Leif Cervantes de Reinstein is a partner in the firm’s prestigious Entertainment and Digital Media Practice Group in the Century City office. Leif also heads his group’s and office’s diversity & inclusion efforts.
Areas of Practice
Leif is a leading entertainment lawyer for all business transactions related to television, digital and feature films. In 2020, he was named a Top Entertainment Attorney by both Variety's Legal Impact and Dealmakers Impact Reports, and a Legal 500 US Recommended Lawyer for Media, Technology and Telecoms – Media and Entertainment: Transactional. He has a strong focus in all commercial and legal aspects of film finance, development, production and distribution, plus an expertise in “prestige” scripted TV and streamed programming. Having previously worked in corporate M&A, as a talent attorney, and in-house at Fremantle, Leif is a "go-to" outside general counsel and business affairs lawyer who provides 360° advice. Film studios newly entering the television marketplace or TV companies now making motion pictures hire Leif to advise them on new content areas, particularly as the industry moves towards hybridization. Leif adds value to his clients’ businesses by providing them with commercial dealmaking prowess, business operations advice, risk management in a complex world, leveraging of his industry relationships, and general market strategy.
Some of Leif’s major clients are ViacomCBS, including Showtime, Paramount Network, and Nickelodeon; his longstanding client Fremantle; 101 Studios for which he is outside head of business and legal affairs; and other prominent mini-majors like CAA-backed wiip, eOne, Roadside Attractions, Media Res, Escape Artists, Participant Media, Sister, Black Bear Pictures and the Emmy Award-nominated producers of Tiger King.
Leif also works closely with advertisers in the content space, including Hasbro, The Hershey Company, Vevo, apparel company Fear of God, Elizabeth and James, influencer marketing agency Social Chain, the Bumble dating app, and digital educational and learning solutions platform, Age of Learning.
In collaboration with the firm’s corporate group, Leif also leads media teams on mergers and acquisitions; handles entertainment-related investment agreements and joint ventures; and negotiates groundbreaking U.S. and overseas television and SVOD licenses, co-production and co-financing arrangements. In this capacity, he has worked with EndemolShine Group, Miramax, Lionsgate/STARZ, and ICM Partners. Recently, Leif led a team for 101’s joint venture with Authentic Brands Group to form Sports Illustrated Studios.
Throughout his nearly 25 year career, Leif has been at the forefront of digital media. He has worked with new media companies since the Internet’s inception and, while in-house, led programming initiatives for Fremantle’s digital unit. He has since parlayed that experience into advising streaming exhibitors like Amazon, Apple TV+ and Netflix from their earliest stages of content studio organization. Leif also worked on structuring the Britbox platform and closely counsels Awesomeness and Soul Pancake. Leif is at the bleeding edge of the VOD business helping clients to construct original content and subsequent window deals, including made-for-SVOD motion pictures, PVOD distribution of theatrical films and licensing deals at all of the major platforms.
Some of Leif’s current and historical small-screen projects include the following critical and commercial hits: Two and a Half Men, True Blood, Six Feet Under, the CSI franchise, Yellowstone, Dickinson, The Power, Magic the Gathering, We Are Who We Are, UnReal, American Idol, America's Got Talent, Billions, Penny Dreadful, The New Pope, Servant, Mosquito Coast, The Rookie, When They See Us, American Gods, Station 11, The L Word (both original and reboot), How I Met Your Mother, and Twin Peaks.
Leif has also worked on recent feature films like Mortal Kombat, Bullet Train, the Alien movie universe, the Scream franchise, Halloween, The War with Grandpa, Rocketman, The Current War, La Belle Epoque, Burden, the Coen Brothers' The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Under the Silver Lake, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, and the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before franchise.
Born and raised in Los Angeles and also a European Union citizen, Leif is a Hollywood insider and multi-lingual authority on the content business worldwide. He prides himself on informed, holistic counsel at all stages of the pipeline - from business planning and company capitalization; through to intellectual property acquisition, creative development and on-screen fruition; and in turn to counseling on entertainment product monetization strategies to help his clients achieve long-term success.
Leif is a member of the firm's Out at Sheppard LGBTQ Group.
Top Entertainment Attorney, Variety's Legal Impact Report, 2020-2021
Top Entertainment Attorney, Variety's Dealmakers List, 2020
Legal 500 US Recommended Lawyer for Media, Technology and Telecoms – Media and Entertainment: Transactional, 2020
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, 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
- The Power of Creativity and Influence, February 4-5, 2019
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)
J.D., Duke University School of Law, 1997
B.A., Duke University, 1994, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa