JOHN BRANCA

CORPORATE & ENTERTAINMENT LAW

Branca is a partner and head of the music department at the prominent entertainment law firm Ziffren Brittenham LLP where his clients have included more than 30 members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Melbourne, Australia​

91 123-456-7890/91

About John

John Branca has been named the “World’s Leading Music Attorney” by Marquis Who’s Who and has topped every respected list of attorneys and representatives ever compiled including Forbes Top 200 Lawyers 2024. Branca is an esteemed and legendary entertainment attorney who has been advancing the careers of recording artists, music companies, entertainers and investors for more than four decades, and has been at the forefront of shaping the business structure and principles of the modern music industry. 

Branca is a partner and head of the music department at Ziffren Brittenham, considered the most successful and influential entertainment firm in the world, representing A-list actors, directors, filmmakers, film companies and investors in the television and motion picture industries.

John’s clients have included over 30 members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and many of the most important and successful artists and business and cultural leaders in music business history, including Aerosmith, The Beach Boys, the Bee Gees, The Doors, Dr. Dre, Bob Dylan, Earth, Wind & Fire, Don Henley, Enrique Iglesias, Michael Jackson, Elton John, the Elvis Presley Estate, the Rolling Stones, Carlos Santana, and Usher, among others. Branca has represented The Beatles song catalog Northern Songs, the Motown song catalog Jobete Music, and the Rogers and Hammerstein Organization.

For the Rolling Stones, Branca helped implement the structure of the modern touring business used by Live Nation for national tour promotion and sponsorship. Other clients have included sports figure Mike Tyson, the Jackson Robinson Foundation, Motown Records founder Berry Gordy, independent record labels Interscope Records, Death Row Records, and Rhino Records, and industry investors Sony Music, EMI Music, Vivendi, Matsushita, JVC, Richard Branson, and Primary Wave, among others.

Under Branca’s direction, the Ziffren Brittenham music department represents the most important and diverse group of contemporary artists in the world including Beyoncé, Justin Bieber, Kelly Clarkson, Selena Gomez, Jennifer Hudson, Tom Petty Estate, Pharrell, Olivia Rodrigo, Rosalia, Travis Scott, Shakira, Blake Shelton, SZA, Justin Timberlake, and the Universal Music Group, among others.

Branca has handled or advised on some of the most important sales and acquisitions in music industry history, including Vivendi’s $6 billion acquisition of Universal Music, the world’s largest music company, and Sony Music Publishing’s $2.2 billion acquisition of EMI Music creating the world’s largest music publishing company and on which Branca held a Board seat.

Most notably Branca had a longstanding relationship with Michael Jackson. He supported and assisted Jackson in the integration of MTV and served as Jackson’s chief business advisor for the “Thriller” album, the largest selling album in history. He masterminded for Jackson the purchase of the Beatles catalog, was the architect of the merger creating Sony ATV, and handled the sale of the Jackson Estate’s interest in Sony ATV for $750 million and the sale of its interest in EMI Music for $287 million.

Since Michael’s passing in 2009, John has served as Co-Executor and Manager of the Michael Jackson Estate, guiding the Estate from $500 million in debt to a valuation in excess of $2 billion and earnings in excess of $3 billion. 60 Minutes called it “the most remarkable financial and image resurrection in pop culture history.” For the Michael Jackson Estate, Branca negotiated the largest recording agreement in music history. Twice.  He produced with Cirque du Soleil two of the most successful live shows of all time, co-produced the four-time Tony winning smash Broadway show “MJ” and its various touring and spinoff shows, and is co-producing the upcoming Michael Jackson biopic with Academy Award winning producer Graham King.

John is actively involved in and supports various charities. He sits on the Board of the Jackie Robinson Foundation, Occidental College, the Barack Obama Scholars Program at Occidental College, the Ziffren Center at UCLA Law School, and the Herb Albert School of Music at UCLA. Branca served as the Chairman of MusiCares, the industry’s most important charity dealing with alcoholism and drug addiction and remains Chairman Emeritus.

