Susan Abramovitch is one of Canada’s leading entertainment lawyers. She is a partner based in the Toronto office of Gowlings, with a practice that covers all aspects of transactions and disputes in the music, film, television, live theatre, multimedia, videogame, sports, branded entertainment and book publishing industries.
Counting many prominent Canadian and international artists, entertainment companies and brands among her clients, Susan delivers strategic business advice across a range of areas, including:
- Drafting and negotiating contracts and agreements
- Advising on deal terms and structures
- Assisting in dispute resolution
- Counselling on international industry standards
- Managing rights acquisitions
Susan is consistently ranked as a top lawyer by her clients and peers in national and international prestigious guides from Lexpert, Who’s Who Legal and the Legal Media Group. She received a 2014 Lexpert Zenith Award in recognition of her leadership and expertise, and has also been named one of Toronto’s 50 most influential people by Toronto Life magazine.
Prior to joining Gowlings, Susan was head of the entertainment group of another national law firm and was founding partner at one of Canada's premier entertainment law boutiques. She also practised in the New York and Paris offices of Debevoise & Plimpton, where she specialized in international M&A. In addition, she worked in the Montréal office of a prominent Canadian law firm, and at Davis Polk & Wardwell and Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy in New York. After graduating from McGill University as a gold medallist in both the Civil and National Law programs, Susan clerked for the Honourable Mr. Justice Gérard V. La Forest of the Supreme Court of Canada.
Susan is heavily involved in the legal community as a teacher and mentor. She is the program director for Osgoode Hall Law School's Continuing Legal Education Certificate in Entertainment Law and is a course lecturer in entertainment law at McGill University’s Faculty of Law. She also lectures at Osgoode Hall, the University of Toronto’s Faculties of Music and Law (where she was an adjunct professor from 2002 to 2012), McGill University’s Desautels School of Management and Faculty of Music, and the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada.
Susan is licensed to practise law in Ontario, Québec and New York. She provides legal services in both English and French.
Susan’s commentary is regularly sought by the media. Her recent coverage includes:
- "Writer Penny loses contract law appeal," The Lawyers Weekly, July 24, 2015
- "Entertainment lawyers question feds’ music moves," The Lawyers Weekly, July 3, 2015
- "Apple’s Swift response latest round of music industry restructuring," The Lawyers Weekly, July 3, 2015
- "Taylor Swift's Apple-chomping a win for 'the little guys,'" CBC News, June 24, 2015
- "Blurred Lines jury verdict tests boundaries on copyright infringement," CBC News, March 11, 2015
- "How can Taylor Swift trademark words?" CTVNews.ca & Canada AM, January 30, 2015
- "Taylor Swift trademarks song phrases," CTV News, January 29, 2015
- "U.S. high court set to rule in TV streaming showdown," The Lawyers Weekly, May 16, 2014
- "Gaining Insight into Canadian Music Week: An interview with Susan H. Abramovitch," IP Osgoode, May 2014
- "The Digital Privacy Act," Canadian Bar Association's National magazine, April 2014
- “Disney-set satire,” CBC News, October 24, 2013
- “Digital Property Is Making Having A Will More Complicated,” Global TV, August 21, 2013
- “That’s Entertainment!” Canadian Bar Association’s National magazine, January/February 2013
- “50 Most Influential 2012,” Toronto Life, December 2012
Susan has provided commentary on CBC’s The National, CBC Newsworld and CTV’s National News and Canada AM, as well as in The Globe and Mail, National Post and Billboard Magazine. She was featured on the cover of the April 2012 issue of Lexpert magazine, in which she was interviewed for a story on “New Media, New Law.”