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Power Lawyers 2023: Hollywood’s Top 100 Attorneys List

Partners: Jeff B. Cohen, Esq. & Jonathan Gardner, Esq.

Meet the entertainment dealmakers and litigators at the top of their game in The Hollywood Reporter's 17th annual power list.

If it’s not one thing sending Hollywood into a tailspin (COVID’s threat to theatrical), it’s another (potential guild strikes). Then there’s recalibrating deal structures for streaming and managing emerging AI issues. Thankfully, these 100 attorneys are there to keep the industry running — regardless of the stressor du jour.

Jeff Cohen

Cohen Gardner

UCLA School of Law

To get to Data, you have to go through Chunk. Ke Huy Quan’s Goonies co-star is his lawyer, working out the actor’s deal for Everything Everywhere All at Once. Cohen also reps Michelle Yeoh — “Next year we’re aiming for 75 percent [of Oscar-winning actors as clients],” he quips — and has negotiated all of the pair’s subsequent gigs, which include Loki (for Quan), Wicked (for Yeoh) and American Born Chinese (for both). Asked whether Quan’s success has him dreaming of his own on-camera comeback, Cohen’s replies: “Absolutely not! I’ll stay in my legal dungeon where I belong. I don’t have to audition and I still get to go to the parties.”

I admire “Richard Donner because he taught me about the most important things in life and the biz.”

How I start my workday “Quiet weeping.”

How I end my workday “Also, quiet weeping.”

Jonathan Gardner

Cohen Gardner

University of Virginia School of Law

In addition to homegrown clients like Ryan Coogler (whose Proximity Media produced Creed III, Stephen Curry: Underrated and the upcoming Ironheart) and Boots Riley (I’m a Virgo), Gardner also has developed a roster of international filmmakers, including Bong Joon Ho (Mickey 17) and Asghar Farhadi, for whom he negotiated his upcoming first English-language feature with Anonymous Content. Says Gardner, “To some extent, most of my clients are coming from the outside trying to figure out this beast called Hollywood.”

How I start my workday “Illy Coffee.”

How I end my workday “A glass of Austin Hope pinot noir.”

The actor who’d play me “Ray Liotta”

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