Brian C. Ascher is a partner in the New York office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, where he is a member of Gibson Dunn’s Litigation and Media, Entertainment & Technology Practice Groups.
Mr. Ascher has represented corporate and individual clients in a wide range of complex commercial litigation, including through trial, in both federal and state court and administrative proceedings. Mr. Ascher’s practice focuses on civil litigation, including contract, profit participation, trade secrets, and other intellectual property disputes. In addition, Mr. Ascher has significant experience in litigating founder disputes and First Amendment cases.
Mr. Ascher was named to Variety’s Legal Impact Report in 2021 and 2022, and has been recognized as a Benchmark Litigation 2022 “Future Star” in New York, a Law360 2020 “Rising Star” in the Media & Entertainment category, and a 2021 and 2022 “One to Watch” in Entertainment and Sports Law by The Best Lawyers in America®. He has also been named as one of two Rising Stars in the Media and Entertainment category and recognized nationally in the United States category by Euromoney Legal Media Group. In addition, he was part of the team that earned recognition in Daily Journal’s 2020 “Top Verdicts” for a bench trial win for AMC Networks in a profit participation case concerning The Walking Dead.
Representative matters include:
- AMC Networks: Representing AMC in breach of contract and profit participation litigation concerning the hit television series, The Walking Dead and Fear The Walking Dead. Part of team that obtained a total victory for AMC following a two-week bench trial in 2020 and a sweeping summary judgment win in 2022, knocking out claims seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in alleged liability.
- White House reporters: Represented CNN and its White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, and Playboy White House correspondent, Brian Karem in separate successful First Amendment / Due Process Clause lawsuits to reinstate their suspended White House press credentials. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously affirmed the district court’s ruling in the Karem case.
- Pinterest: Representing Pinterest and two of its co-founders in a founder dispute.
- Heaven’s Door Spirits: Represented premium whiskey brand partially owned by Bob Dylan in a trademark infringement action seeking to enjoin the marketing of the brand shortly after launch, resulting in a favorable settlement.
- Bob Dylan: Representing Mr. Dylan in various matters, including a successful recently-affirmed dismissal of a breach of contract action concerning the sale of Mr. Dylan’s song catalog to Universal Music Group.
- Hamdi Ulukaya and Chobani: Achieved a favorable settlement for Chobani and its founder and CEO, Hamdi Ulukaya, in a founder dispute seeking majority ownership of the company. Subsequently, successfully argued and won two motions to dismiss and an appeal in an action for breach of that settlement agreement.
- Square: Achieved a favorable settlement for Square and its co-founders, Jack Dorsey and Jim McKelvey, shortly before trial in a founder dispute that included claims for breach of joint venture agreement, fraud, and misappropriation of trade secrets.
- Lynn Tilton and Patriarch Partners: Represented prominent CLO fund manager in various litigations in multiple jurisdictions, including a trial win in an SEC fraud action seeking disgorgement of over $200 million, and a favorable settlement achieved on the last day of a jury trial in a fraudulent inducement action in New York State Court.
- Verifone: Achieved a favorable settlement for Verifone’s in-taxi digital advertising and technology division in a multi-hundred million dollar breach of contract action.
- Cablevision: Part of trial team that achieved a lucrative settlement during a jury trial on behalf of Cablevision and subsidiary VOOM HD Holdings in a multi-billion dollar breach of contract action against DISH Network.
- International beverage company: Represented a beverage company in a New York State Attorney General’s Office investigation relating to the marketing of energy drinks.
- Prominent sports agent: Represented a prominent sports agent in a confidential baseball-related arbitration.
- Pro bono representation: Represented the Clooney Foundation for Justice in negotiation of a documentary film contract. Obtained dismissal of a city agency’s statute-of-limitations defense in a trial in an Article 78 action.
Mr. Ascher received his Juris Doctor degree from the New York University School of Law in 2009, where he served as an Articles Editor of the New York University Environmental Law Journal. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy, with honors, from Colgate University in 2003, where he graduated summa cum laude and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
From 2011 to 2012, Mr. Ascher served as a law clerk to the Honorable Faith S. Hochberg in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. Prior to law school, Mr. Ascher worked in film production and distribution.
Mr. Ascher is admitted to practice in the State of New York and before the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. He is also a member of the Entertainment Law Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.