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M. Graham Coleman

ColemanM. Graham
Partner
Chair, Entertainment Transactions Practice
T212.603.6442
F212.489.8340
Gray Coleman has more than 25 years of experience in intellectual property and general business law. He handles entertainment and media transactions including theater, film and television financing and production, and music and publishing matters. Gray acts as production counsel for a number of independent films, television series and specials, original productions for online/digital media, and theatrical productions on Broadway and elsewhere; guides clients in trademark selection, registration, licensing and protection; copyright registration; ownership and licensing issues; manuscript/script review for protection in all media; and a wide variety of contractual arrangements for parties working in the above industries and other businesses utilizing intellectual property. He also assists in the licensing of name/likeness rights, famous trademarks and character rights; and in enforcement, litigation and dispute resolution support in intellectual property infringement cases.

Practice Highlights
  • Counsel to numerous Broadway and touring stage productions, including The Color Purple (both the original 2005 production and the 2015 revival), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, King Charles III, The Audience, Shrek the Musical, Dirty Dancing, God of Carnage, Fences (2010 revival), Venus In Fur, After Midnight, Waiting For Godot/No Man’s Land, as well as several Off-Broadway productions including the long-running Sleep No More
  • Counsel to a number of leading theater companies including the Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival, MCC Theater, the National Theatre of Great Britain, Chicago’s Goodman Theatre, San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre, and Blue Man Productions
  • Intellectual property counsel to a leading producer and distributor of licensed sports merchandise, and primary outside counsel to a privately held company that is the leading print and online publisher of monthly sports collectibles magazines
  • Counsel to a number of authors/owners of distinguished plays and musicals, including Annie, Anything Goes, Arsenic and Old Lace, and others throughout the alphabet
  • Intellectual property counsel to a leading owner/operator of trade shows and related exhibitions
  • Counsel to several independent film producers whose productions include several Sundance Film Festival and other festival award-winning productions
  • Counsel to the award-winning television series Inside the Actors Studio since its inception in 1994, as well as numerous other television programs including game shows, talk shows, and other reality/documentary television programming
  • Trademark and licensing activity for a variety of clients, including book and magazine publishers, film and video producers, online retailers and information service providers, and designers and manufacturers of consumer goods

Professional & Community Activities

  • Governing Committee member and Chair of the Theater/Performing Arts division of the Forum on the Entertainment & Sports Industries of the American Bar Association
  • Former Chairman and current member of Board of Directors, Film Forum (nonprofit organization established in 1970, New York City's leading exhibitor of first-run independent films and classic film repertory)
  • Board of Directors, King Family Foundation (providing financial assistance to support film/television studies in undergraduate/graduate school around the country, in the form of individual student scholarships and direct support to schools for professorships, film festivals and other activities)
  • American Bar Association New York City Bar Association

Professional Recognition

  • Named as one of "America's Leading Lawyers for Business" by Chambers USA in Media & Entertainment: Film & Television (New York), 2009-2011; Media & Entertainment: Theater (New York), 2012-2016
  • Named one of the "Best Lawyers in America" in Entertainment Law - Motion Pictures and Television by Best Lawyers, 2016 
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"His deep understanding of the theater industry is a great strength." -Client Quote, Chambers USA 2016