Jonathan Gray, founding partner of Gray Krauss Sandler Des Rochers LLP, concentrates his practice on film and television and has been deeply involved in the independent film community for over 20 years as an attorney and advisor to filmmakers, producers, production companies, financiers and distributors.
Jonathan has provided production counsel services on hundreds of films, as well as serving as on-going counsel to clients in all aspects of the entertainment industry. Jonathan is an adjunct professor at Columbia University School of the Arts, and a frequent lecturer at NYU, SVA and other educational institutions.
Jonathan is also an Emmy nominated producer and has produced and executive produced over 40 films. Jonathan attended Brandeis University and the State University of New York at Binghamton and received his law degree from Fordham University School of Law (1990).
Jonathan is admitted to practice in New York.
Evan Krauss, a founding partner of Gray Krauss Sandler Des Rochers LLP, concentrates his practice on music, film, television and new media.
In his music practice, Evan negotiates recording and publishing agreements with major and independent record/publishing companies, as well as having significant experience handling master/synch licensing agreements, touring agreements, management agreements, and sponsorship and branding agreements. In addition to his work with recording artists, Evan also represents songwriters, producers, music composers and production companies.
In his film and television practice, Evan handles all aspects of production, including financing agreements, life story rights, screenplay acquisition agreements, writer agreements, producer agreements, director agreements, actor agreements, sales agency agreements and distribution agreements. Evan also represents film and television writers, creators, directors, producers, production companies and financiers.
Evan has been a repeated lecturer at various NYSBA-sponsored events, speaking in both the music and film industries. Prior to founding the firm, he was a senior associate with the law firm formerly known as Leibowitz Roberts & Ritholz. Evan received his bachelor’s degree from The University at Albany (1992) and his law degree from St. John’s University School of Law (1995).
Evan is admitted to practice in New York.
André Des Rochers
André Des Rochers is a partner at Gray Krauss Sandler Des Rochers LLP. André’s practice focuses on motion picture, television, new media and publishing work, representing directors, writers, actors, producers, financiers and distributors.
André received his bachelor’s degree in Management from Ryerson University (1998) and his law degree from Howard University School of Law (2001).
Joshua M. Sandler
Josh Sandler is a partner at Gray Krauss Sandler Des Rochers LLP where he represents writers, directors, actors and producers working in the film, television, publishing and new media industries. He also advises production companies and financiers in the financing, development, production and distribution of motion picture, television and new media content.
Prior to joining Gray Krauss Sandler Des Rochers, LLP, Josh was with the New York entertainment law firms of Schreck Rose Dapello Adams & Hurwitz, LLP and Epstein, Levinsohn, Bodine, Hurwitz & Weinstein, LLP. Josh started his career in the Entertainment & Media Department of O’Melveny & Myers, LLP in Los Angeles after graduating from the UCLA School of Law (2001). He received Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, in philosophy and psychology, from Boston University (1997).
Josh is admitted to practice in New York and California.
Nicole Compas, a partner at Gray Krauss Sandler Des Rochers LLP, has extensive experience representing clients in the motion picture, television, music, new media and publishing industries, with a focus on production counsel for which Nicole has served on over 100 independent films. Nicole advises clients on a wide-range of matters including development, financing, production, distribution and licensing as well as providing counsel to individual writers, producers, directors and actors.
Prior to law school, Nicole worked as a paralegal at Petrocelli & Christy, with a focus on litigation. During law school, Nicole was a clinical intern for the Honorable Peter Skelos of the Appellate Division of New York, Second Judicial Department. Nicole received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from New York University (2002) and graduated cum laude from Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center (2007), where she was a research editor on the Touro Law Review.
Anita Surendran is a partner at Gray Krauss Sandler Des Rochers LLP with a practice primarily focused on individual and corporate clients in the film, television and digital media industries. She has served as production counsel on over 100 independent films and has experience with a wide range of entertainment-related transactions, including cast and crew agreements, rights acquisitions agreements, and licensing and distribution agreements. She continues to expand her practice with a focus on emerging and established talent.
Anita also holds considerable experience in the fashion industry, having worked in the legal department of Stuart Weitzman, LLC prior to joining the firm in 2010. In addition, Anita worked for the General Counsel at Warner Music Latin America and at White & Case LLP in Singapore, where she actively participated in several multinational corporate transactions.
Anita graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Emory University (2004) and a Juris Doctor / Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Miami (2009).
She is admitted to practice law in the state of New York and California.
Christian A. Simonds
Christian Simonds is a partner at Gray Krauss Sandler Des Rochers LLP where his practice focuses on film, television and new media matters. Christian works closely with financiers and filmmakers in all aspects of rights acquisition, development, financing, production and distribution. In addition, Christian assists actors, directors, writers and producers in negotiating their services and production related agreements. Christian’s clients have premiered their films at major film festivals worldwide, and have included Sundance Audience Award, Sundance Grand Jury Prize, and Independent Spirit Award nominees and winners.
