Century City:
1999 Avenue of the Stars, 7th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90067


Joseph Calabrese


Joe Calabrese is a partner in O’Melveny’s Century City office, Chair of the Southern California Transaction Practice, and Chair of O’Melveny’s Entertainment, Sports and Media Practice. Joe’s practice is focused primarily on the creation, operation, and financing of entertainment and media companies, including the negotiation of complex distribution and licensing agreements, structured finance transactions, and mergers and acquisitions. His practice also involves the negotiation of broadcast licensing and joint venture agreements for sports entities and other sports-related transactions.

Illustrative Professional Experience

  • Represented the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, producer of the Golden Globe Awards Show, in its broadcast and other entertainment industry transactions
  • Primary outside counsel to Legendary Entertainment since formation, including in connection with production, distribution, joint venture, acquisition and financing transactions
  • Represented major motion picture studios such as Warner Bros. and MGM in their complex distribution, joint venture, acquisition, and financing transactions
  • Represented sports organizations and entities such as the International Olympic Committee, San Francisco Giants, Arizona Diamondbacks, San Diego Padres, and Anaheim Ducks in connection with various sports and entertainment transactions
  • Represented investment banks and private equity funds such as Soros Fund Management and Elliott Management in their structured finance/securitization and acquisition transactions

Professional Activities

Admitted to Practice, US District Court, Central District of California
Member, Executive Committee and Past Chair, Constitutional Rights Foundation; Cornell Law School Advisory Committee (Visiting Committee 2012); Academy of Television Arts & Sciences; International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences; Pacific Council on International Policy; Chancery Club; Lincoln Club
Speaker, “Global Market Update: State of Film Financing," International Film Finance Forum, Cannes (May 2012) 
Honors, Named one of the Top 100 California Lawyers by the Daily Journal (2014 and 2008); recipient of the American Jewish Committee's 34th Annual Learned Hand Award (2014); Expert Guides' Best of the Best USA 2013 Top Thirty Media Attorneys in the United States; one of "50 Game-Changing Entertainment Attorneys" Variety Legal Impact Report (June 2012 and April 2014); "Leading Lawyer in Media," Euromoney's Guide to the World's Leading Media Lawyers (2012); Leader in Entertainment and Media Transactional Law (2006 - 2009; 2010 - 2014: Band One), and Sports Law (2008 - 2014), Chambers ; "Power Lawyer," The Hollywood Reporter ESQ (2007 - 2014); Best Lawyers in America, Entertainment Law - Motion Pictures and Television (2006 - 2015); Legal 500 leading lawyer for Media, technology and telecoms: Film, music and TV (2008, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014) and Sports Law (2010, 2014); PLC Which Lawyer? Global 50 Firms; "Leading Lawyer in Media," Guide to the World's Technology, Media & Telecommunications Lawyers (2008); "Super Lawyer", Los Angeles magazine (2005 - 2014); Variety Dealmaker (2009 - 2011, 2013); Century City Bar Association 2009 Entertainment Lawyer of the Year; Chair of Entertainment, Sports and Media Practice, Chambers USA Award for Excellence in Media awarded (2008, 2009, 2011); "Top 10 Lawyer in Media," Guide to the World's Leading Technology Media & Telecommunications Lawyers (2008). 
Editor, “Financial Aids and Subsidies Available for the Development, Production, and Distribution of Motion Pictures in Europe”

Cornell University, J.D., 1981:  cum laude; Articles Editor, Cornell International Law Journal

Boston College, B.A., English and Economics, 1978:  summa cum laude

California; Law Society England & Wales