Gabrielle J. Sellei

Gabrielle Sellei’s practice covers a wide range of business-related matters for clients, ranging from sole proprietorships and professionals to midsize entrepreneurial businesses, to whom she provides comprehensive legal and business counseling. In addition, Gabrielle represents many clients in the arts, entertainment, sports and affiliated industries, and has successfully negotiated and completed deals for television appearances, video games, documentary film rights, sports exhibition matches and celebrity endorsements, literary rights and the resolution of copyright and other intellectual property infringement claims.

Recent arts, entertainment, sports-related matters include:

  • negotiation of life story rights resulting in option purchase by team led by recent Academy Award® winning director
  • representation of multiple authors with respect to all literary rights (including book-to-film, foreign language/translation and e-book rights), vis-à-vis publishers, literary, foreign and talent agents, and other parties
  • counsel to start-up basketball agency, regarding entity formation, intellectual property, licensing, and contractual matters
  • resolution of claims on behalf of award-winning photographer against multiple infringing parties
  • counsel to independent film production company in connection with television bio-pic concerning the life of a significant scientist
  • representation of celebrity contestant on popular television program “Dancing With the Stars”
  • negotiation of an appearance by a well-known sports personality on a popular U.K.-based reality television program
  • representation of a sculptor commissioned by both the City of Philadelphia and the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority to create significant public artworks
  • negotiation of multi-year sports commentating agreements with cable television sports networks in US and UK, on behalf of on-air talent
  • successful negotiation with both literary agency and publisher for sale of rights to important non-fiction public policy work, on behalf of author
  • successful defense and settlement of claims of copyright infringement brought by a photographer against a Philadelphia-based performing arts company
  • licensing of the name, image and likeness of a well-known personality and civil rights activist to a multinational credit card issuer in connection with an affinity credit card
  • representation of “talent” with respect to numerous endorsement and spokesperson matters, internet/television campaigns, and documentary film productions
  • successful resolution of claims of trademark infringement brought by Fortune 100 company against a Philadelphia talent agency and artist
  • representation of a well-known public figure with respect to speaking engagements, television and radio, and other public appearances
  • License of name, likeness and image of iconic athlete to EA Sports for use in multi-platform video game

Recent business-related matters include:

  • primary outside counsel to nationwide health care consulting practice, responsible for contractual, intellectual property, governance and risk management matters
  • represent inventor and licensor of revolutionary polyurethane formula with medical/veterinary, aerospace, consumer goods and other applications
  • personal counsel to principal of one of Philadelphia’s largest construction firms
  • led legal team in connection with purchase of US-based entity from Chinese state news service, Xinhua
  • representation of a start-up medical device company, including guidance regarding key hires and angel investor issues, and negotiation of prototype development agreement
  • successful negotiation of physician-practice agreements for multiple physician clients working in a variety of medical settings
  • negotiation of multiple reseller agreements for telecommunications hardware distributor
  • corporate restructuring of an automobile dealership in connection with key personnel changes
  • amicable resolution of protracted “business divorce” among founding members of a financial services firm
  • management of trademark portfolio of an intellectual property holding company
  • advice and counsel to a start-up software company in connection with appropriate entity structure, and preparation of operating agreement, employment and independent contractor agreements and restrictive covenant agreements with all parties
  • restructuring of affiliated real estate development and management companies to minimize tax and liability exposures

Gabrielle is a sought after speaker on copyright, contracts, start-ups, non-profit entities and other legal issues affecting artists, entertainers and entrepreneurs.  Past teaching and speaking engagements include Drexel University’s Entertainment & Arts Management program, the Philadelphia Bar Institute’s (PBI) Real Estate Institute, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Moore College of Art & Design, University of Pennsylvania Law School, The Center for Emerging Visual Artists, as well as numerous business, networking and arts organizations.  Gabrielle conceived and served as course planner and faculty member of PBI’s popular “Off to a Good Start (Up) continuing legal education program. She is a past member of the Boards of Directors of Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, The Clay Studio in Philadelphia and the Storybook Musical Theater in Abington, PA.

