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Assistant Chief Counsel - ABC Studios

Apply Now Apply Later Job ID 524258BR Location Burbank, California, United States Business Media Networks Brand Disney ABC Television Group Date posted Apr. 06, 2018

Job Summary:

At Disney ABC/Television Group, you’ll help us tell stories that touch millions of people around the globe and new ways for us to connect with the world. Now is your opportunity to unleash your skills….

The Assistant Chief Counsel for ABC Studios (ABCS) Legal Affairs will be the head of Legal Affairs for ABC Studios, which includes ABC Signature Studios, ABC Studios International and ABC Studios Alternative. As the leader of the group, you will also oversee and manage a large team of lawyers and other subgroups within the ABCS Legal Affairs department. You will work collaboratively with, and serve as a primary advisor to, senior management of ABCS on all legal matters, and will be expected to provide guidance and direction reflecting sound judgment, strategic vision, and substantive legal knowledge and expertise. You will be directly involved in managing significant, complex, and/or precedent-setting legal and policy issues for ABCS. You will work closely with corporate legal departments, senior corporate leadership, and others in handling these matters. The position reports to Deputy Chief Counsel, Production, for the Disney-ABC Television Group.


  • Serve as a senior subject matter expert on all development and production legal matters for ABCS Legal Affairs.
  • Provide strategic advice to business executives and senior management of ABCS regarding all legal matters, policy and personnel issues that arise within the Legal Affairs department.
  • Provide direction and oversight of all deal-related, strategic and compliance issues related to the production of original material.
  • Supervising the drafting, reviewing and negotiating of agreements for the development and production of original live action programming for telecast on a variety of platforms: broadcast networks, streaming services, pay and basic cable networks and Disney’s direct-to-consumer platform.
  • Analysis and advice in connection with intellectual property matters, claims, clearances, and other matters arising out of the day-to-day operations of a large television studio. Clients will include such other departments as Business Affairs, Creative, Development, Production, Production Finance, Casting and Casting Administration, Contract Administration, Marketing, and Brand Management.
  • Substantial expertise in the following areas is essential: live action, scripted television production; distribution/acquisition agreements; copyright; trademark; clearances; defamation; rights of publicity and privacy, and other personal and property rights.
  • Lead and manage a large team of lawyers, clearance professionals, operational professionals, paralegals and assistants.
  • As the leader of the group, foster collaboration, and instill confidence in the team and clients.
  • Advise and serve as resource to lawyers in the department on a regular basis as questions and issues arise.
  • Strive to create a culture of employee engagement, empowerment and healthy work-life balance.
  • Work closely with the Litigation Department and outside counsel on litigation matters relating to all aspects of the ABCS business, including distribution, production, labor and clearances.
  • Work closely with the corporate Intellectual Property group in managing all intellectual property issues relating to ABCS, including anti-piracy, show name, channel and character clearance, patent, trademark and music issues.
  • Coordinate with the corporate Tax Department on tax issues for ABCS, working often in this regard with Business Affairs.
  • Partner effectively and work closely with Labor Relations, Business Affairs and Production on high-level and strategic labor issues that confront ABCS.
  • Manage all legal matters relating to ABCS content and its distribution.

Basic Qualifications:

Work Experience
  • Qualified candidate will have a JD degree and a minimum of 10 years’ experience in Legal Affairs in the television or streaming industry.
  • Demonstrated success in earning the trust of senior legal and business management to manage the most complex and sensitive issues.
  • Experience with complex backend participation and co-production arrangements.
  • Has breadth of knowledge about the television studio business and legal issues and has functioned as a strategic partner for business affairs and new business initiatives.
  • Demonstrated ability to identify and analyze complex issues and devise solutions and strategies.
  • Superior negotiation, drafting, and writing skills; as well as ability to problem solve in an efficient, business-friendly, creative manner.
  • Knowledge of AFTRA/SAG, DGA and WGA rules for live action content.
  • Extensive leadership and training experience of other lawyers. Successfully managing and motivating a highly experienced team of lawyers, paralegals, assistants, and staff.
  • A collegial and collaborative lawyer who has experience developing team members and brings a commitment to the creation of a positive working environment within the legal organization.
Skills & Abilities
  • Strong drafting, analytical and organizational skills.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Strong leadership, management and mentoring capabilities.
  • Excellent work ethic and interpersonal skills, including a healthy sense of humor.
  • Must excel in advising and collaborating with ABCS senior management on all relevant matters.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Television studio or production company experience preferred.
  • Experience in international production and co-financing arrangements.
  • Experience in reality/alternative programming.
  • Experience as a lawyer within a law firm.

Required Education

  • Law degree
  • Bar Membership (California is preferred)

Additional Information:


About Disney ABC Television Group:

Disney/ABC Television Group (DATG) redefines the future of media and entertainment. Delivering compelling creative, great storytelling, ground-breaking technology, high-impact marketing and innovative distribution, DATG offers multiple opportunities to build a career that supports entertaining and informing the world. A key unit of The Walt Disney Company, one of the world's most admired vertically integrated media enterprises, DATG includes global live action and animation entertainment, news, owned television stations, and radio. If you've got a passion to join our team of talented professionals we want to hear your story.

About The Walt Disney Company:

The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise with the following business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products and interactive media. From humble beginnings as a cartoon studio in the 1920s to its preeminent name in the entertainment industry today, Disney proudly continues its legacy of creating world-class stories and experiences for every member of the family. Disney’s stories, characters and experiences reach consumers and guests from every corner of the globe. With operations in more than 40 countries, our employees and cast members work together to create entertainment experiences that are both universally and locally cherished.

This position is with Touchstone Television Productions, LLC, which is part of a business segment we call Disney ABC Television Group.

Touchstone Television Productions, LLC is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or protected veteran status. Disney fosters a business culture where ideas and decisions from all people help us grow, innovate, create the best stories and be relevant in a rapidly changing world.

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