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Assistant Chief Counsel, Legal Affairs – Team Leader

Apply NowApply Later Job ID 788276BR Location Burbank, California, United States Business The Walt Disney Studios Date posted Jun. 02, 2021

Job Summary:

The Assistant Chief Counsel – 20CS leads The Walt Disney Studios Production Legal Affairs team that drafts and negotiates motion picture contracts, provides legal analysis and advice, and serves as production counsel to 20th Century Studios feature film development and production for theatrical and streaming content, and other original content in support of various studio initiatives. This role will serve as a resource to other attorneys on the team on a regular basis as questions arise; will be responsible for the training and development of more junior attorneys on the 20CS legal team; and working with the Deputy Chief Counsel and other department leadership will develop forms, policies and procedures to create proactive strategies to minimize risk and increase efficiencies.

In addition to leading the team, the Assistant Chief Counsel serves as senior legal adviser and will be expected to provide guidance and direction reflecting sound judgment, strategic vision and substantive legal knowledge and expertise in matters relating to motion picture development and production. You will be directly involved in managing significant, complex and/or policy setting matters including in connection with above-the-line talent negotiations and agreements, drafting and negotiating complex rights acquisition agreements and advising on legal matters arising in the context of feature film production. You will work closely with other attorneys within the Studio Legal Affairs department and the Corporate Legal department, as well as providing counsel to senior studio leadership and others in handling these matters.

If you have an entrepreneurial drive, a winning attitude, and would enjoy working for a fun and adventurous company, please apply via Please use the requisition number in the key word search criteria. The Walt Disney Company is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


  • Lead the 20CS Production Legal Affairs team, overseeing the team of attorneys that provide counsel to feature film development and production for theatrical and streaming content, and other original content.
  • Provide legal analysis relating to status of rights, copyright and other chain-of-title review; draft and negotiate rights acquisition agreements for literary rights and other third party intellectual property; prepare releases from individuals for films based on true stories; draft and negotiate other rights agreements such as quitclaims and assignments.
  • Draft and negotiate agreements for directors, producers, writers, above-the-line cast and other production personnel (excluding music).
  • Provide counsel on various matters relating to production of feature films, including but not limited to: production legal matters and agreements, script/film clearances, labor relations/collective bargaining agreements, engagement of minors, immigration, customs, environmental regulations, review titles and credits.
  • Provide advice and assistance relating to talent agreements and production matters impacting marketing/promotions/publicity; distribution; consumer products, interactive and other franchise considerations.
  • Draft and negotiate Production/Financing/Distribution Agreements, Production Services Agreements, Lending and Assignment agreements and related corporate set-up documents in collaboration with production legal, tax and finance regarding best corporate structure for individual pictures (domestic and international) and production incentive matters.
  • Draft and negotiate agreements relating to film acquisitions and third party co-productions, co-financing and/or distribution agreements including inter-creditor agreements, copyright mortgages and other security agreements.
  • Draft and negotiate confidentiality agreements, submission releases, non-disclosure agreements.

Basic Qualifications:

  • 12 – 15+ years of significant legal experience with a minimum of 10 years in the entertainment industry, preferably with a mix of law firm and in-house experience.
  • Superior drafting, negotiation, communication and organizational skills. Significant experience drafting and negotiating live-action, animation, television and/or other entertainment contracts.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, with the ability to work well in a team environment and act as a resource to colleagues with less experience. Ability to build interdepartmental relationships at all levels and drive consensus on legal matters among multiple stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically, to devise practical solutions and to present complex issues to senior executives. Ability to evaluate and reconcile issues from the business-unit and enterprise level perspective.
  • Has breadth of knowledge about the motion picture industry and legal issues and has functioned as a strategic partner for business affairs and new business initiatives.
  • Extensive leadership and training experience to help develop and motivate a highly experienced team of lawyers, paralegals, assistants and staff.
  • Exceptional organizational, prioritization and time management skills with the ability to work under deadlines and execute efficiently against multiple, high-priority and high volume projects. Demonstrates a clear ability to manage fast-paced production environment.
  • Demonstrated capacity to keep current on emerging business and legal trends in motion picture and television industry.
  • A collegial and collaborative lawyer who brings a commitment to the creation of a positive working environment within the legal organization.
  • An excellent work ethic and commitment to professionalism.
  • Ability to work in an environment with a high degree of confidentiality.

Required Education

  • Law degree from an accredited law school required
  • Membership in the California State Bar Association (or willingness and qualification to be registered In-House Counsel) required

Additional Information:


About The Walt Disney Studios:

For over 90 years, The Walt Disney Studios has been the foundation on which The Walt Disney Company was built. Today the Studio brings quality movies, music and stage plays to consumers throughout the world. Feature films are released under the following banners: Disney, including Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios, Disneynature, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm. The Disney Music Group encompasses the Walt Disney Records and Hollywood Records labels, as well as Disney Music Publishing. The Disney Theatrical Group produces and licenses live events, including Disney on Broadway, Disney On Ice and Disney Live!. Ours is a culture of innovation, inspiration and collaboration that brings together visionary artists, gifted technologists and savvy business minds to conjure up magical entertainment experiences for a global audience.

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 Walt Disney Pictures, which is part of a business segment we call The Walt Disney Studios.

Walt Disney Pictures 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, protected veteran status or any other basis prohibited by federal, state or local law. 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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