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Leslie Jose Zigel

Chair, Entertainment Law Group and Shareholder, Miami Office
Overview

Leslie José Zigel is a shareholder and Chair of Greenspoon Marder’s Entertainment practice group. Mr. Zigel focuses on both the creative and business sides of the entertainment industries in the music, television, film and new technology sectors. His practice includes counseling clients in entertainment talent negotiations, record contracts, music and book publishing, providing outside general counsel services and assisting companies with corporate structuring, financing, operations, sales and acquisitions, trademarks, copyrights and employment advice.

Music is what ultimately drew Mr. Zigel to both his chosen profession as well as his passion project—jamming with his Miami-based Grateful Dead cover band, Los Muertos, and other musician friends. Born to classical and opera enthusiast doctors, he fell in love with classic rock and started playing percussion, piano and saxophone at a very young age.

Graduating from University of Rochester (with an interdisciplinary degree between the liberal arts school and the Eastman School of Music) cum laude and relocating to New York City, he began his career at Festival Productions Inc. In addition to serving as a producer for festivals such as Newport Jazz Festival, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and Playboy Jazz Festival, he spearheaded the launch of American Express Platinum Card’s prestigious “By Invitation Only” program and served as the Marketing Director for the American Express Gold Card Events. Following a decade in the music business, he graduated cum laude from the University of Miami School of Law in 1995 where he served as Editor-in-Chief of UM’s Inter-American Law Review.

One year following graduation, Mr. Zigel joined BMG US Latin as Director of Business and Legal Affairs and was later promoted to VP, Business and Legal Affairs for the Latin American Region. As the industry changed with the advent of digital media and online file sharing, he stood at the forefront of the progression.

In 2006, Mr. Zigel branched out with his own firm ZIGLAW. He achieved accolades such as receiving Martindale-Hubbell’s “AV” Preeminent Rating and being named among Billboard Magazine’s “Super Lawyers, 50 Attorneys of Note in the Music Biz, 2014.” He would also receive mentions in Bloomberg Businessweek, Miami Herald, and Rochester Review and make multiple expert appearances on both Univision and Telemundo.

Representing artists, media companies, and executives, his current clients include numerous international pop musicians, and business clients Endemol Shine Latino, Peace Love World, Zumba, and Terra.com, to name a few. Notably, he has orchestrated partnerships for his clients with major soda brands, beer brands, and structured equity ownership deals with restaurant chains, vodka and sake brands. Continuing to tenaciously expand his clients’ brands, 2015 saw him become partner at Greenspoon Marder and the firm’s Chair of Entertainment Law.

Bar Admissions

  • Florida

Education

  • J.D., University of Miami School of Law, cum laude, 1995
    • Editor-in-Chief, Inter-American Law Review
  • B.A., University of Rochester, cum laude, 1985
    • Sociological Study of the Music Industry

Other Languages

  • Spanish
Experience

Representative Clients

  • Various high profile recording artists and songwriters in their dealings with record and publishing companies, endorsement deals, national and international touring, equity deals with spirits, energy, online, sound equipment and technology, credit card/debit card offerings and global restaurant franchises
  • An award-winning music producer of television music for various series including the Latin American versions of Desperate Housewives, Golden Girls and Grey’s Anatomy in Latin America
  • Various high profile actors, sports and news anchors in both English and Spanish language television including winners of the non-scripted television series the Apprentice (NBC) and Design Star (HGTV), Designed to Sell (HGTV), Miami Social (Bravo), Housewives of Miami (Bravo), MTV/VH1 Reality Series, Spanish Telenovela stars and two former Miss Universe actresses and singers
  • An award-winning Latin television producer whose credits include the Latin American versions of Golden Girls, Who Wants to be A Millionaire and The Amazing Race
  • Outside Counsel to the largest global fitness company
  • Outside Counsel to the top four non-scripted reality television format companies for US Latin and Latin American markets
  • Outside Counsel for the largest all-Telenovela international cable network
  • Television production companies producing live television concert series, non-scripted reality television programs, Network specials (CBS), a PBS jazz television and radio series with numerous ancillary digital and physical product lines
  • One of the foremost music business entrepreneurs in a television joint venture project on the history of recorded music with Quincy Jones and Phil Ramone
  • Outside general counsel to independent record labels and publishing companies
  • The US Licensee to the top Mexican Wrestling League
  • Various digital distribution companies, Internet portals and Social Networking companies
  • Sophisticated corporate transactions including representation of an independent television production and distribution company’s sale to a major television network, high level executive employment agreement for the company’s principal and a reverse merger into a public shell of a national Emergency TV/Satellite/Internet Network
  • Voice Over actor for high profile animated series
  • Prominent Performing Arts centers
  • Foreign concert promoters for negotiation of live concert agreements
  • Live family arena shows
  • Various high profile visual artists
  • A concert merchandising company
  • Acquisition of a large percentage of a talking doll manufacturer
  • Loan facility for a newly created television network
  • Preparation of numerous private placement memorandums for independent film, television and web-based projects on behalf of producers
  • Negotiate on behalf of investor clients acquisition of shares in numerous media-related projects
  • Major Network Music Video Channel on copyright licensing and royalty issues in Latin America
  • Various high level executive employment agreements for television network presidents, Sr. VPs, EVPs and major national radio personalities

