Jeffrey S. Becker

Biography

Jeff Becker is Chair of Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP’s Entertainment and Media Law Practice Group. Among his clients are musicians, actors, publishers and record labels, theatrical producers and playwrights, authors, independent filmmakers and other creative individuals and entertainment-related businesses. For these clients, Jeff provides comprehensive representation in the transactional and litigation aspects of their businesses. In doing so, he counsels clients in the preparation, analysis and negotiation of various issues, including licensing and distribution rights, royalty negotiations and disputes, rights acquisition and clearances, talent agreements, production and performance agreements, music publishing and licensing agreements, recording contracts and master license agreements, talent submissions and artist management agreements. Jeff strives to find the most cost-efficient way to help clients secure and protect their rights. He is an Adjunct Professor at DePaul University College of Law, where he teaches Music Law, and has guest lectured on entertainment-related topics at Notre Dame Law School, SAE Institute, Columbia College Chicago, Loyola University, and John Marshall Law School.

Jeff is also a member of the firm's Intellectual Property and Commercial Litigation Practice Groups. His roots are grounded in complex business and intellectual property litigation, representing clients in contractual and business tort disputes, infringement of intellectual property rights, professional liability claims, trade secret misappropriation and post-judgment collection proceedings. He has extensive experience representing clients in the preparation, negotiation and litigation of restrictive covenants, including non-competition, non-solicitation and non-disclosure agreements. He also has developed a strong practice litigating claims involving copyright and trademark infringement, advertising injury, defamation, misleading and deceptive advertising, rights of publicity and privacy, violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and unfair competition. In the event litigation becomes necessary, Jeff works with his clients to resolve their cases effectively and cost-efficiently.

Jeff also previously served as Chair of the Swanson Martin & Bell, LLP’s Community Service/Pro Bono Committee. He proudly volunteers his time to Lawyers for the Creative Arts, a non-profit organization that provides free legal services to eligible clients in all areas of the arts.

Practices

Entertainment and Media Law
Intellectual Property Litigation and Transactional Services
Commercial Litigation and Business Disputes
Employment Litigation and Counseling

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Lawyers for the Creative Arts
    • President of Associate Board
  • Chicago Bar Association
    • Co-Chair of Media and Entertainment Committee
    • Former Vice-Chairperson and Legislative Liaison, Creative Arts Committee, Young Lawyers Section
  • American Bar Association, Forum on Sports and Entertainment Law
  • Recording Academy, Chicago Chapter
    • Member, Board of Governors
    • Co-Chair, Legislative Advocacy Committee
  • IFP Chicago
    • Member, Board of Directors

Awards

  • Named one of "40 Illinois Attorneys Under 40 to Watch" in Law Bulletin Publishing Company's Annual Survey, 2015
  • Selected for inclusion in Illinois Super Lawyers-Rising Stars Edition in multiple years
  • Selected for inclusion in Illinois Emerging Lawyers in multiple years

