Derek C Crownover

Derek C. Crownover

Member and Entertainment Law Practice Group Chair

Mr. Crownover is the Practice Leader for Dickinson Wright's Entertainment Law practice, counseling various entertainment and media executives and company owners. He represents some of the hottest songwriters, publishers and producers in the country as well as some the most active entrepreneurs in the entertainment and IP sectors in the South. He works with each client as a “primary care physician” of sorts assisting with LLC funding deals, real estate sales, asset purchase agreements, recording agreements, audits, employment agreements as well as tax and wills and trusts matters.

He is “go-to” counsel for mid-sized publishing companies, indy record labels, songwriters and artists who own their copyrights, and mid-sized worldwide publishing administration companies, advising each on licensing, lawsuits, and liability issues daily. His music clients have sold over 450 million records.

Education & Credentials


Auburn University

B.A., 1990
  • Academic All-SEC shortstop, 1989

University of Tennessee College of Law

J.D., 1994
  • Founder and President, Sports and Entertainment Law Society
  • Winner, Ray Jenkins Trial Competition

Bar Admission

  • Tennessee(all state and federal courts)
  • New York


  • Listed in Chambers USA
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America
  • Named a "Best Lawyer in Entertainment Law," Smith and Naifeh's Best Lawyers and Best Law Firms, 2009-present
  • Named a "Super Lawyer," Mid South Super Lawyers
  • Selected “Best of Bar” by Nashville Business Journal

Professional Involvement

  • Nashville Bar Association
    • Entertainment and Sports Law Section
    • Corporate Section
  • Tennessee Bar Association
    • Entertainment and Sports Law Section
  • Country Music Association, Voting Member (1996-present)
  • Copyright Society of the South, Member

Community Involvement

  • Pro Bono Counsel for The New Children First Montessori Community School, 2013-present
  • Former adjunct professor of entertainment law at the Curb Music Business School at Belmont University in Nashville
  • T.J. Martell Foundation, Nashville Counsel, 1996-present
  • T.J. Martell Foundation, National Counsel, 2012-present
  • T.J. Martell Foundation, National Board, 2011-present
  • Ministry Incubators, Counsel, 2013-present
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