Philadelphia-based law firm Fox Rothschild, which entered the Twin Cities market last year by absorbing Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly, has hired Ken Abdo, the Twin Cities premiere entertainment lawyer and four other attorneys who composed the entertainment-and-IP practice at Lommen Abdo. They include veteran entertainment lawyers Paul Bezilla and Bob Donnelly.
Abdo, who approached Fox Rothschild in search of a larger platform, has a regional-to-national practice that represents clients in the legal fight over the estate of the late Prince, as well as the late Bobby Vee, Kool and the Gang, Jonny Lang, Booker T. Jones and Steven Greenberg, who wrote the disco-era anthem “Funkytown.”
Last year when Oppenheimer Wolff merged into Fox Rothschild, Ken proposed the idea of Fox establishing an entertainment law practice in Minneapolis.
“On one side my family firm has been very supportive and had provided a platform in Minnesota that was unprecedented, and I felt that we had taken it about as far as we could take it,” Abdo said. “In order to take it to another growth level we would have had to expand.”
Abdo and partners are joining a 23-member entertainment firm with a national practice, and a Minneapolis office of 87 lawyers. However, 750-lawyer Fox Rothschild is not one of the huge coastal-entertainment players. That allows Abdo lawyers to continue serving emerging musicians who can’t afford coastal mega-firm legal fees of $600-to-$1,000 an hour.
This was a bittersweet parting. Lommen Abdo is the only shop for which Ken Abdo, 60, has worked.
He joined a predecessor firm, Abdo & Abdo, in 1983. Ken Abdo’s late father, John Abdo, the son of Lebanese immigrants who ran a grocery store in northeast Minneapolis, joined a small Minneapolis firm after World War II. John Abdo was the surviving name partner when his firstborn son, Robert Abdo, joined his late father in 1970, after service as an Army lawyer. Bob Abdo still practices business-and-estate law.
“We built the largest legal-entertainment practice in the Upper Midwest, largely due to Ken,” said Bob Abdo of his little brother, also a musician and singer. “He’s very industrious and well-connected. He’s on the board of the Grammy Awards. Most of that entertainment-law industry is on the coasts.”
Lommen Abdo, with about 30 lawyers in Minneapolis and Hudson, Wis., is business law-and personal-injury boutique.
Bob and Ken Abdo are brothers of Larry Abdo, owner of the Nicollet Island Inn, Gopher State Ice and other real estate and restaurant interests.