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United Kingdom > London > TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Media and entertainment

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Media and entertainment
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Bates Wells Braithwaite advises a number of prominent clients in the theatre sector, including the Royal Shakespeare Company, The Globe and English National Opera. Sean Egan is the head of the team, and led advice to Balta Limited on the development of a new theatre venue on Shaftesbury Avenue. The firm is also very active in film and TV, with B3 Media a major client in this area. Rupert Earle leads on media litigation.

Clintons’ clients in the theatre sector, among them Sir Tim Rice, David Ian Productions and the Donmar Warehouse, are served by ‘brilliant negotiator' John Cohen and the ‘very personable and responsive' James Jones. Andrew Myers’ music clients include Radiohead and Muse, while Peter Button represents The Who and Daft Punk and Nicky Stein acts for Plan B, Laura Marling and Haim. Andrew Sharland represents artists and record labels such as Sony and EMI in music litigation. Tom Frederikse, on the digital media side, acts for Virgin Media, and is praised for his ‘insightful and speedy' advice. The team’s service is ‘pretty much flawless'.

Chris Hanson leads the media and entertainment group at DLA Piper. He and Lee McGuirk advised Union Bank in connection with its production loan facilities for the films The Secret Service and Fury. Duncan Calow advises computer gaming clients such as Activision, Electronic Arts and Sony Computer Entertainment. Michael Ridley represents broadcasters and content producers, including Clerkenwell Films, as well as television talent such as Sir David Attenborough. Nick Fitzpatrick and Nicholas West handle negotiations on broadcasting and media strategies for sports clients such as the FA Premier League and the National Basketball Association. Stephen Ketteley is active in the online gaming and gambling sector, and litigator Simon Levine is experienced in media and entertainment cases.

The ‘fantastic' team at Farrer & Co represents a broad range of clients in the publishing industry. Henry Sainty, who ‘brings a very reassuring manner and pragmatic approach to the table', represents Bauer Media, the publisher of FHM, Closer and heat, advising on matters including its expansion into digital radio. Sainty also continues to represent the Bodleian Library, in 2013 advising on the acquisition of the personal archive of William Henry Fox Talbot. Peter Wienand is ‘good at untangling very complex and technical matters', and recently advised The British Library on high-profile digitisation projects.

Fieldfisher is ‘well able to handle the most demanding of cases'. Media practice head Tim Johnson and Andrew Blankfield, who heads the corporate group, together advised Exclusive Media on its acquisition of Icon Entertainment and Majestic Films. David Naylor, who heads the advanced media and technology practice, has recently acted for clients including Trinity Mirror. Phil Lee advised Nintendo on the creation and launch of its UK direct-to-consumer online retail store. Tax partner Derek Hill works with a variety of media clients on non-contentious matters.

Harbottle & Lewis LLP has an ‘excellent' media and entertainment team. Alan Moss counts Microsoft among his computer games clients, and has assisted Dreamworks in relation to the production of numerous films. Moss leads the digital media and interactive entertainment team jointly with Mark Phillips, who led advice to Take Two Interactive in relation to Grand Theft Auto V and Borderlands 2. Jonathan Berger is head of the film and TV team, of which ‘genuinely exceptional' senior associate Sarah Pons is a key member. Tony Ballard is held in very high regard by peers. Chloe Forsyth (née Wright) is praised for her ‘excellent technical skills aligned with great commercial acumen and superb personal skills'. Her music team represents Universal and Jamie Cullum. Shireen Peermohamed acts for publishing clients such as Oxford University Press and Penguin Books. Neil Adleman brings his ‘good business understanding' to bear on behalf of clients such as the National Theatre and The Book of Mormon.

Clients praise Lee & Thompson LLP for its ‘great service, incredible knowledge and top-notch advice'. The music team, led by Lawrence Engel, represents One Direction, Jessie J and Queen, and includes litigator Gordon Williams and senior partner Andrew Thompson. The firm’s film specialists include ‘knowledgeable and experienced' managing partner Reno Antoniades and Sam Tatton-Brown, previously of Davenport Lyons; their recent work includes advising on the production of The Gunman and Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. The digital media group is overseen by Mark Ashelford, who also heads the publishing practice. Associate Will Everitt and consultant Robert Lee are recommended on the theatre side, and act for clients including Harry Hill.

