Marissa Román Griffith focuses her practice on media finance and entertainment transactional matters. She is recognized as an industry leader for her representation of domestic and foreign financial institutions, borrowers, distributors and others involved in various aspects of the financing, distribution and production of film and television projects.
Practice & Background
Ms. Griffith counsels clients with respect to numerous types of transactions relating to the entertainment industry, including negative pick-ups, credit facilities (on behalf of the lead agent/lender and also the borrower), slate co-financing agreements, distribution agreements, domestic and foreign tax incentives and co-financing arrangements in various countries throughout the world.
Ms. Griffith is a trustee of the Mexican American Bar Foundation, and is both a member of the board of directors and an officer of Outfest (the leading organization showcasing, nurturing and preserving LGBTQ film images and artistry). Ms. Griffith also co-chairs the Los Angeles office’s diversity committee, and she sits on the firmwide diversity committee.
Ms. Griffith co-chaired the Entertainment Law Section of the Beverly Hills Bar Association from 2004 to 2006, served as secretary of that organization from 2003 to 2004 and was a member of its executive committee from 2002 through 2008.
Ms. Griffith’s recent engagements include:
- Leading the team representing Media Rights Capital (MRC) and its affiliates in connection with MRC’s JPMorgan credit facility (including leading the most recent refinancing of such facility), the financing of MRC’s film and television projects (including the films Baby Driver, The Dark Tower, Mortal Engines, Ted and Ted 2 and the episodic series Blunt Talk, Counterpart, House of Cards, The One Percent and Ozark) and MRC’s co-financing of multiple Sony titles (including 22 Jump Street, Peter Rabbit, Sex Tape and Think Like a Man Too).
- Part of the team representing East West Bank in connection with a revolving credit facility for Perfect Universe co-led by JPMorgan Chase Bank and East West Bank, which provides financing for a multiyear slate of Universal’s films.
- Representing Endgame Entertainment in connection with the Netflix film Come Sunday.
- Leading the team representing SunTrust Bank in connection with the SunTrust-led senior secured credit facility for Revolution Studios (including with respect to the January 2017 sale of Revolution Studios to Content Partners). The SunTrust facility was initially utilized to purchase Revolution Studios, and has also been used to acquire additional titles for Revolution Studios such as Black Swan, Morgan Creek International’s film library, the Cold Spring Pictures film library, and five films produced by GK Films.
- Leading the team representing MUFG Union Bank in connection with the Union Bank-led senior secured revolving credit facility for a Luxembourg-based borrower (including leading the most recent refinancing of such facility), the proceeds of which are used to invest in film and TV projects that are subject to co-financing agreements with international distribution partners.
- Leading the team representing Ratpac-Dune Entertainment on its Bank of America-led senior secured revolving credit facility, which provides financing for as many as 75 titles in connection with its multiyear co-financing agreement with Warner Bros. Pictures, and also serving as part of the team representing RatPac-Dune Entertainment in connection with its Warner Bros. Pictures’ co-financing agreement.
- Leading the team representing RatPac Film Fund LLC on its Bank of America-led senior secured revolving credit facility, which is used to finance its motion pictures (including films co-financed with Warner Bros. and other partners) such as Birdman, Black Mass, Entourage, Horrible Bosses 2, Jersey Boys, The Revenant, Pan and Truth.
- Leading the team representing Bank of America, N.A. as agent and lender on a senior secured revolving credit facility providing up to $150 million of financing for various television series airing on a new cable television network.
- Leading the team representing Comerica Bank as agent and lender on a senior secured revolving credit facility providing up to $150 million of borrowing base financing to a U.S. studio.
- Leading the team representing Bank of America and JPMorgan on a senior secured credit facility that financed Content Partners’ acquisition of 50% of the CSI television franchise from Goldman Sachs.
- Representing Trinity Opportunities Limited (Trinity) and Shikumen Capital Management (HK) Limited (SCM) on a mezzanine debt facility for Village Roadshow Entertainment Group that was led by Trinity and co-arranged by SCM, in conjunction with a simultaneous equity investment in VREG by the mezzanine lenders, which collectively provided more than $275 million in new funding to VREG—a transaction that won the “Private Equity Deal of the Year” award at the 2013 International Financial Law Review (IFLR) Asia Awards.
