Who do celebrities call when they behave badly? Who can they rely on when they want to negotiate for the biggest contract possible? Who can they count on to provide the legal spin so that the public would see how the system is just being unfair to these celebrities who actually deserve pity?
Celebrity lawyers are what people like Lindsay Lohan, O.J. Simpson, Michael Vick and other celebrities need. These lawyers can only be afforded by the really rich and they tend to earn every penny of their work. Just imagine the troubles these rowdy celebrities get into on a regular basis. Then again, the more they get into trouble with the law, the more these lawyers could line their pockets with cash.
Here is a list of the richest celebrity lawyers in the world.
10. Harry Brittenham – $6.5 million
Harry Brittenham, or Skip, used to work for well-known entertainment companies in Hollywood before establishing his own law firm with Kenneth Ziffren in 1978. Some of the firm’s first clients were the producers of the then-hit shows “Happy Days” and “Laverne and Shirley.” Among Britthenham’s clients are some of the biggest names in the industry, including Harrison Ford, Bruce Willis, Eddie Murphy, the Weinstein brothers Bob and Harvey of Miramax, and Joe Roth, the founder of Revolution Studios.
9. Kenneth Ziffren – $6.5 million
Kenneth Ziffren was Harry Brittenham’s partner in the Los Angeles law boutique that was set up in the 1970s. After bagging important clients like the producers of popular and high-rating television shows, the two decided to split up the work. While Brittenham handled all the big-name clients, Ziffren focused on corporate clients, handling organizations such as the National Football League and DirecTV.
8. John Branca – $6.5 million
John Branca got his first taste of the entertainment scene as a member of a band that opened for The Doors in a club in Los Angeles back in the 60s. He decided to specialize in corporate and tax laws, representing rock stars and musicians. Among his clients are The Beach Boys, Aerosmith, Carlos Santana, Limp Bizkit and Backstreet Boys. He earns five percent of all his client’s record contracts. The figure is not bad at all considering that 15 of his client bands have sold more than 20 million records each.
7. Allen Grubman – $10 million
Allen Grubman was mentioned prominently in the headlines around 2001 for the wrong reason after his daughter, Lizzie, a prominent publicist in the business, ran over several people outside a popular nightclub at the Hamptons. As a lawyer, he is known as the superpower attorney of the music industry. He represents several major labels and top music artists at the same time. Proof of his skills as a lawyer is how he has managed to avoid having any conflict of interest. He represents big stars like Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, Mariah Carey, Shania Twain, Elton John and Jennifer Lopez. He also handles Martha Stewart, Vera Wang and Tommy Hilfiger.
6. Gloria Allred – $20 million
Gloria Allred likes to advertise herself as “the most famous woman attorney practicing law in the nation today.” Judging by the cases she handles and the media frenzy they generate, she is probably right. Among her clients are the family of the late Nicole Brown Simpson, Paula Jones and Amber Frey. She also represented the nanny of Rob Lowe, with sexual harassment charges filed against the actor. She was also the lawyer of the bodyguard of Britney Spears. She also famously brought the Octomom to court, claiming that the babies need to have a court-appointed guardian to protect their interests.
5. Mark Geragos – $25 million
Mark Geragos is one of the more well-known celebrity lawyers around, most probably because of his connection to the Prince of Pop, Michael Jackson. Geragos was the late musician’s defense attorney after Jackson was charged with child molestation. Geragos also defended Winona Ryder after she was caught shoplifting in Saks. He is also the lawyer for Chris Brown, who immediately put him in retainer after the battery case on Rihanna against Brown blew up.
4. Alan Dershowitz – $25 million
Alan Dershowitz is probably best remembered for his active role representing O.J. Simpson in the media during his murder trial in the 90s. He has been a professor in Harvard Law School for a number of years now. He also served as the lawyer of Mike Tyson and Patricia Hearst. He also represented Claus van Bulow, a socialite initially convicted of attempting to murder his wife Sunny in 1980. The wife was in a coma for more than 20 years after the 1980 incident. Dershowitz won the appeal and van Bulow’s conviction was overturned.
3. Joel Segal – $40 million
Joel Segal is a lawyer who specializes in sports contracts. He successfully negotiated a lucrative six-year, $100 million contract for Michael Vick after the star quarterback was jailed for his involvement in dogfighting. Segal also represents Randy Moss, Chris Johnson and other NFL players.
2. Robert Shapiro – $50 million
Robert Shapiro is best known for his prominent role in the O.J. Simpson murder case in the 90s. He was actually one of the first lawyers to defend Simpson in the public eye by appearing in network and cable news to refute all perceived evidences against his client. After Johnnie Cochran took over, Shapiro took a backseat but remained on Simpson’s side until the end. Shapiro has also handled other stars, notably Johnny Carson, Phil Spector, as well as several players of Major League Baseball.
1. Roy Black – $65 million
Roy Black handled the rape case of William Kennedy Smith back in 1991, getting him acquitted of all charges. He then married one of the jurors in the case. He has also defended clients like Joe Francis of the “Girls Gone Wild” videos, Rush Limbaugh, Jeffrey Epstein and Helio Castroneves. Black has amazingly gotten these clients off the hook despite massive public opinion against them.
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