Counsel LLP is a full service, boutique entertainment and digital media law firm specializing in all aspects of creative law, including intellectual property and corporate contracting, negotiation, strategy, introduction, as well as protection and litigation services for all music, film, television and digital media verticals.
Counsel LLP offers individualized attention with deep experience while serving to bridge the gaps between business, art, entertainment and technology. Our in-house skillsets offer strategic and business development services, in addition to top-tier legal counsel, to grow the businesses of creators and innovators.
Counsel provides legal representation to recording artists, record labels, film and television talent, video content creators, authors, and leading edge technology companies in the mobile, digital media, and gaming sectors.
Our attorneys, located in San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego, with affiliated firms in New York City and Nashville, provide a broad array of advisory, transactional and litigation services including drafting and review of entertainment industry contracts, sale and licensing of content, intellectual property registration and management, entity formation, venture financings and mergers & acquisitions transactions. Our depth and breadth of experience in the entertainment and technology sectors enable us to provide our clients with access to significant contacts and resources that would otherwise be unavailable to them. Our team of experts have top-tier legal credentials and real-world business experience. We are lawyers, entrepreneurs, advisors, catalysts and connectors.
The Hind Building
230 California Street, Suite 201
San Francisco, CA 94111
P: (415) 227-0555
F: (415) 227-9419
Jonathan Blaufarb is the Senior Partner of Counsel LLP. His law practice includes advising major recording and performing artists and celebrities, songwriters, producers, record labels, digital music and technology companies, concert promoters, gaming companies, mobile firms, merchandising companies, film and television talent, and authors.
Jon was formerly the Managing Partner of the San Francisco office of Davis Shapiro Lewit & Hayes, LLP, a national music law firm with other offices in New York and Beverly Hills. Before that he was a partner in the Beverly Hills entertainment law firm of Bloom, Hergott, Diemer & Cook. His background also includes complex business and entertainment litigation with Rogers & Wells and Wyman, Bautzer, as well as music transactions as in-house counsel for Sony Music, personal management of recording artists, record retail operations, and performing and recording as a professional musician.
David Kostiner is the Managing Partner of Counsel LLP. His practice includes the representation of creators and innovators in the entertainment and technology industries with respect to all aspects of their businesses. David specializes in music, film and start-up strategies, rights transactions, corporate formation and maintenance, trademarking and litigation services. David was formerly an associate in the San Francisco office of Davis Shapiro Lewit and Hayes, LLP after beginning his career as a percussionist drumming in jazz clubs and appearing in the Tanglewood, New England and Interlochen Symphony Orchestras. He later joined Dreamworks artists Creeper Lagoon and toured and recorded with countless independent and major label artists.
Following his performing career and during law school, David co-founded the Independent Online Distribution Alliance (later sold to Sony Music) was the sponsorship director for the Noise Pop Music Festival, managed the internationally acclaimed artists Rogue Wave and later co-founded "BMBX" with Apl.de.ap of the Black Eyed Peas, a Singaporean-based entertainment and brand management company. In addition, David serves as an Adjunct Professor of Entertainment Law at the University of California Hastings College of Law and frequently appears as a panelist and public speaker.
David has been published by the Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal and the Santa Clara High Technology Law Journal. David's education includes a J.D. from the University of California Hastings College of Law, a B.A. in Psychology from Tufts University and studies at the New England Conservatory of Music, Boston University's Tanglewood Institute and the Interlochen Arts Academy.
Vivek Sridharan is a Partner at Counsel LLP and has been with the firm since its inception in 2007. His primary practice includes representation of content creators and licensors in transactions, litigation, and with respect to their corporate needs.
Prior to joining Counsel LLP, Vivek was one of the first employees at IODA, working as a Content Acquisition Manager and Financial Analyst for the then start-up as it grew from a handful of unpaid employees to a stalwart in the digital music industry, later being acquired by Sony Music. Following his time at IODA, Vivek studied law at Santa Clara University. During this time he worked as a Law Clerk at multiple entertainment law firms and started his own business, providing consultation and advice on digital strategy for independent record labels, music technology start-ups, and recording artists. He also served as a Fellow at the Panetta Institute for Public Policy, working directly with Leon and Sylvia Panetta prior to Mr. Panetta resuming his political career under the Obama administration.