Branca grew up in Mount Vernon, New York. His father, John R. Branca, served as a New York State Assemblyman and was instrumental in enacting boxing safety reforms as Chairman of the New York State Athletic Commission.  His mother Barbara Werle was an actress, singer and dancer who appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show” and co-starred in such classic Elvis Presley films as Charro and toured the country appearing in shows in Las Vegas.  John’s uncle, baseball great Ralph Branca, was a 3-time All Star starting pitcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers and pitched in two World Series. He was a teammate and close friend of Jackie Robinson and stood up for Robinson when he first joined the team. Branca appeared in the film ”42” and served as an advisor.

Branca moved to Los Angeles when he was eleven and later worked as a songwriter and musician with Original Sound Records before attending college. Branca is a graduate of Occidental College, where he serves as a trustee, and UCLA Law School. He served on the executive committee of the university’s Pauley Pavilion Renovation Campaign Committee.

He established the Branca Institute of Music at Occidental College.   In honor of his uncle and his relationship with Jackie Robinson, Branca established and funded Club 42 to provide baseball coaching and college counseling for young men in underserved communities and the Branca Family Field at Jackie Robinson Stadium for use by community youth groups.  He recently endowed the Branca Family pitching facility at the New York University Athletics baseball program where his son pitches for the baseball team and where his uncle played.

Branca has received degrees from Los Angeles City College, Occidental College, and UCLA Law School, and has been named Alumnus of the Year by all three institutions. He is an ongoing lecturer at the Harvard Business School, UCLA Law School, USC, and Occidental College.

NEWS / ARTICLES

MJ Rave Reviews
MJ The Musical Rave Reviews

Washington Post, et al. (PDF attached)

John_Branca_22_copy
John Branca, King of Deals

Los Angeles Business Journal

Screenshot
Guarding The Legacy Of The King Of Pop

Ferrari Magazine (PDF attached)

AWARDS & ACCOLADES (Partial List)

  • FORBES Top 200 Lawyers 2024
  • Marquis Who’s Who #1 Music Attorney in the World
  • Best Lawyers in America (every edition 1987-2024)
  • Billboard Magazine Lawyer of the Year
  • LA Business Journal Los Angeles 500: LA’s Most Influential People
  • Lawyers.com Best Lawyers in America in the practice areas of Entertainment Law – Motion Pictures and Television and Entertainment Law- Music
  • Best Lawyers in the World
  • Billboard Magazine Top Lawyers List
  • Hollywood Reporter Power Lawyers List
  • Variety Magazine Power List
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rating
  • Lawdragon Hall of Fame – 500 Leading Lawyers in America
  • Grammy Foundation Entertainment Law Initiative Service Award
  • Southern California Super Lawyers List
  • Alumnus of the Year UCLA Law School
  • Alumnus of the Year Occidental College
  • Alumnus of the Year Los Angeles City College
  • American Lawyer Magazine Lawyer of the
  • Musician’s Assistance Program Honoree of the Year
  • Who’s Who in America
  • Who’s Who in the World
  • Who’s Who in Business
  • Who’s Who in Entertainment
  • Who’s Who in Law
  • Billboard Magazine Touring, Conference & Awards Creative Content Award for Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour

CREATIVE AND PRODUCTION

  • Producer, MJ The Musical, 4x Tony Award winning musical
  • Producer, Michael, the American biographical musical drama film directed by Antoine Fuqua and written by John Logan and produced by Graham King, John Branca and John McClain
  • Co-Manager of the Beach Boys 50th Anniversary Reunion Tour.
  • Executive Producer of Michael Jackson’s This is It, the most successful concert film in history.
  • Executive Producer of Cirque Du Soleil’s Michael Jackson IMMORTAL World Tour, the #1 grossing tour in North America, 2011-2012.
  • Executive Producer Michael Jackson ONE, a permanent show at Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay
  • Executive Producer Michael Jackson’s Halloween, a CBS animated special
  • Executive Producer Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall
  • Executive Producer Michael Jackson’s BAD 25
  • President of Optimum Productions and producer of Thriller 3D, which premiered at the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals.
  • Producer, Michael Jackson Live at Wembley
  • Producer, The Making of Michael Jackson’s Thriller
  • Producer, The Doors: When You’re Strange
  • Producer, Michael Jackson: From Motown to Your Town
  • Producer, The Doors: Live at the Hollywood Bowl
  • Producer, The Doors: Dance on Fire
  • Producer, Metropolis (1984 restoration)
  • Producer, MJ The Musical, Broadway musical

