Stephen E. Sessa

Partner

Education

  • Whittier Law School, 1993, J.D.
  • St. Joseph's University, 1990

Professional Admissions / Qualifications

  • California

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals - Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court - Central District of California

Steve is Co-Chair of the Entertainment and Media Industry Group. He is a distinguished entertainment lawyer who concentrates his practice in the music business, and his extensive experience has allowed him to achieve superior results for a broad spectrum of clients. These clients include multi-platinum recording artists, record and publishing companies, world-class producers, songwriters and composers, concert and event promoters, distributors, record company executives, entrepreneurs, merchandisers, technology companies, hedge funds, and multimedia entertainment companies.

Steve is an authority in drafting and negotiating a wide variety of industry contracts, including recording, publishing, production, licensing, management, merchandising, distribution, digital rights, executive employment, sponsorship, endorsement, joint-venture, new media, and many other entertainment-related documents.

He advises some of the biggest artists in the world, and has guided and counseled them on a variety of groundbreaking deals, including negotiating touring deals on top-grossing worldwide concert tours, record and publishing company negotiations and renegotiations, Super Bowl performance agreements, joint venture agreements on matters ranging from fragrance to apparel deals, and endorsement and sponsorship deals with the biggest brands in the world.

Steve is also considered one of the leading authorities in the music business on catalog acquisitions and copyright law. His clients include the world’s leading major and independent music publishing and record companies. He has negotiated nine-figure deals and has purchased and sold some of the most legendary evergreen musical compositions and master recordings of all time. Steve and his team have the knowledge and experience to lead his clients on a wide variety of purchase or sale transactions, including sophisticated stock and asset purchase agreements.

The variety of experience Steve has had on both the artist side and the company side of the business has made him a go-to source for technology companies, digital platforms and brands who want to align themselves with artists and talent.

Employment History

  • 2004 - Reed Smith
  • 1997 - Hall Dickler LLP (combined with Reed Smith in 2004)
  • 1994 - Spray Gould & Bowers