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 commercial litigation, including through trial, in both federal and state court and administrative proceedings. Mr. Ascher’s practice focuses on complex 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 a Benchmark Litigation 2022 “Future Star” in New York, a Law360 2020 “Rising Star” in the Media & Entertainment category, and has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America® as “One to Watch” in Entertainment and Sports Law. He was featured in Variety’s 2021 Legal Impact Report and 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.
Recent representative matters include:
- AMC Networks: Representing AMC in two breach of contract and profit participation actions concerning the hit television series, The Walking Dead and Fear The Walking Dead. Obtained a total victory for AMC following a two-week bench trial on contract interpretation disputes, knocking out key claims 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 press credentials after they had been suspended by the White House Press Office. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals recently unanimously affirmed the district court’s ruling in the Karem case.
- Heaven’s Door Spirits: Represented new 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.
- Lynn Tilton and Patriarch Partners: Representing prominent CLO fund manager in various litigations in multiple jurisdictions, including a successful defense against an SEC fraud action seeking disgorgement of over $200 million, in which all charges were dismissed following a three-week trial before an SEC Administrative Law Judge.
- 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.
- 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 a motion to dismiss an action for breach of that settlement agreement.
- 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 in a multi-billion dollar breach of contract action against Dish Network.
- Bob Dylan: Represented Mr. Dylan in various matters, including a breach of contract action concerning the sale of Mr. Dylan’s catalog to Universal Music Group.
- 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 of community groups: Conducted direct and cross-examination of witnesses in a four-day hearing that resulted in a decision dismissing a city agency’s statute-of-limitations defense 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 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.