FIRM: Latham & Watkins LLP


CLIENTS: Live Nation Inc., Health Net Inc., Mattel Inc.

James Beaubien knows how to do big deals.

The current co-chairman of Latham & Watkins’ L.A. corporate division, he has helped broker multimillion dollar transactions for Health Net Inc. and Saban Capital Group Inc., the worldwide entertainment company controlled by Los Angeles billionaire Haim Saban.

In February this year, Beaubien added another prominent deal to his repertoire when he led the team of Latham lawyers representing Live Nation Inc. in its merger with Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc. When the deal closes, it will create an international ticketing and concert promotion company valued at more than $2.5 billion.

Beaubien coordinated attorneys in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City, Washington D.C. and even Brussels, Belgium.

“There were some 18-hour days,” he said. “Toward the end, there were some 24-hour days.”

But the payoff of knowing he played a key part in one of the largest entertainment deals of 2009 made it worthwhile.

“It’s the kind of deal that someone in my position really loves to do,” he said. “It’s high profile, it’s complicated and it’s challenging.”

Beaubien was drawn to transactional law – especially mergers and acquisitions – almost as soon as he started law school at UCLA in the late 1980s. While some lawyers relish the confrontational nature of litigation, Beaubien found he preferred the role of backroom advisor and negotiator.

“In litigation, you’re adversaries and it’s a zero-sum game,” he said. “But with M&As, everyone has the same ultimate goal in mind. All parties are trying to get a transaction done.”

His work has sometimes carried him overseas. In 2003, for instance, he spent most of the year in Germany working on Saban Capital’s acquisition of ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG, one of Germany’s largest TV companies.

When he’s not in the office or flying out-of-state to assist clients, you can probably find Beaubien enjoying himself at the beach or the swimming pool with his two girls, ages five and eight. “They’re at the age where they love to swim,” he said.

He’s also a football fan. He was on the Princeton University team during his undergraduate days playing quarterback, defensive back and kicker. But he acknowledges he spent most of the time on the bench.

“I couldn’t even make it on the field for Princeton,” he said, “which I guess says a lot about my football skills.”

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