Welcome to the Reuters.com BETA. Read our Editor's note on how we're helping professionals make smart decisions.
Skip to main content

Kasowitz duo representing Scarlett Johansson in lawsuit against Disney

2 minute read

Scarlett Johansson at the 35th Film Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, California, February 8, 2020. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

  • Partners John Berlinski and Daniel Saunders previously have battled Disney in an IP lawsuit
  • The pair has represented "Bones" stars

The company and law firm names shown above are generated automatically based on the text of the article. We are improving this feature as we continue to test and develop in beta. We welcome feedback, which you can provide using the feedback tab on the right of the page.

(Reuters) - New York-based boutique firm Kasowitz Benson Torres is representing Marvel's "Black Widow" actress Scarlett Johansson in a lawsuit against Disney filed on Thursday.

The suit, which alleges that the media giant breached Johansson's contract by releasing the movie simultaneously in theaters and on its streaming service Disney+, was filed by Los Angeles-based entertainment partners John Berlinski and Daniel Saunders.

Berlinski said in a statement that Disney had a legal obligation to honor its contract.

Disney did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the case and whether it would seek outside counsel.

Johansson's lawsuit isn't the duo's first battle against Disney, according to their firm bios. Berlinski and Saunders previously represented gaming and resort company Genting Malaysia Berhad in a multi-billion lawsuit against Fox Entertainment and The Walt Disney Company stemming from a terminated licensing agreement that would have allowed the company to use some of Fox's intellectual property in connection with a Genting theme park. A settlement was reached and the Genting's license was reinstated.

The pair has also represented other Hollywood stars including "Bones" actors Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz and producer Kathy Reichs in a lawsuit against 21st Century Fox and Fox Broadcasting Company. The case reached a $179 million arbitration award.

Before joining Kasowitz, Berlinski was the senior vice president and head of West Coast television litigation at NBCUniversal.

Saunders, who was previously a partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, focuses his practice on white collar defense, entertainment, complex litigation and intellectual property. Prior to joining Kasowitz, he represented Beats Electronics, record executive Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre in a lawsuit over headphone design rights and royalties.

Read more:

Scarlett Johansson sues Disney over 'Black Widow' streaming release

Arriana McLymore reports on the business of law, including diversity in the profession, corporate practices, legal education and attorney career life cycles.

More from Reuters