Publications

Presentations

  • “The Effects of Streaming on the Music Industry,” Lake FX Summit & Expo, Chicago, Illinois, April 21, 2017
  • “The Future of Music & Technology,” Lake FX Summit & Expo, Chicago, Illinois, April 21, 2017
  • “Know Your Music Business Team,” Lake FX Summit & Expo, Chicago, Illinois, May 13, 2016
  • “Ouch! Common Mistakes Made by Developing Artists and How to Avoid Them,” Chicago International Movies & Music Festival, Chicago, Illinois, April 17, 2016
  • "Entertaining the Idea: The Ins and Outs of Representing Entertainment Industry Clients," Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education, Chicago, Illinois, September 25, 2015
  • “Complex Asset Recovery: Fraudulent Transfers, Charging Orders & More!” ISBA Commercial Banking, Collections and Bankruptcy Section, Chicago, Illinois, September 17, 2015
  • "Your Album as an App," Lake FX Summit & Expo, Chicago, Illinois, April 18, 2015
  • Moderator, "We're Going to Broadway," Goodman Theatre, Chicago, Illinois, April 9, 2015
  • "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do...Breaking Contracts," South By Southwest (SXSW) Festival, Austin, Texas, March 18, 2015
  • “Chicago Music Industry Insiders,” John Marshall Law School, Chicago, Illinois, October 30, 2014
  • "Post-Judgment Causes of Action - Fraudulent Transfers, Successor Liability and Veil Piercing," IICLE Presentation on Sophisticated Asset Discovery, Chicago, Illinois, October 2, 2014
  • “Licensing Panel; Streaming Royalties and Revenue,” Yellow Phone Music Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, September 6, 2014
  • "Protecting Your Music and Yourself," Lawyers for the Creative Arts Associate Board Educational Presentation, Chicago, Illinois, July 24, 2014
  • "Breaking the Deal," LCA Boot Camp: Music Law 101, Chicago, Illinois, June 4, 2014
  • “If You Can’t Afford an Attorney, One Will be Appointed for You…,” Yellow Phone Music Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, September 6, 2013
  • “Songwriters and Life Outside a Band,” Yellow Phone Music Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, September 7, 2013
  • "Music Licensing and Exposure,” Music Over Business Festival, Chicago, Illinois, August 10, 2013
  • “The Front End: Business of Producing,” Grand Rapids Film Festival, May 18, 2013
  • “Cracking the Corporate Shell: Pre- and Post-Judgment Veil Piercing Considerations,” Illinois Creditors Bar Association, November 11, 2011
  • “Fraudulent Transfers, Piercing Corporate Veils and Using Charging Orders – Digging for Buried Treasure” Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, March 29, 2011

News

Chicago, June 12, 2017
Becker Named to Recording Academy Board of Governors for Chicago Chapter
The Recording Academy hosts the GRAMMY Awards and offers professional development, cultural enrichment, advocacy, education, and human services programs.

Chicago, May 1, 2017
Becker Speaks on Music Streaming, Technology at Lake FX Summit & Expo
He spoke on “The Effects of Streaming on the Music Industry” and moderated a panel on “The Future of Music & Technology.”

Chicago, January 16, 2017
Illinois Super Lawyers Recognizes 38 Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Attorneys
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP announces that 38 of its attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 2017 Illinois Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.

Chicago, November 22, 2016
Law Bulletin Recognizes Wiegler on "40 Under Forty" List
Wiegler was recognized in the profile for her "refined and thorough competency in the law combined with an absolute civil approach to this practice."

Chicago, July 18, 2016
Becker Speaks at LCA Music Boot Camp on Artist Management
He will offer practical guidance on business and legal consideration in various uses of music.

Chicago, June 13, 2016
Employment Litigation and Counseling Newsletter: Recent Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, Illinois Appellate Court Decisions and Their Effect on Employment Law
The Employment Litigation and Counseling Practice Group has released its June newsletter.

Chicago, May 5, 2016
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Attorneys Named to Leading Lawyers, Emerging Lawyers List
Thirty-six Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP attorneys were named Leading Lawyers or Emerging Lawyers.

Chicago, May 4, 2016
Becker Moderates Music Business Panel at Lake FX Summit + Expo
Becker and three other leaders in music business will share details on building a strong business team.

Chicago, February 22, 2016
Becker Leads CBA Presentation on Copyright in Music
He will discuss the intricate and evolving role that copyright law plays in the music industry.

Chicago, January 18, 2016
Becker, Patterson Lead Tech Talk on New Media
The talk is hosted at 2112, Chicago's first incubator focused on the development of entrepreneurs in music, film/video, and creative technology.

Chicago, January 13, 2016
Illinois Super Lawyers Recognizes 39 Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Attorneys
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP announces that 39 of its attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 2015 Illinois Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.

Chicago, December 7, 2015
Murray, Kincaid Victorious in Creditors' Rights Matter
The judge repeatedly cited from the equitable remedies chapter of the IICLE handbook, “Creditors’ Rights in Illinois,” written by three Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP attorneys.

Chicago, October 9, 2015
Law Bulletin Recognizes Becker on "40 Under Forty" List
Becker, referred to in his profile as "an attorney's attorney," was recognized for his practice in Entertainment Law / Commercial Law.