ABBREVIATED LIST OF JOHN BRANCA’S CLIENTS

  • AEROSMITH**
  • ALAN PARSONS PROJECT
  • AMERICAN RECORDINGS (RICK RUBIN)
  • AMOS, TORI
  • ANKA, PAUL
  • APOLLO ADVISORS
  • AUTHENTIC BRANDS GROUP
  • BACH, SEBASTIAN (SKID ROW)
  • BACKSTREET BOYS, THE
  • BANDIER, MARTY / CHARLES KOPPELMAN
  • BEACH BOYS, THE**
  • BEATLES NORTHERN SONGS CATALOG**
  • BEE GEES, THE**
  • BLACK CROWES, THE
  • BLAINE, DAVID
  • BOCELLI, ANDREA
  • BOSTON VENTURES
  • BRANSON, RICHARD / VIRGIN RECORD+S
  • BRUNEI, SULTAN OF
  • CANNELL, STEPHEN, PRODUCTIONS
  • CAREY, MARIAH
  • CAVALLO/RUFFALO MANAGEMENT
  • CETERA, PETER (CHICAGO)**
  • CHILD, DESMOND
  • COBAIN, KURT – THE END OF MUSIC, LLC (ESTATE OF KURT COBAIN)**
  • CONCEPCION, MIKE
  • COPPERFIELD, DAVID
  • CORNELL, CHRIS (SOUNDGARDEN, AUDIOSLAVE)
  • COWELL, SIMON / SYCO MUSIC
  • CROSBY, DAVID**
  • CROSBY, STILLS & NASH**
  • CULT, THE
  • D’ARBY, TERENCE TRENT
  • DEATH ROW RECORDS
  • DeBARGE
  • DELICIOUS VINYL
  • DENSMORE, JOHN**
  • DICK CLARK**
  • DIAMOND, NEIL**
  • DOORS, THE**
  • DR. DRE**
  • DURAN DURAN**
  • DURST, FRED
  • DYLAN, BOB**
  • EAGLES, THE**
  • EARTH, WIND & FIRE**
  • EHRLICH, KEN (THE GRAMMYS)
  • ELO**
  • EMI MUSIC PUBLISHING – (SONY CORPORATION / MUBADALA)
  • EPITAPH RECORDS
  • FAGEN, DONALD**
  • FIRM, THE / JEFF KWATINETZ
  • FLEETWOOD MAC**
  • FLEETWOOD, MICK**
  • FOGELBERG, DAN
  • FOGERTY, JOHN / CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL**
  • FORBES MAGAZINE
  • FORD, LITA
  • FUGEES, THE
  • FUJISANKEI
  • GABRIEL, PETER*
  • GUERINOT, JIM / REBEL WALTZ
  • HARRISON, GEORGE**
  • HENLEY, DON**
  • HIATT, JOHN
  • HILBURN, ROBERT
  • HILL, LAUREN
  • HUTCHENCE, MICHAEL, ESTATE OF (INXS)
  • IGLESIAS, ENRIQUE
  • INCUBUS
  • INTERSCOPE RECORDS
  • ISLEY, RON**
  • ISAAK, CHRIS
  • JACKSON, MICHAEL**
  • JAGGER, MICK**
  • JOBETE MUSIC, INC. (MOTOWN CATALOGUE)
  • JOHN, ELTON**
  • JOHNSON, DON
  • JOPLIN, JANIS, ESTATE OF**
  • JVC
  • KAT VON D
  • KAUFMAN, HOWARD / HK MANAGEMENT
  • KEYS, ALICIA
  • KNIGHT, HOLLY
  • KORN
  • LEE, TOMMY
  • LEIBER/STOLLER SONGS, INC.**
  • LENNON, JULIAN
  • LIL PUMP
  • LIMP BIZKIT
  • LOPES, LISA
  • LOUD RECORDS / STEVE RIFKIN
  • LOVE, COURTNEY
