Photo of Kelly Charles Crabb

Kelly Charles Crabb

Los Angeles
T: 213.617.4228
F: 213.443.2766


  • J.D., Columbia Law School, Columbia Law Review, 1984
  • M.P.A., Brigham Young University, 1973
  • B.A., Brigham Young University, 1971
  • California
  • New York
Thought Leadership

Kelly Crabb is a partner in the Media, Entertainment and Technology Group, resident in the firm’s Los Angeles office. His practice emphasizes clients with an entertainment, sports, and media focus and includes a mix of sophisticated and complex financing, production, and content work for substantial U.S., Asian, and European companies. His practice areas include motion pictures, television, Internet, video games, print publishing and other content production, financing, distribution and exhibition; music business contracts; commercial endorsements and advertising; live events (including Olympic Games and other international sporting events, concerts, and stage productions); content rights acquisition and licensing; corporate mergers and acquisitions and joint venture transactions; and matters related to the entertainment and music performance guilds. His book, The Movie Business, which was published by Simon & Schuster in 2005, is regarded as a major work in the filmed entertainment community worldwide.

Mr. Crabb is well known in the Olympic Movement, having performed services related to four Olympic Games. He is currently working on projects for the Rio 2016 Olympic Committee and previously worked on the broadcasting agreement for the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games (2012) and entertainment projects for the Salt Lake Olympic Organizing Committee for the Winter Games of 2002. Mr. Crabb acted as international counsel to the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee for the XXIX Olympiad in 2008. In one of the top sports news stories of 2004, Mr. Crabb successfully represented an Olympic gymnastics champion in connection with a dispute arising at the Athens Games before the Court of Arbitration for Sport, in Lausanne, Switzerland. In other sports-related work, he performed professional services for NBA China and Major League Baseball in China.

Mr. Crabb represents high-level motion picture and television producers (including Academy Award winning Gerald R. Molen). He is highly experienced and recognized in the arena of international entertainment and media, with high-level clients and cross-border deal experience in Japan, China, Korea, Russia, and Australia. Mr. Crabb has experience working with high profile personalities and cases. He has represented Paul McCartney, in connection with his world tour, and Dave Matthews, related to a management agreement. Mr. Crabb also handled the publishing of the New York Times Best-Seller, My Story, for Elizabeth Smart. Mr. Crabb also handled the media rights for Ms. Smart's story, one of the major news events of 2003.

Mr. Crabb received his law degree from Columbia University School of Law in 1984, where he was an editor of the Columbia Law Review from 1982-1984. He received his Master’s in Public Administration in 1973 and his undergraduate degree in 1971 from Brigham Young University. Mr. Crabb is a frequent lecturer on entertainment and sports law and a recognized author. Mr. Crabb was selected by the Los Angeles Chapter of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society as “Outstanding Lawyer of 2005.” In 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 Super Lawyers Magazine named Mr. Crabb as one of Southern California’s “Super Lawyers” in the arts and entertainment practice. He is a member of both the California and New York state bars.


  • Named to Who's Who Legal: Sports & Entertainment, 2015
  • Southern California’s “Super Lawyers”, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010
  • Los Angeles Chapter of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society, “Outstanding Lawyer of 2005”


