The University of Miami School of Law’s programs in Entertainment and Sports Law have garnered recognition, and this year our alumni, adjunct faculty, and program cohorts stand out in Billboard Magazine’s list of the nation’s best music lawyers.
The attorneys chosen were nominated by their firms and peers and ultimately chosen by Billboard’s editors. The listing is broken into five categories: Major Music Groups, Streaming, Live, Performing Rights, and Talent and Litigation.
Harold Flegelman, Director of the Entertainment Law Track commented, “If we are judged by the company we keep, then I am honored that no fewer than 13 of this year’s ‘Top Music Lawyers’ are connected with our program, whether as Law School graduates, adjunct faculty, advisory board members, panelists, guest speakers and/or mentors to students. We are indeed most fortunate.”
Alumni Recognized as Industry Leaders in Streaming and Talent & Litigation
Miami Law alumni included in the Billboard 2021 list are:
David Beame, J.D. ’00
Founding partner, Beame & Mencher, Brooklyn, NY
The Billboard article says that Beame “helped lead philanthropic client Global Citizen to one of its biggest years yet, including its pivot from in-person festivals to televised music events. Among those were April’s One World: Together at Home concert curated by Lady Gaga.”
Horacio Gutierrez, J.D. ’98
Head of Global Affairs & Chief Legal Officer, Spotify, New York, NY
Gutierrez is featured on Billboard’s Streaming List as he works for Spotify - the most popular global audio streaming service and is the largest driver of revenue to the music business today. As a frequent speaker at the law school as well as participant in Miami Law’s Global Entertainment Law + Industry Conference, Gutierrez has said, “My years at Miami Law truly were transformational. While I had graduated from law school in Venezuela in 1986 and obtained an LL.M degree from Harvard Law School in 1991, it wasn't until I obtained my J.D. at UM that my career really took off.” Gutierrez also made the Billboard list in 2016, 2017, 2019, and 2020.
Oswaldo Rossi, J.D. ’01
Partner, Hertz Lichtenstein Young & Polk, Los Angeles, CA
Former president of the SBA at Miami Law, Rossi is on Billboard’s Talent and Litigation list. Prior to his current position he worked at Capitol Music Group and EMI Music North America and Latin America.
Carlos Rodriguez-Feliz, LL.M. ’18 in Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law (Entertainment Track)
Founder/managing partner, RodFel Law, Miami, FL
In the Billboard article Rodriguez-Feliz says, “A large part of our firm is dedicated to supporting and protecting emerging talent” and to “increasing exposure for Latin artists from the start of their careers.” In 2021 he was also a panelist in Miami Law’s Global Entertainment + Sports Law Industry Conference speaking on “The State of the Entertainment Industry in Latin America.”
Simran Singh, J.D. ‘04
Founder and Managing Partner, Singh, Singh & Trauben, LLP Beverly Hills, CA
The Billboard article says, “Because of Mr. Singh’s background working for the world’s largest music company, he understands not only the finer points of entertainment and business contract terms but also the significance of intellectual property issues at hand.” And that his recent achievements include, “negotiating recording and publishing deals for clients such as Natti Natasha…Ozuna…and Rauw Alejandro, Chris Jedi and Gaby Music’s publishing agreements with Warner Chappell.” In fall 2020 he participated in Miami Law's EASL LL.M. Wednesday speaker series. Singh also made the Billboard list in 2019 and 2020.
Richard C. Wolfe, J.D. ’82 and LL.M. '83 in Tax
Managing Partner, Wolfe Law, Miami, FL
The Billboard article acknowledges that Wolfe’s J.D./LL.M. in tax prove a winning combination as “Wolfe notes that his financial skills as a former certified public accountant come in handy for cases where ‘everything comes down to dollars and cents.’” It also describes him as having represented “numerous prominent artists and producers on transactions and litigation matters. In the Hip Hop genre, his clients include Slip-n-Slide Records, Pretty Ricky, T-Pain, Plies, and DaBaby, all in litigation matters,” and that he is “a go-to litigator for top artists and executives when it comes to touchy cases.”
