Founding Partner Leon Wildes represented English Singer Joe Cocker, who was known for his gritty voice, spasmodic body movements, and distinctive versions of popular songs. These covers included the Beatles "With a Little Help from My Friends," which Cocker performed live at Woodstock in 1969. On a recent outing, Leon and Michael, the firm’s Managing Partner, headed to Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, an amphitheater, performing arts center and museum located at the site of the 1969 Woodstock Music & Art Fair in Bethel, New York. Together, this father and son immigration duo have represented many recording artists including John Lennon, Sara Brightman, and Boy George, among many other talented individuals.
Wildes & Weinberg opened in 1960 and is perhaps best known for Leon Wildes' successful representation of former Beatle John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono in their deportation matter, the circumstances of which have inspired several films and documentaries. The firm specializes exclusively in the practice of U.S. immigration and nationality law, has a distinguished domestic and international clientele, and can assist with any type of immigration matter including employment and investment-based immigration, work permits, permanent residence for qualified individuals, family-based immigration, asylum applications, all temporary and permanent type visas, and U.S. citizenship.
Between 1972 and 1976, Leon represented Lennon and Ono in their struggle to remain in the United States, despite the concerted attempts of the Nixon Administration to deport them.
The case (which included bringing four separate Federal lawsuits) not only resulted in John and Yoko getting their green cards and being able to remain in the United States, but it also led to substantial changes in immigration law and brought to light secretive government practices and undue political influence, that has resulted in greater transparency in the U.S. immigration system and which paved the way for DACA.
Leon Wildes’ long-awaited memoirs of the case, aptly titled John Lennon vs. the U.S.A., is published by Ankerwycke Books, an imprint of ABA Publishing, a division of the American Bar Association.
Since the book's launch in August 2016, nearly 5000 copies have been purchased. Leon and his son Michael Wildes, the Managing Partner of the firm who also wrote the foreword to the book, have appeared on dozens of TV and radios shows including Good Day NY, The Michael Stolar Show, and The Lawrence O’Donnell Show, and more than 1000 people have attended a “Conversation with Leon Wildes”, at noteworthy institutions such as The Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, and The Lower East Side Tenement Museum. The book has been reviewed and discussed by Rolling Stone, Billboard Magazine, The NY Post, and many other impressive periodicals.
Michael is the firm’s Managing Partner and is also currently serving his third term as Mayor of Englewood, New Jersey. Moreover, he is the author of Safe Haven in America: Battles to Open the Golden Door, which draws on over a quarter of a century of his practice in the immigration field, is an Adjunct Professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York, and serves as Counsel to Lincoln Center and several international/corporate law firms. Michael is internationally renowned for his successful representation of distinguished individuals and corporate clients such as performing artists, directors, writers, models, actors/actresses, athletes, race car drivers, fine artists, art dealers, curators, musicians, photographers, stylists, and literary agents. Some of the firm’s other distinguished clients include scholar Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, as well as soccer icon Pele, Master Chef Jean-Georges and First Lady Melania Trump and her family.
Today, the firm of Wildes & Weinberg, maintains offices in New York City, New York, Englewood, New Jersey, Miami, Florida, and a presence in Los Angeles, California and continues to maintain its stellar reputation in the field of U.S. Immigration & Nationality Law.