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Bernstein returns to Manatt

Lawyer wore film exec hat for past 23 years

Former Columbia TriStar exec Fred Bernstein has joined Manatt, Phelps & Phillips as a partner in the L.A. law firm’s entertainment practice.

Move reps a homecoming for Bernstein, who was an attorney at Manatt from 1976-80. Bernstein has been a film exec for the past 23 years, including most recently a stint atop his own independent production company, Vertical Pictures.

He also served as prexy of Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Cos.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome back Fred to Manatt,” Manatt chief exec Paul Irving said. “Since Fred left us, he has become one of the most respected entertainment executives in the industry, and he returns to us with invaluable relationships and a unique skill set.”

Bernstein said he considered joining other several firms before ultimately deciding to rejoin Manatt.

“The breadth and depth of Manatt’s practice areas presents a remarkable opportunity to grow a private practice with a superb group of attorneys,” Bernstein said.