  • LYNNE, JEFF** (ELO)
  • MACANDREWS & FORBES HOLDINGS, INC. (RON PERELMAN)
  • MANDALAY ENTERTANMENT
  • MATCHBOX 20
  • MATSHUSITA INC.
  • MCI
  • McCOO, MARILYN & BILLY DAVIS, JR.
  • McINTYRE, REBA
  • McKNIGHT, BRIAN
  • MEGADETH
  • MIGUEL, LUIS
  • MILLI VANILLI
  • MORISSETTE, ALANIS
  • MORODER, GIORGIO
  • MORRISON, VAN**
  • MOTOWN PRODUCTIONS
  • MURPHY, EDDIE
  • MUSICARES
  • MUSICIANS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
  • NEIL, VINCE (MOTLEY CRUE)
  • NICKELBACK
  • NICKS, STEVIE**
  • NIRVANA**
  • OCCIDENTAL COLLEGE
  • O’NEAL, SHAQUILLE
  • PASTORIUS, JACO
  • PET SHOP BOYS
  • PLAYBOY ENTERPRISES
  • POISON
  • PONY CANYON, INC.
  • PRESLEY, ELVIS, ESTATE OF**
  • PRESLEY, PRISCILLA
  • PRIMARY WAVE MUSIC PUBLISHING
  • PRUDENTIAL SECURITIES
  • PRYOR, RICHARD
  • REDDING, OTIS, ESTATE OF**
  • RHINO RECORDS
  • RICHARD RODGERS FAMILY TRUST, THE
  • ROBERTSON, ROBBIE / THE BAND**
  • ROBINSON, SMOKEY**
  • RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN ORGANIZATION, THE
  • ROLLING STONES, THE**
  • ROSSUM, EMMY
  • ROTH, DAVID LEE**
  • RUBIN, RICK
  • SABAN, HAIM
  • SAADIQ, RAFHAEL
  • SAFEGUARD SCIENTIFICS
  • SANTANA, CARLOS**
  • SBK ENTERTAINMENT WORLD
  • SCHEFF, JASON (CHICAGO)
  • SCHUR, JORDAN / SURETONE RECORDS
  • SEAL
  • SEALS & CROFTS
  • SEDAKA, NEIL
  • SEX PISTOLS, THE**
  • SHAKIRA
  • SHAW, TOMMY (STYX)
  • SHORTER, WAYNE
  • SIR MIX-A-LOT
  • SLASH (GUNS N’ ROSES, VELVET REVOLVER)**
  • SNAPCHAT, INC
  • SO SO DEF / JERMAINE DUPRI
  • SONY/ATV MUSIC PUBLISHING
  • SOUNDSTAGE / JOE THOMAS
  • STEELY DAN**
  • STILLS, STEPHEN**
  • STRANG, CAMERON (WARNER MUSIC GROUP)
  • SUZANNE DEPASSE PRODUCTIONS**
  • SYLVERS JR., LEON
  • TAUPIN, BERNIE
  • TAYLOR, JAYCEON (P/K/A THE GAME)
  • TIMBERLAKE, JUSTIN
  • TLC
  • TRAVELING WILBURYS
  • TYLER, STEVEN (AEROSMITH)**
  • TYSON, MIKE
  • UCLA FOUNDATION
  • USHER
  • VIVENDI
  • VMI-VICTOR MUSICAL INDUSTRIES
  • WALT DISNEY, INC.
  • WEATHER REPORT
  • WEEZER
  • WHITE, MAURICE**
  • WILSON, BRIAN**
  • WATERS, MUDDY, ESTATE OF**
  • YAMAHA
  • YOAKAM, DWIGHT
  • YOSHIKI (“X”)
  • ZAWINUL, JOE
  • ZEVON, WARREN
  • ZZ TOP**
  • **Members of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

