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Katherine Imp


Katherine (Kate) Imp is a Partner in DLA Piper’s Transactional Media and Entertainment practice based in Los Angeles, California, with over 14 years of experience representing media companies and brands in the financing, development, acquisition, production, distribution and exploitation of media content, including film, television, social media content, videogames, podcasts, live events, books, and immersive experiences.

Kate’s media-focused legal practice stems from her extensive experience as production counsel for scripted and unscripted audiovisual content, having negotiated and prepared development and production agreements for over 150 different film, television and commercial projects, including chain-of-title documentation, above- and below-the-line talent agreements, stage/production office studio licensing agreements and a variety of vendor agreements, as well as licensing agreements with domestic and foreign distributors and sales agents, ranging from small independent companies to major studios and streaming platforms. Kate also regularly advises her clients on the SAG-AFTRA, DGA and WGA signatory process, and general guild/union compliance matters.

Outside of her practice, Kate serves as an adjunct professor at USC Gould School of Law where she teaches LAW 689: Digital Media Transactions.

Bar admissionsCaliforniaIllinois


Representative Matters
  • Represented the nation's largest nonprofit media organization for Black Americans, reaching 9 million people across multiple platforms, in its production and distribution of media content, including its popular podcasts, as well as its partnerships with other media companies.
  • Counseled a billion-dollar video-sharing website in its partnerships with high-profile talent, and related SAG-AFTRA compliance matters.
  • Represented global toy production company in the negotiation of several content production and distribution arrangements, including its multi-project slate arrangement with Walt Disney Pictures and content licensing arrangements with Netflix and other major film studios.
  • Represented the largest radio station group owner in the United States, in its multi-podcast slate arrangements with media companies like Shondaland, and high-profile talent like Bethenny Frankel and Bruce Bozzi.
  • Represented American professional basketball player in his financial investments and partnerships in the entertainment industry.
  • Counseled global toy production company on production, distribution and marketing matters relating to its unscripted format series, which has been adapted by 17 different countries around the world.
  • Represented Internet and technology company and its global portfolio of brands in a number of its athlete, influencer and celebrity partnerships.
  • Represented a small media company offering an immersive cinematic dining experience that curates multi-course menus with movie favorites like Ratatouille, Shrek, and Soul Food, in their IP licensing arrangements with major film studios.
  • Represented multinational corporation and technology company in securing nearly 1 million square feet of studio production space throughout the United States for the production of original content for its streaming platform, including Silvercup Studios and Kaufman Studios in New York, and 7th Street Studios in Los Angeles.
  • Represented an independent production company in the negotiation of several content production and distribution arrangements, including the documentary feature, Halftime with Jennifer Lopez, the cooking competition, Cooked with Cannabis, and the comedy variety special, Laugh-In: The Stars Celebrate, starring Lily Tomlin, Snoop Dogg, Billy Crystal, Tiffany Haddish, Neil Patrick Harris and Chelsea Handler, among others.
  • Represented a leading global children’s entertainment company in its multi-podcast slate arrangement with Wondery, which included some of its most popular intellectual property.
  • Represented an award-winning VFX, digital animation and motion capture company in its production and distribution of movies, game trailers and commercials.
  • Represented subscription and transaction-based content distribution companies in connection with the acquisition of streaming, on-demand and sell-thru distribution rights for various film and television content.
  • Represented the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement in its production and distribution of social media content, television specials and live events, including its partnerships with major television networks like the Discovery Channel and CNN.
Teaching Engagements

USC Gould School of Law

  • Adjunct Professor, LAW 689, Digital Media Transactions, 2023-24
  • Guest Lecturer, Entertainment Law in Practice, 2021
  • Guest Lecturer, Entertainment Dealmaking, 2017

USC Marshall School of Business

  • Guest Lecturer, BAEP 475: Entertainment Entrepreneurship, 2015-Present
  • Guest Lecturer, BAEP 423: Management of Small Businesses, 2014-Present
  • Guest Lecturer, BAEP 460: Seminar in Entrepreneurship, 2021
  • Guest Lecturer, BAEP 450: Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship, 2020

UCLA School of Theater, Film & Television, Professional Programs

  • Guest Lecturer, Contracts and Negotiations for Entertainment, 2020

UCLA Extension, Certificates in Entertainment

  • Guest Lecturer, The Art and Business of Producing, 2020

Loyola Marymount University, Business Pathways

  • Guest Lecturer, Entrepreneurship in Entertainment: Entertainment Law, 2019

Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana

  • Adjunct Faculty, Business Law, 2014-17

Hussian College, Relativity School

  • Guest Lecturer, Entertainment Law, 2017

University of Illinois College of Law

  • Teaching Assistant, Legal Writing & Analysis, 2008

Outward Bound

  • Wilderness Instructor, Intercept Expeditions for At-Risk Youth, 2007
Other Speaking Engagements
  • Pepperdine University School of Law
  • University of Illinois College of Law
  • UNC Asheville
  • Producers Guild of America
  • The Blackhouse Foundation
  • Roadmap Writers
  • Socialexis
  • J.D., University of Illinois College of Law 2009, cum laude

    Associate Editor, Illinois Law Review

    President, Women’s Law Society

  • B.A., University of Maryland, College Park 2006, summa cum laude


The Legal 500 United States

  • Recommended, Media and Entertainment: Transactional (2022-2024)
Additional Recognitions
  • Selected, Variety, “Dealmakers Impact Report,” (2020-2023)
  • Listed, Super Lawyers magazine, Southern California Super Lawyers, “Rising Star” (2015-2019)
  • Listed, Super Lawyers magazine, Illinois Super Lawyers, “Rising Star” (2014)

Extracurricular Activities

Kate’s interest in entertainment law stems from her experience making a documentary feature of her 2000-mile Appalachian Trail hike from Georgia to Maine in 2010 – a film for which she launched a 45-venue national film tour, obtained digital and foreign distribution, and through which she learned first-hand the challenges of financing, producing and distributing audiovisual content.


