The Legal 500


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

Share this page


Index of tables

  1. Media and entertainment
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Bates Wells Braithwaite has a strong offering in theatre, acting for well-known theatre companies, including the English National Opera, and up-and-coming theatre ventures, such as Stone Nest. Other clients include the British Film Institute, The Space CIC and the Direct Marketing Association. Rupert Earle heads the advertising and marketing practice and Lawrence Simanowitz heads the media and art practice. Sean Egan left the firm in 2014 and founded Sean Egan Consultants.

Clintons’ television and film practice was boosted with the arrival of Kami Naghdi from Fieldfisher in May 2014. Theatre specialist John Cohen is ‘an exceptional negotiator with expert industry knowledge’. James Jones advised Jamie Wilson Productions on the terms of its licence with The Watermill Theatre. Berkeley Edwards, Peter Button and Andrew Myers are the key contacts in its artist-focused music group. Andrew Sharland and David Griffiths have notable experience in music-related contentious matters.

DLA Piper had an impressive year acting for a wide spectrum of clients that are active in the media and entertainment world. Michael Ridley advised Cancer Research UK on its Stand up to Cancer television appeal; Nick Fitzpatrick is acting for Al Jazeera on issues surrounding the international roll-out and operation of its news channels and Nicholas West is part of the team advising the Premier League on its broadcasting and media rights strategy. Duncan Calow is well known for his expertise in traditional print issues, e-book and other e-publishing development, while film and TV expert Chris Hanson and music and music finance specialist Lee McGuirk are also highly recommended.

Demonstrating its strong film and television credentials, Fieldfisher advised Channel 4 on international copyright and licensing issues concerning the reception of C4 services outside the UK. Group head Tim Johnson, Barry Smith and tax specialist Derek Hill are highly recommended. David Naylor is part of the multi-jurisdictional team acting for new client, Buzzfeed, on establishing corporate presences and operations in the UK, Germany and France. Other clients include Getty Images, Freeview and Gumtree.

Harbottle & Lewis LLP attracts praise for its ‘deep specialist expertise in publishing’, and ‘understanding of the commercial possibilities associated with a book platform’. Shireen Peermohamed and Alex Hardy are the main contacts. Alan Moss and Mark Phillips co-head the interactive entertainment group that acted for Take 2 Interactive on tax credit issues. Jonathan Berger is ‘a strong negotiator’ and is highly recommended alongside Abigail Payne and Sarah Lazarides for their expertise in the film and TV sectors. Theatre specialist Neil Adleman has expertise across all aspects of the theatre industry, including theatre tax relief. Other clients include Universal Music Group, Hachette UK, Oxford University Press and National Theatre.

Lee & Thompson LLP is singled out by clients for its ‘extensive experience in the music sector’. The firm fields a number of highly recommended practitioners, including Kieran Jay and Lawrence Engel, who act for some of the UK’s most successful artists including One Direction, Jessie J and Example. Reno Antoniades, Richard Lever and Sam Tatton-Brown are recommended from its ‘outstanding’ film and television group, Will Everitt’s knowledge of theatrical rights is ‘excellent’ and Mark Ashelford has experience in the publishing and digital media fields. Malcolm Murray and litigator Gordon Williams are also recommended.

Lewis Silkin LLP’s ‘efficient and very professional’ team has particular expertise in assisting clients active in advertising and multi-channel networks. The team boosted its theatre and live events offering with the arrival of IP specialist Jeremy Summers, who joined from Pitmans LLP in July 2014. Within its 46-strong team, practice head Cliff Fluet is ‘a true professional with a great sense of humour and the right attitude’. Fluet leads advice to the Royal Albert Hall reagrding all music and commercial deals, including the BBC Proms, Cirque De Soleil and Bluefeast. Simon Entwistle advised Haymarket Media Group on a joint venture with Vertu, and Jonathan Coad has experience handling format infringement matters. Giles Crown and Phil Rymer are also recommended.

