All crises — whether arising from a corporate emergency, a catastrophic event, or negative publicity — require a coordinated response on an expedited timeline. Sidley has a proven track record of helping clients manage entertainment, sports, and media (ESM) crises, which require quick action, strategic insight, and litigation know-how critical to protect our clients’ businesses and reputations. Working closely with our clients in both responding to and handling ESM crises, we provide tailored solutions to address the circumstances of all situations.
Consistently ranked among top four firms for crisis management in the United States and globally
2023 Chambers Crisis & Risk Management
Our ESM Crisis Management team has deep experience with highly sensitive government and internal investigations, M&A transactions, capital raisings, financings, cutting-edge distribution deals, tax matters, high-profile litigation, restructurings, and regulatory matters. We use an industry-focused approach, drawing upon the significant, relevant experience of our lawyers across practice areas to deploy swift, well-planned crisis responses.
Major ESM companies and their boards seek our counsel in an emergency as we provide thoughtful, seamless advice for multifaceted crises.
Harnessing our firm’s global resources, Sidley is able to quickly assemble the right team for complex transactional, regulatory, and litigation matters in the ESM sector that span multiple legal disciplines.
Ranked among the best in California Media & Entertainment: Transactional/Litigation and in Nationwide Sports Law
Chambers USA 2023
We have decades of experience serving as the “first response” team in the face of ESM crises to establish and manage both the initial and long-term legal strategies and assist with remediation efforts.
Our lawyers represent a broad spectrum of domestic and international clients in the entertainment and media space.
Our work includes:
- Internal investigations, including whistleblower complaints
- Responses to investigations by the Department of Justice (DOJ), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), state Attorneys General, and other oversight bodies
- Advising boards and audit and special committees
- Counseling on compliance, governance, litigation risks, and potential exposure arising from alleged misconduct, investigative findings, and negative publicity
- Cybersecurity breach incident response and prevention
- Congressional inquiry or subpoena response
- Managing legal, policy, political, or public relations considerations related to an investigation
- Advice regarding workouts or restructurings for companies where intellectual property is a key asset
- Securities disclosure issues
- Sexual misconduct and other employment-related allegations
How We Add Value
Sidley’s ESM Crisis Management team understands the level of trust that is required to handle the challenges that arise on the onset, in the midst of, and after a crisis. Our lawyers know how to balance internal and external effects, relationship dynamics, and optics.
We will collaborate with you to help frame the narrative, recognizing that your reputation is paramount, and media attention will only continue. Steps often include: mapping out a strategy based on clear objectives considering all stakeholders; managing immediate and longer-term communications, including internal and external strategies; preserving and gathering factual evidence; interacting with regulators and other government agencies proactively and in response to inquiries; and coordinating all of the moving pieces so that you can focus on achieving your business goals.
“Sidley has very deep expertise in the entertainment space, and the ability to cover both general and specialized work… Sidley’s advice is invaluable across all matters. Their understanding of the marketplace and what is market standard is second to none.”
Chambers USA 2023: California – Media & Entertainment: Transactional
We have represented:
- An international retailer regarding an investigation stemming from allegations by the media that one of their suppliers engaged in slave labor, underpays its workers, and requires them to work in unsafe conditions that are linked to health problems.
- A former senior officer of a National Football League (NFL) team in a high-profile NFL investigation into the organization’s culture, policies, and allegations of workplace misconduct.
- Global broadcast giant beIN Media Group in a high-profile crisis and politically charged international dispute with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
- Several prominent former social media company executives in DOJ, SEC, and FTC investigations into the acquisition of the company, and a congressional investigation and testimony before U.S. House Oversight and Accountability Committee into allegations of social media censorship.
- Ohio State Head Football Coach Urban Meyer related to an investigation into allegations arising from athletic department issues.
- An international casino resort in responding to and managing the aftermath in a crisis situation in Las Vegas.
Click here for a pdf of our Entertainment, Sports, and Media Crisis Management and Strategic Response brochure.