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 receivingMartindale-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.
- 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