Michael B. Kent
A founding partner of Kent, Beatty & Gordon, Michael brings a rich, diverse background to his practice that includes real estate, commercial litigation and arbitration, business counseling and advice, as well as entertainment law.
Michael began his career almost forty years ago at a small, politically influential New York law firm. In 1981, he opened his own practice, which subsequently evolved into Kent, Beatty & Gordon, LLP. Over the years, Michael has served as litigation counsel in several high profile matters ranging from the Iran-United States Claim Tribunal to the first major sports agency scandal. More recently, Michael headed the internal investigation of a shooting incident involving a New York-based National Football League player.
Like the other partners of Kent, Beatty & Gordon, Michael’s expertise lies in assisting clients in making difficult decisions – often outside of mainstream practice - and implementing the solutions. He is adept at identifying legal issues and practical considerations that often help his clients defuse controversial matters before they reach the courthouse – and the media.
Michael heads the firm’s real estate practice, handling commercial and residential real estate matters, including conveyances, leasing, zoning and land use, financing and construction. He is a frequent lecturer and writer on real estate law, most recently authoring “Negotiating and Drafting Restaurant Leases,” published in March of 2022 in the Lexis Practice Advisor Journal and through Law360. The article condenses Michael’s decades of experience in this area and commercial leasing generally and can be found here: Restaurant Lease Agreements (MBK) Lexis Nexis March 2022.pdf. He is also the author of the Lexis Practice Advisor Journal Note entitled "Negotiating and Drafting Restaurant Leases" (2018).
Michael’s entertainment practice is extensive, with a client list that includes prominent musicians, composers, managers and producers, among them several Grammy Award® and Academy Award® recipients.
He recently was appointed to the Advisory Board of Directors of Customers Bancorp whose subsidiary, Customer Bank, is an $11 billion state-chartered full service bank with branches and offices throughout the northeast.
Michael served as the Village Justice of Thomaston in Great Neck, New York for more than a decade, and as an adjunct professor of litigation studies at Long Island University and Mercy College.
Although proud of the many long-standing relationships he has maintained with the firm’s clients, both individual and corporate, Michael remains dedicated to nurturing new client relationships.
He is a member of the New York State Magistrates Association, the American Judges Association, the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, the Nassau County Bar Association and The American Bar Association. He is admitted to practice in New York and the District of Columbia, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, and in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
“If swords must be crossed in a court of law – so be it. But my greatest professional satisfaction is derived from fostering an environment where reason can prevail allowing my client to realize a proper and more rewarding resolution.”
Michael represented a copyright holder and co-publisher of the Academy Award® winning song “I’ve Had the Time of My Life” featured on the “Dirty Dancing” movie soundtrack.