Kristina Chen 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 the firm, 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 (2013), 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. Kristina received her bachelor’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University (2009).
Kristina is admitted to practice in New York.
Nicole Compas has extensive experience representing clients in the motion picture, television, music, new media and publishing industries. Nicole has served as production counsel for over 100 independent films. She also advises clients on development, financing, distribution and licensing, and represents 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.
André Des Rochers
André Des Rochers’ 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).
Jonathan Gray, founding partner of Gray Krauss Sandler Des Rochers LLP, concentrates his practice on film and television. He 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, and serves 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 and SVA.
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 before receiving his law degree from Fordham University School of Law (1990).
Jonathan is admitted to practice in New York.
Bianca Grimshaw’s practice encompasses financing, development, production and distribution in the motion picture, television, music and new media industries. Her clients include production companies, writers, directors, producers, composers, and financiers.
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.
Novika Ishar represents clients in various transactional entertainment matters, including for the production of motion picture and television projects.
Prior to joining the firm, Novika was an associate attorney with Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz PC, where she focused on advertising and new media matters, including brand endorsements and media services agreements. Novika previously practiced in the Intellectual Property Group at Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson LLP, where she advised clients across various industries in connection with mergers and acquisitions and software licensing deals. Novika began her career in the Credit Group at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, assisting in the representation of public and private companies and lending institutions in complex corporate finance transactions.
Novika received her Bachelor’s degree in Classics (cum laude) from Amherst College (2007), her Master’s degree in Political Theory from the London School of Economics and Political Science (2009), and her law degree from Columbia Law School (2012).
Novika is admitted to practice law in New York.
Matthew Jacobs provides legal and business advice to clients in the film, television, and new media industries. He advises writers, directors, show creators, actors, and other high profile and creative individuals, negotiating deals and contracts and fostering business relationships. Matt also represents producers and production companies in the development, production and distribution of film, television and new media projects. Past client projects have included both festival award-winning and Academy Award-nominated films.
Matt received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Wisconsin – Madison (1999), and his law degree from Fordham University School of Law (2004).
Matt is admitted to practice law in New York and California.
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. He has significant experience handling master/synch licensing agreements, touring agreements, management agreements, and sponsorship and branding agreements. In addition to 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 is a frequent lecturer at NYSBA-sponsored events, speaking on 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.
Kevin Orszak primarily serves clients in the film and television industries. Prior to joining the firm, Kevin interned at the entertainment law firm Bruns Brennan & Berry PLLC, where he focused on contracts for film, television, and new media productions. While earning his law degree, he also worked at the Indie Film Clinic, providing legal services to independent filmmakers.
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.
Joshua M. Sandler
Josh Sandler 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 the firm, Josh was an associate attorney 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.
David F. Schwartz
David F. Schwartz has been structuring and negotiating complex transactions in the entertainment industry for over 20 years. With a broad practice focused primarily on theatre and independent film, he represents a diverse clientele that includes producers and production companies, investors, playwrights, composers, lyricists, directors, screenwriters, underlying rights holders, talent and modeling agencies, recording artists, music directors, and not-for-profit theatre companies. He has also served as production counsel on various theatrical and motion picture productions, including national tours for Once, The King & I, Finding Neverland, Falsettos, and The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical.
Prior to joining the firm, David was a founding member of boutique entertainment law firm Feldshon & Schwartz, LLP, as well as owner and director of business and legal affairs for the theatrical booking agency OBB/Off Broadway Booking. David is also a theatrical producer (with producing partner Orin Wolf) whose Broadway credits include The Band’s Visit (currently on Broadway), Once (Tony winner), and Hands on a Hardbody.
David received a B.A. from the University of Michigan, and a J.D. (cum laude) from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law (Law Journal, Moot Court Board, Order of the Coif, Thurston Honors Society). He is also a graduate of the Commercial Theatre Institute.
David is admitted to practice in New York, California, and Washington, D.C.
Christian A. Simonds
Christian Simonds’ 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 for the Greenwich International Film Festival and, prior to joining Gray Krauss Sandler Des Rochers LLP, 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.
Amy Stein serves clients in transactional entertainment matters with a focus on financing and production of motion picture, television and new media projects. She advises clients in the negotiation of financing, rights acquisition, talent, licensing, corporate structuring, and distribution agreements.
Prior to joining the firm, Amy started her professional career working on the Broadway production of The Boy From Oz, as well as with William Morris Endeavor Entertainment and 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.
Anita Surendran serves 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.
Star Tyner 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.