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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 02/02/2018
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 one of the chief legal executives responsible for the overall management of legal issues relating to ABC Studios, ABC Signature Studios, ABC Studios International and ABC Studios Alternative and the effectiveness of the Legal Affairs department for ABCS. As a senior leader of the group, 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. The Assistant Chief Counsel will be directly involved in managing significant, complex, and/or precedent-setting legal issues for ABCS, as well as significant policy issues that arise within the department. The Assistant Chief Counsel will also oversee and manage several lawyers within the ABCS Legal Affairs department. The Assistant Chief Counsel will work closely with corporate legal departments, senior corporate leadership, and others in handling these matters. The position reports to the Deputy Chief Counsel for ABCS.


  • Serve as a senior subject matter expert in profit participations, audit strategy and 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.
  • Drafting, reviewing and negotiating 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; talent guild agreements; copyright; trademark; clearances; defamation; rights of publicity and privacy, and other personal and property rights.
  • Help lead and manage a team of lawyers and assistants.
  • Act as a leader within the group, foster collaboration, and instill confidence in the team and clients.
  • Advise and serve as resource to other lawyers in the department on a regular basis as questions and issues arise.
  • Strive to create a culture of employee engagement and empowerment.
  • Work closely with the Litigation Department and outside counsel on litigation matters relating to all aspects of the ABCS business, including distribution, production, labor, music, tax and clearances.
  • Work closely with the corporate Intellectual Property group, outside counsel 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 and Business Affairs 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 leading audit negotiations and settlements. Depth of knowledge in 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.
  • Experience as a lawyer within a law firm.
Skills & Abilities
  • Require strong drafting, analytical and organizational skills.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Strong leadership, management and mentoring capabilities.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, work ethic and commitment to professionalism.
  • Must excel in advising and directing 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.

Required Education

  • Law degree from top tier law school.
  • Bar Membership (California is preferred).

Company Overview

The Disney/ABC Television Group is composed of the Walt Disney Company’s (NYSE: DIS) global entertainment and news television properties, owned television stations group, as well as radio and publishing businesses. This includes the ABC Television Network, ABC Owned Television Stations Group, ABC News, ABC Studios, Disney Channels Worldwide, ABC Family, Radio Disney, as well as Disney/ABC Domestic Television and Disney Media Distribution. The company’s equity interest in A&E Television Networks round out the Group’s portfolio of media businesses.

Additional Information

Equal Opportunity Employer Female/Minority/Veteran/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity

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