Photo of Kelly Charles Crabb

Kelly Charles Crabb

Special Counsel
Los Angeles
F: +1.213.443.2766


  • J.D., Columbia Law School, Columbia Law Review, 1984
  • M.P.A., Brigham Young University, 1973
  • B.A., Brigham Young University, 1971
  • California (1991)
  • New York (1985)
Thought Leadership


Kelly Crabb is a special counsel 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 sports 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. His second book, The Sports Business, is used, in manuscript form, in his class, “Sports Law in Practice,” at USC Law School.

Kelly is well known in the sports world, having performed services related to four Olympic Games. He worked on the broadcasting agreement and other projects for the Rio 2016 Olympic Committee, 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. Kelly acted as head international counsel to the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee for the XXIX Olympiad in 2008. In one of the top sports news stories of 2004, Kelly successfully represented Paul Hamm, the Olympic all-around 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.

Kelly 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. He has experience working with high profile personalities and cases. Kelly represents high-level motion picture and television producers (including Academy Award winning Gerald R. Molen). He has represented Paul McCartney, in connection with his world tour, and Dave Matthews, related to a management agreement. He represented Charles Barkley in an endorsement deal in Japan. Kelly also handled the publishing of the New York Times Best-Seller, My Story, for Elizabeth Smart. Kelly also handled the media rights for Ms. Smart's story, one of the major news events of 2003.

Kelly 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 Bachelor of Arts in 1971 from Brigham Young University.

Kelly is a frequent lecturer on entertainment and sports law and a recognized author. He is an Adjunct Professor at USC Law School, where he teaches a course on sports law.


  • 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.
  • Named to Who's Who Legal: Sports & Entertainment, 2015


Representative Deals and Cases in Sports

  • 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 the Foundation for 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 the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee related to broadcasting, ceremonies and other matters.
  • 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 owner of minor league soccer team in connection with the renegotiation of the team’s franchise agreement with the USL.
  • Representation of beverage manufacturer in the acquisition of a minority stake in a National Basketball Association team.
  • Representation of investor group, consisting of former Major League Baseball players, interested in making a bid for a Major League Baseball team.
  • Representation of Chinese event company in connection with appearance of NBA star.
  • Representation of NBA star in connection with commercial endorsement of Japanese satellite television system.
  • 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 NBA China, Ltd., in connection with reality television show in China.
  • Representation of Major League Baseball related to special project in Wuxi, China.
  • Representation of the Salt Lake City Organizing Committee for the Winter Olympic Games of 2002 related to entertainment matters.
  • Representation of Japanese company in a bid to buy a Major League Baseball team

Representative Deals and Cases in Entertainment

  • Representation of d-rights Inc., 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 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, and in connection with her second book scheduled for publication in 2018.
  • 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.
  • Representation of international movie actor Hiroyuki Sanada in connection with his talent agreement, including his roles in “The Catcher Was A Spy,” “Life,” The Last Ship,” “Minions,” “Mr. Holms,” “Extant,” "47 Ronin,” “The Railway Man,” “The Wolverine” and others.
  • 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.
  • 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).

Thought Leadership


Published Works

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).

“The Amateurism Myth: A Case for a New Tradition,” Stanford Law & Policy Review (June 2017).

Teaching Experience

Adjunct Professor, Gould School of Law (University of Southern California), Fall 2015 & 2016 – “Sports Law In Practice,” two-credit hour course on the commercial and legal aspects of sports events and organizations.

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.

Guest Lecturer, “Inside the World of Film Acquisitions,” UCLA Extension Course conducted by Quinn Coleman and Monica Chuo, from 2016.

Visiting Professor, “The Movie Business,” Brigham Young University Law School, 2013.

Guest Lecturer, “The Movie Business,” Chapman Law School, 2012-2013.

Speaking Engagements

  • Sample Speaking Engagements
  • Moderator, “The Amateurism Myth,” Stanford Law School, Palo Alto, California (May 6, 2017).
  • Organizing Committee and Panelist, “Doping in Sports: How the Culture Might Change,” Pepperdine Law School, Malibu, California (April 13, 2017).
  • Presenatation, “Road to the PyeonChang 2018,” PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Organizing Committee, Seoul, Korea (July 2015).
  • Presenter, “Latin America Meets Broadway: Exporting, Importing and Co-Producing Musicals & Plays,” Sheppard Mullin, New York, New York (May 2014).
  • Workshops for the Rio 2016 Olympic Organizing Committee, “Entertainment Programs and Intellectual Property Issues,” “Ticketing,” “Sponsorships,” “Broadcasting,” “Licensing and Trademarks” and “Olympic Timeline,” Rio de Janeiro (November 2012).
  • Presenter/Panelist, “Beijing Olympics Scorecard,” USC Center on Public Diplomacy, Annenberg School, Los Angeles, California (May 2009).
  • 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).