Eb Reinbergs is a powerful entertainment lawyer at the top of his game, and he is definitely enjoying the view. He started his own legal practice, Three60 Legal, in 2003. Eb is based in Toronto, Canada and focuses on Music, Film & TV, Dance, Fashion, Health & Fitness. He has grown his law firm into one of the best entertainment law firms in the business. With no money in his pocket and zero experience, he started at the bottom and quickly rose through the ranks with nothing but the love for the business fueling his quest. He has represented various A-List talent such as Grammy award-winning R&B recording artist Melanie Fiona, Pop/R&B recording artist Karl Wolf, Grammy award-winning Hip Hop/R&B group The Fugees, and so many more. Eb is professional, connected, well respected and influential in the entertainment industry today. We recently got a chance to learn more about this established and trusted entrepreneur who is also guiding and aspiring others.
AM: How did you get your start as an entertainment lawyer?
ER: Nothing good comes easy. Although I had internship opportunities in Atlanta and New York while in law school, my heart lay in The 6 (Toronto) where the entertainment bar is small and extremely hard to crack. I was heavily recruited by high finance law firms and I began my career as a securities lawyer (to my surprise like many entertainment lawyers before me including Clive Davis). After three years in the field I knew I could never be successful in an area of law I didn’t have passion for. All my life I was heavily involved in the arts. I signed my first recording contract at the age of 16 (my mother had to sign with me as I was a minor). Realizing that being involved in the arts was my true calling, I left my high paying securities law gig on a Friday and opened up my entertainment practice the following Monday. No clients. No money. No experience. Just drive, passion and a belief that I could do it. I made a card and handed it out to everyone that would take it. After a short while, the phone finally rang with a potential client. And so it began.
AM: What drives and motivates you in your career?
ER: I’m always looking at the next mountain top. Every year I create new challenges for me and my team. A few years back it was the creation of the Canadian Urban Music Conference. Last year it was the addition of TDot Fest!, a celebration of urban music in the heart of Toronto. In 2016, I plan to build on the foundation we’ve created to further support Canadian Urban artists.
AM: Who are some of your favorite celebrities to work with?
ER: I touch many of the Urban acts and events that happen in Toronto. Most recently I have represented some of the acts signed to Drake’s OVO label. I’m extremely impressed with the entire OVO crew. They keep everything insular and rightly so. They’re all about the business and I admire that. Out of the US, I like working with the older more established acts. They’re more laid back and have their shit in place. Busta Rhymes is a perfect example.
AM: What are the downsides of your job?
ER: Time. There’s never enough of it and as a lawyer it’s what I sell. I have great relationships with my clients and I make myself very accessible. As a result, I am always working. I can’t remember what it was like not to work on Saturday AND Sunday! But don’t get me wrong … it sure beats the early days when I waited for the phone to ring.
AM: What are some the perks of your job?
ER: There are some clients I travel with on a constant basis. The opportunity to see the world and attend a myriad of events is always a fun thing to do. Personally, however, just being able to work within a context you absolutely love is the biggest perk of all. “The man who loves what he does for a living, never works a day in his life.”
AM: What would you tell anyone who has aspirations to be an entertainment lawyer?
ER: Firstly, don’t do it. Secondly, don’t do it unless you love it. And thirdly, don’t do it unless you ABSOLUTELY love it! If you can answer the third statement in the positive, then you won’t mind
the hard work and extensive hours it takes to build a practice. All at very little pay 🙂
AM: Besides the general knowledge of law, is there any special skill that someone would need to be an entertainment lawyer?
ER: Absolutely! It is imperative that you fully understand the industry you plan to focus on. Whether it be music, film, gaming, etc., you have to be familiar with the nuances of the specific industry in order to apply the law appropriately.
AM: Are there any exciting news details that you are allowed to share with us about one of your projects/clients?
ER: 2015 saw a number of client accomplishments, but my favourite was completed by singer/songwriter Karl Wolf. After renegotiating his deal with Universal, we signed his new group BAE to a deal with Armada and he went on to write the second single entitled Hula Hoop for international recording artist OMI (of the song Cheerleader). Just a sample of what’s going on up here in the TDot!
AM: Since establishing your own law firm, what have been some of the challenges?
ER: It’s one thing to be good at your craft. It’s another to be good at managing people. As the owner of a law firm, half of my day is spent on administration and management. Finding good people is always a challenge. You have to determine what motivates them to be great and constantly address their needs. And once you find a good person, train them and grow their abilities, you have to find a way to keep them! I surely miss the good old days when I was the person people were trying to keep.
AM: What made you want to form the Canadian Urban Music Conference?
ER: Let me be blatantly clear … CANADA DOES NOT LIKE HIP HOP! Or R&B or any other type of Urban music for that matter. Don’t get me wrong, there are millions of Canadians that absolutely love Urban music. When I say “Canada,” I am referring to the country as an institution. Currently, there is little infrastructure in place, or in development, to support the creative or commercial development of independent Urban music artists. No dedicated venues. No festivals. And definitely no radio play. In spite of all this, Canadian Urban music talent continues to thrive on a global scale (i.e. Drake, Bieber and the Weeknd)! With all of that said, I felt it necessary to try and bring the community together and create an annual platform for learning and networking. Together we rise … and all that jazz.
AM: What has been your greatest accomplishment of your career thus far?
ER: Closest to my heart, would definitely be the first major record label deal I negotiated on behalf of a client. It has nothing to do with the artist, and more to marking a milestone in my career. It took years to get to that point and it put me on another level.
AM: Where would you like to see yourself professionally in the next 5 years?
ER: Its funny you ask that question. Today is December 28, 2015, and as I write these answers to your questions, I’m on a plane to the Caribbean for a few days of relaxation and to revisit my five year plan. As a lawyer, the plan is always to grow the practice and expand international relations into the US. As a Hip Hop entrepreneur, the recent horizon includes a record label and fashion design company. No matter what, me and my team are dedicated to building an infrastructure for urban artists in The 6 and maintaining the city’s presence on the urban music map. If we continue shooting for the stars, the worst we can do is hit the moon.
You can find out more about Eb Reinbergs at www.ebreinbergs.com, his law practice at www.three60legal.com, and the annual Canadian Urban Music Conference (which takes place in October) at www.canadianurbanmusicconference.com.