Professional and Community Involvement

  • University of Miami, President’s Council, 2017
  • Phil Collins Little Dreams Foundation, Board Member, 2015-present
  • National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, Board Member, 2005-2008
  • National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Board Member, 2005-2007
  • Latin Entertainment Industry for City of Hope, Executive Committee Member, 2003-2005
  • Florida Bar, Entertainment, Arts & Sports Law Section, Executive Counsel Member, 2003-2005
  • Florida Bar, Entertainment, Art & Sports Law Section, Member, 1995-Present
  • City of Miami Beach Visitor & Convention Authority Board, Board Member, 2002-2008
  • National Institute of Entertainment & Media Law, Southwestern University School of Law, Advisory Board Member, 2000-Present
  • ABA Forum on the Entertainment & Sports Industries,Governing Board Member,
    • Annual Meeting Planning Committee and Program Chair, 1995-1999
  • ABA Forum on the Entertainment & Sports Industries Annual Meeting
    • Florida Bar Entertainment and Sports Law Conferences
    • Practicing Law Institute Entertainment Law Conference

Videos

  • http://grantcardonetv.com/video/yourrockstarbusiness/legally-cool/

Speaking Engagements

  • Panelist, “Show Me The Money,” Billboard Latin Music Conference, April 25, 2017
  • Speaker, “The Winner for Best Music (Original Song Score) is….Beyond Simple Sync Deals,” Southeast Sound: Music Law Conference, Septmeber 24, 2016
  • Speaker, “Innovative Technologies Disrupting Digital Music,” eMerge Americas, April 2016
  • Panelist, “Presidential Campaigns, Politics, Presidential Leadership and Television: The American Odyssey,” International Legal Symposium, April 2016
  • Lecturer, Florida Bar Entertainment & Sport’s Lawyer’s Conference, March 2008, 2009, 2013 and 2014
  • Lecturer, Winter Music Conference, March 2009
  • Lecturer, ABA Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries, October 2008
  • Lecturer, Billboard Latin Music Conference, April 2008
  • Lecturer, University of Miami/ABA/ELI Seminar, March 2008
  • Lecturer, Florida Bar Law and the Creative Industries Seminar, February 2008
  • Lecturer, Florida Bar Entertainment & Sport’s Lawyer’s Conference, March 2006
  • Lecturer, “Financial Wellness: Practical Business Advice For Music Professionals,” NARAS Music Industry Summit, June 23, 2005
  • Florida Bar Entertainment & Sports Lawyer’s Conference, May 2003
  • Billboard Latin Music Conference, May 2003
  • Florida Bar Entertainment & Sports Lawyer’s Conference, April 2003
  • Copyright Society of the U.S.A., Mid-Winter Meeting, February 2003
  • Latin Alternative Music Conference, 2002
  • Forum on the Entertainment & Sports Industries, Annual Meeting, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2002
  • Florida Bar Entertainment and Sports Lawyer Annual Meeting, February 2002
  • United States Copyright Office International Symposium on the Effect of Technology on Copyright and Related Rights, November 2001
  • University of Miami School of Law Entertainment Law Class, 1998-1999

Television Appearances

  • Featured, “My Life is a Telenovela,” WE tv, October 14, 2016
  • Interview in Spanish, Univision and Telemundo coverage on the Michael Jackson’s estate after his death
  • Interview in Spanish, Univision’s “Aqui y Ahora” News Magazine Story on the Paparazzi
  • Interview in Spanish, Univision’s “Escandolo” News Magazine Story on Superstar Artists run-ins with the law
  • Interview in Spanish, CNN en Espanol regarding the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) lawsuits against illegal downloaders of music

Awards

Recognitions

  • Martindale-Hubbell, Rated AV Preeminent®
  • U.S. News & World Report, Best Lawyers in America “Lawyer of the Year,” Entertainment Law, Motion Pictures and Television, 2018
  • U.S. News & World Report, “Best Lawyers in America,” 2006-2018
  • Billboard magazine, “The Music Industry’s Top Lawyers,” 2016-2017
  • South Florida’s Best Lawyers, “Top Lawyers,” 2009-2014
  • Florida Trend, “Legal Elite,” 2011-2014
  • Super Lawyers magazine, “Florida Super Lawyers,” 2006-2014
  • American Registry, “Top Attorneys In Florida,” 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
  • American Registry, “South Florida’s Top Lawyers,” 2008-2014
  • Billboard magazine/Super Lawyers, “50 Attorneys of Note in the Music Biz,” 2014
  • American Registry, “Florida’s Top Attorneys,” 2008, 2013
Publications

Publications

In the News

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