Olswang LLP has ‘unrivalled industry expertise in media and broadcasting’ combined with ‘business acumen and industry knowledge’. ‘No one is better in the media world’ than John Enser and Victoria Gaskell, according to one client. Enser brings ‘an unrivalled depth of knowledge to deals’, and Gaskell provides ‘a great service’. Viacom, BBC, Microsoft, Amazon and Shine are key clients.

Osborne Clarke’s digital media-focused practice is led by well-respected media and technology partner Paul Gardner, who specialises in commercial transactions and regulatory issues relating to the crossover of technology and entertainment. Nick Johnson, John Davidson-Kelly and Adrian Bott are recommended.

RPC’s team is ‘second to none both in its knowledge of the relevant laws as well as in providing effective solutions quickly’. Keith Mathieson heads the defendant-focused practice representing press, book and magazine publishers and media insurers. Oliver Bray, who is a recognised specialist in advertising and marketing law, is ‘very commercial’ and ‘aware of industry needs’. Trinity Mirror, Guardian News & Media and Square Enix are key clients.

Reed Smith LLP is ‘excellent both technically and practically’. Stephen Edwards is praised for ‘the speed of response’, ‘peerless depth of experience’ and ‘unflappability’. In 2014, Edwards advised longstanding client BBC Worldwide on cable and other retransmissions of BBC television channels in Ireland. Gregor Pryor is ‘a leader in the online music and audio-visual service sector’. Litigator Michael Skrein and Nick Swimer are further names to note.

Russells Solicitors’ nine-partner team has an impressive music sector client list, from publishers and producers to leading agencies, as well as both established and up-and-coming artists. Chris Organ advises high-profile personalities and Gavin Maude represents artists, as well as music industry executives, managers, independent music publishers and film production companies. Steven Tregear focuses on acting for record companies and executives on claims and disputes regarding contractual and copyright-related matters while Jo Brittain, who specialises in acting for new talent, is another name to note. Simon Esplen and Chris Gossage are also highly recommended in music-related corporate matters.

Sheridans’ film and TV practice has particular expertise in structuring and setting up international television co-productions. Peter McInerney is ‘very commercially aware of developments in the film and television industry both domestically and internationally’. A highlight was McInerney advising the producers of Bend It Like Beckham on theatre and investment agreements. Russell Roberts counts Kate Bush and Sunny Afternoon as clients, Jeremy Roberts and James Kay advised Magine TV on regulatory requirements and channel carriage matters, while Alex Chapman was part of the team advising the owner of Mojang on the $2.5bn sale to Microsoft, and James Sully represents singer Sam Smith. The highly respected Robin Hilton is ‘delightful to deal with’, and Michael Thomas and Stephen Kempner are also recommended.

Simkins LLP has a ‘top tier’ practice with a client list that includes some of the best-known names in the industry. The team is praised for its ‘excellent service’, and ‘knowledgeable and highly responsive lawyers at all levels’. The highly regarded Euan Lawson was part of a team that advised Universal Music Group International in its acquisition of Eagle Rock Entertainment. Jonathan Blair, Ed Baden-Powell and James Harman are all namechecked by clients.

Taylor Wessing LLP’s expertise spans a wide industry spectrum. The cross-practice team enjoys an impressive client list which includes Spotify, Universal Music, Global Radio and Macmillan. Highly respected media litigator Niri Shanmuganathan acted for Spotify in defending a High Court claim brought by Ministry of Sound. The ‘outstanding’ Tony Ghee heads the broadcasting group, Charles Lloyd has considerable experience in advising the advertising industry and Graham Hann and Mark Owen are active in the digital publishing industry. Andrew Davis was promoted to the partnership in 2014.

At Wiggin LLP, Charles Moore is ‘without a question a leading film and TV transactional lawyer’ and ‘one of the best in the UK’. Media, communications and technology practice head Sean James advised ITV on the launch of ITV Encore and the carriage of ITV’s channels and video on demand (VOD) service on Sky’s platforms. Other clients include Disney, Aardman Animations, HBO and Virgin Media. Medwyn Jones is a highly regarded practitioner for the television industry and Caroline Kean regularly advises publishing clients. Music industry specialist Simon Baggs and Shaun Lowde are also names to note.