Representative Deals and Cases

  • Representation of international movie and television star, Hiroyuki Sanada, in connection with movie projects (e.g., “47 Ronin,” with Keanu Reeves), “Wolverine,” with Hugh Jackman, “Rush Hour 3” (with Jackie Chan), “City of Your Final Destination,” with Anthony Hopkins, “Mr. Holms,” with Ian McKellen, and “Minions”) and television projects (e.g., “The Last Ship,” “Helix,” “Extant,” “Revenge” and “Lost”).
  • Representation of Elizabeth Smart in connection with the development and publishing of her two books by St. Martin’s Press:  2013 New York Times Best Selling book, Elizabeth Smart’s My Story, with Chris Stewart, and Elizabeth’s Smart’s Hope Empowered, schedule for publication in 2017.
  • Representation of author, lecturer, television commentator and filmmaker, Dinesh D’Souza, in connect with the financing, production and distribution of his three highly successful theatrical documentary films:  “Obama’s America” (the highest grossing documentary of 2012), “America: Imagine the World Without Her” (2014) and “Hilary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party” (2016).
  • Representation of the International Surfing Association, the International Sports Federation for surf sports, in connection with its corporate restructuring and the adoption of a new charter.
  • Representation of Global Sports Development in connection with the development, production and release of its short-feature documentary,“Munich ’72,” which concerns the background of the memorial to be erected in honor of the slain Olympians and police during the 1972 Munich Olympic Games.
  • Representation of d-rights Inc., the media arm of Mitsubishi Corporation, in connection with the international exploitation of its popular Beyblade and Battle of the Planets properties.
  • Representation of producer, Gerald R. Molen, and Abolitionists LLC in connection with the production and release of the feature documentary and related television series entitled “The Abolitionists,” which concerns the efforts of a group of individuals to rescue victims of sex trafficking.
  • Representation of the Polynesian Cultural Center in connection with two tie-in productions with major Japanese television networks.
  • Representation of major Japanese advertising and media enterprise in connection with its acquisition of a minority stake in a prominent professional athlete management company located in Los Angeles.
  • Representation of Dinesh D’Souza in connection with the financing, production and release of the feature-length documentary film, “America: Imagine The World Without Her.”
  • Representation of Elizabeth Smart in connection with the development and publishing of her 2013 New York Time Best-Selling book, Elizabeth Smart: My Story, with Chris Stewart.
  • Representation of Dinesh D'Souza in connection with the development, production and distribution of "2016: Obama's America," the most successful documentary film of 2012.
  • Representation of the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee related to broadcasting, ceremonies and other matters.
  • Representation of TV-5 in the Philippines related to the negotiation of television carriage agreements in the United States.
  • Representation of Nikkatsu Corporation in connection with the development and production of three major international motion pictures, including "Day of the Beast" (directed by John Woo).
  • Representation of Row 1 Entertainment in connection with financing for the major motion picture project, “Broken City,” starring Russell Crowe.
  • Representation of Pacific Entertainment Holdings in connection with the establishment of Paramount-branded theme parks in Japan, South Korea and China.
  • Advised the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games (2012) in connection with its Master Broadcasting Agreement.
  • Head international counsel for the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (Summer of 2008) in connection with many international projects, including the negotiation and implementation of so-called BOB agreement governing the technical aspects of broadcasting the Beijing Games, over 20 broadcasting agreements, entertainment-related contracts for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Games.
  • Representation of William Morris Agency related to the financing of production and distribution costs for a new television reality series.
  • Representation of international movie actor Hiroyuki Sanada in connection with his role in the Universal Studios, "47 Ronin" (with Keanu Reeves) and other recent movies, such as "The City of Your Final Destination" and "Rush Hour 3."
  • Representation of the Western Athletic Conference (consisting of nine NCAA Division I universities located in the Intermountain West) in connection with its broadcasting initiatives.
  • Representation of the creators of the popular children’s show, “Yo Gabba Gabba,” in connection with the show’s financing, merchandising and broadcasting transactions.
  • Representation of Campari Group related to the endorsement services of actress/model Eva Mendes, Salma Hayek, and Jessica Alba.
  • Representation of d-rights, Inc., a Japanese entertainment company, in connection with the acquisition of movie rights of the popular Japanese television series, “Samurai Champloo.”
  • Represented Perfect Management Corp. in connection with two high-profile celebrity endorsement agreements for Japan, featuring the services of Leonardo DiCaprio (for Orix Corporation) and Ewan McGregor (for Toyota Motor Sales).
  • Representation of Daewoo Motor Sales and East Gate Entertainment in the acquisition of the rights to build and operate a Paramount-branded movie studio park in Inchon, Korea.
  • Representation of NBA China, Ltd., in connection with reality television show in China.
  • Representation of Major League Baseball related to special project in China.
  • Representation of the Salt Lake City Organizing Committee for the Winter Olympic Games of 2002 related to entertainment matters.

