Ara the Latest Addition to Growing Entertainment Group

(July 27, 2011, Century City, Calif.) – Reed Smith LLP today announced the addition of another partner to its growing entertainment industry playbill. Tom K. Ara has joined the firm’s Corporate & Securities Group, resident in the firm’s Century City office.

Mr. Ara was previously at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP in Los Angeles, where his practice focused on entertainment industry transactions on a global scale. He is the second Manatt attorney to join Reed Smith’s Century City office in July. Robert Sherman, whose practice focuses on both domestic and international corporate debt finance, with an emphasis on entertainment and media finance, arrived in mid-July.

“Tom is another great addition to the critical mass of lawyers whose entertainment industry expertise and experience is helping fuel Reed Smith’s continued development of this practice on the West Coast,,” said Stuart Shanus, Managing Partner of the firm’s Century City office. “His practice is eclectic, energetic and operates on an international level. In addition to handling financing, production and distribution deals for studios, networks and production companies, Tom has experience with entertainment finance transactions for financiers. He recently completed several deals in Europe and Asia and is currently working with clients in the Middle East, which is among the reasons Reed Smith’s global platform is such a great fit for his practice.”

Mr. Ara, who was profiled in Variety’s “2009 Dealmakers Impact Report,” represents diverse entertainment and media industry clients, including feature film studios, television networks, production companies, financiers, Internet- and mobile-based content producers and distributors, and entertainment-related technology companies. He has provided film finance counsel for multiple independent production companies and producers, including the negotiation of agreements for equity investments, bank financing, gap loans, interparty and collection agreements, completion guarantees, state and regional government investments, and tax credits and rebates.

“Reed Smith provides the global platform my practice is finding increasingly necessary to service the legal needs of my clients, particularly in a time when the global marketplace is driving the growth of the entertainment business,” said Mr. Ara. “With offices in 23 offices and on three continents, Reed Smith provides virtually complete overlap in all of the regions of the world where my clients are located or are regularly doing business.”

The 1999 graduate of Loyola Law School advises clients at all stages of feature film, television and new media development, production, and distribution, including high-level talent agreements, development agreements, production legal services, copyrights and trademarks, Hollywood guild agreements, music and placement and licensing agreements, and domestic and foreign licensing and distribution agreements.

“Adding Tom to our already strong team in Century City positions Reed Smith to play an even more prominent role in the Southern California and worldwide entertainment industry,” said Doug Wood, head of the firm’s Media & Entertainment Industry Group. “Rob Sherman’s arrival two weeks ago, combined with the addition of partner Michael Sherman and counsel Patrick Sweeney last year, shows we’re very serious about gaining top billing among those in the media and entertainment industry.”

Mr. Ara practiced entertainment law in the Los Angeles offices of several prominent national law firms prior to joining Reed Smith, including Lord, Bissell & Brook LLP (now Locke, Lord, Bissell & Liddell) and Dickstein Shapiro LLP, where he was part of the teams that launched entertainment law practices at both of those firms.

“I am particularly delighted to be transitioning to Reed Smith with my colleague Rob Sherman, with whom I’ve collaborated on entertainment projects for some time,” said Mr. Ara. “In addition to Rob, I’ll have an opportunity to collaborate with top industry lawyers like Michael Sherman, Steve Sessa, Kate O’Brien and others on the Reed Smith team, each of whom is a leader in the field. The talented team the firm has assembled, combined with the international platform, has positioned Reed Smith as the leading global media and entertainment law firm, and I am thrilled to be a part of it.”

Reed Smith’s Media & Entertainment Industry Group is a multidisciplinary group of lawyers serving media and entertainment clients throughout the firm’s 23 offices. In traditional areas of media law, the firm provides counsel in all aspects of entertainment, including production, finance, new media, regulatory, litigation and corporate-commercial transactions, with a globally recognized practice in film and television finance and production, music, advertising and marketing, technology, broadcasting, and gaming. The firm’s attorneys advise clients on corporate, commercial, labor and employment, antitrust, litigation, intellectual property, data privacy, insurance recovery, securities, communications, and regulatory matters, all areas that require experience unique to the media and entertainment industry.

About Reed Smith

Reed Smith is a global relationship law firm with more than 1,600 lawyers in 23 offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Founded in 1877, the firm represents leading international businesses, from Fortune 100 corporations to mid-market and emerging enterprises. Its lawyers provide litigation and other dispute resolution services in multi-jurisdictional and other high-stakes matters; deliver regulatory counsel; and execute the full range of strategic domestic and cross-border transactions. Reed Smith is a preeminent advisor to industries including financial services, life sciences, health care, energy and natural resources, advertising, technology and media, shipping, real estate, manufacturing, and education. For more information, visit reedsmith.com.

U.S.: New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Oakland, Princeton, Northern Virginia, Wilmington, Silicon Valley, Century City, Richmond

Europe: London, Paris, Munich, Greece

Middle East: Abu Dhabi, Dubai

Asia: Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai

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