Baker & McKenzie LLP’s team, led by Steve Holmes and Ben Allgrove, focuses on advising clients from the technology and digital media sector, with capability in the publishing and gaming fields. Allgrove advises on copyright issues, content licensing, regulation and content production. Leveraging the firm’s extensive global footprint, the team advises a number of multinational clients on distribution arrangements, advertising and regulatory issues. Tom Cassels and Joanna Ludlam continue to advise the BBC Trust on a number of editorial appeals, governance procedures and Trust reviews. Of counsel Nadia Banno joined from in-house practice in September 2014.

Bird & Bird is praised for its ‘pragmatic and commercial approach, combined with fantastic industry knowledge’. Graham Smith and new partner Tom Snaith advised EE on the launch of EE TV, and Felicity Reeve and Phil Sherrell advise Yahoo! on a range of matters, including defamation claim and copyright issues. Howard Rubin is noted in the field of computer gaming. David Bintliff is ‘one to watch’. Zodiak Media, Corbis Images, Zipjet and Finery London are new clients.

Bristows LLP has an impressive client list which includes MTV, Google, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and Spotify. Iain Redford advised WPP on a raft of digital media acquisitions, such as those of Cognifide, Precise Media and Neoworks, and group head Myles Jelf and Mark Watts defended Google in proceedings before the UK court from accusations of bypassing security settings on the Safari browser in order to track activity and target users with personalised adverts. Paul Jordan is ‘very knowledgeable and responsive’. Matt Dennis and ‘a great new assetTheo Savvides joined from Bird & Bird and Osborne Clarke, respectively.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP’s team is ‘knowledgeable and very customer friendly’. Nick Armstrongtakes a fairly light touch but knows when to intervene’. Vanessa Barnett led the team assisting Westfield on advertising, marketing and events matters and Jason Saiban advised Nike on a variety of matters including merchandising, marketing and advertising. Duncan Lamont is also noteworthy.

Dentons is appreciated for its ‘extensive international network’ and ‘deep industry knowledge and contacts’. Group head Ingrid Silver is ‘a highly skilled and experienced professional, who engages her clients with utmost dedication and collegiality’. Senior associate Alex Haffner ‘goes beyond the standard service to advise in the best possible way’. Representative clients include OSN, Sony and Tuner Broadcasting.

Farrer & Co has longstanding expertise and an outstanding reputation in print and digital publishing: it also has a growing reputation in the data sector. Group head Henry Sainty’s impressive client list features Sage Publications and the Southbank Centre. Sainty is part of the team that advised on key client Bauer’s joint venture with Arqiva and UTV Media to form a new vehicle. Peter Wienand has a particular focus on B2B data business. Paul Jones is another name to note.

Media litigation boutique Forbes Anderson Free fields four highly regarded practitioners. The team has particular expertise in music litigation, as well as online and digital matters. Andrew Forbes continues to act for BPI on blocking injunctions against ISPs, while Dominic Free specialises in the digital exploitation of music and books. Dominic Bray and Martyn Bailey are also recommended.

At Goodman Derrick LLP, the well-regarded practice head Paul Herbert acted for Digital UK and its stakeholders, ITV, Channel 4, Arqiva and the BBC, in arrangements for the launch of Freeview Connected. The ‘knowledgeableEdward Hoare’s clients include Seven Publishing Group and Pavilion Books. Media litigator Clive Ince is another key figure.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s client base ranges from traditional rights holders to digital players, including Sky, FilmFlex Movies and Perform Group. The ‘diligent’ team has particular strength in advising Middle Eastern and African media clients; one highlight included assisting Al-Arab with the launch of its Arabic satellite news channel. Amanda Hale advised new client AMC on commercial agreements which formed part of its new partnership with the BBC. Nick Elverston has ‘in-depth industry knowledge, combined with lively intelligence’, and the ‘very capable’ senior associate Hayley Brady is also highly recommended. Competition specialist Stephen Wisking and IP litigator Joel Smith are also key figures.

