Entertainment Lawyer Christopher Chatham Joins Manatt, Phelps & Phillips

Christopher Chatham has made the leap from boutique firm to legal powerhouse.

The attorney, who represents television personality Phil McGraw and his show “Dr. Phil” alongside a variety of other TV properties, has moved from his Los Angeles-based Chatham Law Group to partner at the Entertainment Group in the L.A. office of Manatt, Phelps and Phillips, a firm that includes 450 professionals in multiple U.S. locations.

Chatham is accompanied in the move by Chatham Law associate Sandra Bignone.

At Manatt, Chatham will continue to serve as legal counsel to prominent entertainment industry figures and structure deals with major networks, studios and streamers. He has developed a reputation as a top Hollywood dealmakers for consumer brands backed by celebrity influencers and has also worked with clients on partnership agreements, joint ventures, talent holding deals, licensing pacts – as well as advising them on personnel matters.

“Chris has a stellar reputation as one of entertainment’s most sought-after advisors, and his experience aligns with the type of pioneering work we regularly support on behalf of our clients,” said Donna L. Wilson, Manatt’s CEO and managing partner. “Chris’ arrival will amplify our already robust offerings as we continue to counsel clients through the full spectrum of legal and business matters fueling the growth of the entertainment industry, as well as other cutting-edge sectors in which Manatt focuses.”

Added partner and leader of Manatt Entertainment Jordan Bromley, “Chris will be an instrumental part of our work as we help our clients look for opportunities to enhance engagement and expand their businesses.”

Many of Chatham’s clients are expected to follow him to Manatt. The fate of Chatham Law Group was unclear.

Bignone has worked closely with Chatham on a range of business matters and has structured agreements for TV and film projects with distributors. She also reps influencers in a variety of business deals and partnerships – while also managing clients’ day-to-day needs.

“Manatt’s team of visionaries and creative thinkers work with the biggest names in entertainment, and their philosophy of bringing a business lens to their work really resonated with me,” Chatham said. “I am excited to join such an impressive group of professionals with the shared goals of talent advocacy, innovation and industry transformation.”

Manatt has been strategically expanding its roster. Chatham and Bignone are the latest additions on the West Coast, joining Technology and Intellectual Property Litigation partner Timothy Lohse in Palo Alto, Digital and Technology Transactions partner Michel C. Narganes in San Francisco – as well as L.A.-based entertainment litigation counsel Sarah E. Moses and trial attorney Naeun Rim.

Chatham has been recognized in Variety’s Legal Impact Report and Dealmakers Impact Report. Bignone has been featured in Variety’s Legal Impact Report as a rising star in the Up Next category.

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