areas of expertise
Mr. Williams’ clients include major television and motion picture actors, leading fashion designers, top models, fashion show production companies, photographers and executives in the entertainment and fashion industries.
Mr. Williams represents actors in the negotiation of deals to perform in film, television, theater and other media. He also works to assist clients in capitalizing on their name, fame, likeness, and other rights in all media. He negotiates and structures profitable merchandising, licensing, endorsement and spokesperson agreements, and counsels clients on the development of their own celebrity-branded product lines.
Mr. Williams has extensive experience working with fashion brands and individuals with regards to the creation, protection and, licensing of their intellectual property and trademarks. He also advises clients regarding corporate structuring and employment matters.
Mr. Williams is recognized in the 2021 edition of Best Lawyers in America for entertainment. He has been recognized in Super Lawyers magazine as a New York-area “Super Lawyer” in the field of entertainment and sports. The Legal 500 recognizes Mr. Williams as a top media and entertainment lawyer. He was also included in Variety’s coveted 2010 “Dealmaker’s Impact Report.”
Mr. Williams is a member of the New York State and American Bar Associations. He is admitted to practice in New York.
awards & recognition
Best Lawyers in America for Entertainment (2021)
Variety included Mr. Williams in its "Dealmaker's Impact Report" in 2010
Listed among the country's leading media and entertainment lawyers by The Legal 500
2014 New York-area Super Lawyer for Entertainment & Sports, Intellectual Property, Business/Corporate
Fairfield University (BS)
Albany School of Law (JD, cum laude)
Upcoming Speaking Engagements
Past Speaking Engagements
Fashion and Retail Law 2018: Trends and Developments
Michael Williams presents “Runway Ready: Legal Concerns in Planning a Fashion Show” at the Fashion and Retail Law 2018: Trends and Developments program in New York.
May 1 2018
CLE Presentation and Meeting of the Cardozo Alumni Fashion Law Practice Group
November 14 2017
Michael Williams at Harvard Law School
Michael R. Williams speaks at Harvard Law School about what it is like to represent talent in the fashion and entertainment industries.
November 20 2014
news & press
Frankfurt Kurnit in The Legal 500 2021
The Legal 500 praises three of our practice groups: Advertising & Marketing; Entertainment; and Privacy & Data Security. The London-based directory spotlighted sixteen of our attorneys individually: Lisa E. Davis, Daniel Goldberg, Richard Heller, Andrew Hurwitz, Candice Kersh, and Michael Williams. Tanya Forsheit is listed as a “Leading Lawyer” in Privacy & Data Security. Julie Murray is listed as a “Next Generation Partner” in Entertainment. Ariel Sodomsky is listed as a “Rising Star” in Entertainment. Christopher R. Chase, Jeffrey A. Greenbaum, Brian G. Murphy and Terri Seligman are listed as “Leading Lawyers” in Advertising. Dorian Slater Thomas and Matthew Vittone are listed as a “Rising Stars” in Advertising. Rick Kurnit is in the “Hall of Fame” for Advertising.
Power Lawyers 2020: New York’s Top 20 Entertainment Attorneys
The Best Lawyers in America 2021
We are pleased to report that Best Lawyers — the oldest and one of the most respected peer reviewed lawyer recommendation services — continues to recommend Frankfurt Kurnit. Read more.
Thirty-three Frankfurt Kurnit Attorneys Named “Super Lawyers” for 2015
Super Lawyers listed thirty-three Frankfurt Kurnit attorneys in its 2015 edition. Read more.
Thirty-one Frankfurt Kurnit Attorneys Named “Super Lawyers” for 2014
Super Lawyers listed thirty-one Frankfurt Kurnit attorneys in its 2014 edition. Read more.
Legal Requirements for Working with Child Models
On October 21, New York State passed a new child labor law. This law adds print and runway models under the age of 18 to the definition of "child performers" protected by the New York Labor Law. Read more.