Howard Kennedy LLP’s four-partner team, led by Mark Stephens, advises a broad range of clients across the media and entertainment sector. In 2014, the multi-disciplinary team advised Paradigm Talent Agency on the acquisition of a 50% stake in Coda Music Agency. Brian Eagles has expertise in internet issues and data protection, and has experience in handling IP-related contentious matters. Robert Lands specialises in IP, data protection, advertising and sales promotion.

Kemp Little LLP stands out for its expertise in digital media and boasts an impressive client list which features Narf Games, Spotify, the Financial Times and SoPost. Group head Andy Moseby was part of the cross-departmental team that advised Upcast Social on its £10m acquisition by MediaMath UK. Calum Murray has considerable expertise in the contractual and regulatory aspects of digital media. Paul O’Hare and Paul Garland are further names with a good reputation in the industry.

Simons Muirhead & Burton has a strong reputation for assisting clients from the music and publishing industries: Richard Baskind and the ‘incredibly supportiveSimon Goldberg are the key contacts. Martin Soames is also recommended for his expertise in the publishing sector; clients include Random House, Simon & Schuster and Grove Atlantic. The highly regarded Stephen Shotnes handles media-related disputes and pre-release/transmission content clearance matters. Highlights included assisting Skint Records on the sale of the company to BMG Rights Management and acting on the production financing and distribution arrangements for the film Absolutely Anything. James Greenslade and Razwana Akram are also recommended.

Swan Turton has ‘a strong reputation in advertising and marketing law’. Charles Swan’s knowledge and expertise in the sector is ‘unrivalled’, while Julian Bentley and new consultant Ann Harrison are highly recommended for their expertise in the music industry. IP specialists Carolyn Burbridge and Nicky Androsov joined from Bird & Bird and Fletcher Day Ltd respectively in 2014. Representative clients include JWT London, Underworld, Peer Music and Association of Photographers.

Allen & Overy LLP’s cross-disciplinary team includes practitioners that advise on IP, privacy, antitrust and regulatory matters. The team has a particularly strong track record in media M&A, such as Antonio Bavasso advising 21st Century Fox on its joint venture with Apollo to combine production house Endemol, Shine and CORE Media Group. Corporate partner Simon Toms and media litigator Neville Cordell are also recommended.

Bray & Krais, Solicitors advises a wide range of clients operating within the music and entertainment industry, and has particular expertise in handling high-profile and international branded live events. Mark Krais acts for artists, live-event production companies, record labels and publishing companies. Richard Bray and Simon Dixon are also highly recommended.

Collins Long handles contentious and non-contentious matters, and has particular strength in advising the music industry. Simon Long and James Collins are the key contacts.

Collyer Bristow LLP acts for a wide range of media clients including the Mercury Music Prize, Film Club and Arabian Publishing. Howard Ricklow continues to act for composer David Arnold regarding the musical Made in Dagenham. Defamation and reputation management and the media and culture group head Steven Heffer advises on phone hacking and contractual disputes in media, arts and sports.

Partners and associates at Eversheds LLP have ‘in-depth knowledge and valuable experience’, and make up ‘a truly unflappable team’. Neil Mohring is ‘unfailingly professional’ and ‘always guides his clients to the best solution’. Clients include Paramount Pictures, Yahoo!, Live Nation and Apple Corps.

Gateley Plc has notable experience in the television and film sectors acting for clients such as Alaska TV Production, Pulse Films and October Films. Lisa Logan heads the 11-partner team, which saw the arrival of Craig Rattray from Olswang LLP in January 2015.

Hamlins LLP is well known for handling contentious and non-contentious IP matters, with particular expertise in advising the music industry collecting societies on copyright issues. The highly regarded Laurence Gilmore specialises in music litigation, and Philip Herbert is ‘very knowledgeable and helpful’. PPL, Hello! magazine, TVCatchup (UK) and Hive Enterprises are clients.

Leveraging from its global capability, Hogan Lovells International LLP advises on big-ticket deals for a wide array of clients including 21st Century Fox, the BBC and The Walt Disney Company. The team was boosted by the recruitment of the highly regarded Don McGown and Eduardo Ustaran, who joined from Allen & Overy LLP and Fieldfisher respectively in 2014. Practice head Peter Watts and Penelope Thornton are the main contacts.