Michael Simkins LLP’s managing partner Euan Lawson is praised for his ‘unsurpassed experience and practical, sensible advice'. His music clients include Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young and P!nk. Ed Baden-Powell specialises in IP and commercial contracts and is active in music, computer games and publishing matters, recently acting for clients such as BMG Rights Management. Nigel Bennett continues to advise film, TV and publishing clients as a consultant. Jonathan Blair’s recent work includes advice to production companies on complex international co-productions. Caroline Copeland advises on M&A and other corporate matters in the sector. Litigator Paddy Gardiner is ‘particularly impressive'. Paddy Grafton Green advises a number of high-profile music clients, including David Bowie.

The ‘very strong team' at Olswang LLP is noted for its ‘high-quality service' and ‘depth of industry knowledge'. The firm’s international head of media is Mark Devereux, who advised StudioCanal on the acquisition of a majority stake in Red Production Company. Head of music John Enser stands out for his ‘depth of industry knowledge and ability to handle complex transactions'. Head of the film and TV practice Jacqueline Hurt is highly regarded by clients and peers alike, and acted for Reliance Entertainment on the production and financing of the film Vampire Academy, a UK/Romanian co-production. Hurt also acted for ITV Studios on the production and financing of the TV series Thunderbirds are Go. Mark Bertram is ‘easy to work with and helpful in finding solutions', and is active in the publishing sector. Selina Potter and Victoria Gaskell both count several broadcasters among their clients.

Osborne Clarke’s lawyers ‘display an impressive level of industry knowledge that complements their commitment to understanding'. Adrian Bott advised Absolute Radio on its sale by Times of India to Bauer Media. Advertising specialist Nick Johnson counts Facebook among his clients. The ‘technically astute' John Davidson-Kelly, who ‘takes the time to understand the client and always delivers on his promises', works with Virgin Media. The ‘simply brilliant' Paul Gardner assisted Wargaming, the company behind World of Tanks, with a complete legal review of its website structure and terms.

RPC acts for publishing clients such as the Daily Mail General Trust, Faber & Faber, Times Newspapers and Scholastic, under the ‘very practical' Keith Mathieson. Gaming clients include Square Enix, which David Cran advises on IP issues relating to Lara Croft and Championship Manager. Oliver Bray advised YouTube on the formation of YouTube Creator Space. Associate Kim Waite is well regarded by clients.

Reed Smith LLP’s media team is ‘commercially astute, extremely efficient and very good to work with, from partner through to junior'. Highlights included acting for Potboiler on the financing and production of A Little Chaos, led by Richard Phillips. Stephen Edwards and Askandar Samad recently advised the British Screen Advisory Council. Nick Swimer’s clients include Channel 4, which he advised on its television advertising and sponsorship agreement with BT. Gregor Pryor is widely praised by clients in music, computer games and publishing, and gives ‘practical, commercially minded' advice. Michael Skrein’s media litigation clients include InMobi.

Russells Solicitors is well known for its work in media and publishing. Senior partner Chris Organ has advised a number of high-profile personalities, as has commercial and corporate partner Chris Gossage. Head of music Gavin Maude primarily represents artists, but also acts for music industry executives, managers, independent music publishers and film production companies. Head of litigation Steven Tregear acts for record companies and executives.

The ‘first-class' Sheridans has a large digital carriage group led by Peter McInerney and Jeremy Roberts, acting for clients such as Channel 4, S4C and Antenna Group. McInerney also leads the firm’s film and TV group, which acts for Buccaneer Media. Robin Hilton and James Kay are particularly active in this area. Clients of the music group, led by Russell Roberts, include Dizzee Rascal, Sir Paul McCartney, Robbie Williams and Kylie Minogue. Howard Jones, the firm’s managing partner, heads the theatre practice, which represents Littlestar Services and Really Useful Group. Alex Chapman is extremely well regarded for his computer games work, and is supported by Tahir Basheer; their clients include many developers and content creators. The firm also acts for some of the UK’s best-known stand-up comedians.

Taylor Wessing LLP’s ‘excellent' practice is led by the ‘approachable and helpful' Niri Shanmuganathan, who enjoys an excellent reputation among peers. Shanmuganathan acted for Spotify in a copyright dispute with Ministry of Sound, and also advised Macmillan Publishers. Associated Newspapers, Telegraph Media Group and DC Thomson are also clients of the firm. Charles Lloyd is active in the advertising industry; Tony Ghee heads the broadcasting group; Mark Owen specialises in non-contentious IP work; and Mike Turner heads the firm’s UK technology, media and communications industry group.

Wiggin LLP is ‘a specialist firm with exceptional knowledge and understanding of the industry'. Charles Moore, who leads the film and TV group jointly with Miles Ketley, ‘brings much to the table when deciding on the best course of action for all parties'. TV and film clients include Columbia Pictures, which Moore advised on the production of The Monuments Men; HBO, which the firm advised on the production of series four of Game of Thrones; and Twentieth Century Fox Television. On the music side, Simon Baggs’ team acted for the Musicians’ Union and Base79, and for Ministry of Sound in proceedings against Spotify. Random House is one of many high-profile clients of Caroline Kean’s publishing team. The ‘commercial, understanding and always reliable' Shaun Lowde serves clients in the advertising industry, as does Sean James, who is also head of the media, communications and technology practice.

Baker & McKenzie LLP’s ‘absolutely outstanding' media group is led jointly by Steve Holmes and the ‘truly exceptional' Ben Allgrove. Holmes’ non-contentious practice focuses on major transactions for media companies, including Virgin Media and Fremantle. Allgrove, who has ‘incredibly impressive commercial instincts', handles contentious, transactional and advisory matters for some high-profile digital media clients, Netflix and Pinterest among them. He also takes on more traditional media work, recently advising Sovereign Films on production agreements, distribution agreements and rights licensing. Tom Cassels and Joanna Ludlam advise the BBC Trust on strategic and regulatory matters. Duncan Reid-Thomas specialises in business process outsourcing and commercial contracts. The practice also includes publishing and gaming work.

The ‘extremely talented' team at Bird & Bird LLP ‘exhibits the utmost professionalism and efficiency'. The ‘exceptional' Phil Sherrell and head of media Matt Dennis led advice to the Global Repertoire Database on the creation of an online musical works database. Felicity Reeve was part of a team advising Yahoo! on IP and commercial matters. Howard Rubin’s computer gaming clients include Codemasters. Patrick Charnley now works freelance.

Bray & Krais, Solicitors acts for a range of high-profile music clients. The ‘dynamic, well-connected, industry-savvy, and well-respected' Mark Krais advised Richard Thompson on the sale of talent management agency Merlin Elite to M&C Saatchi; and also advises in relation to live music events. Richard Bray and Simon Dixon are other key partners. The practice includes film, TV and theatre matters for music clients.

Charles Russell LLP’s lawyers are ‘fast, responsive and pleasant to work with'. Nick Armstrong, who acted for BSkyB in defending allegations of format infringement, ‘places trust in his lieutenants and brings a cool and experienced head to knotty issues'. The firm also advises Nike on digital media and advertising matters, under ‘very sensible and practical' commercial lawyer Jason Saiban. ITN, ITV and Five are also clients. Vanessa Barnett leads the firm’s media team, which includes Duncan Lamont and competition and regulatory expert Paul Stone.

Media litigation boutique Forbes Anderson Free advises clients in the music and television industries on issues such as copyright infringement. Key partners include Andrew Forbes, Dominic Free, Martyn Bailey and Dominic Bray.

Goodman Derrick LLP’s Paul Herbert is ‘a real specialist' and ‘a safe pair of hands', and recently advised the Authority for Television On Demand and Clearcast on their respective remits and operations. Clive Ince handles contentious media matters; Edward Hoare is active on the corporate side; and Stephen Hornsby covers regulatory and competition matters. Sky, Random House and UTV are clients.

Nick Elverston heads the media department at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, and is leading advice to FilmFlex Movies on its new white-label partnership with two partners. Competition lawyer Stephen Wisking acted for BSkyB in its successful appeal against Ofcom’s decision, which had forced BSkyB to make its Sky Sports 1 and 2 channels available to rivals at prices and on contractual terms set by Ofcom. Alan Watts’ practice encompasses commercial disputes and defamation and privacy. IP partner Joel Smith and senior associate Hayley Brady are both key members of the team.

HowardKennedyFsi’s IP and media work is overseen by Mark Stephens, who is highly regarded for his work in defamation and privacy, and Brian Eagles. Eagles is acting for Dreamers Licensing in relation to the musical of Gone with the Wind in Hungary, and for Roddy Doyle in relation to The Commitments. He and Sue Thackeray are acting for the Peter Schaufuss Ballet Company on the production of Midnight Express. Capital markets lawyer Keith Lassman acted for the Everyman Media Group in relation to its flotation.

Kemp Little LLP provides ‘a very high overall level of service' and its lawyers ‘are very responsive and have great commercial insight'. The firm specialises in digital media and entertainment, and its clients include Thomson Reuters, Activision Blizzard and Buzzfeed. Calum Murray, who leads the team, ‘understands issues immediately, and is a very good sounding board'. Andy Moseby ‘has a sensible approach and is a very likeable guy'. Other key members of the team include Paul O’Hare and Paul Garland.

At Lewis Silkin LLP, Cliff Fluet negotiated a deal with Getty Images on behalf of the Wordeo social network. Simon Entwistle acts for a range of publishing clients. Solicitor advocate Adam Glass specialises in IP and the creative industries. Phil Rymer is acting for Heyday Films in relation to the production of a feature-length adaptation of the Paddington Bear stories. Giles Crown heads the department, and Simon Morrissey is a key partner in interactive content and music.

Specialist media and entertainment firm SSB focuses on the music industry, and has acted for names such as Olly Murs, Adele, and Rita Ora. Paul Spraggon, Sarah Stennett and Gary Mandel are recommended.

At the ‘excellent' Simons Muirhead & Burton, department head Simon Goldberg ‘is extremely experienced and provides outstanding client service'. Richard Baskind specialises in music, representing artists, songwriters, record labels and publishers. Razwana Akram advises clients on film production and finance matters. Charles Law’s work includes reputation management advice for talent and brands. Stephen Shotnes deals with film and TV-related disputes. Martin Soames handles clearance work for publishers. James Greenslade and Peter Weiss are also key members of the team. The firm advised Acorn Productions on the publication of a new Poirot book, as well as advising Nick Cave in relation to the autobiographical film 20,000 Days.

Swan Turton has recently acted for clients such as Fleetwood Mac’s Peter Green, Madness and author Sebastian Faulks. The ‘competent, efficient and knowledgeable' Julian Bentley heads the team. ‘Excellent' music lawyer Stuart Barry is ‘calm and very effective'. Julian Turton is ‘very experienced and loves a challenge'. Catherine Fehler is a specialist music litigator. Film and TV lawyer Antony Gostyn represented James Bowen, the author of A Street Cat Named Bob, on the grant of an option over film rights. Charles Swan is an expert in photography law. The team as a whole is ‘helpful and responsive' and takes a ‘firm but fair approach to negotiations'.

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP’s media clients are served by head of IP Simon Clark, senior associate Toby Headdon and consultant Simon Harper. Adam Rose is now with Mishcon de Reya.

Bristows LLP’s lawyers are ‘very responsive and enjoyable to work with, and provide clear, succinct advice'. Myles Jelf leads the team, and he and the ‘commercial and pragmatic' Pat Treacy act for Google on privacy issues. The ‘impressive' Paul Jordan handled social media clearance work for Paramount, and advised on the IP aspects of several digital campaigns. He also advised on the rebranding of Yellow Pages as hibu. Mark Brown is another key partner.

