This is not small news, but it’s been buried today in other headlines.
Joel Katz, who put Atlanta law firm Greenberg Traurig on the entertainment world map decades ago, has jumped to a new firm.
Katz has joined the hugely impressive and huge firm (700 lawyers)! Barnes and Thornburg. Their entertainment practice in media and sports is already led by the highly respected Jason Karlov. But Katz’s coming aboard is going to cause waves.
It was because of Katz that Greenberg Traurig came to represent the Recording Academy. Katz also has major artists and record company chieftains as clients. I’m told all of those will be going with him to the new firm in some form. That will mean a seismic shift in the record biz.
Katz, you may recall, was responsible for rescuing record producer Dallas Austin in 2006 when Austin was jailed in Dubai. Austin was sentenced to four years in prison for possession of cocaine. It was Katz who swooped in and got Austin home.
The unassuming Katz was considering retirement when he left Greenberg Traurig a short time after a long, successful run. But he’s back in the game. Annually on Billboard’s lists of top lawyers and power players, Katz has a coterie of fans in the music biz including acts like Justin Timberlake, Little Big Town and Why Don’t We.
I like this Barnes and Thornburg, by the way. Their home page has a button to click for stories about racial justice, they are all over healthcare, COVID, and education. This should be interesting.