Charles J. Harder


Named California Lawyer of the Year in Media (CLAY Award), 2017, California Lawyer magazine

Listed, Top 100 Lawyers in California, Daily Journal newspaper

Listed, Top 100 “Power Lawyers” in America, The Hollywood Reporter


“Arguably the highest-profile media lawyer in America…”

The Hollywood Reporter, September 22, 2016

The “go-to lawyer” for a “violation of a famous person’s rights”  “Mr. Harder’s emergence as a power player happened… through a combination of grit, talent, shrewd calculation—and knowing the right people.”

New York Times, May 29, 2016

“Hollywood’s favourite lawyer”

Financial Times [UK], August 26, 2016

“Have a score to settle with the press? Charles Harder, the media lawyer who ground to dust, is your man… he doesn’t hate journalists—he just wants to teach them some manners.”

GQ Magazine, December 2016, Men of the Year 2016 Issue

If you’re looking for a lawyer to bring a publication to its knees, [Charles] Harder’s the leader in the clubhouse.

Above the Law, October 6, 2017


Hulk Hogan’s Lead Lawyer Explains How His Team Beat Gawker, by Charles Harder, The Hollywood Reporter, April 5, 2016

Charles Harder is one of the few go-to litigators in the United States for defamation, reputation protection, privacy, media law, entertainment, intellectual property and business litigation. Licensed to practice in California, New York and the District of Columbia, Mr. Harder litigates cases in federal and state courts throughout the country, as well as arbitrations and administrative proceedings. His experience includes cases in a variety of industries: from representing major celebrities, to clients in the various entertainment industries (film, TV, videogames, music, live theater, etc.), to general business clients including multi-billion dollar corporations, and high net worth individuals in various business industries including technology, investing and financial services.

Mr. Harder literally “writes the book” on some of his core practice areas, serving as Editor and Co-Author of ENTERTAINMENT LAW & LITIGATION, a law treatise published by LexisNexis which provides in depth analysis of the substantive and procedural law of defamation, right of privacy, right of publicity, profit participation, copyright, trademark, Talent Agencies Act, labor/employment, and insurance law.

In March 2017, Mr. Harder was named California Lawyer of the Year in Media (winning the CLAY Award), by California Lawyer magazine.

He is listed in the Top 100 Lawyers in California by Daily Journal newspaper.

He is listed in the Top 100 “Power Lawyers” in America by The Hollywood Reporter (one of only 30 litigators).

Mr. Harder has been listed repeatedly as an “IP Star” by Managing Intellectual Property, a media division of Euromoney’s Legal Media Group.

In 2017, Mr. Harder won a multi-million dollar settlement and obtained a full retraction and apologyfor the First Lady of the United States, Melania Trump, in a libel action against the Daily Mail.

In 2016, after a three-week trial in state court in St. Petersburg, Florida, Mr. Harder won a $140 million verdict for his client, Terry Bollea (aka Hulk Hogan), in an invasion of privacy lawsuit against Gawker Media.

In 2011, after a four-week trial in Los Angeles Superior Court, Mr. Harder won an $18 million verdict for his client, Cecchi Gori Pictures, also obtained valuable film rights to seven motion pictures including The Departed and Shutter Island, and simultaneously defeated a $5 million counterclaim filed by the opposing party.

In 2009, Mr. Harder won four separate ICANN domain name arbitrations on behalf of four different A-list actors. Each case involved a three-arbitrator panel, and each decision sided 3-0 for Mr. Harder’s client. Links to each of these public case decisions are provided below, under “Reported Decisions.”

In 2007, Mr. Harder represented UBISOFT, a Top 5 worldwide videogame publisher, defending an $11 million claim by a German videogame producer. After a one-week arbitration trial, Mr. Harder won a complete defense verdict.

Mr. Harder has obtained numerous seven-figure and eight-figure settlements on behalf of his plaintiff-clients in recent years, and favorable settlements and defense verdicts on behalf of his defendant-clients.