Pro Bono Matters

  • Representation of The Madison House, a charitable organization promoting cures for autism.
  • Representation of the Starlight Starbright Children’s Foundation, a public charity involved in children’s health and wellness issues, in connection with the establishment of a chapter organization in Japan.
  • Representation of Invisible Children, a public charity involved in bringing to light issues affecting the safety and well being of children of developing nations.
  • Representation of Rwanda Cinema Centre, a non-profit company operating film festivals and promoting the advancement of film in African nations.


Mr. Crabb is a frequent lecturer on entertainment and sports law and the author of several published articles and a major industry book, as follows:

Published Works

Navigating the Roadmap to Becoming an Olympic Sport, in SLA, (November 11, 2016).

The Movie Business: The Definitive Guide to the Legal and Financial Secrets to Getting Your Movie Made (Simon & Schuster 2005).

“Quirks, Customs, Empathy and Anti-Glam: Welcome to My World,” in Inside the Minds: The Legal Sides of Entertainment, Sports & Media (Aspatore Books 2004).

“Legal Issues Surrounding the Olympic Games and Other Sporting Events Entering the 21st Century, in Inside the Minds: Understanding Sports Law (Thomson Reuters/Aspatore 2014).

Teaching Experience

Adjunct Professor, J. Reuben Clark Law School (Brigham Young University), Fall 2013 – “The Movie Business,” two-credit hour course on the legal aspects of motion picture development, financing, production and distribution.

Adjunct Professor, Gould School of Law (University of Southern California), Fall 2015 – “Sports Law In Practice,” two-credit hour course on the commercial and legal aspects of sports events and organizations.

