Alex Akhavan is an associate in the Entertainment, Technology and Advertising Practice Group in the firm's Century City office.
Areas of Practice
Over the course of Alex’s career, he has nurtured a passion for international business and the entertainment industry. Today, he represents producers, studios, media companies and networks in connection with entertainment productions throughout the United States and around the world (including in Mexico, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Australia, Nigeria, South Korea, New Zealand, U.A.E., the U.K., Spain, Italy and France) and was recognized in Variety’s Legal Impact Report “Up Next” list of top entertainment attorneys.
Alex’s practice focuses on film and television transactions, with an emphasis on animation and visual effects. Alex serves as outside counsel and the main point of contact for Disney Television Animation and also managed all visual effects agreements for Amazon Studios’ production of The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power. He has also advised Nickelodeon and TelevisaUnivision on various issues regarding their animated projects.
Alex also has extensive experience as a production attorney having served as lead outside production counsel on the Amazon’s series, Swarm, which involved negotiating agreements with show creators Donald Glover and Janine Nabers along with cast members such as Dominique Fishback and Billie Eilish. Alex was also production counsel for Campanario Entertainment on Netflix’s Selena: The Series and for MGM on season 10 of Vanderpump Rules.
Alex has also managed many unscripted projects for Amazon Studios, especially sports-related content. Alex negotiated Amazon’s deals with Springhill for the series Top Class and Reborn: JR Smith as well as with Skydance Sports for Good Rivals, a documentary about the USA-Mexico international soccer rivalry.
Alex also regularly conducts chain-of-title review and negotiates rights and services agreements for both domestic and international productions. He advised Gaumont USA on clearance matters regarding the series El Presidente and also serves as the point of contact for the firm’s pro bono client, the Los Angeles Opera.
Alex received his law degree from the UCLA School of Law where he was a board member of the UCLA Law Review and specialized in Entertainment, Media and Intellectual Property law. He received his B.A. from Tufts University where he double majored in international relations and philosophy. He is a member of Sheppard Mullin’s French and Latin America teams.
A history buff, Alex produces and hosts a podcast about constitutional law called “May It Please the Court,” which tells stories about the Supreme Court of the United States in a narrative episodic format.
When not working, Alex can be found cooking up a storm, playing fetch with his dog, and watching documentaries (usually at the same time).
Animation and Visual Effects
- Alex has led Sheppard Mullin’s Disney Television Animation team for the last four years, negotiating a high volume of agreements with various writers, directors and producers, including with Laurence Fishburne and Joe and Anthony Russo
- Negotiated Overall Agreements on behalf of Disney with high-level animation talent, including Kevin Deters, Devin Bunje and Nick Stanton, Sabrina Cotugno, Natasha Kline, Craig Gerber, Bruce Smith, and Ralph Farquhar
- In charge of all visual effects agreements in connection with Amazon Studios’ production of The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power
- Advised Nickelodeon on a variety of rights and guild issues regarding animated projects
- Negotiated agreements with Sofia Vergara on behalf of TelevisaUnivision regarding the animated series Koati.
- Lead outside production counsel on Amazon Studios’ Swarm; negotiated agreements with show creators Donald Glover and Janine Nabers as well as with cast, including Dominique Fishback and Billie Eilish.
- Production counsel for Campanario Entertainment on Netflix’s Selena: The Series
- Counsel to MGM for season 10 of Vanderpump Rules
Unscripted and Sports
- Handled several agreements on behalf of Amazon Studios with Springhill (Lebron James and Maverick Carter’s production company) for sports-related docuseries Top Class and Reborn: JR Smith
- Negotiated on behalf of Amazon with Skydance in connection with the rights to Good Rivals, a docuseries regarding the USA-Mexico international soccer rivalry.
- Outside counsel to Amazon and Freevee for a variety of unscripted movies and series, including Judy Justice, Shatner in Space,Making the Cut, Savage X Fenty Fashion Show, Luxe Listings Sydney, LOL: Canada, LOL: French Canada, Shiny Happy People, and Lizzo's Watch Out for the Big Grrrls.
- Counsel to the Los Angeles Opera
- Counsel to Rug Entertainment
Ones to Watch - Entertainment and Sports, Best Lawyers, 2021-2024
Top Entertainment Attorney, Variety's Up Next, 2023
Entertainment Law Blog Posts
- "The Future of Watching Sports," April 12, 2021