Cervantes de Reinstein, who has his own page on IMDb.com, is an entertainment industry veteran who comes to Sheppard Mullin after serving as head of Reed Smith’s worldwide television and digital video practice. Reed Smith hired Cervantes de Reinstein in 2016 from Rosenfeld, Meyer & Susman, a Beverly Hills-based boutique that brought him on as a partner three years before.
Prior to those stints in private practice, Cervantes de Reinstein was a vice president of business and legal affairs at Fremantle Media, a British content production and distribution subsidiary of German media conglomerate Bertelsmann’s RTL Group, the latter one of the largest entertainment and television broadcasters in Europe.
“I have known Sheppard Mullin for most of my career,” said Cervantes de Reinstein, noting that joining the firm almost felt like “coming home” since he has had dealings with the firm’s lawyers for most of his 20-year legal career. “Plus a number of my clients are also clients here.”
Cervantes de Reinstein cited Sheppard Mullin’s deep entertainment practice, as well as the firm’s expertise in corporate finance, film, intellectual property, litigation and technology work as allowing him to better serve the needs of his clients. He began his career in 1997 as an associate at Latham & Watkins, where he spent three years before moving to Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal LaViolette Feldman Schenkman & Goodman, a well-regarded entertainment boutique in Beverly Hills.
While a partner at Bloom Hergott, Cervantes de Reinstein spent a decade representing top actors, creators, producers, writers and other talented individuals in Hollywood. He left the firm eight years ago this month to join Fremantle Media, where he spent three years.
“One big shift is the overlap of film and TV with technology,” said Cervantes de Reinstein, when asked about the entertainment sector. “With the rise of the Xbox platform and Apple, Amazon and other technology companies entering the content space, you are seeing a need for experts who have knowledge in the tech space when you advise clients on content issues.”
Cervantes de Reinstein said he was looking for a firm with a strong corporate practice due to consolidation taking place within the media and entertainment industry. As a member of the LGBT community, Cervantes de Reinstein said he was also drawn to Sheppard Mullin’s efforts supporting that community, as well as the firm’s technology expertise in Century City and Silicon Valley.
“Our multidisciplinary entertainment practice represents some of the industry’s most successful and innovative companies,” said a Tuesday statement announcing Cervantes de Reinstein’s hire by Sheppard Mullin vice chairman Jon Newby. “We continue to attract some of the best legal talent in the country and Leif is the latest great addition, following on Sid Fohrman who joined us in March.”
Fohrman, who came aboard from Barnes & Thornburg, now leads Sheppard Mullin’s music industry team. In July, Sheppard Mullin hired Jordan Hamburger, national co-head of the M&A group at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips. Both new partners work in the firm’s Century City office, which opened in 2001. In September, Sheppard Mullin recruited a three-lawyer IP team from Baker Botts in Silicon Valley.
As for Reed Smith, which earlier this week watched environmental litigation partner Belynda Reck leave its Los Angeles office for K&L Gates, the firm wished Cervantes de Reinstein well and touted its own entertainment group, which added former Sidley Austin corporate finance head Moshe Kupietzky as senior counsel in Century City this summer.
“We have a robust global entertainment and media industry group, including a deep bench in the TV and digital space,” said a statement from Casey Ryan, global head of legal personnel at Reed Smith and a member of the firm’s senior management team. “Lawyers move firm’s regularly and we wish Leif well.”