Allen Grubman

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Allen J. Grubman
Alma mater
OccupationEntertainment lawyer[1]
Years active1967–present
SpouseDebbie Grubman
ChildrenLizzie Grubman and Jennifer Grubman Rothenberg

Allen J. Grubman is an American entertainment lawyer.

Early life[edit]

Grubman was born in and grew up in Crown Heights, in Brooklyn, New York.[2][3][4] He attended City College of New York, where he earned a BBA[5] While attending Brooklyn Law School, where he earned a J.D., he worked in the mailroom at the William Morris Agency and as a CBS page.[2]


After graduating from Brooklyn Law School in 1967, he wrote various lawyers asking for a job. When an attorney named Walter Hofer met with him, he recalled: "I didn't know what to say, so I tried to get him to like me. I said, 'I really want to work for you, but I don't come from a very wealthy family, so I can't afford to pay you very much to hire me.'"[4] Hofer hired him to work in his music law firm as an associate for $125-per-week ($1,100 in current dollar terms).[2][4][6][7]

Grubman subsequently started his own business. In the 1970s, he signed obscure disco artists who later became popular, and thereafter he signed a number of stars.[2] Grubman started a firm with fellow Brooklyn Law School graduates Paul Schindler ('71) and Arthur Indursky ('67) in 1974, and upon Schindler's departure the firm was known as Grubman Indursky & Shire.[2][4] In 1982 he landed one of his biggest clients, Bruce Springsteen.[2] His clients include superstars and top record companies and their executives.[2] In 2005, the firm had grown to 30 attorneys.[8]

In 1992 Business Week reported that Grubman was considered "the most powerful lawyer in the music business."[2] In 2001, Newsweek called him "perhaps the music industry's wealthiest and most powerful attorney".[9]

His clients have included Springsteen, Madonna, U2, John Mellencamp, Rod Stewart, Sean "Puffy" Combs, Luther Vandross, Elton John, Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey, and Andrew Lloyd Webber.[10][11]

In May 2020, the hacker group REvil claimed to have hacked and downloaded a huge amount data from Grubman's law firm, and demanded $42 million ransom to prevent release of data.[12][13] In 2022, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the Ahmet Ertegun Award category for negotiating ground-breaking long-term agreements for his clients that allow them to maintain creative control of their work.[14]


Daughter Lizzie Grubman

After graduating from law school, he met his first wife, Yvette Fischer Grubman.[15] She divorced him in 1988 after 19 years of marriage, and died of cancer in 2001 at the age of 58.[16]

They had two daughters, their elder being Lizzie Grubman, a celebrity publicist. Their younger daughter Jennifer Grubman Rothenberg holds a BA from Boston University and a J.D. from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, is President of Innovative Philanthropy, and is a member of the Board of Directors of Cardozo Law School.[16][17][18][19][20]

Grubman remarried in 1991, at the New York Public Library.[19] His second wife is Debbie Grubman (née Haimoff), a Manhattan real-estate broker.[21][22][23] He is Jewish.[24]


  1. ^ "Allen J. Grubman". Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Music Rap: The Case Against Allen Grubman". Business Week. November 1, 1992. Archived from the original on June 29, 2012. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  3. ^ "Lebron's Lawyer Delivers the Media and Society Lecture". December 1, 2010. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d Patrick Goldstein (December 20, 1998). "The Wheeler-Dealer of Rock 'n' Roll". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  5. ^ "Allen J. Grubman Lawyer Profile". August 10, 2010. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  6. ^ Fredric Dannen (2011). Hit Men: Power Brokers and Fast Money Inside the Music Business. Random House. ISBN 9780307802088.
  7. ^ "Media & Society Lecture – Reflections on a Career in Entertainment Law with Allen Grubman '67". October 27, 2010. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  8. ^ Elizabeth Guider (November 10, 2005). "Legal eagle Grubman makes Shire a partner". Variety. Retrieved October 25, 2013.
  9. ^ Newsweek. 2001.
  10. ^ "The Wheeler-Dealer of Rock 'n' Roll; With Clients Such As Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, U2 and Puffy Combs, Attorney Allen Grubman is the Big Macher of the Music Business". Los Angeles Times. November 22, 1998. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  11. ^ "Media & Society Lecture – Reflections on a Career in Entertainment Law with Allen Grubman '67". October 27, 2010. Retrieved October 25, 2013.
  12. ^ Sykes, Tom (May 15, 2020). "'REvil' Hackers Double Their Allen Grubman Ransom Demand To $42m, Threaten To Dump Donald Trump Dirt". The Daily Beast. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
  13. ^ Cimpanu, Catalin (May 15, 2020). "Ransomware gang asks $42m from NY law firm, threatens to leak dirt on Trump". ZDNet. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
  14. ^ "Allen Grubman: Ahmet Ertegun Award". 2022. Retrieved May 4, 2022.
  15. ^ Vanity Fair. 1991. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  16. ^ a b Mitchell Fink (August 2, 2001). "Grubman Mom Loses Cancer Battle". NY Daily News. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  17. ^ "Jennifer Rothenberg". The Washington Market School. Archived from the original on October 21, 2013. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  18. ^ "Team of Consultants". Joyful Heart Foundation. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  19. ^ a b "The Wheeler-Dealer of Rock 'n' Roll". Los Angeles Times. December 20, 1998. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  20. ^ Williams, Alex (July 30, 2001). "Reversal of Fortune". New York Magazine. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  21. ^ Williams, Alex (July 30, 2001). "Reversal of Fortune". Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  22. ^ "Vanity Fair". Condé Nast Publications. 1991. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  23. ^ Liz Smith (October 15, 1991). "She Went to Their Wedding". Newsday. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  24. ^ Havens, Lyndsey (November 6, 2022). "John Mellencamp Decries Antisemitism At Rock Hall Induction: 'Silence Is Complicity'". Billboard. Retrieved November 7, 2022.