Speaking Engagements

  • Panelist, “Road to the Beijing Olympic Games: Legal and Business Issues in Staging Major Sports Events,” Sports Lawyers Association Annual Conference, San Francisco, California (May 16, 2008).
  • Speaker, “Dispute Resolution in the Arena of International Sports Competition: The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS),” Singapore Law Society, Singapore, Singapore (April 30, 2008).
  • Speaker, “Sports Law Overview,” International Lexmundi Conference, Beijing, China (April 24, 2008).
  • Speaker, “Broadcast of the Olympic Games: Issues and Perspective from the Beijing 2008 Games,” Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union, Istanbul, Turkey (April 17, 2008).
  • Speaker, “Lessons Learned from Representing the Beijing Olympics,” London Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXX Olympiad, London, England (April 15, 2008).
  • Speaker, “Legal Aspects of Preparing for World Class Sporting Events,” Glasgow 2014 Organising Company, London, England (April 14, 2008).
  • Speaker, “The Business of the Olympics: How Lawyers Help,” UCLA School of Law, Los Angeles, California (April 8, 2008).
  • Speaker, “Business and Legal Issues Learned from Representing the Beijing Olympics: Profiting from a Worldwide Event,” Digital Coast Roundtable, Los Angeles, California (April 3, 2008).
  • Speaker, “The 2008 Beijing Olympic Games: A Springboard to a New Era of Entertainment Deal-Making in China? The BOCOG Perspective,” USC IP Institute, Beverly Hills, California (March 18, 2008).
  • Speaker, “Perspectives Along the Path of Development: Influences of the Beijing Games,” Harvard Asia Business Conference, Cambridge, Massachusetts (March 8, 2008).
  • Speaker, “The Business of the Olympics: How Lawyers Help,” USC Gould School of Law, Los Angeles, California (February 13, 2008).
  • Speaker, “Hollywood-Style Film Financing in Japan?” Citibank Principal Investments, Tokyo, Japan (January 22, 2008).
  • Speaker, “The Business of the Olympics: How the Olympic Games Make Money,” Morrison & Foerster Financial Services Seminar, Los Angeles, California (January 10, 2008).
  • Speaker, “The Movie Business,” University of Utah School of Law, Salt Lake City, Utah (November 27, 2007).
  • Speaker, “Online Piracy of TV Programs,” CCTV, Los Angeles, California (November 17, 2007).
  • Panelist, “Olympic Entertainment Programs & Properties,” Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, Beijing, China (October 23, 2007).
  • Speaker, “The Obligations of a Host City,” IBA International Conference, Singapore, Singapore (October 15, 2007).
  • Speaker, “The Movie Business,” Chapman Law School, Anaheim, California (August 30, 2007).
  • Speaker, “Moral and Ethical Leadership,” BYU Management Society, Ontario, California (May 19, 2007).
  • Speaker, “Ambush Marketing in World Sporting Events,” Sport/Law Accord, Beijing, China (April 26, 2007).
  • Speaker, “The Three Risks of Movie Finance,” Pepperdine School of Law Symposium, Malibu, California (January 10, 2007).
  • Speaker, “Preparing for the Olympic Games: The BOCOG Experience,” London, England (June 6, 2006).
  • Speaker, “Experiences in the Law,” J. Reuben Clark Law Society, Los Angeles Chapter, Los Angeles, California (February 15, 2006).
  • Speaker, “Rights Clearance Procedures,” Franklin Covey, Salt Lake City, Utah (January 25, 2006).
  • Speaker, “The Role of Lawyers in the Entertainment Industry,” Japan Trade Seminar, Fukuoka, Japan (August 20, 2005).
  • Speaker, “The Legal Aspects of Preparing for the Olympic Games,” ASPE Conference: The Business of Sport and the Law in Asia, Singapore, Singapore (July 5, 2005).
  • Speaker, “Protecting the Olympic Athlete: The Paul Hamm Experience and the Case for the Olympic Athletes Bill of Rights,” Sports Lawyers Association, Phoenix, Arizona (May 20, 2005).
  • Speaker, “Japan Media Seminar,” Tokyo International Film Festival, etc., Fukuoka and Tokyo, Japan (October 24 & 27, 2004).
  • Panelist, “Preparing for the Olympic Games,” Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee, Vancouver, Canada (May 12, 2004).
  • Speaker, “Media and the Law Seminar,” Korea IT Industry Promotion Agency, Los Angeles, California (December 2, 2003).
  • Speaker, “The Impact of the Beijing Olympic Games on Doing Business in China,” Northern Virginia Technology Council, Tyson’s Corner, Virginia (November 14, 2003).
  • Speaker, “Media and the Law Seminar,” Fuji Television Network, Los Angeles, California (November 3, 2003).
  • Speaker, “Media and the Law: An Overview,” Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah (September 23, 2003).
  • Speaker, “The Global Search for Content: Importing Rights from Japan into the United States for Film, Television and Video Game Exploitation,” JETRO, Los Angeles, California (May 27, 2003).
  • Speaker, “Ambush Marketing in World Sporting Events,” Kodak (China) Co., Ltd., Beijing, China (May 21, 2003).
  • Speaker, “The Global Search for Content: Importing Foreign Rights into the United States for Film, Television and Video Game Exploitation,” Beverly Hills, California (March 27, 2003).
  • Speaker, “Protection of Olympic Intellectual Properties in China,” Mitsubishi Research Institute, Tokyo, Japan (February 24, 2003).
  • Speaker (in Japanese), “Entertainment Issues Between Japan and the United Stated,” Nikkei BP Entertainment Seminar, Tokyo, Japan (April 12, 2002).
  • Speaker, “Selection of an Entertainment Production Entity,” Beverly Hills Bar Association, Beverly Hills, California (March 20, 2002).
  • Speaker (in Japanese), “Five Topics on Entertainment Law in the United States,” Kyoto University Entertainment Law Conference, Tokyo and Osaka, Japan (December 2 & 4, 1998).
  • Panelist, “Securitization of Entertainment-related Assets,” Beverly Hills Bar Association, Beverly Hills, California (March 15, 1998).
  • Speaker, “Experiences in International Practice,” Stanford University, Palo Alto, California (December 2, 1996).
  • Speaker, “Asian Investment in the Film Industry,” Beverly Hills Bar Association (March 10, 1994).