- Oct 11, 2014
- By WSAATL Writer
- In Awardees
- Comments Off on Denice Brown
Denise Brown Henderson has enjoyed a highly successful career as an entertainment attorney. Born and raised in Buffalo, New York, she was trained as a classical pianist and had aspirations to be a concert pianist. However, after earning a Bachelor of Science degree in the music business from New York University and a law degree from Brooklyn Law School, her aspirations soon shifted.
Her first job as a lawyer was on Wall Street as an associate with Lewis & Clarkson in 1986. She was also a special assistant with TLC Group, an LBO company. She couldn’t have joined at a more opportune time. Reginald Lewis, the senior partner of the firm and the principal of TLC Group, had just completed his first leveraged buyout, the hugely successful acquisition of The McCall Pattern Company, which, when sold, resulted in a 90 to 1 return for its investors. Denise also worked on Lewis’ next project, the $1.2 billion acquisition of the international division of Beatrice. It was the largest off-shore leveraged buyout in U.S. history. While working for Reginald Lewis, Denise not only honed her negotiation skills, but learned the mix between law and business.
In 1988, she joined the entertainment firm of Minter Gay & Brown as an associate. After spending two years there, she was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug. Eager for greater personal growth and financial rewards, in 1991 she started her own practice, and she became counsel to Levine, Thall & Plotkin, a full service entertainment firm. While there, she continued to build an exciting, cutting edge practice, building long term relationships with fledgling artists, producers, songwriters and other creative talent. As these clients became very successful, Denise’s reputation as a lawyer and developer of talent grew.
In 1993, she became a partner at Mayer, Katz, Baker, Leibowitz & Roberts, P.C. That firm was one of the longest established entertainment firms and represented major institutional clients for over 25 years as well as significant individual clients. During her tenure at the firm, Denise gained a solid reputation as a dealmaker – one with a sense of fairness when negotiating.
Because of her reputation as an attorney who identified and developed creative talent and executives, in 1995 she was recruited by Warner Bros. to restructure and oversee a record division in Los Angeles. During her four years as Senior Vice President, she recruited and managed executive talent in addition to signing and developing award winning artists.
Denise resumed her law practice after a two year sabbatical. Fairness, empowerment and loyalty are ideals that Denise has always incorporated into her management style and she continues to do so as she services her client roster. Denise was elected to the Board of Governors for the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and she served in the New York Chapter.
Of particular note, Denise enrolled in Immanuel Theological Seminary in 2008 where she received a Bachelor of Science and Masters degree in Bible. She is currently working toward her doctorate degree.
In April, 2012, she married Pastor Stephon “Ray” Henderson and took on a new role as a “first lady”. She is also the proud mother of Rahsaan Elijah and Tylese Geneva.
She was recently honored by ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) as part of their Women In Music Series. This October she will be inducted into the Hall of Fame of BESLA (Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association). She is a sought after speaker both in Christian and Entertainment arenas.
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