Robert A. Darwell has worked on the development, finance, production and distribution of hundreds of motion pictures and television productions. In addition, he’s handled major newsworthy deals such as Disney’s termination of Bob and Harvey Weinstein and Disney’s subsequent sale of Miramax. Darwell later served as lead entertainment counsel to Comcast in connection with its acquisition of NBC Universal.
Through the years, Darwell launched several specialty practices in the areas of advertising, fashion, and art law and has handled transactions that reflect the intersection of those verticals as well as those in sports, music, gaming, merchandising and mobile/digital areas.
He represents clients in all segments of these businesses around the world. He currently serves as legal counsel to Amazon Studios for its film and television content and has handled some of the most significant new media deals for clients such as AwesomenessTV, Machinima, and Endemol Beyond.
Darwell studied law at Georgetown in Washington, DC and focused his studies on international trade. While there, he worked for the Attaché de Presse at the French Embassy and for DC powerhouse law firm Wilmer Cutler (including assisting Lloyd Cutler, who served as counsel to President Carter, with the Robert Bork Supreme Court confirmation hearings).
At Georgetown, Darwell took the only offered entertainment course and, following the tragic deaths of Vic Morrow and two child actors on the set of “The Twilight Zone” movie, wrote his seminar paper on the employment of minors in the entertainment industry. Its publication coincided with the birth of his first child. Upon graduation, Darwell moved to Los Angeles and combined his passion for entertainment and media with his interest in international business.
- Lead entertainment counsel to Comcast in connection with its multi-billion dollar acquisition of NBC Universal.
- Represent French television powerhouse Banijay Entertainment in expanding its reality television empire by acquiring Stephen David Entertainment and Bunim/Murray Productions.
- Representation of Focus Features with respect to its co-development/co-financing venture with Random House to form Random House Films.
- Lead outside counsel representing Walt Disney Company in connection with the separation of Bob and Harvey Weinstein from Miramax.
- Represented France Animation/Moonscoop in its acquisition of a majority interest in animation company Mike Young Productions.
- Entertainment Counsel to USA Networks in connection with its acquisition of Polygram domestic library and merger with October Films to form USA Films.
- J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 1988, magna cum laude
- B.A., Arizona State University, 1985, summa cum laude
- French Language Program, Sorbonne (University of Paris), 1985
- U.S. District Court of the Central District of California
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