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Billboard Names Fox Entertainment Trio to 2020 Top Lawyers in Music List

August 3, 2020 – Press Releases

Fox Rothschild LLP congratulates Kenneth J. Abdo, Tim Mandelbaum and Michael L. Reinert, who were once again listed among Billboard magazine’s 2020 Top Lawyers in Music.

The coveted annual distinction spotlights attorneys who are “on the front lines of the music industry’s legal battles and deals.”

Based in Fox’s Minneapolis office, Abdo is a sophisticated transactional entertainment lawyer who advocates for developing, established, legacy and estates of music artists. He works with the firm’s business, estate and tax lawyers across the nation to enhance the value of clients’ music assets and to protect artists’ contributions to music culture through contract negotiations and renegotiations with labels and publishers, audits, recapture of copyrights, securing deals for new products, and artist estate planning.

Recently, Abdo has worked on deals for Kool & The Gang’s animated film documentary; TOTO’s 40th Anniversary box set; HANSON’s new publishing and label distribution contracts; Jim Brickman’s catalog sale coupled with going-forward recording and publishing agreements; Jonny Lang’s new recording contract; hip-hop architects Eric B. and Rakim’s catalog renegotiation, and working with the estates of iconic musicians such as McCoy Tyner and Bill Haley, who he describes as “pioneers of their genres whose works must be memorialized.” Abdo also represents the GRAMMY® Museum Foundation.

The former head of Business and Legal Affairs at EMI Records, Mandelbaum leads Fox’s Music Industry Practice Group from the firm’s New York City office, providing strategic legal, career and business guidance to a variety of talent and corporate clients in the industry.

A knowledgeable and proactive deal broker, Mandelbaum has negotiated a number of deals on behalf of his clients including a recording agreement with Columbia Records and an administration agreement with Sony/ATV for rising drill hip-hop star Fivio Foreign; a distribution agreement for NYC-based Latin hip-hop label Sie7etr3, featuring rising star Chucky 73; an administration agreement with Downtown Music Publishing for Wu Tang Clan; and recording agreements with Interscope for up-and-coming artist Justin Rarri and with Def Jam for legendary artist DMX. He also represented Kobalt Music in its acquisitions of the publishing catalogs of Dave Basset and David Hodges, independent label Ten Thousand Projects in all of its business and legal affairs as well as Blondie in an agreement with Universal Music UK for release of a box set series featuring the band’s rarities, unreleased masters and memorabilia. He is also a member of the Alliance of Artists and Recording Companies Board of Directors.

With more than three decades in the entertainment business, Reinert continues to break ground for his diverse roster of well-known clients. Also based in Fox’s New York office, he spent 13 years as EVP of business and legal affairs for Universal Motown Republic Group, in addition to stints at Atlantic and Polygram.

His client list includes Stevie Wonder, Berry Gordy, Straight No Chaser, Average Joes Entertainment, Trace Adkins, Hideout Pictures, renowned producer Bob Ezrin, the legendary Mannie Fresh and singer-songwriter Max Frost. In 2019, Reinert completed catalog sales for producers Ezrin and Marius Moga, and represented country music star Adkins in his new label deal. Reinert is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Entertainment Law Initiative (ELI) of NARAS, and a recipient of its prestigious ELI Service Award. He taught at the Cardozo School of Law for ten years and is still a frequent guest lecturer there and other schools throughout the New York area.

The attorneys of Fox’s nationwide Entertainment & Sports Law Practice work with celebrated and respected artists, writers, producers and executives including Grammy®, Emmy®, Golden Globe® and Academy Award®-winning stars, as well as music and licensing businesses in television, film and music.