Christian is a member of the board of directors of the Greenwich International Film Festival and, prior to joining Gray Krauss Sandler Des Rochers LLP, Christian practiced with the specialty finance groups at Dewey Ballantine LLP and Lowenstein Sandler LLP in New York City. Christian received his bachelor’s degree from Dickinson College (1999) and his law degree from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law (2002). Christian is admitted to practice in New York and New Jersey.
Bianca Grimshaw is counsel to Gray Krauss Sandler Des Rochers LLP. Bianca represents clients in a wide array of transactional entertainment matters including writers, directors, producers, composers, recording artists and production companies. Her practice encompasses financing, development, production and distribution in the motion picture, television, and new media industries, music publishing and recording agreements and talent representation.
Prior to joining the firm in 2011, Bianca spent time at The Davis Firm PLLC serving Grammy-winning clients in the music industry, and at Free Association Management, a music management company.
In addition to her legal work, Bianca has acted as music supervisor on several independent feature films.
Bianca received her BA (2001) and MA (2007) from the University of Cambridge, UK, and her law degree from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law (2011), where she was a Cardozo Scholar.
Bianca is admitted to practice in New York.
Kristina Chen is an associate at Gray Krauss Sandler Des Rochers LLP. In her practice, Kristina handles a wide-range of entertainment work in film, television and new media, including development agreements, financing agreements, talent and crew agreements, and distribution agreements.
Prior to joining Gray Krauss Sandler Des Rochers LLP, Kristina gained experience at Cowan DeBaets Abrahams & Sheppard LLP, where she worked on licensing agreements in the photography industry, and at Condé Nast in the Editorial Assets & Rights department.
While earning her law degree at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Kristina also worked for the General Counsel at LF USA and at King & Wood Mallesons in Shanghai. She also served as an Articles Editor for the Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal while in law school. Kristina received her bachelor’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University (2009) and her law degree from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law (2013)
Kristina is admitted to practice in New York.
Amy Stein is an associate at Gray Krauss Sandler Des Rochers LLP. Amy serves clients in various transactional entertainment matters, with a focus on the financing and production of motion picture, television and new media projects, including the negotiation of financing agreements, rights acquisition agreements, talent agreements, licenses, corporate structure agreements and distribution agreements.
Prior to joining the firm, Amy started her professional career on the Broadway production of The Boy From Oz, as well as at William Morris Endeavor Entertainment and at Scott Rudin Productions.
While earning her degree at Pace Law School (2014), Amy was a contributing writer to the Pace I.P., Sports & Entertainment Law Forum, a law clerk at Cowan DeBaets Abrahams and Sheppard LLP and also gained legal experience at the legal aid organization, Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. Amy holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree for Screenwriting from the University of Southern California, School of Cinematic Arts (2009).
Amy is admitted to practice in New York.
Kevin Orszak is an associate at Gray Krauss Sandler Des Rochers LLP. Kevin primarily serves clients in the film and television industries. While earning his law degree, he worked at the Indie Film Clinic, providing legal services to independent filmmakers.
Prior to joining Gray Krauss Sandler Des Rochers, LLP, Kevin interned at the entertainment law firm Bruns Brennan & Berry PLLC, where he focused on contracts for film, television, and new media productions.
Kevin received his undergraduate degree from New York University (2011) and his law degree from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law (2014).
Kevin is admitted to practice in New York.
Star is an associate at Gray Krauss Sandler Des Rochers LLP. Star serves clients in the motion picture and television industries, with a focus on full production counsel for independent films from acquisition of rights through distribution. Prior to joining the firm, Star practiced entertainment law as a solo practitioner, focusing on developing low budget independent feature films and representing talent. Before returning to entertainment law in 2015, Star litigated complex financial class actions, including securities litigation and shareholder disputes nationwide, at major plaintiff focused law firms.
Star graduated from the University of Southern California School of Law (2006). While in law school, she was the Senior Editor of the Southern California Review of Law and Social Justice, which also published her law review note, and she clerked for several large entertainment firms and production companies in Los Angeles. Star obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Chicago (2002), graduating with distinctions including highest Academic Honors in the Humanities and the Dean’s List for her four years in college.
Star is admitted to practice in New York, California and Alabama.
Nneka Witter is an associate at Gray Krauss Sandler Des Rochers LLP. In her practice, Nneka provides legal counsel and transactional support to film production companies and media entities, from pre-production through distribution, by drafting, negotiating and analyzing production service agreements, talent agreements, financing agreements, content licensing agreements, department head agreements and various certificates of authorship.
In addition, Nneka supports musical artists, managers and producers by drafting, reviewing and negotiating side-artist agreements, producer agreements, songwriter split letters, and music licensing agreements.
Nneka received her bachelor’s degree from Howard University (2012) and her law degree from Fordham University School of Law (2015).
Nneka is admitted to practice in New York.