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Danica L. Mathes

Danica Mathes is a branding and creativity attorney, and her practice focuses on intellectual property, entertainment, advertising and new media law. She helps clients protect and profit from their brands, products, services and talents. Some of the most well-known national and international brands and biggest names in entertainment have trusted Danica with their creative assets and brand reputation.

Selected by attorney peers and U.S. News for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America since 2007, Danica counsels individuals, entrepreneurs and Fortune 100 companies in a wide range of industries with respect to brand protection, content licensing, branded entertainment initiatives, sponsorship and endorsement deals, broadcast and merchandising rights, privacy compliance, sweepstakes and contests, internet, e-commerce, software, and other social and interactive media matters and related issues. She also authors I'M WITH THE B(R)AND® - The Branding & Creativity Law Blog.

Danica is adept at handling traditional and emerging intellectual property, advertising and new media matters, including:

  • Assisting in the development, acquisition, use prosecution, protection, registration, clearance, escrow, licensing and sale of proprietary products and services, such as copyrights, trademarks, software, sound and video recording, brand management, and ancillary rights such as those relating to endorsements, sponsorships, promotional articles, clothing and products.
  • Managing United States and international intellectual property portfolios, including patents, trademarks, copyrights, domain names, licenses and agreements.
  • Counseling and advising clients regarding internet and e-commerce ventures, technology transactions, software development, website development, privacy issues and digital content acquisition and licensing.
  • Analyzing and consulting on advertising and trade issues, including media, advertising and marketing agreements, trade regulation compliance, telemarketing, fax and email spam law compliance, sweepstakes, contests and other promotions, influencer marketing, Name, Image & Likeness (NIL) regulations and licensing, and branded entertainment initiatives.

Danica also represents and counsels clients in various arenas of the entertainment industry, including music (established and developing recording artists and producers, musicians, managers, record labels and publishers), film (production companies, producers, directors, actors and screenwriters), television, radio, theatre, visual arts, literary publishing (authors, publishers and agents), movie theatres, fashion, cosmetics, toys, food, beverage, restaurants, retailers, amateur and professional athletics (golfers, football, basketball and baseball players, boxers, U.S. Olympians, college athletes, coaches, league franchises, broadcasters, sponsors and promoters), podcast personalities, producers and studios, mobile app and game developers, and traditional and interactive media.


  • J.D., Washington University in St. Louis School of Law, 2001
  • B.A., DePauw University, 1998


  • The Missouri Bar
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri, 2001
  • State Bar of Texas