Collins Long primarily serves clients in the music industry. The team includes litigation and commercial partner James Collins; Simon Long, whose work includes advice to artists; Angela Sadler; and consultants John Benedict and Nick Kanaar.

Clients describe the service provided by Dentons as ‘extremely forthright, timely, personable, and valuable', and praise the firm’s lawyers for their industry knowledge. The ‘well-informed and highly diplomatic' Ingrid Silver leads the London media team, and is supported by corporate finance and M&A specialist Jeremy Cohen and senior associate Alex Haffner, who is ‘always willing to go the extra mile'. Clients include Al Jazeera, Turner Broadcasting and Sony.

At Eversheds LLP, department head Neil Mohring recently advised on agreements relating to the release and promotion of Sir Elton John’s latest album. Mohring is noted for his ‘wealth of knowledge and immediate understanding of the commercial and legal imperatives of deals'. Andrew Terry advises Coca-Cola on advertising, promotions and sponsorship.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s M&A group, led by Ben Spiers, is active in the media sector. Simon Marchant recently advised on the disposal of EMI’s music publishing and recorded music businesses.

Hamlins LLP’s media and entertainment practice, which is focused on IP-related litigation, is overseen by Laurence Gilmore. Gilmore successfully acted for TVCatchup in a case involving copyright in broadcasts and streaming over the internet. Other recommended partners include Ian Down, Christopher Hutchings, Matthew Pryke and Michael Clinch. Red Hot Chili Peppers, PPL and McDonald’s are clients.

Hogan Lovells International LLP’s media and entertainment practice is led jointly by Peter Watts and Suyong Kim. Watts acted for ITV Global Entertainment in relation to the licensing of ITV-produced content for exploitation by UTV, while Kim advised Liberty Global on its acquisition of Virgin Media. The firm also acts for News Corp, the BBC and Cineworld.

At Linklaters LLP, corporate partner Roger Barron and Marly Didizian, who specialises in commercial and regulatory law, are recommended for their work in the media sector.

Marriott Harrison LLP is advising on all production and financing agreements for Blood Moon (a provisional title). Other clients include Carnaby Films and the band Don Broco. Corporate partner Tony Morris leads the team, with Jonathan Pearce also recommended.

The team at Mayer Brown International LLP acts for HSBC, Hachette, Entertainment One and MacMillan Publishers. IP consultant Sarah Byrt leads the practice, which draws on the expertise of litigation partner Miles Robinson and antitrust and competition specialist Gillian Sproul.

At Pinsent Masons LLP, consultant Susan Biddle handles IT and IP matters for clients in the online gambling sector including William Hill. Also recommended are the ‘excellent' Marc Dautlich, who heads the firm’s information law team, and Iain Connor, who focuses on IP litigation.

At Travers Smith LLP, Richard Brown acted for Exponent Private Equity on its sale of a majority stake in Ambassador Theatre Group for £450m, as well as advising social gaming firm Plumbee on Endemol’s investment in the company. Tom Purton and senior associate Ben Chivers advised Pinewood Shepperton on two international joint ventures.

Weil, Gotshal & MangesBarry Fishley leads the firm’s IP advice to Facebook, and advised Yahoo! on its purchase of the Summly smartphone app. Hannah Field-Lowes and Jamie Maples are acting for Ingenious Media in a dispute with HMRC.

At the ‘first-rate' Allen & Overy LLP, the ‘immensely experienced' Neville Cordell advised News Group Newspapers in a trade mark dispute with NCJ Media. Richard Evans and Antonio Bavasso advised Thomson Reuters on its acquisition of Practical Law Company. Other clients include EMI and 21st Century Fox. Corporate partners Edward Barnett and Simon Toms are also recommended.

