P. John Burke focuses on media finance, with an emphasis on motion picture transactions. 

Practice & Background

Mr. Burke represents financial institutions, investment banks, studios, equity and hedge funds, independent production companies, distributors and high-net-worth individuals on various aspects of financing film, television and other projects involving intellectual properties. He has extensive experience advising clients with respect to structuring and executing film slate financings, complex distribution agreements, tax-advantaged financing, subsidies and co-production arrangements in various countries throughout the world. He has also represented major studios and others in the creation, acquisition and development of various themed attractions, including related retail entertainment complexes.

Mr. Burke serves as an officer of and corporate counsel to the American Film Institute and as a member of the advisory committee of the UCLA Entertainment Law Symposium. He has served as co-chair of the advisory committee of the UCLA Entertainment Law Symposium, a member of the advisory board of the AFI International Film Festival and the board of directors of the Japan America Society. He is a member of the Commercial Law & Bankruptcy and Intellectual Property & Entertainment Law Sections of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and the Entertainment Law Section of the Beverly Hills Bar Association.

Representative Matters

Mr. Burke’s recent engagements include representing:

  • an investor group in a slate co-financing distribution arrangement with a studio that includes a joint venture for the distribution of the studio’s films in China by the investor group
  • an investor group in a slate co-financing distribution arrangement with a studio
  • a major New York based private equity group in negotiating and structuring its multi-year slate co-financing agreement with Warner Bros. Pictures
  • a major investment bank in the reorganization of a major independent distributor.
  • a major New York-based hedge fund in the acquisition from Citibank of Class A and Class B shares in the Beverly 1 slate financing facility with Sony Pictures
  • a local fund devoted to co-financing studio films in its credit facility with JPMorgan
  • a major US national bank as lender in a financing for a Sony film slate; as lender in connection with the first ever slate financing for a major European distributor; as lender in a financing in connection with The Hunger Games, Snow White, 21 & Over, Movie 43, Acts of Valor
  • acquisition of film libraries and profit participations by a major fund
  • a major New York-based hedge fund in a $600 million, multi picture production and distribution deal with Fox
  • a Hong Kong-based investment bank in a $275 million credit facility to Village Roadshow. That deal won the “Private Equity Deal of the Year” award at the 2013 International Financial Law Review (IFLR) Asia Awards
  • a major US national bank as lender in various production financings in connection with Good Deeds, Step Up 4, The Last StandNow You See MeMadea’s Safe House,and Ender’s Game
  • two major US banks as lenders in connection with the financing for Breaking Dawn 1&2
  • a sovereign wealth fund in its relationships with Hyde Park, Parkes MacDonald, National Geographic and Participant Media
  • multiple financial institutions and other clients in various substantial participation audits with major studios
  • multiple financing arrangements between U.S. and Chinese interests
  • outside counsel for the American Film Institute, one of the leading film schools in the world

Awards & Accolades

  • Band 1, Chambers USA, California Media & Entertainment: Transactional (2004-2018)
  • The Legal 500 US, Media & Entertainment (2017)
  • The Hollywood Reporter’s list of “Hollywood’s Top 20 Dealmakers of 2016”
  • The Hollywood Reporter’s “Top 100 Power Lawyers” (2007-2018)
  • Variety magazine’s “Legal Impact Report” (2013-2018)
  • Variety magazine’s “Dealmakers Impact Report” (2013-2016)
  • Who’s Who Legal 100 in Sports and Entertainment (2014)
  • Southern California Super Lawyers (2007-2018)
  • “The Best Lawyers in America” for Entertainment Law – Motion Pictures and Television (2006-2018)
  • Chambers USA, “Best Media Group of 2012”
  • The M&A Advisor’s 9th Annual M&A Advisor Awards finalist (November 2011)
  • Best of the Best 2011 Expert Guides’ “America’s Top 25 Pre-Eminent Practitioners”
  • Los Angeles Business Journal’s “Who’s Who in Law” (2010)
  • The Hollywood Reporter’s “20 movers and shakers you’ve got to meet at AFM” (2009)
  • Daily Variety’s “Hollywood Law Impact List” (2007)
  • Marquis Who’s Who’s “Who’s Who in American Law 2011-2012” (17th Edition)
  • Marquis Who’s Who’s “Who’s Who in the West 2014” (41st Edition)
  • Daily Journal’s “Top Entertainment Lawyers” (2015 and 2014).