Related Industries

Representative Matters
  • Represented a national luxury retailer in high-profile promotion and advertising matters.
  • Represented a national retailer in the negotiation of multi-million dollar exclusive distribution and marketing arrangements with multi-platinum musical recording artists.
  • Represented the estate of a multi-platinum songwriter and performer in the multi-million dollar sale of his music publishing catalog.
  • Represented international toy retailers with all intellectual property and corporate matters, including trademark estate management, license negotiations, co-promotion and co-branding agreements, and retail lease agreements.
  • Represented national and international alcohol, food, and beverage companies in advertising clearance, copyright and trademark management and licensing, promotions, sponsorships, endorsements and product placement matters.
  • Represented organizations and college athletes in Name, Image & Likeness (NIL) deals and related matters.
  • Represented collegiate and professional sports organizations in negotiations of broadcast, digital and related rights.
  • Represented a major retailer in the negotiation of public performance rights with ASCAP, BMI and SESAC.
  • Represented Grammy-winning, multi-platinum musical recording artists, producers and independent record labels with respect to traditional recording, distribution and publishing agreements, as well as ancillary rights such as licensing, merchandising, touring, endorsements, film and television appearances, and cutting-edge collaborations and joint ventures with non-traditional entertainment outlets.
  • Represented children’s literary and animated properties in connection with United States and international distribution, licensing and ancillary rights matters.
  • Represented reality television show talent, competition winners and contestants in negotiations with production companies and in connection with endorsements and related agreements.
  • Represented a number of emerging recording artists in the negotiation of agreements with major record labels and music publishers.
  • Represented museums in acquisition of artifacts, works of art and related rights.
  • Featured in Best Lawyers® Texas' Best Lawyers, 2020
  • Named one of the “Best Lawyers in Dallas” by D Magazine, 2019-2022
  • Selected as one of Dallas Bar Association’s Headnotes’ “Best Series of Substantive Legal Articles: Sports and Entertainment Law,” State Bar of Texas’ Publication Committee, 2012
  • Adjunct Professor of Entertainment Law, Washington University School of Law, 2004-2009
  • Selected by attorney peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America®, 2007-2022
  • Listed in Inaugural Edition of U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers® Best Law Firms - Bell Nunnally Tier 1 ranking in the Entertainment category, 2011-2013, 2019-2022
  • Listed in Cambridge Who’s Who Registry among Executive and Professional Women, 2009
  • Selected by attorney peers for inclusion as a Super Lawyers® Texas Rising Star®, Texas Monthly, 2016-2018
  • Selected as one of Missouri Lawyers Weekly's "Up and Coming Lawyers," 2004
  • Selected as one of St. Louis Business Journal's "30 Under 30," 2002
Activities & Memberships
  • Leadership Dallas, Class of 2017-2018
  • Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation
  • The College of the State Bar of Texas
  • American Bar Association, Entertainment & Sports Law Forum
  • State Bar of Texas, Entertainment & Sports Law Section (TESLAW), Council Member, 2016-2019
  • Dallas Bar Association
  • The Missouri Bar
  • International Trademark Association (INTA)
  • Association of National Advertisers (ANA)
  • American Advertising Federation (AAF)
  • Legal OnRamp, Law Firm Member
  • Big Thought, Chair, 2020-2021, Board Member, 2016 to present
  • Business Council for the Arts, Obelisk Awards Committee Member, 2017
  • Attorneys Serving the Community
  • Dallas International Film Festival, Panel Coordinator & Moderator
  • Women in Film Dallas
  • IgniteDallas, Inaugural Event Organizer
  • St. Louis Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts, Past Board Member & Vice President
  • St. Louis Young Variety, Past Board Member & Night of the Rising Stars Charity Event Chair
  • Junior League of St. Louis, Member 2005-2007
  • 2019: "The State of the Art Law in Dallas," Panelist, Dallas Bar Association
  • 2018: "Best Legal Practices for Brands and Non-Profits Advertising on Social Media," Presenter, Texas State Bar Annual Meeting
  • 2016: "Essential Information for a Rapidly Changing World," Presenter, Bell Nunnally Client Seminar
  • 2016: “Entertainment Law Essentials,” Panelist, Dallas Producers Association – Texas Production Expo
  • 2016: “Know Your Rights,” Panelist, Dallas International Film Festival, High School Day
  • 2015: “From Book to Film,” Moderator, Dallas Bar Association Sports & Entertainment Law Section, Literary Boot Camp
  • 2013: “Social Media and the Law,” Panelist, Social Media Club of Dallas
  • 2013: “Don't Get Defensive...It’s Only Fair Use,” Presenter, Dallas Bar Association Sports & Entertainment Law Section
  • 2013: “By the Book: Legal Issues in Filmmaking,” Moderator, Dallas International Film Festival
  • 2013: “A Filmmaker's Guide to Entertainment Law,” Panelist, Dallas Producers Association
  • 2012: “Dallas Artist Sues Over Song: 'Someone Stole It From Me',” interview by Debbie Denmon, News 8 at 6:00, WFAA-TV
  • 2011: "Social Media Legal Issues in Not-For-Profits," Presenter, Dallas Bar Association, Non-Profit Entity Study Group
  • 2011 & 2010: "Filmmaking and the Law," Panel Moderator, Dallas International Film Festival
  • 2010: "Advertising Law Overview," Presenter, Bell Nunnally Corporate Transaction Series
  • 2010: South by Southwest Music Conference (SXSW), Panelist, Austin, Texas
  • 2008: “Bloggers’ Rights: Protecting Your Intellectual Property,” Panelist, PLAY:stl Inter:Play Conference, St. Louis, Missouri
  • 2008: “The Latest on Consumer Privacy Issues,” Presenter, Preventing Lawsuits and Violations in Advertising and Promotions, National Business Institute Seminar, St. Louis, Missouri
  • 2006: South by Southwest Music Conference (SXSW), Panelist, Austin, Texas
  • 2006: “How to Negotiate,” Presenter, Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators, Children's Writers Conference, St. Louis, Missouri
  • 2006: “Dealing With the Lawyer,” Panelist, St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase, Filmmaking 101 Seminar, St. Louis, Missouri, July 22, 2006
  • 2006: “Weird Issues in Copyright Law,” presented with Julie Jennings and Michael A. Kahn, Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis
  • 2006: South by Southwest Music Conference (SXSW), Panelist, Austin, Texas
  • 2005: “Women-Owned Business Enterprise Certification: Is It Right for Your Business?,” St. Louis Small Business Monthly
  • 2004: “Cautionary Legal Advice for Performers Who Become Stars/American Idols,” interview by John Pertzborn and Margie Ellisor, Fox 2 News in the Morning, KTVI-TV
  • 2004: Hip Hop Congress National Convention, Panelist, St. Louis, Missouri
  • 2004: MECA Music Conference, Panelist, Chicago, Illinois
  • 2004: “What's Wrong with American Idol?,” interview with Bob Baker by Jamie Allman, Extra Edition, KMOV-TV (CBS)
  • 2004: “Federal Anti-Spam Law,” interview by Art Holliday, Today in St. Louis, KSDK-TV (NBC)
  • 2003: “Music Law Crash Course:  What Every Musician Should Know,” Instructor, St. Louis Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts’ Music Workshop Series
  • 2003, 2004: Nashville New Music Conference (2NMC), Presenter and Panelist, Nashville, Tennessee
  • 2003: “Independent Music Conference (IMC),” Mentor, Panelist and Workshop Instructor, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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