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Assistant Chief Counsel

Apply Now Apply Later Current TFCF Employees and Freelance / Contractors Apply Here Job ID R10011621 Location Los Angeles, California, United States Business Searchlight Pictures Date posted Oct. 14, 2021

Job Summary:


Searchlight Pictures

We are a collection of enduring brands and iconic, unforgettable characters. We create content for audiences big and small, reaching billions of people every day. Most of all, we are many individuals, each uniquely talented, each a critical piece to our puzzle, who collectively become a power. Desire to thrill and engage? Join us as we engage and inspire.



The Searchlight Pictures Legal Affairs team drafts and negotiates motion picture contracts, provides legal analysis and advice, and serves as production counsel to Searchlight Pictures live-action theatrical motion pictures and original programming for streaming platforms. 

The Assistant Chief Counsel is responsible for development and production of motion pictures including providing production counsel services as a senior subject matter expert.  You will also serve 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 including rights research and analysis, drafting and negotiating rights agreements and other above-the-line talent agreements. You will be directly involved in managing significant, complex and/or policy setting matters including drafting and negotiating film acquisition agreements, delivery schedules, co-production and co-financing agreements and related secured transaction documents. You will also be involved in preparation and review of production related agreements such as payroll services and other production services, vendors and suppliers. As the senior attorney, you will assist in developing forms, policies and procedures to create proactive strategies to minimize risk and increase efficiencies and serve as a resource to other attorneys in the department on a regular basis as questions and issues arise.  You will be working closely with other attorneys within the studio and the corporate legal department, as well as providing counsel to senior studio leadership and others in handling these matters.


  • 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 consulting agreements and releases from individuals for films based on true stories; draft and negotiate other rights agreements such as quitclaims and assignments.

  • Draft and negotiate agreements relating to third party acquisitions, co-productions, co-financing and/or distribution agreements including inter-creditor agreements, copyright mortgages and other security agreements.

  • Draft and negotiate agreements for directors, producers, writers, above-the-line cast and other production personnel.

  • Draft and negotiate third-party vendor agreements; agreements for consultants; leases, locations and venue agreements; equipment rental agreements; payroll services agreements; and other production related agreements including catering, security, animals and animal wranglers.

  • Provide counsel on various matters relating to production of feature films, including but not limited to: 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 and ancillary rights exploitation.

  • Draft and negotiate Production/Financing/Distribution Agreements, Production Services Agreements, Lending and Assignment agreements and related corporate set-up documents; collaborate with tax and finance regarding best corporate structure for individual pictures (domestic and international) and production incentive regulations and agreements.

  • Draft and negotiate confidentiality agreements, submission releases, and non-disclosure agreements.


  • 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 film acquisitions, co-productions, co-financing, and distribution agreements, and related security documents.

  • Significant development and production counsel experience related to live-action motion pictures.

  • 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.


  • JD 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

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.

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, gender identity, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. We will consider for employment qualified applicants with criminal histories consistent with applicable law.

About Searchlight Pictures:

Searchlight Pictures is a specialty film company that both finances and acquires motion pictures. It has its own marketing and distribution operations, and the films are distributed internationally by Twentieth Century Studios.

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 Searchlight Pictures, which is part of a business segment we call Searchlight Pictures.

We will consider for employment qualified applicants with criminal histories consistent with applicable law.

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