Depp Settlement Could Change The Way Hollywood Lawyers Do Business

By on November 18, 2019

November 18, 2019

Johnny Depp’s settlement with his former attorney for “an undisclosed eight-figure sum” may put the case to rest for the contending parties, but the way it unfolded is likely to have some major repercussions. According to attorney Bryan Sullivan, this case could mark a turning point in the way deals are done in Hollywood. Depp alleged that attorney Jake Bloom, founder of the now closed Bloom Hergott firm, had improperly collected $30 million. Bloom in a countersuit claimed Depp owned the firm money. Bloom’s case rested on claims about an agreement that wasn’t in writing, and the judge wouldn’t accept that. “While so-called ‘handshake agreements,’ ‘oral agreements,’ and ‘deal memos’ are commonplace in the world of transactional entertainment, there will most likely be a shift towards longer form, written contracts, especially between transactional entertainment attorneys and talent, moving forward,” says Sullivan. This case, he says, “should be a wakeup call to lawyers who, in any other instance, paper deals using ‘long form’ contracts that serve to protect both parties and reduce the chance of litigation.”

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