CHARITIES Mr. BRANCA AND HIS FIRM SUPPORTS (Partial List)

  • ACLU
  • The Anti-Defamation League
  • Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence
  • Campbell Hall School
  • Church of the Good Shepherd
  • City of Hope
  • Club 42
  • Conservation International
  • Environmental Defense Fulfillment Fund
  • Grammy Museum
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • HELP Group
  • Jackie Robinson Foundation
  • Last Chance for Animals
  • Los Angeles City College
  • L.A. Free Clinic
  • Milagro Foundation
  • MusiCares
  • Musicians Assistance Program
  • The National Resources Defense Council
  • Neil Bogart Memorial Foundation
  • Occidental College
  • Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation
  • Rape Foundation
  • Semper Fi
  • Sierra Canyon
  • St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church
  • TJ Martell Foundation
  • UCLA Foundation
  • UCLA Law School
  • UCLA Pauley Pavilion Renovation Campaign
  • UCLA Law School Ziffren Center

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT (Partial List)

  • Occidental College Obama Scholars Advisory Council
  • Board of Directors, The Jackie Robinson Foundation
  • Board of Directors, UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music
  • New York University Athletics Baseball Program
  • Grammy Museum Board of Trustees
  • Occidental College Board of Trustees
  • Founder Club 42, providing baseball coaching and college counseling in underserved community of Los Angeles
  • Ziffren Center at UCLA Law School Advisory Board
  • Chair Emeritus of MusicCares and Chairman of the Capital Campaign
  • Musicians Assistance Program founding member
  • UCLA/Pauley Pavilion Renovation Campaign Committee
  • Guest lecturer Stanford University, UCLA Law School, USC Law School, Harvard, Occidental College, Los Angeles City College

PRESERVING THE LEGACY OF MICHAEL JACKSON

Since 2009, John Branca and John McClain, co-executors and managers of the Estate of Michael Jackson, have produced consistently exceptional and enormously successful artistic ventures resulting in, as reported on 60 Minutes, “the most remarkable financial and image resurrection in pop-culture history.”

Michael Jackson’s This Is It (2009) remains the highest worldwide grossing concert film and documentary of all time. In 2010, Branca negotiated an agreement with Sony which is credited as the largest record deal in history under which a number of releases including the soundtrack album for This Is It and the two posthumous albums of unreleased material, went went to number one on the worldwide charts. The agreement was extended in 2018 as the Estate and Sony find new and innovative ways to market Michael’s music to new generations of fans.

In collaboration with Cirque du Soleil, the Estate produced Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour, one of the highest grossing tours of all time, and Michael Jackson ONE which remains one of the top grossing shows in Las Vegas.  2018 saw the critically acclaimed exhibition Michael Jackson On The Wall which opened at the National Portrait Gallery in London and toured to other cities around the world.

The Estate has created three highly acclaimed documentaries, including two with Spike Lee (Bad 25 and From Motown to Off-the-Wall), as well as Thriller 40.

Currently, MJ The Musical, the four-time Tony Award winning musical, is playing to packed audiences on Broadway and in cities around the world in multiple touring spinoffs. In production is the motion picture “Michael”, directed by Antoine Fuqua and co-produced by Graham King.

john branca preserving the legacy

PHOTO GALLERY

AREAS OF SPECIALTY

  • Artist Representation
  • Artist Re-Branding
  • Asset Acquisitions and Sales
  • Corporate Investment Strategies
  • Estate Representation
  • Live Performance and Touring
  • Music Publishing
  • Royalty Recovery and Copyright Law

EDUCATION

  • AA in Philosophy, Los Angeles City College 1970
  • AB Political Science, Occidental College, Cum Laude with honors 1972
  • JD UCLA School of Law, 1975
Photo Jan 27 2024, 3 51 52 AM

PERSONAL

John’s mother was Barbara Werle.  As a dancer she won the Harvest Moon Ball, danced on the Ed Sullivan Show and appeared in many films, including Charro with Elvis Presley. She toured the country as a dancer, including in Las Vegas and elsewhere.

John’s father, the Honorable John R Branca, served as the Mt. Vernon, NY Recreation Commissioner. He was a New York State Assemblyman from 1980-1984, and thereafter Chairman of the New York State Athletic Commission. A star pitcher for AB Davis High School in Mt. Vernon, he was undefeated during his high school varsity career and pitched two no-hitters. In his senior year, he was named the New York State Player of the Year, and lead AB Davis to the New York State Championship. As Recreation Commissioner, his recreation programs, and his programs specially designed for the handicapped, the disabled, and the elderly, were innovative and were cited by President Kennedy as a model for other communities. As New York State Athletic Commissioner, he brought championship boxing back to Madison Square Garden and instituted national reforms.

John’s uncle, baseball great Ralph Branca, was a 3-time All Star starting pitcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers and pitched in two World Series. He was a teammate and close friend of Jackie Robinson and stood up for Robinson when he first joined the team. Branca appeared in the film ”42” and served as an advisor.

John is the father of Jessica Branca, John Conor Branca and Dylan Gregory Branca. All share their father’s love of music and sports.

Professional and Experienced Family Law Attorney

5 Years of Experience

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Defining Success

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