A graduate of Boston University School of Law and Wesleyan University, Gabrielle practiced labor, employment and corporate law in two large Philadelphia law firms following graduation from law school. Immediately prior to joining Semanoff Ormsby Greenberg & Torchia, LLC, Gabrielle was an attorney in the corporate and securities law department of a Fortune 100 company based in Philadelphia. Prior to attending law school, Gabrielle was a consultant to artists and fine arts galleries throughout New England.

Recent Articles

Off-loading risk: How your legal adviser can help minimize risk
Smart Business Magazine, May 2014

Paid vs. unpaid interns: Unpaid Interns could be costly if you’re doing it wrong
Smart Business Magazine, September 2013

Benefiting Business: How a benefit corporation can assist for-profit companies with sustainable values,
Smart Business Magazine, February 2012

Recent Speaking Engagements

Off to a Good Start (Up): Representing the Start-up from Formation to Financing (Course planner and faculty) Pennsylvania Bar Institute (December 4, 2014 and December 9, 2014 anticipated)

Recent Amendments to the Rules of Professional Conduct (Course planner) Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board) Huntingdon Valley, PA (June 12, 2014 anticipated)

Representing the LGBT Client in Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Bar Institute (May 20, 2014)

Intellectual Property and Corporate Lawyering Practitioners Panel, University of Pennsylvania Law School (November 6, 2013; December 14, 2012; December 16, 2011; November 17, 2010)

Unpaid Interns – How To Do It Right In The Black Swan Era (Webinar), Pennsylvania Bar Institute (November 19, 2013)

Off to a Good Start (Up): Representing the Start-up from Formation to Financing
(Course planner and faculty), Pennsylvania Bar Institute (December 3, 2012 & December 11, 2012)

CLE with the Phillies: Protecting the IP Rights of Players/Sports Teams, Pennsylvania Bar Institute (July 25, 2011)

With Friends Like This: Issues in Real Property Ownership Among Unmarried Individuals, Pennsylvania Bar Institute/13th Annual Real Estate Institute (December 3, 2009 & December 4, 2009)

Financial Fitness Panel Discussion, Women in Insurance and Financial Services (June 17, 2008)

Taking Flight:  Getting Your Business Off the Ground, Women in Insurance and Financial Services (April 17, 2008)

With Friends Like This: Issues in Real Property Ownership Among Unmarried Individuals, Pennsylvania Bar Institute/10th Annual Real Estate Institute  (December 7, 2006 & December 8, 2006)

The Art of the Deal: What Every Artist Should Know About Contracts, The Center for Emerging Visual Artists (September 21, 2006)

The Art of the Deal: What Every Artist Should Know About Contracts (and Copyright, too!), Artists’ Guild of Delaware County (November 14, 2005)

The Art of the Deal: What Every Artist Should Know About Contracts, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (April 16, 2005; February 21, 2004; November 21, 2000; March 29, 2000; February 17, 1999)

Copyright: What Every Artist Needs to Know, Creative Artists Network (September 18, 2003)

Direct Dialogue: Legal Issues for Artists, Philadelphia Art Alliance (January 9, 2003)

Music Business Boot Camp: Business Formation for Artists, Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (August 7, 2002)

The Art of the Deal: What Every Arts Manager Should Know About Contracts, Drexel University – Graduate Arts Administration Program (May 8, 2002; May 23, 2001; April 12, 2000)

Craft & Copyright: What Every Artist Needs to Know, Buyers Market of American Craft, Pennsylvania Convention Center (February 16, 2001)

The Art of the Deal: What Every Artist Should Know About Contracts, Moore College of Art & Design (December 4, 2000)

Protecting Yourself/Protecting Your Art, Main Line Art Center (October 14, 1999)

Independent Contractor or Employee?  Minority Arts Resource Council, Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (October 27, 1997)

501(c)(3) Status: An Overview –or– Everything You Wanted to Know About Tax Exempt Status, and Much Too Much More, The Furniture Society (May 14, 1997)

Finding a Market for Your Art (alumnae reunion speaker), Moore College of Art & Design (May 11, 1996)


Philadelphia Life 2013 Awesome Attorney:  Business Law; Sports and Entertainment Law

Suburban Life 2013 Awesome Attorney:  Business Law; Sports and Entertainment Law

Recognized by Philadelphia Bar Association for pro bono work with Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, April 5, 2001