Vivek has always loved music and has worked as a hip hop DJ for various venues and radio stations. He continues to DJ regularly and also performs on various Indian percussion instruments.
Shawn Beth-Marie Burgess is an Associate Attorney at Counsel LLP. Her primary practice includes entertainment and intellectual property contract drafting and review, complex litigation and dispute resolution, trademark registration and corporate formation. Prior to joining Counsel LLP as an attorney Shawn had served as the firm's law clerk since the Spring of 2011.
Shawn completed her undergraduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and studied law at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. She was an active member of Hastings’ Association of Communications, Sports, and Entertainment Law, and has previously served as a legal intern for both the Independent Online Distribution Alliance (IODA) and Reprise Records. In her spare time, Shawn enjoys singing karaoke and seeing live music.
Joseph Dimont is the law clerk at Counsel LLP. Joseph is working towards his JD from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, and is concentrating on entertainment and intellectual property law. He is an active member of the Hastings Intellectual Property Association and Hastings Law Journal, and helps teach Legal Writing & Research.
Born and raised in London, England, Joseph completed his undergraduate studies at the University of East Anglia in Norwich. He left in 2014 and worked for a craft beer export company in Los Angeles before moving to San Francisco a year later. In his spare time Joseph enjoys live-music and cooking with friends.
Carrie N. Kostiner is Of Counsel to Counsel LLP. Ms. Kostiner’s intellectual property and transactional experience includes advising and assisting companies and nonprofit organizations with corporate formation, employment law issues, distribution and marketing transactions, and licensing transactions. Ms. Kostiner has also evaluated and negotiated complex settlements of copyright and trademark infringement matters.
Prior to joining Counsel LLP, Ms. Kostiner was an Associate Attorney at Donahue, Gallagher & Woods LLP. She earned her law degree cum laude from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 2005. During law school, she was a member of the Race and Poverty Law Journal. She also taught legal writing and research and worked for various nonprofit legal organizations. Ms. Kostiner received the award for Best Brief in Moot Court for excellence in written argument and the Witkin Award for Academic Excellence for her coursework in Negotiations and Settlement, Legal Writing and Analysis, and Roles and Ethics. Ms. Kostiner earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Ecology with High Honors from the University of California at Berkeley. During college, Ms. Kostiner was a member of the gymnastics team and received All-American recognition. Ms. Kostiner is a member of the State Bar of California. She is a certified personal trainer and yoga teacher and is conversant in Spanish.
Mr. Auerbach is a senior business executive with extensive and unique expertise in Intellectual Property law and licensing, business development, marketing, and content acquisition for new technologies, on a global level.
Mr. Auerbach has had success in structuring many groundbreaking deals with a diverse range of rights holders, including NFL, NBA, NHL, HBO, MTV, Live Nation, Marvel Entertainment, International Olympic Committee, English Premier League, Screen Actors Guild, every Hollywood studio, ESPN, Sesame Workshop, Getty Images, among numerous others. He has deep familiarity with each aspect of the media business, having sat on all sides of the deal-making table, on behalf of engineering, mobile, cable, satellite, Internet, hardware, software, distribution and production companies.
Mr. Auerbach most recently was engaged as Executive Vice President at Epic Rights, handling merchandising and branding for top tier artists like KISS, John Lennon, AC/DC, Aerosmith, Woodstock, among others. He was also Managing Director of Rock Paper Photo, the pre-eminent online gallery of rock and roll photography, founded by Guy Oseary (manager of Madonna and U2). Previously Mr. Auerbach oversaw Strategic Account Management with Hewlett-Packard, in which capacity he licensed an impressive portfolio of world class on-demand printing rights. He also was the prime architect for Hewlett-Packard in structuring the entertainment industry’s first DVD manufacture-on-demand agreement with major Hollywood studios.
