Paul D. Swanson is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Irell & Manella LLP. Mr. Swanson counsels clients with respect to corporate, intellectual property and entertainment-related transactions and issues. He has represented leading investment banks, producers and entertainment lenders in arranging and administering numerous multi-tranche debt and equity motion picture credit facilities. Mr. Swanson has participated in media-related merger and acquisition and securitization transactions, with a specific focus on identifying and resolving intellectual property-related issues.

Mr. Swanson has counseled distributors, production companies and financiers in connection with a wide-range of issues related to the acquisition, financing, development, production and distribution of intellectual properties and entertainment content, including television programs, video games and motion pictures. He has negotiated the title sponsorship, network and cable broadcast and trademark license agreements for a client's sponsorship of a nationally televised PGA Tour golf tournament. Mr. Swanson has also advised clients in connection with video game, visual effects, motion capture, digital media, software and technology licensing transactions and marketing and merchandising agreements.

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Representative Matters

Notable media finance and corporate transactions include representing:

  • Dalian Wanda Group Co., Ltd., in its $3.5-billion purchase of Legendary Entertainment
  • Bank of America, in a $100-million securitization for a major international reality and scripted television producer and distributor
  • A24 Films, in connection with a $125-million revolving credit facility
  • A high profile producer in connection with a $75-million revolving credit facility to be used to fund the production costs of an animated television series
  • MUFG Union Bank in a $200 million film production financing transaction for a well-known motion picture and television producer and distributor
  • Comerica Bank and MUFG Union Bank, as co-lead arrangers and lenders, in a $150+ million film ultimates financing transaction for Relativity Media, LLC’s subsidiary Beverly Blvd 2 LLC
  • Colony Capital, in the acquisition of the Miramax film library from Disney, and subsequent debt and securitization transactions
  • Summit Entertainment, in a multi-tranche debt and equity financing transaction and related acquisition of Summit Entertainment’s operations, and in numerous motion picture financings, including for the “Twilight Saga” motion pictures
  • Hedge fund, in a $35-million P&A costs term loan
  • Lions Gate Entertainment, in a UK tax benefit transaction
  • Comerica Bank, in a $32-million financing transaction for 60 episodes of a popular television series
  • Goldman Sachs, as arranger, in a $200-million film production financing transaction

Notable intellectual property transactions include representing:

  • Opus Bank, in connection with it being named the official bank and exclusive sponsor of the Pac-12 Conference
  • DIRECTV, in connection with its acquisition of rights to broadcast television content from major studios and numerous other development, license and technology deals
  • Merrill Lynch & Co, as arranger and lender, in connection with a worldwide diligence process for 400-plus trademarks to be pledged as collateral
  • Upper Deck, in its acquisition of a sports memorabilia and trading card company
  • Summit Entertainment, in devising and implementing international film rights licensing chains in order to minimize tax liability
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Honors & Awards

  • "Dealmakers Impact Report," Variety magazine recognizes the people behind the most important entertainment industry deals of the past 12 months (2016)
  • "Up Next," Variety magazine recognizes the best and brightest up-and-coming entertainment attorneys (2011)
  • Southern California Super Lawyers (2018)
  • Super Lawyers "Rising Star" (2006-2007; 2009-2014)
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Bar Admissions

  • California
  • New York
  • Minnesota