At Arnold & Porter (UK) LLP, the ‘responsive and pragmatic' Ian Kirby represented The Walt Disney Company in a dispute between its subsidiary Marvel and Studio Canal over the rights to the name ‘The Avengers’. Other clients include Amazon, which Jonathan Day represented in a dispute with Apple, ITV and Random House. IP expert Richard Dickinson is ‘commercially focused'.

Advising on issues ranging from finance to clearing, Aslan Charles Kousetta LLP acts for clients including the makers of the TV series Plebs, the makers of the Dylan Thomas biopic A Poet in New York, and the makers of the film Autobahn. Susan Aslan, Sue Charles and Hakan Kousetta lead the practice.

Niche practice B M Nyman & Co specialises in publishing law. The firm represents publishers, authors and literary agents in drafting and negotiating contracts, and advises on copyright, trade mark and confidentiality issues. Bernard Nyman is the sole practitioner at the firm.

Briffa is particularly active in IP work for media companies. The firm worked with Soundnet on the development of new delivery methods through joint venture agreements, and was also instructed by Namco in actions relating to unlawful use of its gaming software. Managing partner Margaret Briffa leads the practice.

Recommended individuals at Carter-Ruck include IP and reputation management specialist Guy Martin; solicitor advocate Isabel Martorell; litigators Cameron Doley, Claire Gill and Ruth Collard; and consultant Andrew Stephenson. The firm is particularly noted for its work in defamation and privacy.

Collyer Bristow LLP acts for a wide range of media clients, including the Mercury Music Prize and the Met Film School. Steven Heffer is the head of the practice and Howard Ricklow, who acts for the composer David Arnold in relation to the musical Made in Dagenham, is also a key member of the team. Dominic Crossley is now at Payne Hicks Beach.

DWFM Beckman’s Irving David is praised for his ‘breadth of knowledge, experience and insight'. The firm represents a range of clients in the music sector, including artists, composers, managers and producers, and also acts for a number of dance troupes.

Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP’s Becket McGrath advised Guardian Media Group on its disposal of GMG Radio. Practice head John Olsen advises Warner Bros on all trade mark and design matters, and Akash Sachdeva assists Nikon on advertising matters.

Foot Anstey’s media and entertainment team is led jointly by Chris Worrell in Plymouth and Tony Jaffa in Exeter. Worrell acts for UBM in relation to its M&A activities, and Jaffa is a libel specialist. Also recommended are Bristol-based partners Anna Bateman, Richard Neary, Chris Pritchett and Martin Cuell.

Gateley’s ‘very good' nationwide team is led by Lisa Logan in London, and includes nine partners. Clients include The Elf Factory (the makers of Peppa Pig), and Pulse Films, which Logan advised in relation to the documentary When Björk Met Attenborough.

At King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin, William Holder advised Universal Music Group on its sale of Parlophone Label Group, and David Rose defended Sky in various passing off and trade mark infringement proceedings. Another prominent client of the team is Nintendo, which Ray Black advises on IP matters. EU and competition lawyer Cameron Firth is also active in this sector.

Magrath LLP advises recording artists on management contracts, publishing deals, production agreements, and sponsorship and merchandising agreements, and also advises on IP issues. Jeremy Hershkorn, the firm’s head of litigation and dispute resolution, and consultant Alexis Grower are both active in the sector. Johnny Rotten, Calvin Harris and Motörhead are clients.

Mathias Gentle Page Hassan LLP, formerly Goldkorn Mathias Gentle Page LLP, acts for artists, writers, producers and managers as well as many independent record and publishing companies. It also represents a number of painters, sculptors and galleries. David Gentle and Bob Page are active in this area.

Mishcon de Reya’s media and entertainment practice was strengthened by the arrival of Adam Rose from Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP. Nick Davis led advice to DHX Media on its acquisition of Ragdoll Worldwide. Sally Britton oversees the firm’s brand protection work for clients such as Gordon Ramsay, Britney Spears and Shakira. Other key practitioners include defamation and privacy specialist Charlotte Harris and practice head Lewis Cohen, who advises Tottenham Hotspur FC.