- Representing Hemisphere-Culver Picture Partners in connection with its JPMorgan credit facility, which provided co-financing for U.S. studio films, such as Men in Black 3, The Smurfs and World War Z.
- Representing Union Bank on a senior secured revolving credit and term loan facility providing up to $15 million of borrowing base and library valuation-based financing for a U.S. producer.
- Managing the administration of a U.S. distributor’s film library (consisting of 191 titles) that was acquired by Assured Guaranty (along with Goldman Sachs) in connection with the restructuring of such distributor’s former credit facility.
- Representing Bank of America, Comerica Bank, JPMorgan, Union Bank, Endgame Entertainment, CIT (formerly OneWest Bank) and other financiers on multiple, single project loans providing financing in excess of $750 million, including for the films A Haunting in Georgia, Enders Game, Evil Dead, Looper, Out of the Furnace, Pacific Rim Uprising, Pitch Perfect and Safe Haven and the television series CSI: Cyber, From Dusk Till Dawn and Hemlock Grove.
Awards & Accolades
- The Hollywood Reporter’s 2018 and 2017 list of “Top 100 Power Lawyers”
- Los Angeles Business Journal’s 2018 list of “Most Influential Women Attorneys” in Los Angeles
- Los Angeles Business Journal’s 2018 list of “Most Influential Minority Attorneys” in Los Angeles
- The Hollywood Reporter’s list of “Hollywood’s Top 20 Dealmakers of 2016”
- Variety magazine’s 2017, 2016, 2015, 2013 and 2012 “Dealmakers Impact Report,” recognizing attorneys who played a role in significant showbiz deals of the past year
- Variety’s 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013 "Legal Impact Report," recognizing attorneys who represent “the hottest names, the biggest properties, the funniest web series, and the most popular video games, and probably the next big thing”
- named a Southern California “Super Lawyer” in Entertainment & Sports in 2004, 2006 and 2012 through 2018
- Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business (2005 through 2018 editions) – listed as a leading California transactional attorney practicing in media and entertainment
- The Legal 500 US (2017-2018) listed as a leading attorney in media and entertainment
- recognized by Best Lawyers in America for Entertainment Law – Motion Pictures and Television in 2007 through 2019
- recognized by Who’s Who Legal: Sports & Entertainment: Entertainment (2017-2018)
- Daily Journal’s 2014 list of “Top 100 Women Lawyers,” which recognizes the achievements of women leading the legal community in California
- shortlisted in the “Media & Entertainment” category for the 2013 Euromoney Legal Media Group Americas Women in Business Law Awards
- named Best Lawyer in the “Media and Entertainment” category at the 2012 Euromoney Legal Media Group Americas Women in Business Law Awards
- 2009 “Media, Entertainment or Telecom Deal of the Year,” M&A Advisor Middle-Market Financing Award - the firm was recognized for its advisory role on Media Rights Capital’s initial $350 million credit facility
- Expert Guides—Guide to the World’s Leading Women in Business Law (2010 through 2017 editions) – listed as a leading U.S. attorney practicing in both media and technology, media & telecommunications
- Expert Guides—Guide to the World’s Leading Media Lawyers (2010 and 2011 editions) – listed as a leading U.S. attorney practicing in media
- Expert Guides—Guide to the World’s Leading Technology, Media & Telecommunications Lawyers (2005, 2008, 2015 and 2016 editions) – listed as a leading U.S. attorney practicing in media
- Expert Guides—The Best of the Best USA (2006, 2008, 2015 and 2016 editions) – listed as a leading practitioner in technology, media & telecommunications.
- “Diversity & Inclusion in the Legal Profession in Media and Entertainment” panel organized by the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession (November 2017).
- “Film Financing for Independents” panel at the 2017 Film in California Conference (May 2017).
- “Global Film, Television and Digital Marketplace” panel at the 2017 AFCI Global Production & Finance Conference (April 2017).