Lisa E. Davis is a partner in our Entertainment Group representing businesses and celebrities in the film, television, publishing, music, theatre, and sports industries. She was recently recognized as a “Leading Woman Lawyer in NYC” by Crain’s New York Business (2017), one of The National Law Journal’s “Outstanding Women Lawyers” (2015), by Savoy magazine in their “Most Influential Black Lawyers of 2015”, in The Best Lawyers in America 2018 (Entertainment), and in Variety’s “Power of Women New York Impact Report” (2014).
Ms. Davis was also named a New York-area 2017 “Super Lawyer” in the fields of entertainment, sports, and intellectual property by Super Lawyers magazine. In the past, Ms. Davis received a Women of Power award from the National Urban League (2011). She was recognized in The Network Journal’s “Attorneys at the Top” feature (2011), and was named “Lawyer of the Year” by the Metropolitan Black Bar Association (2011). She was also included in The Network Journal’s list of the “25 Influential Black Women in Business” (2007), received the Jacob K. Javits Achievement Award from Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation (2003), and was named one of “America’s Top Black Lawyers” by Black Enterprise Magazine (2003) and one of that magazine’s “Top 50 Black Power Brokers in Entertainment” (2002).
Ms. Davis advises on a full range of transactional matters – focusing on independent film (both feature and documentary), unscripted television production, live stage and branded entertainment. Ms. Davis has served as counsel on such documentary films as “Free Angela”, “The Black List”, and “9/11”, and features such as the classic Spike Lee films “Malcolm X” and “Jungle Fever”. Ms. Davis has an extensive publishing practice, representing authors and author estates, literary agents and publishers, including authors Terry McMillan and Valerie Plame Wilson. She counseled the late Dr. Manning Marable in the writing of his Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Malcolm X. Ms. Davis also represents award-winning playwrights, directors and Broadway producers and has been involved in such shows as “Clybourne Park”, “Motown the Musical”, “Let Me Down Easy”, “Radio Golf”, and “Bridge & Tunnel”. In her sports marketing practice she represents athletes such as Kawhi Leonard.
Beyond counseling on day-to-day business issues, Ms. Davis also advises clients on how best to exploit ancillary markets. She has helped many entertainment clients expand into complementary businesses, including publishing, concert promotion, music, celebrity endorsements, and merchandising.
Ms. Davis is a well-known public speaker. She has recently been featured at the Hollywood Creative East Forum, the Tribeca Film Institute, and the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity In Communications. In 2013 she was a panelist at the NFL Pro Hollywood Boot Camp, speaking on film finance. She also has been featured at the annual Corporate Counsel Women of Color (CCWC) conference several times, presenting on branded entertainment, electronic marketing and legal ethics, and she served on the “Social Media in a Free Society” panel at the Presidential Summit portion of the NYSBA Annual Meeting in 2010. Ms. Davis has been quoted in Elle Magazine, The New York Times, Black Enterprise, The Network Journal, The New York Law Journal, and other publications.
Ms. Davis is chair of the board of the Urbanworld Film Festival Foundation and is a board member of The Council of Urban Professionals. Prior to joining Frankfurt Kurnit, she clerked for the Honorable Constance Baker Motley in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Ms. Davis is a graduate of Harvard University (BA, 1981) and New York University (JD, 1985), where she was a staff member of the New York University Law Review and a Root-Tilden scholar. She is admitted to practice in New York.