LEGAL NEWS 04/3/2023
Billboard's 2023 Top Music Lawyers Revealed
The best attorneys in the business are defending the rights of their clients, negotiating smart deals — and warily watching the rise of artificial intelligence.
By Bill Donahue, Thom Duffy
Neville L. Johnson
Founding partner, Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson's roster includes Janet Jackson, guitarist Andy McKee and rising musical group Between Friends. But founding partner Johnson highlights the firm's work on behalf of musicians without star billing. Settling “a major class action” suit against the American Federation of Musicians and the Hollywood actors' guild, SAG-AFTRA, “returned millions of dollars to a nonprofit fund benefitting thousands of session musicians and vocalists,” he says. For 2023, he believes “transparency in accounting” remains a pressing concern. Streaming, he notes, has “failed to adequately democratize its earnings, and artists are still being routinely cheated by industry middlemen.”