  • Reputation and Brand Protection
  • Defamation (Libel and Slander)
  • Terminating Internet Defamers, Impostors & Infringers
  • Privacy Rights
  • Restraining Orders and Injunctions
  • Right of Publicity (name and image infringement)
  • First Amendment
  • Profit Participation, Royalty and Audit Matters
  • Trademark Infringement, including Lanham Act and False Advertising Claims
  • Copyright Infringement, Idea Submission and Implied Contract Claims
  • Talent Agencies Act & California Labor Commission Proceedings
  • Licensing and Merchandising
  • Advertising and Promotions
  • Internet Domain Name Disputes & Cybersquatting
  • Anti-SLAPP Proceedings
  • Breach of Contract
  • Business Torts including Fraud, Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Constructive Fraud, Tortious Interference with Business Relations, Conversion, Unjust Enrichment and Professional Negligence
  • Unfair Competition and Unfair Business Practices, including Business and Professions Code § 17200
  • Trade Secrets
  • Employment Litigation
  • Electronic Discovery





  • 2016 Institute on Entertainment Law and Business
    USC Gould School of Law and the Beverly Hills Bar Association
    Speaker: “Protecting Reputation and Privacy in the US + Europe”
    October 2016, USC Gould School of Law, Los Angeles, CA
  • Speaker: “Power Lawyers” Panel; Moderator: Matt Belloni, The Hollywood Reporter
    2016 ABA Forum on the Entertainment and Sport Industries
    October 7, 2016, Cosmopolitan Hotel, Las Vegas, NV
  • Panel Speaker: “Right of Publicity: Past, Present & Future”
    Beverly Hills Bar Association, October 8, 2015, Beverly Hills, CA
  • Speaker: “Publicity and Privacy Law in 2015,” CLE Presentation, September 1, 2015, Hanson Jacobson law firm, Beverly Hills, CA
  • Board Member: Entertainment & Digital Media Symposium, July 31, 2015, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, CA
  • Speaker: “Privacy Protection: A Master Class,” CLE Presentation, September 12, 2014, Ziffren Brittenham law firm, Century City, CA
  • American Bar Association, International Law Section 2013 Fall Meeting
    Speaker: “What are the Limitations in a Modern Democratic Society on the Freedom of Expression?”
    Moderator: Lord David Neuberger, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom
    October 2013, London, England
  • Co-Chair: Entertainment Law and Litigation Symposium,
    Sponsored by Loyola Law School and the Los Angeles County Bar Association, Entertainment Law and Intellectual Property Section (ELIPS); Three Evening Sessions, Eight Panel Discussions
    November 15-December 8. 2012, Century City, CA
    Moderator: Panel on Defamation and Anti-SLAPP Law
    Moderator: Panel on Right of Privacy Law, Stalking & Harassment
    Moderator: Panel on Right of Publicity Law
  • California State Bar, “IP and the Internet” Conference
    Speaker: Panel on “Practical Strategies for Dealing with Impersonation and Reputational Harm on the Internet,” September 14, 2012, Los Angeles, CA
  • Speaker: “Identifying and Terminating Online Infringers, Imposters & Defamers,” CLE Presentation, September 13, 2011, Jackoway Tyerman law firm, Beverly Hills, CA


  • California (1996)
  • District of Columbia (2014)
  • New York (2014)


  • Juris Doctor (1996), Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, Dean‘s Honor List
  • Bachelor of Arts, Politics, with College Honors (1991), University of California, Santa Cruz


  • General Counsel and Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs, Load Media Network, Inc., Los Angeles (2000-2001)
  • Judicial Law Clerk, Hon. A. Andrew Hauk, Senior Judge and Chief Judge Emeritus, 
United States District Court, Central District of California, Los Angeles (1996-97)
  • Legislative Aide and Field Representative, California State Senator Herschel Rosenthal, Los Angeles, California (1991-94)
  • Congressional Award awarded in 1991 by then-U.S. Representative Leon Panetta (U.S. Secretary of Defense, 2011-2013; CIA Director 2009-2011; White House Chief of Staff 1994-97; White House Budget Director 1993-94; U.S. Representative 1977-1993)