Paul Marshall, the legendary music attorney who brokered some of the most significant transactions the music industry has ever seen over his fifty-plus years in the entertainment law business, died May 10 in Aventura, Florida. He was 83.
Marshall’s career reads as one music industry benchmark after another. Since 1965, he has been a partner in law firms that have represented EMI, CBS (now Sony Music) Records, Atlantic, MCA, Bertelsmann, and the New York Times, and served as a director on the board at PolyGram (now Universal). Through these affiliations, he represented such massive acts as the Beatles, KISS, Whitney Houston, Neil Diamond, Heavy D, and many more.
He also had a hand in representing, arranging, initiating or structuring huge deals that shaped the entertainment industry, such as representing Michael Jackson during his purchase of the Beatles’ publishing rights, overseeing MCA’s acquisition of Motown Records, negotiating Atlantic Records’ purchase by Warner, CBS’ Records’ purchase of MGM/UA’s publishing assets, Bertelsmann’s purchase of Arista Records and RCA’s music publishing department, and the New York Times’ acquisition of Metromedia, to name a few.
Through his work in the music industry, Marshall served as counsel to Woodstock in 1969 and also helped establish the TJ Martell Foundation for Cancer Research, serving on the charity’s board of directors for ten years.
Marshall is survived by his wife, two sons, a daughter, and three grandchildren. The family will be holding a private memorial service in June.