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Power Players

No. 72
John Branca

Ziffren Brittenham
The King of Pop's King of Legal

Attorney John Branca has represented the Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys, the Doors, Fleetwood Mac and more. And he's been involved in significant music business transactions, such as EMI's acquisition of the Jobete publishing catalog of classic Motown and the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization's sale to Imagem Music Group. But Branca's most important professional relationship was with his on-again, off-again client Michael Jackson. Branca was with Jackson when he made virtually every key business decision during his career, including his purchase of the Beatles' catalog, forming the Sony/ATV publishing joint venture with Sony Corp. and helping him refinance his debt. Since Jackson's death in 2009, Branca and John McClain have been the co-executors of his estate, with the former taking care of business and the latter looking after the creative, industry sources say. So far, Branca has negotiated a deal with Sony Music Entertainment worth up to $250 million. He also oversees the estate's investment in Sony/ATV. Jackson may be gone, but much of his business-oriented pull now resides with Branca.

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