In the entertainment business, there's one sure sign that you've made it: Allen Grubman is your lawyer. A partner at the firm Grubman Indursky & Shire, he's represented the top of the A-List. He's also the father of Lizzie Grubman and the husband of Deborah Grubman.
Born to working class parents in Crown Heights, Grubman put himself through CUNY and spent time teaching at a local elementary school before getting married and enrolling at Brooklyn Law. After finishing last in his law school class (or so he says), Grubman teamed up with Paul Schindler in 1974 to start a firm of their own and were soon joined by a third partner, Grubman's cousin, Arthur Indursky. (Legend has it Grubman's office initially consisted of a folding table and a telephone.) For nearly three decades, the firm operated as Grubman Indursky & Schindler. Following Paul Schindler's departure for Greenberg, Traurig, Larry Shire was made a name partner in 2005. Over the years, Grubman has repped some of the biggest names in town, including Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, Bruce Springsteen, Calvin Klein, , Diane Sawyer, Mariah Carey, Graydon Carter, Tommy Hilfiger, Martha Stewart, Barbara Walters, Robert De Niro, and Vera Wang.
Although Grubman started out in the music biz, the firm has expanded its practice to cover celebrities and public figures of all stripes. That said, Grubman's oversized influence in the music industry is particularly notable: Not only has he represented dozens of A-list recording artists and every major label in town, he's repped both at the same time. His unconventional practice of simultaneous representation has long been controversial—and his oversized influence in the music business has long rankled colleagues. Countless artists and labels don't seem to mind, though: They continue to pay some of the highest fees in the industry to have him on side.
Grubman wasn't in good spirits after his daughter Lizzie's July 2001 meltdown outside a nightclub in the Hamptons. Dad was the first person Lizzie called after the accident; the first call he made was to defense attorney Eddie Hayes. Lizzie ended up spending a short stint in jail following the incident, but both father and daughter spent several years settling lawsuits that were filed by people she injured. Grubman has faced high-profile personal suits before. In 1992, Billy Joel sued him for fraud, breach of contract, and conflict of interest. Joel later withdrew the suit, leaving Grubman to brag that no settlement money ever changed hands.