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Director, Business Affairs & Legal Counsel (Disney Theatrical Group)

Apply NowApply Later Job ID 10069541 Location New York, New York, United States Business Disney Theatrical Group Date posted Nov. 16, 2023

Job Summary:

It’s the magic of immersing yourself in a motion picture masterpiece, or a new track from your favorite band, or the spectacle of a live Broadway show.  It’s hard to define and even harder to create, but that’s what we do at The Walt Disney Studios.  Ours is a culture of innovation, inclusion, collaboration and creativity.  Stories shape how we see ourselves and everyone around us. As storytellers, we have the power to not only uplift and inspire, but also to champion the spectrum of voices in our world.  If you want to help tell compelling, diverse and enduring stories through movies, music or live theater, then we want to hear from you.

The open position in the Business Affairs and Legal Counsel group will report to the Senior Vice President, Business Affairs and Legal Counsel.  In this position, you will manage day-to-day responsibility for business and legal affairs for substantial portions of The Walt Disney Company’s stage play business and its Broadway, touring and international productions, serve as primary business & legal counsel for Disney on Ice and otherwise support all aspects of the company’s international live entertainment business.  The ideal candidate must have leadership and management skills, the requisite aptitude to build relationships with and communicate effectively with high-level executives and significant business partners, and must be comfortable working both independently and as part of a team.  Superior legal drafting skills, nimbleness in acquiring an understanding of diverse legal areas, experience in managing complex projects involving legal and non-legal employees, and substantial knowledge of the entertainment, and specifically theatre, business, are essential qualifications.  

Job Responsibilities Include but are not limited to:

  • Providing business affairs and legal counsel services for all aspects of development, production and licensing of Broadway and global versions of Disney stage properties.

  • Overseeing stage play production counsel responsibilities of department, including coordinating department coverage of all first-class productions (18 to 24 at any given time), allocating work between self, other department attorney(s) and paralegal team, collaborating with production general management concerning day-to-day personnel and vendor issues, negotiating talent deals at all levels, and otherwise overseeing day-to-day operational aspects of business and legal functions regarding Broadway and other Disney-produced and licensed stage productions.

  • Having primary responsibility for managing day-to-day legal relationships with key business partners, including serving as lead negotiator for major license agreements and, with business clients, business terms.

  • Building and enhancing high-level internal and external relationships with talent representatives, other producers, industry and key business partner executives and third-party producers and theatres licensing underlying rights in Disney properties.

  • Interacting with senior executives throughout the business unit to provide expert advice for theatre-related business and legal decisions and keeping them abreast of deal progress and other issues that impact areas of responsibility. 

  • Working collaboratively with senior vice president in group to help establish policies and practices for the group and assist in management of the department.

  • Drafting, and supervising drafting by other department personnel, of all manner of agreements, including production and merchandise fabrication licenses, creative talent, personnel and consultant agreements, marketing releases, sponsorship, vendor and space agreements.

  • Partnering with financial, development and production departments to analyze talent and other business deals and project financial structures, and using proceeds of such work to negotiate (both by attorney and other team members) deals with talent, licensees and partners. 

  • Serving as primary liaison between Disney Theatrical team members and Disney legal subject-matter experts in various specific areas crucial to the business, including litigation, trademark, copyright, tax, immigration, music rights, data privacy and security, Americans with Disability Act compliance, anti-piracy and risk management.  

Required Qualifications:

  • A minimum of 5 years legal experience, at least 2 of which are in the entertainment (preferably theatre) industry required; significant law firm experience preferred.

  • JD degree from an accredited law school required.

  • Law degree and admittance to New York bar.  

  • Aptitude for developing relationships with agents, talent lawyers, producers, and others directly involved in the theatre and relevant legal communities.  Existing such relationships a plus.

  • Experience in managing high volume of projects and supervising teams.

  • Superior drafting skills and ability to quickly process and understand new legal and business areas.

  • High aptitude in understanding financial and accounting matters.

  • Ability to operate independently while developing and maintaining strong and trusted relationships with leaders of other departments.

  • Demonstrated ability to communicate at all levels.             

DTG is committed to providing the highest quality opportunities for the widest, most diverse group of talented professionals throughout their career trajectory. We encourage applications from individuals whose backgrounds are currently underrepresented in the field of theater, inclusive of race, ethnicity, class, gender identity or expression, disability status, and sexual orientation. 

The hiring range for this position in New York is $153,717 to $198,927 per year. The base pay actually offered will take into account internal equity and also may vary depending on the candidate’s geographic region, job-related knowledge, skills, and experience among other factors. A bonus and/or long-term incentive units may be provided as part of the compensation package, in addition to the full range of medical, financial, and/or other benefits, dependent on the level and position offered.

About Disney Theatrical Group:

The Disney Theatrical Group, a division of The Walt Disney Studios, is among the world’s most successful commercial theatre enterprises, producing and licensing live entertainment productions and events around the globe. Its nine Broadway titles, including the current Broadway productions of The Lion King, Aladdin and this year’s Frozen, have been seen by over 160 million theatergoers worldwide. The division also delivers live shows through its license to Feld Entertainment, producer of Disney on Ice and Marvel Universe Live. Additionally, the division licenses full-length and junior and kids adapted titles for regional, school and community theatre productions.

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: Disney Entertainment, ESPN, Disney Parks, and Experiences and Products. 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 Buena Vista Theatrical Group Ltd., which is part of a business we call Disney Theatrical Group.

Buena Vista Theatrical Group Ltd. is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, 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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