Lisa A. Alter


Lisa Alter is a founding partner of Alter, Kendrick & Baron, LLP in New York City. Ms. Alter’s practice is focused primarily on transactions relating to the acquisition and sale of significant music assets. As part of her practice, she conducts in-depth due diligence and copyright analyses and negotiates and closes complex stock and asset purchase agreements. Her clients include a number of prominent major and independent music publishing companies and record labels, as well as equity investors, lenders, and financing partners in the music space.

Ms. Alter’s clients also include a large number of bespoke songwriters, recording artists, and producers as well as musical estates comprising the successors to many of the great American songbook composer and lyricists. Among her clients are numerous inductees into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame and recipients of Grammy and Ivor Novello Awards.

Ms. Alter lectures frequently on copyright issues at professional and music industry meetings in both the US and the UK. She has served as a Visiting Professor at Yale Law School where she taught a course on the Law and Business of Music, and has written numerous articles addressing music publishing and copyright matters. She is the author of “Protecting Your Musical Copyrights” which is widely relied upon in the music publishing industry. Ms. Alter is perennially recognized in Billboard’s “Top Music Lawyers” and “Power” lists, as well as Variety’s “Legal Impact Report,” “Dealmakers Impact Report," “New York Women’s Impact Report,” and “New York Dealmakers Elite.” She has also been named as one of Billboard’s “Women in Music: Executives of the Year,” The Hollywood Reporter’s “New York Power Lawyers,” and U.S. News & World Report’s New York City “Best Lawyer of the Year” in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America in the practice area of Entertainment Law – Music.

  • Best Lawyers, Copyright and Entertainment Law – Music (2021-Present)
  • Best Lawyers, Entertainment Law- Music "Lawyer of the Year" (2023)
  • Top Music Lawyer, Billboard (2018-2023)
  • Legal Impact Report, Variety (2021-2023)
  • "Best Law Firms," U.S. News & World Report (2021-2023)
  • Dealmakers Impact Report, Variety (2020-2023)
  • Power List, Billboard (2020-2023)
  • Band 1 Ranked Lawyer in Media and Entertainment: Music - New York, Chambers USA (2019-2023)
  • Dealmakers of the Year, New York Law Journal (2021)
  • “New York Power Lawyers”, The Hollywood Reporter (2021)
  • New York Metro Super Lawyers (2018-2021)
  • Executives of the Year, Women In Music, Billboard (2018-2020)
  • Dealmakers Directory, Billboard (2020)
  • New York's Top 20 Entertainment Attorneys, The Hollywood Reporter (2020)
  • New York Women's Impact Report, Variety (2020)
  • Recognized Practitioner, Chambers USA (2018)
  • New York Dealmaker's Elite, Variety (2017, 2018)
  • Panelist: “Legal Perspective”, The Inaugural Music Investor Conferences Hosted By David Israelite (New York, NY, 2023)
  • Panelist: “The Value of a Good Song – Trends and Developments in Music Catalog Transactions”, New York State Bar Association, Entertainment, Arts & Sports Law Section: EASL Music Business and Law Conference 2022 (New York, NY, 2022)
  • Panelist: “Catalog Acquisitions Panel”, AIMP Global Music Publishing Summit (New York, NY, 2022)
  • Panelist: “Selling Out! The Latest Trends in Music Catalog Sales”, Beverly Hills Bar Association (Webinar / California, 2022)
  • Panelist: “Music Catalog Sales and the Changing Landscape in Music Publishing”, Copyright Society of the USA (Webinar, 2022)
  • Panelist: “Todays’ Gold Rush - Intellectual Property Acquisitions & Monetization”, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (Webinar, 2022)
  • Panelist: “EASL MBLC 2020 Conference: Music Industry,” (Webinar, 2020)
  • Panelist: “The 2019 Gold Rush is in Music Catalogs: The Outlook for Music Asset Transactions and Strategies in Mitigating Risk”, EASL - Music Business Law Conference (New York, NY 2019)
  • Panelist: “Money on the Table: Trends in Copyright & Music Publishing Acquisitions”, Music Business Association (Nashville, Tennessee, 2018)
  • Panelist: “Reclaim Your Copyright”, Entertainment & Technology Law Conference (New York, NY, 2017)
  • Panelist: “Termination Rights and Related Issues”, New York State Bar Association Entertainment and Sports Law Section: Annual Music Business and Law Conference (New York, NY, 2016)
  • Panelist: “The Ins and Outs of Copyright Terminations”, American Bar Association (Webinar, 2016)
  • Speaker: “Music Licensing Issues”, Practicing Law Institute: Advanced Copyright Law Annual Review (New York, NY, 2016)
  • Presenter: “Terminations of Transfers in the Music Industry”, City Bar Association – Entertainment Law Committee (New York, NY, 2016)
  • Moderator: “I Want It Back – Termination of Grants of Copyright”, American Bar Association at the Americana Music Conference (Nashville, TN, 2015)
  • Panelist: "Deconstructing Digital: An Overview of US Licensing and Royalty Collection Practices”, PRS for Music (London, UK, 2015)
  • Moderator: “The Beginning or the End? The Impact of US Termination Rights on the UK Music Industry”, PRS for Music (London, UK, 2015)
  • Panelist: “International Licensing of Music: From BC to AD (From Before the Change to After Digital)”, Music Business Association: Entertainment & Technology Law Conference (New York, NY, 2014)
  • Presenter: “The Terminators: An Update on the Termination of Transfer Provisions in the U.S. Copyright Act”, Association of Independent Music Publishers (New York, NY, 2014)
  • Presenter: “U.S. Copyright Termination: Implications for U.K. Songwriters”, British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) (London, UK, 2013)
  • Presenter: “U.S. Copyright Termination”, Music Publishers Association (London, UK, 2013)
  • Panelist: “A New Beginning in the End: Termination Rights in Sound Recordings”, American Bar Association (Webinar, 2012)
  • Panelist: “Termination of Transfers of Copyright”, The 10th Annual San Francisco MusicTech Summit (San Francisco, CA, 2012)
  • Panelist: “Creators v. Corporations: Copyright Termination and Royalty Accounting After the Eminem Case”, National Association of Recording Merchandisers Entertainment and Technology Law Conference (New York, NY, 2011)
  • Speaker: “Implications of U.S. Copyright Terminations for U.K. Authors and Publishers”, Featured Artists Coalition/Music Management Forum (London, UK, 2011)
  • Panelist: “Hot Blooded: The Debate Over Sound Recordings as Works Made for Hire”, Copyright Society of the USA Annual Meeting (New York, NY, 2011)
  • Panelist: “The Ins and Outs of Copyright Terminations”, American Bar Association (Webinar, 2011)
  • Admitted to practice in New York, California and New Jersey
  • New York State Bar Association
    • Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Section
    • Intellectual Property Law Section
  • American Bar Association
    • Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industry
    • Intellectual Property Law Committee
  • Copyright Society of the USA
  • International Association of Entertainment Lawyers
  • Planned Parenthood New York City, Board Member
  • Adolescent Girls Legal Defense Fund, Advisory Board Member
  • Girls Learn International, Co-Founder & Advisory Board Member
  • New York University School of Law, J.D. (1981)
  • Wesleyan University, B.A. (1978)

Protecting Your Musical Copyrights

Download our useful and frequently sought out guide to copyright law as it pertains to musical compositions and sound recordings, including detailed information regarding the statutory termination provisions of the US Copyright Act and helpful charts outlining the applicable timeframes during which the recapture rights provided for thereunder may be exercised, as well as practical tips for musical estates, music publishers, and other content owners.