Robert A. Darwell: Lawyer with Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

Robert A. Darwell


Peer Rating
AV® Preeminent

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Practice Areas

  • Entertainment, Technology and Advertising
  • International Practice
  • Latin American Practice
  • Art
  • Entertainment, Technology, and Advertising
  • Fashion, Apparel and Beauty
  • Sports
  • Video Game
University Sorbonne, University of Paris, French Language Program, 1985; Arizona State University, B.A., summa cum laude, 1985
Law SchoolGeorgetown University Law Center, J.D., magna cum laude, 1988
Admitted1988, California; U.S. District Court of the Central District of California


Law360's Media and Entertainment 2012 Editorial Advisory Board

•Former Co-Chair, Beverly Hills Bar Association Entertainment Law Section

•Past President, Premier Patrons of the American Cinematheque

•Board Member, Planning Committee for the UCLA Entertainment Law Symposium


Robert Darwell heads the firm's internationally acclaimed Transactional Entertainment, Technology and Advertising Practice Group, which was recently ranked by U.S. Legal 500 in its top tier. He is a partner in the firm's Century City and New York offices.

Areas of Practice

Mr. Darwell enjoys a global practice representing major motion picture studios, television networks, independent producers, new media companies, financial institutions, investors, financiers and other institutional and individual entertainment, media and convergence clients around the world in connection with all aspects of the development, production, acquisition and distribution of motion pictures, television programming, video games and other content.

Mr. Darwell's extensive knowledge of, and experience with, the legal and business aspects of the entertainment industry allows him to provide clients with specialized services including copyright and other intellectual property matters, clearance/rights issues, complex chain of title review and analysis, employment and guild matters, and bank and other forms of single and multiple picture production financing, including international joint ventures, co-productions, output deals and tax driven financings.

Mr. Darwell counsels on, structures, and negotiates a wide variety of agreements including for the option and acquisition of literary property rights; revenue sharing agreements; affiliation agreements; library acquisitions; strategic alliances; agreements relating to equity investments in media companies; first look agreements; licensing and merchandising; sports and other live events; videogame development and publishing arrangements; book publishing; recording, soundtrack, and music publishing deals; and executive employment agreements.

Mr. Darwell also represents and counsels advertisers and agencies in preparing endorsement and sponsorship agreements, licensing and protecting intellectual property rights, reviewing and clearing advertising copy for use in online and off-line media, complying with privacy concerns, preparing advertising agency and media agreements, and advising clients in complying with claims substantiation, ambush marketing, co-promotions, branded entertainment and state and federal regulations governing contests, sweepstakes and other promotions.

Mr. Darwell is also the founder of the firm's Fashion, Apparel and Beauty practice. He has represented labels, designers, retailers and manufacturers around the world, including Gucci, Chanel, Versace and Cavalli in matters involving advertising, marketing, counterfeiting and intellectual property licensing. Interested parties should visit the firm's fashion blog at

Pursuing his long time passion for the arts and Sheppard Mullin's rich art history, Mr. Darwell also established the firm's art law practice, representing artists, galleries, museums, and sponsors. The firm's art law blog can be accessed at


•AlwaysOn Power Player in Digital Media, 2013

•Top Rated Lawyer in Technology, American Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbell, 2013

•20 Most Important People to Meet at AFM, The Hollywood Reporter

•Power Lawyer, The Hollywood Reporter, 2012, 2014

•One of Top 100 Lawyers in California, Daily Journal

•Best Lawyer in America, Advertising and Entertainment categories, Best Lawyers

•One of 40 Who's Who in Law?, LA Business Journal

•Southern California Super Lawyer, Super Lawyers

•Best of the Bar, Media and Entertainment, Los Angeles Business Journal

•Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers In America, Lawdragon Magazine

•Attorney of the Year, Entertainment, California Lawyer

•Transactional Entertainment Rating, Chambers and Partners

•500 New Worlds, New Stars, Lawdragon

•3000 Leading Lawyers in America, Lawdragon

•Marketing and Advertising, Legal 500, 2007-2014

•Which Lawyer?, Practical Law Company, Media, 2011, 2012


French (Also at New York, N.Y. Office)


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#562 in weekly profile views out of 1,684,342 total lawyers Overall

Office Information

Robert A. Darwell

1901 Avenue of the Stars, Suite 1600
Los AngelesCA 90067


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