Steve Tsoneff is a partner in Gibson Dunn’s Century City office. He has two decades of experience advising content producers, distributors, and financiers in a variety of media and entertainment transactions, with a focus on the production, licensing, and distribution of audiovisual content and various approaches to the financing of such content , including single-project, slate, corporate, and co-financing transactions.
Mr. Tsoneff returned to Gibson Dunn after serving as General Counsel & Head of Business Affairs for the entertainment production company Madison Wells Media from 2017 through 2021, where he was a member of the core management team leading the company’s development, production, and financing activities across film, television, live stage, podcasting, and digital media. He currently practices in the firm’s Corporate Transactional Department and was previously Co-Chair of the firm’s Media, Entertainment and Technology Practice Group.
Prior to joining Madison Wells Media, Mr. Tsoneff was a partner at Gibson Dunn and practiced at the firm from 2000 to 2017.
Representative matters include:
- Representation of Universal Pictures in its multi-year slate financing transaction with Perfect World Pictures;
- Representation of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation in its multi-year slate financing transaction with TSG Entertainment Finance LLC;
- Representation of Universal Pictures in its multi-year distribution partnership with Amblin’ Entertainment;
- Representation of Universal Pictures in its partnership with Blumhouse Productions in a ten-year first-look production agreement;
- Representation of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation in its partnership with Cirque du Soleil to develop an arena-touring production based on “Avatar”;
- Representation of Paramount Pictures in its co-production and co-financing transaction with Skydance Productions;
- Representation of Twentieth Century Fox Licensing and Merchandising in its partnership with Resorts World Genting to develop the world’s first Fox theme park, in Malaysia;
- Representation of Universal Pictures in its co-production and co-financing transaction with Legendary Entertainment;
- Representation of Fox International Productions in its multi-picture co-financing transaction with Ivanhoe Pictures for local-language films in India, Korea, Japan, China and Taiwan;
- Representation of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation in its slate financing transactions with Dune Capital Management;
- Representation of Paramount Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, and Universal Pictures in numerous single-picture financing and distribution transactions;
- Representation of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation in its studio co-financing transactions with DreamWorks for the films “Lincoln” and “Robopocalypse”;
- Representation of DZ Bank AG in its financing of various motion pictures produced by Constantin Film, including “Resident Evil: Retribution,” “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones,” and “Tarzan;”
- Representation of Illumination Entertainment in its strategic alliance with Fuji TV in Japan;
- Representation of Universal Pictures and Summit Entertainment in Spanish tax-incentivized financing transactions;
- Representation of New Line Cinema/Warner Bros. in its $350 million slate financing transaction with The Royal Bank of Scotland;
- Representation of Universal Pictures in its $150 million sale of Rogue Pictures to Relativity Media;
- Representation of InterMedia Partners, L.P. in its acquisition of a 50% ownership interest in Cine Latino, the leading Spanish-language movie channel in the U.S.; and
- Representation of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios in various co-financing transactions.
Mr. Tsoneff has received numerous industry accolades, including multiple appearances on The Hollywood Reporter’s Top 100 Power Lawyers list, and Variety’s Dealmakers Impact Report list and Legal Impact Report lists, as well as The Daily Journal. He was previously ranked by Chambers USA as an “Up and Coming” California lawyer in the category of Media and Entertainment: Transactional.
Mr. Tsoneff received his law degree from Columbia Law School in 2000. While at Columbia, Mr. Tsoneff was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and spent a semester studying at the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in English & American Literature, cum laude, in 1997 from Harvard College, where he was a member of the heavyweight crew team.
Mr. Tsoneff is admitted to practice law in California.