As the Senior Legal Counsel at Qualcomm he licensed the industry’s first syndicated television licenses for mobile devices. He holds a patent with Qualcomm relating to mobile phone media technology. He has held the positions of General Counsel for Philips Media (a division of Royal Philips Electronics, Netherlands) and Head Counsel, Business Affairs for Astro/MEASAT (Malaysia), the premier direct broadcast satellite operator in South East Asia. As the lead attorney of Business Affairs for Programming at Starz/Encore he structured the pay television industry’s largest Hollywood studio output deal, and the first to include SVOD (Subscription Video On Demand) rights.
Mr. Auerbach started his entertainment media career at Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, where he handled business affairs for the industry’s leading home video company, including Disney’s first copy protection deal and Disney’s first Pay Per Transaction deal. He has published dozens of entertainment articles worldwide (including his Law Review article “Biotechnology Patent Law in Britain and the United States”), and he has presented his views at numerous industry conferences across the globe.
Mr. Auerbach helped form the Digital Entertainment Group, the industry-wide consortium that was the primary catalyst for the launch and spectacular success of the DVD format. He was a Founding Board Member of the Electronic Software Association, which established the E3 video game conference and serves the business interests of companies that publish video and computer games. He was the Founding Executive Director of the DVD-Audio Council, and has consulted to a select group of cutting edge clients. His past engagements include Warner Music Group, Playboy, Adobe’s mobile group, Panasonic Avionics and the Getty Museum.
He teaches an entertainment and technology seminar to seniors of the School of Global Policy and Strategy at University of California at San Diego.
BA - Hamilton College, JD - Boston College
Fred Goldring is Of Counsel to Counsel, LLP. He is also an entrepreneur, strategic advisor and investor in media, technology and brand marketing and consumer product development enterprises.
Fred previously spent several decades practicing entertainment law full-time as one of the top deal-making attorneys in the entertainment industry (with a focus on the music and new media businesses) and a founding partner of the Beverly Hills, CA-based boutique law firm Goldring, Hertz, & Lichtenstein LLP which represented many of the most important and biggest selling recording and performing artists in the world. As a transactional attorney, Fred was critical in the signing of many of his firm’s clients’ original record, TV and film deals.
Fred is Co-Founder of IncuBrand Studios, and the Co-Founder and Chairman of Aficionado Media. LLC. Fred was previously a Co-Founder of Big Champagne (acquired by Live Nation), and a Co-Founder of Digital Turbine (acquired by Mandalay Digital Group). Fred currently serves as a Strategic Advisory Board Member of several companies including Jawbone, Mandalay Digital Group and Brooklyn Water Enterprises. He was previously a strategic advisor to companies such as Gibson Guitars, Hasbro, McDonald’s and National Geographic, and an investor/strategic advisor to MP3.com (IPO), Napster (acquired by BMG), Tapulous (acquired by Disney) and Digital-On-Demand/Red Dot Net (acquired by Alliance).
Fred was appointed as a Member of The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities by President Barack Obama (and he was sworn-in as a Member by Justice Stephen Breyer at the U.S. Supreme Court in February 2010). Fred also currently serves as a Member of the Board of Advisors of The Coach K Center on Leadership and Ethics (COLE) at the Fuqua Business School at Duke University.
Fred is a member of the California and New York bars, and is a graduate of Duke University and the University of Miami School of Law where he founded The Entertainment and Sports Law Society, was the First Prize Winner of the ASCAP Nathan Burkan Memorial Writing Competition and recently receiving the Alumni Achievement Award. Fred is a co-founder of DEMAN, the Duke Entertainment Media and the Arts Network. He is a 22-year voting member of The Recording Academy.
Savur Threadgold LLP
Savur Threadgold LLP is a boutique business and intellectual property law practice based in New York City, handling a wide range of business and transactional matters for corporate clients. Their entertainment group also focuses on the production, distribution and financing of music, documentaries, feature films, fashion, literature, and digital entertainment projects, and represents a variety of clients, including record labels, artists, composers, producers, managers, publishers, literary agencies, publications, photographers, publicists, film production companies, directors, authors and fashion brands in transactional matters and in the creation of new business ventures.