Thomas R. Leavens
Wayne State University Law School, J.D., 1975
University of Michigan, A.B., cum laude, 1970
Mr. Leavens focuses his practice in entertainment, intellectual property and new media law. His legal career spans nearly four decades as both a founding partner at Leavens Strand & Glover and as in-house counsel for media and recording companies. Tom has worked with clients in all areas of the performing, visual and literary arts to manage and protect intellectual property rights in transactions and in litigation.
He has continually adapted his practice to meet the demands of the evolving business environment in the entertainment sector. He served as General Counsel of Platinum Entertainment, a public company which at one point was the largest U.S.-based independent record company. Tom was also the General Counsel for MusicNow LLC, a pioneering digital music company that commercially launched a subscription music service, webcasting and the sale of music downloads in 2002, and General Counsel for LRSmedia, LLC, a television production and brand development company. Today he counsels producers, artists, distributors and content users on maximizing opportunities as they arise and uncovering value in transactions while continuing to protect relationships with their audiences.
Tom has served as executive producer for numerous successful sound recording and television projects, including 16 House of Blues: Essential Blues recordings. His well-regarded practical guide, Music Law for the General Practitioner, was published by the American Bar Association in 2013.
Esteemed by his peers, he was the inaugural recipient of the Thomas R. Leavens Award, presented by Lawyers for the Creative Arts. The annual award is now an honor for lawyers who support the arts in Chicago through service with LCA. Tom is a frequent speaker and lecturer on business aspects of the entertainment industry, and has served as an expert witness in disputes in the sector.