King & Wood Mallesons has an impressive client list including Universal Music Group, Nintendo, BskyB, and All3Media. IP specialist David Rose acted for Sky in its defence of trade mark infringement and passing-off proceedings brought against it by PCCW. William Holder, Mark Sanders and Cameron Firth are highly recommended.

Latham & Watkins saw the arrival of the highly regarded Lisbeth Savill and Sarah Caughey, both of whom were previously at O’Melveny & Myers LLP. The team, alongside US colleagues, is advising the International Olympic Committee on the creation of a global Olympic sports channel. Cohen Media Group, Participant Media and STX Filmworks are also clients.

At Marriott Harrison LLP, mediator and arbitrator Tony Morris is particularly experienced in advising on the acquisition and disposal of catalogues of films, programmes and recordings. Morris advised Domino Music on the acquisition of the V2 music publishing catalogue. Aideen Burke, who focuses on content in the film and music industry, is another name to note.

Mayer Brown International LLP acts for content owners in the music, publishing and broadcasting sectors, and advises corporate and financial institution clients on matters relating to advertising and social media. Representative clients include Entertainment One, the Publishers Association and Hibu. Litigator Miles Robinson handles disputes for clients in the publishing and music industry. Mark Prinsley is a further name to note. Sarah Byrt retired. Gillian Sproul left for Greenberg Traurig Maher LLP.

Simmons & Simmons acts for an impressive selection of well-known media organisations, among them 20th Century Fox, MGM, NBCUniversal and Warner Bros. IP specialist David Stone and corporate partner Andrew McMillan are recommended.

Travers Smith LLP is praised for its responsiveness and ‘sensible, commercial advice’. The practice, led by Tom Purton, advises on a broad range of legal and commercial issues, including broadcasting regulation, competition, branding, film and TV rights licensing and joint ventures. The ‘pragmatic’ Richard Brown led the team advising Vubiquity on its acquisition of FilmFlex Movies. Ben Chivers is a further name to note.

Barry Fishley at Weil, Gotshal & Manges continues to advise Facebook on a wide range of IP-related issues, while new partner Hannah Field-Lowes and Jamie Maples are acting for Ingenious Media on a $1bn appeal against HMRC.

ACK Media Law LLP’s team acted for the producers of a number of films, including Autobahn, Life and The Hallow, on all aspects of production, with emphasis on structuring and financing. New partner Nick Miller, Susan Aslan and Sue Charles are the main contacts.

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP manages the worldwide trade mark portfolio for the Financial Times newspaper. IP specialist Simon Clark, senior associate Toby Headdon and consultant Simon Harper are the key contacts.

Cooley LLP established its first European office in London in January 2015, hiring a number of well-regarded former Edwards Wildman Palmer UK LLP practitioners to develop its media and entertainment team. Key contacts include IP partners Nick Bolter and Chris Coulter, and competition partner Becket McGrath. Guardian Media Group, Nikon Europe and Warner Music International are clients.

DWFM Beckman is praised for its responsiveness and ‘clear and concise advice’. Music specialist Irving David is ‘knowledgeable with strong communication skills’ and is a ‘good technical draftsman’. Representative clients include Dance UK, the Frederick Ashton Foundation and Simon Napier Bell.

At Foot Anstey, employment law specialist Richard Neary advises media clients on contentious and non-contentious matters, while Exeter-based Tony Jaffa specialises in publishing law, including online publishing. Martin Cuell and Chris Worrell are also names to note. IP disputes and rights protection specialist Neil Parkes joined from Wiggin LLP in 2015. AB Multimedia, Aardman Animations and Happiour, are new clients.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s M&A group is active in the media sector. Ben Spiers and Simon Marchant are the main contacts. Recent work includes acting on the disposal of EMI’s music publishing and recorded music businesses, and advising BT on the £12.5bn acquisition of EE from Deutsche Telekom and Orange.

