Susan Abramovitch is a partner at Gowlings’ Toronto office and practises exclusively in entertainment law. Prior to joining Gowlings, Susan served as Head of the Entertainment practice at a prominent law firm, and was a founding partner of one of Canada's premier entertainment law boutiques. Recognized by Lexpert as a leading entertainment lawyer, Susan’s practice covers all aspects of transactions and disputes in the music, film, television, live theatre, multimedia, videogaming, branded entertainment and book publishing industries. She has drafted and negotiated numerous entertainment-related agreements, both domestic and international, and has advised clients on all aspects of intellectual property law related to their businesses.
Susan previously practised law at Debevoise & Plimpton, in both its New York and Paris offices, where she practised in the areas of telecommunications law, international mergers and acquisitions and general international corporate transactions. She is called to the Bar in Ontario, New York and Québec.
Prior to Debevoise, Susan worked in the Montréal office of a prominent Canadian law firm, and at Davis, Polk & Wardwell and Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy in New York.
Graduating with both LLB and BCL degrees, she was the gold medalist for her graduating year in both the Civil Law and National Law Programs at McGill University's Faculty of Law in Montréal. Susan served as a law clerk to the Honourable Mr. Justice Gérard V. La Forest of the Supreme Court of Canada.
In the area of entertainment law, Susan has published in the U.K. Entertainment Law Review (Sweet and Maxwell), the Canadian Journal of Law and Technology, the Canadian Business Law Journal, the Canadian Bar Association’s National magazine, Cahiers de droit, Intellectual Property Magazine and the Canadian Independent Music Association. She has also co-authored the Music Licensing chapter in the Advertising and Marketing Law in Canada textbook.
Susan is the Program Director for Osgoode Hall Law School’s Certificate in Entertainment Law and is a Course Lecturer in Entertainment Law at the McGill University Faculty of Law. She also lectures at Osgoode Hall Law School, McGill University’s Faculty of Music and Desautels School of Management, the University of Toronto’s Faculties of Music and Law (where she was an Adjunct Professor from 2002-2012) and the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada (IPIC).
Susan’s commentary is regularly sought by the media. Most recently, she was interviewed by CBC to discuss copyright issues regarding the filming of Escape from Tomorrow, which was shot at Disney World without the park’s permission. Other recent media mentions include:
- "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
- “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 is fluent in both English and French.