Morrison & Foerster (UK) LLP’s Chris Coulter is advising Odeon & UCI Cinemas on all aspects of its conversion to digital cinema across Europe. Corporate practice head Justin Stock advises media and entertainment clients such as Microgaming and Ingenious Media Active.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s practice is led by IP and technology specialist Mike Knapper. Also active in this sector are Chris Pearson, Ian Lopez, Peter Scott and Jonathan Ball.

Onside Law Limited continues to advise talent in the music and TV industries, as well as acting for a number of high-profile clients on publishing matters. Atomic Kitten, Heston Blumenthal and Sven-Goran Eriksson are all clients. Chris Walsh is advising the latter in relation to his autobiography. Oliver Hunt ‘keeps things simple and clear'. Simon Thorp, who heads the firm’s corporate and commercial department, is also recommended.

Pitmans LLP’s work includes advice on the structuring of major live events, including London Fashion Week. Royalty collection, brand protection and sponsorship deals are also key specialisms. Jeremy Summers is now at Lewis Silkin LLP, and Philip James is now at Sheridans. Nigel Dewar Gibb is recommended on the IP side. Director Ese Akpoghenata joined from Rouse Legal in April 2014 as head of trade marks.

At specialist IP firm Redd, Simon Chalkley advises clients in relation to licensing, technology transfer, franchising, e-commerce and distribution agreements. The firm serves a range of clients in the gaming and publishing sectors.

Clients of Simmons & Simmons include Fox Entertainment, Virgin Media, Warner Bros, and English National Ballet. Recommended individuals include head of TMT Andrew McMillan, who advises on M&A; IP specialist David Stone; and EU and competition lawyer Oliver Heinisch.

At Smiths-Law LLP, Andrew Lewis works with Universal Music Group, as well as a major music streaming service and several independent record labels, advising on IP and commercial matters. Liam McNeive advises internet and mobile-based businesses on a range of issues, including data protection and privacy.

Sound Advice (Legal) LLP acts for Yusuf Islam, UB40 and Robert Plant as well as a number of emerging artists, writer-producers, independent music publishers and management agencies. Robert Horsfall and Sonia Diwan head the practice.

Speechly Bircham LLP’s media work includes advising on publishing, merchandising and broadcasting rights for a children’s TV series, and handling high-profile copyright litigation for celebrities. Alexander Carter-Silk and Robert Bond are recommended. Michelle Lewiston has moved to an in-house position, and Nicholas Tall is now with Keystone Law.

Weightmans LLP’s lawyers are praised for their ‘response times, commerciality, range of disciplines, technical skills and strength in depth'. Manchester-based Sarah Walton is noted for her ‘excellent commercial skills, flexibility and imagination in problem-solving'. Sean Crotty oversees the firm’s media and entertainment work, and managing partner John Schorah is experienced in representing computer games clients.

Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co LLP is recommended for its experience in tax-effective IP management. In other areas, Jonathan Riley acted for Antonio Banderas in relation to product endorsement agreements, and for OnMobile Global on its acquisition of FoneStarz Media Group. Andrew Dobson and Vanessa De Froberville are recommended.

Bindmans LLP represents journalists and publications in relation to media law matters, including defamation and privacy and criminal cases. Clients include David Miranda, the partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, and The New Statesman. Tamsin Allen, Katie Wheatley and Martin Rackstraw are recommended. Consultant Stephen Grosz acts as production lawyer for Ken Loach.

Simon Stokes is head of publishing at Blake Morgan LLP, and acts for clients such as Hart Publishing and the Antiques Trade Gazette. Oxford-based head of the media practice Joss Saunders represents Osprey, and is recommended along with Elaine Heywood and Jill Bainbridge in the firm’s Chandler’s Ford office.

At Clifford Chance, M&A partner Daniel Sandelson focuses on media and telecoms asset acquisitions and disposals, with a specialism in cross-border deals, including those involving emerging markets.

