments: Media Sales, Finance, Technology, Business Affairs, Legal, Broadcast Standards, Network Distribution, and Human Resources. John was also the Chief Operating Officer of the WB Television Network as well as its Executive Vice President and General Counsel.
DANIEL REGAN, ESQ.
DANIEL REGAN, ESQ.
*Admitted in New York & California
Daniel Regan is an associate attorney, admitted to practice in both New York and California. Daniel works closely with senior attorneys in the firm counseling SELG’s clients in the television, production, new media, and music industries.
Daniel received his Juris Doctor from Tulane University Law School with a Sports Law Certificate in 2019. Daniel also hails from the University of Miami where he earned a Bachelor of Science in 2015.
While in law school, Daniel immersed himself in the New Orleans entertainment, sports, and music scene while volunteering at the Ella Project, where he provided pro bono legal assistance to local artists and musicians. He also served as the Social Media Coordinator for the Tulane Sports Law Society and as a managing editor of The Sports Lawyers Journal.
Prior to practicing law, Daniel served in the primary outward-facing role supporting the Co-Managing Partner and Head of the Alternative Programming, Digital Media, Licensing & Branding division at A3 Artists Agency and also provided brand marketing research to the former Creative Directors for Lucasfilm, Spielberg, and Columbia Pictures.
Daniel comes from a music industry legacy family and has always had a keen interest in championing artists, musicians, and athletes.
KERRY SMITH, ESQ.
KERRY SMITH, ESQ.
*Admitted in New York and California
Kerry Smith is the founding partner of Smith Entertainment Law Group. Kerry’s practice focuses on providing production counsel for variety shows, award shows, specials, scripted and unscripted series, live events and large scale social media initiatives. Smith helps her clients navigate varying legal and business challenges from the day-to-day production legal questions to complex union and employment related issues.
Kerry has over 30 years’ experience in the entertainment industry representing producers, writers, directors, talent and other rights holders in the film, television, and digital media industries. She has negotiated complex deals on behalf of production companies, networks, various talent and above the line talent. Kerry has extensive knowledge of pre-production and production legal for live shows, award shows, variety shows and special events, having provided said services on hundreds of productions. She offers clients full service legal representation, providing 24/7 counseling to her clients, including advising on development, production and acquisition issues, and handling transactions from development through delivery of the final cut, including the negotiation of network agreements, distribution agreements, content licensing, attachment agreements, talent agreements, chain-of-title and rights and fair uses analyses, E&O assistance, venue agreements, vendor agreements, and more. Kerry also represents multiple television production companies, creatives, high level producers, writers, directors, above the line talent, on-camera talent, content creators, design agencies, and network executives.
Prior to founding Smith Entertainment Law Group, Kerry was a partner at Eisner, LLP in the entertainment division, and previously led Greenspoon Marder’s television and film group in New York. Before Greenspoon, Kerry served as special counsel at Shukat Arrow Hafer Weber & Herbsman, LLP, and as Director of Business Affairs with the ABC Entertainment Television Group in New York, handling daytime dramatic serials and daytime talk shows which immediately followed her time as an agent with Artists Agency in New York, representing writers, directors and producers in the daytime genre.
Kerry received her J.D. from Brooklyn Law School’s night division and was a member of the Moot Court Honor Society. She is admitted to practice in New York and California.
GREGORY THOMSON, ESQ.
GREGORY THOMSON, ESQ.
Gregory Thomson is an attorney and strategic advisor based in New York City, with over 25 years of experience in the media, entertainment, and digital media industries, including film and television, music, digital media, and technology.
Gregory’s clients include film production companies, international recording artists and producers, television production companies, technology startups, technology and entertainment executives, television personalities, public intellectuals, not for profit organizations, and documentary filmmakers. His current work includes intellectual property and software licensing, small business formation, film financing transactions, private placements, media mergers and acquisitions, corporate sponsorships and endorsements, literary rights acquisitions, distribution agreements, and a wide variety of digital media, music, television and film industry transactions.