Norton Rose Fulbright successfully resolved High Court litigation for Imagina Contenidos Audiovisuales regarding a broadcasting rights-related licence dispute in Spain. IP and technology partner Mike Knapper, Jonathan Ball, Chris Pearson and Ian Lopez are the key contacts.

Onside Law Limited has particular expertise in advising talent in the TV and music industries. Jamie Singer and Simon Thorp are recommended.

IP-focused specialist firm Redd advised on a complex trade mark infringement dispute against a broadcaster. Simon Chalkley has extensive experience in media content development, licensing and distribution work. Clients include Square Enix, Microsoft and Harlequin Mills & Boon.

At Weightmans LLP, Liverpool-based practice head Sean Crotty has expertise in the fields of video games, music and TV. Managing partner John Schorah is experienced in acting for computer games clients.

Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co LLP’s media practice focuses on digital advertising. A highlight for the team was advising Premier Foods Group on its major TV campaigns. Kate Swaine and Dan Smith are the main contacts. Unilever, Marks and Spencer plc and International Media Group are also clients.

Arnold & Porter (UK) LLP advises on IP-related matters. Representative clients include ITV, Amazon, MTV and Western Digital. IP specialist Ian Kirby joined Carpmaels & Ransford LLP in 2014.

Bernard Nyman at B M Nyman & Co is highly regarded for his expertise in publishing law, acting for publishers, authors and literary agents. Nyman also advises on copyright, trade mark and confidentiality issues.

At Bindmans LLP, Tamsin Allen is ‘an excellent and skilful media litigator who gets straight to the point and fights hard for her clients’. Katie Wheatley and Martin Rackstraw have expertise in the defence of journalists accused of crimes. Representative clients include the National Union of Journalists, Index on Censorship and Undercover TV.

Simon Stokes at Blake Morgan LLP has knowledge of the publishing sector, with a particular strength in advising financial institutions and financial publishers on data supply and licensing.

At Briffa, managing partner Margaret Briffa advises on IP protection and enforcement, with particular emphasis on contentious matters.

IP litigator Jeremy Dickerson at Burges Salmon LLP is the key contact. Clients include Endemol and Thomson Reuters.

Clients of Covington & Burling LLP praise the team’s responsiveness and ‘extensive industry knowledge’. Clients include Facebook, National Geographic and The Washington Post. Lisa Peets, Paul Claydon, Louise Nash and James Halstead are the main contacts.

BSkyB, Odeon Cinemas and Cambridge University Press feature in Fladgate LLP’s client roster. In 2014, the team acted for One Delta on the £2.62m all-share acquisition of Audioboom. Grant Gordon, David Robinson and Eddie Powell are recommended.

Consultant Nigel Davies at Gordon Dadds assists record and music publishing companies, talent sponsorship and marketing agents on contentious and non-contentious matters.

Media and IP boutique firm Hansel Henson advises on publishing and broadcasting via the internet, TV and mobile networks as well as content aggregation, creation and delivery, online marketing and brand communication. Name partners David Hansel and Tom Henson are highly recommended.

Magrath LLP acts for recording artists on publishing deals, production agreements, and sponsorship and merchandising agreements. Litigator Jeremy Hershkorn and consultant Alexis Grower are the key contacts.

Mathias Gentle Page Hassan LLP has particular experience with recording and music publishing, acting for artists, writers, producers and independent record and publishing companies. David Gentle and Bob Page are the main contacts.

Mishcon de Reya advises media clients on a range of contracts, from acquisitions to sponsorship, agency and distribution agreements. The firm also advises on social media-related issues. IP partner Lewis Cohen is highly recommended.

At Smiths-Law LLP, Andrew Lewis and Liam McNeive are notable practitioners. The team advises music streaming services and independent record labels on IP and commercial matters, and internet and mobile-based businesses on data protection and privacy matters.

Music boutique Sound Advice (Legal) LLP acts for a number of emerging artists, writer/producers, independent music publishers and management agencies. Robert Horsfall and Sonia Diwan are key contacts.

Press releases

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to

Legal Developments in London for Media and entertainment

Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to

Press Releases in the UK

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to