At Covington & Burling LLP, European corporate practice head Paul Claydon is advising Rightster Group on the admission of its shares to the AIM market of the LSE. Other partners in the firm’s TMT practice include Louise Nash and Lisa Peets. Microsoft, Facebook and the NFL are clients.

At Debello Law, Dean Dunham handles work for celebrities, agents, managers and TV production companies.

Fladgate LLP’s clients include Devilfish and Random House, and the firm also acts for Odeon Cinemas and BSkyB on property matters. Grant Gordon, David Robinson and Eddie Powell are key partners. Lawrence Abramson is now with Keystone Law.

HKH Kenwright & Cox acts for 1883 Media, Bean Media Consulting and X Events. Managing partner Khurram Mian, a solicitor advocate, is recommended.

The practice at boutique media and IP firm Hansel Henson is led by David Hansel and Tom Henson. The firm advised Gaming Realms on the commercial contract and IP aspects of its £12m reverse takeover of Pursuit Dynamics and admission to AIM. Other clients include the broadcaster Cellcast and YJB Films.

Latham & Watkins advises media and entertainment clients on complex new media transactions, M&A transactions and joint ventures. Daniel Friel acts for ITV/Granada, and Martin Cotterill is also recommended.

M Law’s media and entertainment practice is led by consultant Peter Coles, who is regularly instructed by the makers of Horrid Henry on IP matters. Matthew Higdon is acting for the financiers and producers of the documentary Soul Boys Of The Western World.

At Macfarlanes LLP, Jeremy Courtenay-Stamp advises on commercial contracts and IP matters and is known for his experience in advertising. Rupert Casey’s practice includes advice on outsourcing and data protection.

The London arm of O’Melveny & Myers LLP’s worldwide practice is led by Lisbeth Savill, who represented StudioCanal in its claims against Universal Studios regarding its financing of 44 Working Title films. Counsel Sarah Caughey advised Warner Bros on its acquisition of an international production company.

At Penningtons Manches LLP, litigation practice head Alex Fox acts for publishers and also for victims of phone hacking.

At Rubinstein Phillips Lewis LLP, John Rubinstein’s work includes advice to authors and art galleries on a variety of issues, including licensing and pre-publication clearance.

Jenny Afia at Schillings advises recording artists and celebrities on privacy and reputation management issues.

Squire Patton Boggs gives ‘strong, commercial advice and an excellent level of service'. Robert Wegenek advises on issues ranging from social media use to acquisitions. Senior associate Nessa McGill advises on content production, financing and distribution.

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Legal Developments in London for Media and entertainment

Legal Developments in the UK

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    In May 2014, it will be ten years since Regulation No 1/2003 entered into force. When the legislator of the European Union adopted this Regulation on 16 December 2002, its main objective was to decentralise the enforcement of the two main provisions of EU antitrust law, Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (now Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)). Where do the arbitrators fit in this picture?

  • New Immigration Bill, October 2013: cause for concern or appeasing public sentiment?

    The year 2013 has seen a string of reforms to the immigration system by the current coalition government. On 10 October, the government published a Bill aimed at continuing its drive to reduce net migration figures. 

  • New Schengen EU Regulations: impact on short-stay visa visitors

    The publication on 26 June 2013 of the European Union Regulation EU 610/2013 modified the incumbent Regulation EU 562/2006 in relation to third country nationals (ie non-EU citizens) and those travelling on a short-stay visitor visa, as well as those who do not require a visa to enter the Schengen area, Romania, Croatia and Bulgaria. Exceptions include EU and EEA nationals travelling to other EU/EEA states within the Schengen area together with foreign nationals holding either long-stay or residence permits for their destination Schengen countries.

  • New revised guidelines for administrators in pre-pack sales

    Pre-pack sales by administrators are now used frequently enough for most people in business to be aware of them and many have come across them in their business lives. A small amount of controversy still attaches to pre-packs, but it is probably right to say that they are now an accepted part of the UK business scene as a useful means of rescuing a business in difficulty and preserving some or all of the jobs connected with the business.
    - Druces

Press Releases in the UK

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