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 repeatedly has 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 repeatedly has been recognized by Variety in its Dealmakers Impact Report and Legal Impact Report, which highlights top attorneys working in film, television and digital media. The Daily Journal previously named Mr. Eisman one of the Top 50 Entertainment Lawyers in California and as one of the Top 20 Under 40 lawyers in California. Mr. Eisman was named in Chambers USA 2019 in the Media & Entertainment: Transactional category and 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 ranked first in the U.S. and Cross-Border M&A.

Notable Transactions

Media and Entertainment

  • Vulcan Capital, an investment vehicle of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, in connection with numerous entertainment M&A transactions, including:
    • the sale of DreamWorks Studios 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 (UTA) in various matters, including:
    • the acquisition of a significant stake in agent Rich Paul’s Klutch Sports, which represents LeBron James and other top NBA athletes, and the formation of a UTA sports division;
    • the sale of minority stakes in the agency to PSP and Investcorp;
    • the acquisition of top social media influencer agency DBA;
    • the acquisition of electronic music-focused Circle Talent Agency;
    • the acquisition of two esports talent and marketing agencies;
    • the acquisition of The Agency Group, the world’s largest independent music agency;
    • its TV finance and production joint venture with Valence Media and MRC;
    • the acquisition of Bienstock, the world’s largest news and broadcast agency; and
    • the acquisition of a stake in “American Idol” producer CORE Media;
  • Entertainment Partners, Hollywood’s leading payroll company and owner of Central Casting, in its acquisition by TPG Capital, L.P.;
  • the Carlyle Group in its investments in Ithaca Holdings, which represents top talent such as Ariana Grande, Kanye West and Justin Bieber, including in connection with Ithaca’s recently announced acquisition of Nashville-based Big Machine Label Group, which has released all of Taylor Swift’s albums to date;
  • 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 Sony/ATV music publishing to Sony;
  • Marvel co-founder David Maisel in the formation of Mythos Studios, a new animation film studio, and capital raises;
  • Quixote Studios in its strategic partnership with Bison Capital;
  • Brillstein Entertainment Group in general corporate matters;
  • Saban Capital Group in its acquisition of a controlling interest in a leading Israeli wireless provider;
  • Activision in its $18.9 billion merger with Vivendi Games;
  • Jon Bon Jovi in a joint venture to launch a Hamptons-inspired rosé wine in partnership with French winemaker Gérard Bertrand;        
  • RatPac Entertainment in the sale of James Packer’s stake in the company to Len Blavatnik’s Access Entertainment;
  • a joint venture to launch The Hilhaven Lodge, an ultra-premium whiskey named after an historic residence that has hosted generations of Hollywood parties;
  • 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 $300 million acquisition of a 45 percent stake in Dole, one of the world’s most recognized brands, from David Murdock, in the largest fruits and vegetables deal in history;
  • Murad, a leading 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 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; 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 publisher Holiday House;
  • Gen-Probe in its $3.8 billion acquisition by Hologic 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

  • launch of multimedia based “Sexual and Cybercrimes: Know Your Rights and the Law” program in high schools across Los Angeles;
  • 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.



  • 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


  • Member, UCLA Entertainment Symposium Advisory Board
  • Executive VP and Board of Directors, FBI L.A. Citizens Academy Alumni Association
  • Member, Beverly Hills Bar Association, Entertainment Law Section
  • Past Chairman, L.A. County Bar Association — Business and Corporations Law Section
  • Executive Committee, L.A. County Bar Association — Business Law Section
  • Member, FBI InfraGuard
  • Board of Trustees, L.A. County Bar Association (2011-2013)
  • Board of Councilors, USC Shoah Foundation (2005-2018)
  • Pro Bono Coordinator, Skadden, Los Angeles

David C. Eisman

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