Top NBCUniversal Lawyer Yakub Hazzard Returns to Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP

Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP (MSK) announced today that former partner Yakub Hazzard, most recently a senior legal executive at NBCUniversal overseeing profit participation and related litigation matters for the studio, has returned to the firm.

“MSK prides itself on its operational experience within the entertainment business and there are not many attorneys in the country who offer the industry insight and legal dexterity that Yakub possesses,” said Kevin Gaut, chairman of Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp. “Yakub’s high-level experience inside a major studio will be a tremendous asset to our clients. Beyond that, we are thrilled to welcome back a lawyer and industry leader the firm respects so much.” 

Hazzard began his career at MSK in the 1990s, developing his entertainment litigation practice as the firm was representing the Recording Industry Association of America in the Napster dispute. Over his career, he has represented an array of entertainment industry clients, from Berry Gordy and the Ray Charles Foundation to Incubus and Weezer, in litigation spanning copyright, trademark, right of publicity and contracts. His clients have also included foreign distributors and leading video game companies.

At NBCUniversal, Hazzard handled all profit participation audits and litigation for the company’s television, film and consumer products businesses. In addition, Hazzard oversaw copyright, trademark and general litigation matters brought by or against NBCUniversal.

“MSK’s entertainment group is one of the top legal practices in the world, so it is both a pleasure and an exceptional opportunity to head back to where I started my legal career,” said Hazzard. “I was privileged to see MSK guide music-industry clients through an intense period of disruption. With my experience at NBCUniversal, for which I am very thankful, I look forward to helping the firm and its clients navigate another exciting period of change now sweeping across film, television, video gaming and other forms of entertainment.” 

Hazzard, the son of UCLA basketball great Walt Hazzard, graduated from UCLA School of Law and played one year of collegiate basketball at Stanford University as an undergraduate. He sits on the Board of Directors of Public Counsel and the Berry Gordy Foundation.