Chicago, September 22, 2015
Kincaid, Murray and Becker Speak at ISBA Commercial Banking CLE
They spoke on both "Fraudulent Transfers, Successor Liability, Alter Ego, and Veil Piercing" and Judgment Enforcement against a Member in an LLC."

Chicago, August 24, 2015
IICLE Entertainment Industry CLE Features Becker, Wahl as Speakers
The CLE is titled, "Entertaining the Idea: The Ins and Outs of Representing Entertainment Industry Clients."

Chicago, July 6, 2015
Becker Authors Law Bulletin Article on Crowdfunding
Becker explains a recent FTC ruling on investor protection in crowdfunding.

Chicago, June 8, 2015
Becker Joins Dramatists Guild Panel on Musical Theatre Writing
Becker will speak on the business aspects of musical theatre writing at Porchlight Music Theatre in Chicago.

Chicago, March 18, 2015
SXSW Panel on Contract Termination Features Becker
Becker and two other panelists will discuss how to terminate a contract.

Chicago, March 2, 2015
Becker Authors Pair of Law Bulletin Articles on Copyright and the Music Marketplace
The articles discuss several fundamental changes the U.S. Copyright Office recommends for the way in which the American music marketplace operates.

Chicago, January 15, 2015
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Names New Partners
Six associates were recently named partners, including one in St. Louis.

Chicago, January 13, 2015
Becker, Weiler Win Appeal before the Illinois Second District Appellate Court
The win affirmed a summary judgment on behalf of their client, a national homebuilder in a large homeowner class action.

Chicago, January 12, 2015
Illinois Super Lawyers Recognizes 39 Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Attorneys
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP announces that 39 of its attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 2015 Illinois Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.

Chicago, August 20, 2014
Becker Speaks at Yellow Phone Music Conference
Yellow Phone Music Conference is a four-day gathering of talented artists and music professionals from around the country.

Chicago, July 10, 2014
Becker Discusses Band Law for Bands at LCA Event
Becker and others will lead an interactive discussion on internal band agreements and copyright basics.

Chicago, May 23, 2014
Becker Speaks at LCA Music Law CLE Seminar
He will discuss strategies to help clients exit a deal, recover rights and regain control of their music and other property as part of a contract.

Chicago, January 9, 2014
Becker Authors Law Bulletin Article on Spotify
Becker focused on ways in which Spotify, the on-demand music streaming service, compensates its artists.

Chicago, December 12, 2013
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin Highlights Entertainment and Media Law Practice
The article quotes Partner Brian W. Bell and Practice Group Chair Jeffrey S. Becker.

Chicago, December 3, 2013
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Launches Entertainment and Media Law Practice Group
While firm attorneys have provided legal services in the film, television, music, theatre, digital media and Internet industries for many years, the new practice group formalizes those efforts.

Chicago, August 20, 2013
Becker Presents at Yellow Phone Music Conference
Becker and other music industry personnel will discuss various topics currently impacting the industry at the Milwaukee conference.

Chicago, July 26, 2013
Becker Serves as Panelist at MOBfest
Becker and other entertainment industry personnel will cover music exposure as part of their panel.

Chicago, May 3, 2013
Becker Presents on Business of Producing at Film Festival
Becker and other film industry personnel will speak about the business end of film production at the Grand Rapids Film Festival.

Chicago, January 3, 2012
Illinois Super Lawyers Recognizes 34 Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Attorneys
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP announces that 23 of its attorneys were recognized as Illinois Super Lawyers, while 11 others were recognized as Rising Stars.

Chicago, August 2, 2011
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Attorneys Rewrite Creditors Rights Chapter for IICLE
Rewritten by four Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP attorneys, the IICLE Chapter focuses on equitable remedies.

Chicago, Lisle, Libertyville, January 19, 2011
Thirty Swanson, Martin & Bell Attorneys Selected for 2011 Illinois Super Lawyers and Rising Stars
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP is pleased to announce that 21 of its attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 2011 Illinois Super Lawyers list.

Chicago, May 5, 2010
Continued Growth Spurs Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP To 100-Attorney Mark
With the arrival of several new partners and associates in recent months, Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP now has 100 attorneys practicing among its three offices.

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