  • Author, "Top Billing for NFTs," Los Angeles Lawyer, May 2022
  • Author, "Networking with Strangers: 6 Ways to Meet People in a New City," Brazen, March 5, 2015
  • Author, "Balancing the Right of Publicity and the First Amendment: The Impact of the Hurt Locker Case," American Bar, pg. 49, March 5, 2015
  • Author, "IMDb Fights Back on Age Censorship Law," Screen Magazine, January 11, 2017
  • Author, "Jared Leto v. TMZ: The Copyright Battle Continues," Screen Magazine, July 28, 2016
  • Author, "Cirque du Soleil's Steel Dream is a Legal Nightmare for Justin Timberlake," Screen Magazine, April 8, 2016
  • Author, "From Kesha's Legal Battle to Lady Gaga's Oscar Performance: a Prediction about the Battle against Sexual Harassment," Screen Magazine, March 1, 2016
  • Author, "Producer Threatens CHIRAQ: Copyright Violation or Publicity Stunt?," Screen Magazine, December 3, 2015
  • Author, "The Netflix Tax that Broke the Camel's Back," Screen Magazine, September 17, 2015
  • Author, "Nobody Puts Your Old 401(k) in the Corner: Parody or Trademark Infringement?," Screen Magazine, July 6, 2015
  • Author, "Street Legal," Screen Magazine, May 13, 2015
  • Author, "What Every Independent Film Producer Should Know About SAG-AFTRA," Screen Magazine, April 15, 2015
  • Author, "Did EMPIRE steal P. Diddy's life story? P. Diddy Seems to Think So," Screen Magazine, March 5, 2015
  • Author, "The Right of Publicity: Why Marilyn Monroe Still Makes More Money Than You ," Screen Magazine, February 18, 2015
  • Author, "Why Cutting 'Entertainment Attorney' from the Budget is a Bad Idea," Screen Magazine, January 19, 2015
  • Author, "THE INTERVIEW Canceled: FBI Eyes North Korea," Screen Magazine, December 19, 2014
  • Author, "Keep it Simple: What You Need to Establish Chain of Title," Screen Magazine, November 19, 2014
  • Author, "BATMAN VS... EXTRA? Why You Need to Take the NDA Seriously," Screen Magazine, October 29, 2014
  • Author, "Why the Poor Man's Copyright Will Keep You Poor," Screen Magazine, September 24, 2014
  • Author, "Employee v. Independent Contractor: Why It Matters," Screen Magazine, August 20, 2014
  • Author, "I Want to Tell your Story, Now Gimme the Rights!," Screen Magazine, August 6, 2014
  • Author, "The Sole Proprietor Complex: DBA v. Exorbitant Filing Fees ," Screen Magazine, June 27, 2014
  • Author, "Internet Defamation: Goodbye Right of Privacy, Hello Free Speech," Screen Magazine, April 28, 2014
  • Author, "Inside Hollywood: Financing for the Indie Filmmaker," Screen Magazine, April 14, 2014
  • Author, "I'll Take One Tax Credit, Please," Screen Magazine, March 24, 2014
  • Author, "Overcoming False Peaks: Professional Development Tips for the Young Lawyer" October 1, 2013
  • Author, "How to Accomplish Your Big Goals (Even if They're As Crazy As Making a Movie)," Brazen, August 22, 2012
  • Author, "Home is Where the Most Economically Beneficial Laws Are: Finding the Best Location to Incorporate Your Business," Illinois Business Law Journal, April 24, 2008
  • Author, "Lawyer-Turned-Entrepreneur: How the Collision of Diverse Careers Can Blend into Success, Illinois Business Law Journal," Illinois Business Law Journal, April 7, 2008
  • Author, "The Young and the Restless: the Inevitable Trend of New Graduates towards Solo Practice, Illinois Business Law Journal," Illinois Business Law Journal, February 2, 2008


Speaking Engagements

News Overview

Media Mentions

Clerk Experience

  • Law Clerk, Hon. Arnold F. Blockman, Champaign County Circuit Court, Sixth Judicial Circuit, 2008

client testimonials

“Katherine Imp handles all my contracts and negotiations. After a few years we have created a great work pipeline and I feel a lot more educated in the entertainment law space because of her. That has allowed me to engage in a much better way towards my partners, clients and buyers.”

“Katherine Imp is one of the absolute best in the media and entertainment business. She is truly a super-star. She is a great communicator and negotiator and knows her law.  Kate is much like the iron fist with a velvet glove – nothing gets past her and that’s exactly what I need on my legal team to make sure everything is thought through and shored up.”

Memberships And Affiliations

  • Member, Beverly Hills Bar Association
  • Member, Women in Film Los Angeles
  • Member, American Bar Association