Leslie Jose Zigel, J.D. ‘95
Partner and Chair, Entertainment, Media & Technology Industry Group and Partner, Greenspoon Marder, Miami, FL
Zigel teaches as a Miami Law adjunct faculty member and also serves on the advisory board for Miami Law’s LL.M. in Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law. In the Billboard article, Zigel addresses how he managed clients during the pandemic stating, “Adaptation must include novel strategies and partnership-building across the board, including with governmental agencies.” The article also says his firm “represents a deep roster of Latin talent — including Ana Gabriel, Sergio George, Alejandra Guzmán, Arthur Hanlon, Maffio, Mario, Pitbull, Carlos Vives, The Wailers and Wisin” An involved alumnus, Zigel has also participated in Miami Law's EASL speaker series and its Table of 8 networking initiative. He also made the Billboard list in 2016, 2017, 2019, and 2020.
More Lawyers with Connections to Miami Law Make the List
In addition to many Miami Law alumni, there are other lawyers on the Billboard listing with strong ties to Miami Law and its entertainment law program. They include:
Angela N. Martinez, General Counsel, Ozuna Entertainment and Attorney at law, Angela N. Martinez, Miami, FL
Martinez served on the panel, “The State of the Entertainment Industry in Latin America” in 2021 at Miami Law. She works with Ozuna, currently one of the biggest Latin urban artists in the industry with many feature collaborations with artists such as Cardi B, Romeo Santos, and Bad Bunny. Billboard says, “After spending months doing legal work on livestream concerts for her clients including Luis Fonsi and Pitbull, Martinez, 44, took the virtual stage in November to receive the honor as one of the Latin Recording Academy’s Leading Ladies of Entertainment.”
Christopher R. Navarro, Partner, Singh Singh & Trauben, Los Angeles, CA
Navarro serves as a mentor to students in Miami Law’s LL.M. in Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law and has also been a panelist at its annual Global Entertainment and Sports Law Industry Conference.
Henry Root, Partner, Lapidus Root & Sacharow, Santa Monica, CA
Root teaches “Music Law” at Miami Law as an Adjunct Faculty member, is a frequent conference panelist, and has had Miami Law students do practicum placements with him. Billboard says his firm, “represents entertainment and media companies, executives, creators, technology companies, live-event producers and more, and during the recent boom in music-asset acquisitions, it has represented both buyers and sellers of high-profile music publishing and master recording catalogs.”
James G. Sammataro, Partner/co-chair of Media and Entertainment Group, Pryor Cashman, Miami, FL
Sammataro has been a frequent guest speaker at Miami Law. Billboard reports that his “firm is engaged in the latest legal rounds before the Copyright Royalty Board to establish rates that Spotify, Amazon, Google and Pandora pay publishers and, through them, songwriters.”
Andy Tavel, Partner, Eisner LLP, New York, NY
Andy Tavel has served as a tutorial teacher in Miami Law's EASL LL.M. program. The article quotes Tavel as saying, that the "music community showed up during the pandemic 'when the country needed them the most, whether raising significant dollars for charitable needs or performing virtually in many different configurations to lift everyone’s spirits.'”
Joe Wetzel, Partner, Latham & Watkins, San Francisco, CA
Billboard says, “Wetzel represents some of the biggest brands in music, including Spotify, Pandora, Live Nation, SoundCloud, iHeartMedia, Twitch and Triller.” He has been a panelist in Miami Law’s Global Entertainment and Sports Law Industry Conference and in 2021 sat on the panel, “Technology in the Entertainment Industry.”
Meeting the Need for Specialists in Entertainment and Music Law
Recognizing the presence and influence of a rapidly evolving international music industry, Miami Law offers both an LL.M. and a J.D./LL.M. Degree in Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law.
In close coordination with the Frost School of Music at UM, the law school also offers a J.D./M.M. Degree (a Master’s Degree in Music Business and Entertainment Industries) and a J.D./M.A. degree (a Master’s Degree in Arts Presenting and Live Entertainment Management).