Richard B. Kendall’s practice focuses on complex litigation, and his experience spans more than four decades, several continents, and leading judicial and arbitration forums worldwide.
A former federal prosecutor, Mr. Kendall has prevailed in every one of the dozens of civil trials and arbitrations in which he has served as lead counsel representing both the defense and plaintiff sides. Over time, he has become the go-to litigator and trial counsel for his clients, some of whom, like Paramount and MTV, that he has represented for more than 25 years. He is currently leading the defense of one of the world’s top talent agencies in one of Hollywood’s biggest disputes between talent agencies and the Writers Guild of America (WGA) over the use of agency packaging fees.
Mr. Kendall has argued and successfully resolved sophisticated, contentious, and unprecedented challenges to the First Amendment and the rights of privacy and publicity. He has argued on preemption of state consumer laws and environmental claims against the military before the U.S. Supreme Court. In addition, Mr. Kendall also litigated asset confiscation and recovery claims that were connected to the fall of Saigon and the overthrow of former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos.
His courtroom background includes serving as lead trial counsel in dozens of trials and appeals in the federal and state courts, including two arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court. The Hollywood Reporter has recognized him as a Power Lawyer multiple years, and the other leading Hollywood publication, Variety, has named him one of the industry’s leading lawyers for the last three years. In addition, the prestigious Chambers & Partners legal ranking organization has repeatedly ranked him among the top media and entertainment litigators since 2004. It also has quoted clients as saying that Mr. Kendall is “very analytical and experienced,” as well as one of the West Coast’s “strongest litigators.”
As a commercial litigator and an advisor on transactional matters, Mr. Kendall represents major entertainment studios, leading media companies, securities, banking and financial institutions, and foreign governments in complex, sensitive, and high-stakes disputes and negotiations. Current significant areas of his counsel include distribution rights battles, copyright, financing, and profit-participation disputes.