David W. Sussman is a member of the firm’s Content, Media & Entertainment Practice. An experienced legal and business strategist, his clients seek his counsel on transactions, licensing arrangements, content distribution agreements on both traditional and digital platforms, start-up opportunities, intellectual property protection and litigation risk assessment in the entertainment, sports and media industries.
Mr. Sussman has more than 25 years of experience in legal and leadership positions at some of the most prominent companies in the media and sports industry, having served as the chief legal officer at a division of an international media conglomerate, the general counsel, head of business affairs and executive vice president of a major media company’s cable television division, and the general counsel and chief operating officer of a well-known professional sports team.
Over the course of his career, clients have valued Mr. Sussman for being a “hands-on” lawyer and strategic business advisor responsible for critical deals and litigations. He has extensive experience handling complex transactions including the launch of new networks and products, programming distribution agreements and other complex rights negotiations, as well as handling the corporate aspects of professional sports matters, including media deals, team ownership or P & L structuring, facility arrangements, revenue-sharing and player contract negotiations. Additionally, he represents sports organizations, network, studio and online distributors and other media companies in mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures and advises senior management regarding potential business risks of competitive, legal or regulatory developments as well as compliance with regulatory, corporate and contractual obligations.
Prior to joining Jenner & Block, Mr. Sussman helped establish an entertainment and media practice at an international law firm, where he represented companies on transactions, licensing arrangements and litigation in the entertainment, media and sports industry. He also served as an operating partner at a middle-market private equity firm, where he developed and led acquisitions of businesses across the entertainment, sports and media sector.
Mr. Sussman was selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America in entertainment law in 2012 and was listed in Variety’s annual “Legal Impact Report 2013,” recognizing the top lawyers in the entertainment industry. He was also recognized in the 2017 edition of Legal 500 United States as a recommended lawyer in Media, Technology and Telecoms - Media and Entertainment. Mr. Sussman currently serves as co-chair on the New York City Bar Association's Sports Law Committee.