Leif Cervantes de Reinstein is a partner in the firm’s prestigious Entertainment, Technology and Advertising Practice Group, which was recently ranked in the top tier by both Chambers USA and the Legal 500 U.S. He resides in the Century City (Los Angeles) office, and serves as a firm diversity & inclusion leader.
Areas of Practice
Leif is a recognized entertainment lawyer for all business transactions related to content creation. He has practiced media law for over 25 years. As a Spanish speaker having lived all over the world, Leif counsels his global clientele on film & TV finance, co-production & licensing agreements, development & production issues, and programming distribution & rights exploitation deals. He is particularly expert in and passionate about scripted television and streaming. Leif also makes groundbreaking deals for both award winning docu-content and blockbuster reality shows. Mr. Cervantes de Reinstein previously worked as an M&A attorney at a global Wall Street firm, a talent lawyer, and the head of a business/legal unit in-house at European-owned Fremantle. Thus, having sat at all sides of the table, he is known for his well-informed 360° advice. Leif adds value to in-house teams with his prowess in high stakes negotiations, operational and risk management advice, access to his industry relationships, and marketplace strategy.
Mr. Cervantes de Reinstein represents major studios, streamers and networks, plus the lion’s share of mini-major studios and independent production companies in the entertainment industry. He also advises many of the most successful U.K., E.U. and Asian companies producing for the American market. Additionally, as advertisers seek new avenues for attracting consumers and amplifying their brands, Leif frequently acts as a conduit between Hollywood and the Fortune 1000 advertising world.
In collaboration with Sheppard Mullin’s renowned corporate media practice, Leif further leads entertainment legal teams on content-related mergers and acquisitions; handles media and intellectual property-based investment agreements and joint ventures; and negotiates unique co-financing and equity arrangements, all as clients seek to diversify or scale up.
Born and raised in LA and a European Union citizen, Leif is a Hollywood insider and multi-lingual authority on the media business worldwide. Mr. Cervantes de Reinstein provides pragmatic, holistic counsel at all stages of the content pipeline - from business planning and company capitalization; through to intellectual property acquisition, creative development and on-screen fruition; and finally with monetization strategies towards his clients’ long-term success.
Leif is a member of the firm's Out at Sheppard LGBTQ Group.
- Negotiated groundbreaking hybrid overall/production services deal for over 20 series with major studio/streamer on behalf of prolific indie studio
- Represented diverse-run exhibitor in overall agreement/joint venture with equity component for a new sub-studio involving a multi-hyphenate talent
- Entertainment counsel on Sony’s acquisition of unscripted company, Industrial Media, and Lionsgate’s purchase of eOne.
- Outside counsel to Paramount+ with Showtime and MTV Entertainment Studios for Taylor Sheridan universe shows
- Recently led negotiations for clients’ licensing their content to Netflix, Amazon, Apple TV+, Max (formerly HBO Max), Fox, The CW, CBS, Peacock, Onyx Collective/Disney, and Sky Studios (U.K.)
- Strategic adviser to Fremantle on scripted television and feature films, including major overall deals and Angelina Jolie’s “Without Blood” movie
- Co-counsel on various library acquisition deals for investment funds and mini-major studios
- Counseled prestigious U.K. production company in co-production and licensing deal with major streamer
- U.S. business affairs head for Canadian, Korean, Spanish, Mexican, Greek, Italian, Scandinavian and other international production companies
- Represented creators of Tiger King for one of the largest docu-series deals ever made
- Negotiated unique joint venture for e-commerce merchandising platform tied to on-screen product placements in scripted TV programming
- Structured payroll services partnership between Hollywood giant and professional outsourcing technology company
- Advised various media start-ups including a skyrocketing indie studio now valued close to $1 billion after only 5 years; a new management company venture; and a kids & family programming enterprise between an upstart LA media house and an educator
- Hollywood deal whisperer to major candy company, connective fitness behemoth, toy manufacturer and top New York publishing titan.
Top Entertainment Attorney, Variety's Legal Impact Report, 2020-2021, 2023
Top Entertainment Attorney, Variety's Dealmakers List, 2020
Recommended Lawyer for Media, Technology and Telecoms – Media and Entertainment: Transactional, Legal 500 US, 2020-2023
Top 100 Power Lawyer, Corporate Entertainment, The Hollywood Reporter, 2019
Southern California Super Lawyer, Super Lawyer, 2015-2018
Entertainment Law Blog
- Deadline, 05.05.2020
- 101 Studios To Make Movie On OxyContin Crisis & Role Sackler Family’s Purdue Pharma Played In Hiding It,Deadline, 01.23.2020
- Deadline, 01.15.2020
- 'Paradise Found’: 101 Studios & ‘The Rookie’ Producer Mark Ciardi Team For Story Of High School Football Team That Gave California Town Hope After 2018 Camp FireDeadline, 12.10.2019
- Deadline, 11.13.2019
- Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia’s Seven Bucks to Produce Inspirational Sports Film ‘Unstoppable’ With 101 StudiosDeadline, 11.06.2019
- Broadway World, 08.12.2019
- Deadline, 08.09.2019
- 'Yellowstone’ Producer 101 Studios To Develop Series On ’80s Designer Denim Battle Pitting Guess Vs. Jordache,Deadline, 08.09.2019
- Business Wire, 10.23.2018
- Panelist, Presentation to Paramount Global, Hot Topics in Hollywood: Solicitation Laws, Artificial Intelligence, Strike Updates and Branded Content, July 25, 2023
- Panelist, Sheppard Mullin Ad Law Symposium, From Barbie to Breathsavers: Brands Go To Hollywood, May 16, 2023
- Panelist, Rightsholders in the Evolving Film/TV Industry, Duke Law Sports and Entertainment Law Society Symposium, January 17, 2020
- Panelist, "Video/TV/Movies: Redefining Video Distribution: The Melting Pot of OTT, Cable and Linear Television," Digital Entertainment World Expo (DEW), February 4, 2019
Girls Inc. of Los Angeles (Charitable Organization Partner)
Coalition Against Slavery and Human Trafficking (C.A.S.T.) (Pro Bono Client)
San Diego Humane Society Animal Shelter (Pro Bono Client)
Christopher Street West Association and LA Pride (Pro Bono Client)
Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (Pro Bono Client)
The Trevor Project (Former Lifeline Counselor)
Foreign Language Bio
J.D., Duke University School of Law, 1997
B.A., Duke University, 1994, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa