David C. Eisman is head of Skadden’s Entertainment Group and a member of the firm’s Financial Oversight and Audit Committee. He has a broad range of experience in mergers and acquisitions, securities law matters, partnerships, financings, joint ventures and strategic alliances.


Mr. Eisman represents clients in the media and entertainment, gaming, investment banking, technology, apparel, publishing and retail industries, among others. He also is a member of the firm’s Investment Management Group, advising on family office and fund formation matters, and the firm’s Cybersecurity Group.

Mr. Eisman has repeatedly been selected by The Hollywood Reporter (2015-18) as one of Hollywood’s Top Power Lawyers in media and entertainment transactions, and he was recognized as the 2017 Entertainment Attorney of the Year by the Los Angeles Business Journal. Mr. Eisman also was recognized by Variety in its 2017 and 2015 “Dealmakers Impact Report” and “Legal Impact Report,” which highlights top attorneys working in film, television and digital media. In 2014, the Daily Journal named Mr. Eisman one of the Top 50 Entertainment Lawyers in California and previously as one of the Top 20 Under 40 lawyers in California. Mr. Eisman repeatedly has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America.

He was a key member of the deal team recognized in The Recorder’s 2017 “Corporate Department of the Year” contest, in which Skadden took top honors in the U.S. M&A and Cross-Border M&A categories.

Notable Transactions

Media and Entertainment

  • Vulcan Capital, an investment vehicle of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, in connection with numerous M&A and family office matters, including:
    • the sale of DreamWorks L.L.C. to Paramount Pictures;
    • the initial public offering and spin-off of DreamWorks Animation SKG;
    • the sale of Sporting News to American City Business Journals;
    • the sale of Oxygen Media, the cable television network, to NBC Universal; and
    • the sale of Sporting News radio station affiliate KMPC (Los Angeles) to Radio Korea, and the sale of WSNR (New York) and WWZN (Boston) to Davidson Media Group;
  • United Talent Agency, a premier global talent agency, in various matters, including:
    • the acquisition of The Agency Group, the world’s largest independent music agency;
    • the acquisition of Bienstock, the world’s largest news and broadcast agency;
    • the acquisition of speakers talent agency Greater Talent Network;
    • the acquisition of a stake in, and strategic alliance with, AGM Securities;
    • the sale of a minority stake in the agency to investor Jeff Ubben; and
    • the formation of a sports and entertainment marketing joint venture with Edelman;
  • Summit Entertainment, LLC in its $413 million acquisition by Lions Gate Entertainment;
  • Katherine Jackson in the $750 million sale of the Michael Jackson estate’s interest in the Sony/ATV music publishing business to Sony Corp.;
  • Brillstein Entertainment Group in general corporate matters;
  • RatPac Entertainment in the sale of James Packer’s stake in the company to Len Blavatnik’s Access Entertainment;
  • Saban Capital Group in its formation and launch of a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) and its acquisition of a controlling interest in Partner Communications, a leading Israeli wireless provider;
  • Jon Bon Jovi in a joint venture to launch a Hamptons-inspired rosé wine in partnership with French winemaker Gérard Bertrand;
  • a joint venture with Diageo and CAA to launch The Hilhaven Lodge, an ultra-premium whiskey named after an historic residence that has hosted generations of Hollywood parties;
  • Activision, Inc. in its $18.9 billion business combination with Vivendi Games;
  • RatPac Entertainment in partnership with Warner Bros. in the creation of a China-focused content fund;
  • an investment group in its acquisition of an equity stake in Legendary Pictures; and
  • the selling shareholders of RealD, a provider of 3D technologies, in the initial public offering of RealD.

Retail and Consumer

  • Total Produce in its pending $300 million acquisition of a 45 percent stake in Dole, one of the world’s most recognized brands, from David Murdoch, in the largest fruits and vegetables deal in history;
  • Murad, Inc., a leading global skincare brand, in its acquisition by Unilever;
  • XIO Group, an international private equity fund, in its $1.1 billion acquisition of J.D. Power and Associates;
  • Calera Capital in the $780 million sale of Sleepy’s to Mattress Firm Holding Corp.;
  • United Online, Inc. in its spin-off of FTD Companies, Inc., a leading global provider of flowers and gifts;
  • American Apparel, Inc., a leading U.S. apparel manufacturer and retailer, in its acquisition by a SPAC, and corporate matters; and
  • the special committee of the board of Internet Brands, Inc. in its $640 million acquisition by Hellman & Friedman.

Investment Banking

  • Moelis & Company in connection with its initial public offering;
  • the co-founders of Ares Management, L.P. in its initial public offering;
  • Goldman Sachs Group as financial advisor to Safeway Inc. in its $9 billion acquisition by a group led by Cerberus Capital Management, L.P.; and
  • PJ Solomon in its sale of a majority stake to Natixis.


  • Occidental Petroleum Corporation in more than $7 billion of registered senior notes offerings and general corporate matters;
  • Gateway, Inc. in its $710 million acquisition by Acer Inc. via a tender offer and its acquisition of Packard Bell B.V.;
  • Trustbridge Partners in its acquisition of children’s book publisher Holiday House;
  • Gen-Probe Incorporated in its $3.8 billion acquisition by Hologic, Inc., which was recognized as a Top 10 California M&A transaction by the Daily Journal; and
  • SKBHC Holdings LLC, a Goldman Sachs-Oaktree Capital-sponsored venture, in its formation and structuring of a distressed bank fund.

Pro Bono

  • the Special Olympics in corporate matters for the World Games in Los Angeles;
  • Steven Spielberg’s Shoah Foundation in its merger with USC and the creation of the USC Shoah Foundation; and
  • Oakley, Inc. in the formation of the Infinite Hero Foundation.

Mr. Eisman was based in the firm’s London office from 1997 to 2000, where his practice focused primarily on cross-border M&A transactions.



  • J.D., University of California, Los Angeles, 1993
  • B.S., The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, 1990 (magna cum laude)
  • B.A., University of Pennsylvania, 1990 (magna cum laude)


  • California

David C. Eisman

Partner, Media and Entertainment; Mergers and Acquisitions; Cybersecurity and Privacy; Investment Management