Gregory headed business affairs for Quincy Jones Productions in Los Angeles, where he negotiated and structured transactions for Quincy Jones’ Warner Bros. affiliated record and music publishing companies. In this capacity, Gregory had primary responsibility for such complex projects as the Boyz ‘N The Hood, Sarafina, and Q’s Jook Joint, and worked with artists including Ray Charles, Carly Simon, The Winans, and New Order. Thereafter, as an attorney with a leading entertainment boutique, Gregory represented such clients as Dr. Dre and his record label Aftermath Entertainment. He has also served in senior executive roles in multiple venture-financed digital media startups, and as a senior advisor to Cornell University, advising on technology licensing transactions and equity investments in startups on the University’s behalf.
Gregory’s engagements have included serving as an entertainment economics expert witness in the wrongful death lawsuit brought in Federal District Court by heirs of rapper Notorious B.I.G.; and representing the estate of lifetime Grammy® winner Gil Scott-Heron, after successfully litigating to obtain sole estate administration rights. He is a co-producer of the documentary film SUMMER OF SOUL, winner of the 2021 Oscar®, BAFTA, and Critics’ Choice awards for Best Documentary Feature.
BA, Yale University
JD, Yale Law School
MBA, Columbia Business School
Admissions: New York and California
JORDAN YOSPE, ESQ.
JORDAN YOSPE, ESQ.
Jordan Yospe is recognized as one of the country’s leading brand integration experts and an authority in sourcing, negotiating, and managing brand licensing and merchandising deals for feature films, television, new media, music, and video games. He has significant experience as both an entertainment lawyer and as a feature film and television producer.
Jordan’s core work represents major film and television production companies in brand integration and marketing activation deals, and represents actors, music artists, and professional athletes in endorsement, equity, and other related marketing deals. He pitches entertainment projects on behalf of producers to seamlessly integrate brands into the storylines of feature films, TV, new media, and music properties; he negotiates and document those deals as well as executes the business and creative elements of those agreements during preproduction, principal photography, post-production, and domestic/international distribution.
Moreover, as a lawyer, Jordan has in the past represented large brands (such as Coca‐Cola, AT&T, Toyota, Sears/Kmart, Johnson & Johnson, Samsung, American Express, and Diageo) and smaller brands (such as popchips, Godiva, Pabst, Gallo, and King’s Hawaiian) in their Hollywood deals in production and licensing.
When describing Jordan’s work to The Hollywood Reporter, Eric Baum (Sony Pictures Senior VP of Business and Legal Affairs for Consumer and Worldwide Marketing) states “Jordan has earned the trust of those not just in Hollywood, but all the way out in places like Peoria and Georgia. They rely on his expertise and hard work to keep the integrity of their brands.” Jordan’s mission is to make “integrations” live up to both the brands’ and producers’ expectations in today’s rapidly changing commercial environment. His pioneering work on the integration of brands into entertainment was featured in a front page article in The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/05/business/media/05screen.html?ref=todayspaper
As the former General Counsel and Head of Business & Legal Affairs at Mark Burnett Productions, Jordan was integrally involved in several well‐known network television series, including “Survivor” and “Rock Star: INXS” with CBS; “The Apprentice” and “The Apprentice: Martha Stewart” with NBC; and “The Contender” with NBC and Dreamworks.
Jordan is a frequent lecturer at film schools and law schools including UCLA, USC, Southwestern, and Loyola, and a lecturer at major trade panels for the Producer’s Guild, Digital Hollywood, The Paley Center of Media, American Film Market, and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Jordan has been named in Variety’s “Annual Dealmakers Impact Report”, The Hollywood Reporter’s annual “Power Lawyers” list, the “Top 40 Entertainment Lawyers” list by The Los Angeles Business Journal, and in the 2019 inaugural list of “Sports and Entertainment Trailblazers” by The National Law Journal.
Jordan is a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (production executive’s division), and the Hollywood Radio and Television Society. He jointly received the Media and Entertainment Counsel’s “Excellence in Branded Entertainment Award” with Hanes Brands’ Champion CMO for the work they performed on the Morgan Creek/Universal Pictures feature film “Sydney White.”