William Archer

Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP

$ $$$

West 5th Street 633
Los Angeles 90071 CA US

William Archer is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Lewis Brisbois and co-chair of the Entertainment, Media & Sports Practice. He primarily focuses on providing transactional, intellectual property and litigation services for clients throughout the entertainment/media industries, including music, motion picture, television, new media, theater, fashion, publishing, and modeling.

Mr. Archer regularly forms limited liability companies and other entities; provides start-up advice; prepares and negotiates agreements for acquisition of motion picture and other rights including option/acquisition agreements, purchase agreements, writer agreements and exclusive shopping agreements; and drafts and negotiates financing agreements and related documents including private placement memoranda, loan agreements, equity financing agreements and hybrid loan/equity transactions including partially financing motion pictures through sales of tax credits.

Mr. Archer also assists his production company clients with becoming signatories to the basic agreements with the WGA, SAG-AFTRA, DGA and IATSE and advises clients regarding relevant provisions under those agreements. He also regularly negotiates and drafts production contracts, recording contracts, co-publishing and exclusive songwriter agreements, record producer agreements, composer agreements, soundtrack album agreements, album financing agreements, endorsement agreements, band partnership agreements, synch and master use licenses, and distribution and licensing agreements. Mr. Archer also handles clearance issues and advises clients regarding contests, sweepstakes and other promotions.

Recent transactions that Mr. Archer successfully closed or helped clients close include: motion picture distribution agreement with Dreamworks Animation; television show format option and license agreement between two entertainment conglomerates; license agreement between UK and Asian companies for on-demand service rights to various series episodes; television program license agreement between Japanese and Korean television networks; multiple licenses for use of John Williams’ Star Wars score in a video game; and license agreement with IFTA on Demand for live K-pop concert television program.

Mr. Archer is a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and the International Association of Entertainment Lawyers. In December 2015, Mr. Archer spoke at a conference at the University of Music Franz Liszt Weimar, Germany on U.S. and E.U. copyright laws in the entertainment industries and how TTIP could affect them.

Mr. Archer received his BA (philosophy/psychology), MA (philosophy) and JD from the University of Arizona where he also completed all of the course work for his Ph.D. in philosophy with a major in contemporary moral philosophy. He also taught philosophy for four years at the University of Arizona and has taken a number of film courses at UCLA.

Education :

  • University of Arizona, College of Law, Juris Doctor, with high distinction, 1985
  • University of Arizona, Doctoral Candidate in Philosophy, 1981-1985
  • University of Arizona, Master of Arts in Philosophy, with highest distinction, 1981
  • University of Arizona, Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy/Psychology, with distinction, 1978

AdmissionsAdmissions : State Bar Admissions, California

Associations :

  • Member, Law360 Media & Entertainment Advisory Board, 2015-2018
  • Member, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences
  • Member, International Association of Entertainment Lawyers
  • Member, State Bar of California


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West 5th Street 633
Los Angeles 90071 CA US
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