Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

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

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Media and entertainment (including media finance)
  2. Leading individuals: media and entertainment
  3. Leading individuals: media finance

Leading individuals: media and entertainment

  1. 1

Leading individuals: media finance

  1. 1

Bird & Bird LLP is ‘an extremely impressive firm that delivers highly effective and practical advice in a friendly way’. International media group head Phil Sherrell is ‘an absolute delight to deal with’ and handles litigation in the music, broadcasting, advertising and media sectors. Other key names include David Bintliff (‘a superstar’), who assisted with negotiating agreements between Gamesys and Scientific Games; and Felicity Reeve, whose clients include William Morris Endeavour and the All England Tennis Club. The firm also acts for Paddy Power, Oxford University Press and Time Warner.

Clintons’ ‘very professional’ team acts on contentious and non-contentious matters for musicians, and advises film and TV producers on all aspects of their work, with an increasing focus on film finance. Key figures include Kami Naghdi and Philip Stinson, who handle film and TV matters; Tom Frederikse, who is responsible for digital media; Andrew Sharland and the ‘pragmatic and patient’ David Griffiths, who act for musicians; and James Jones and the ‘exceptional’ John Cohen, who are the primary theatre lawyers. Andrew Myers, Nicky Stein, Peter Button, and Berkeley Edwards handle non-contentious matters for the firm's music clients.

At DLA Piper, Duncan Calow and John Wilks act for the Copyright Licensing Agency, and Calow advised Lawrence King Publishing on its dealings with illustrator Johanna Basford. Nicholas West continued to advise the Premier League on the sale of media rights. Media finance expert Chris Hanson, who jointly heads the practice with Nick Fitzpatrick, handles fund formation and lender-side financings.

Fieldfisher’s media practice is led by Tim Johnson, who advised Ingenious Media on production, financing and distribution arrangements for Six Days, and Working Title on the production of The Danish Girl. His finance work included advising Trinity Mirror on investments in the sector, and acting for Natixis Coficine on the production financing for The Night Manager. Paul Barton’s highlights included acting for McGraw-Hill Education in e-book publishing deals and advising Digital UK on its Freeview Play project. ‘Commercial, capable and positive’ senior associate Emily MacKintosh is also recommended. David Naylor moved to Wiggin LLP in February 2016.

The ‘exceptionalHarbottle & Lewis LLP’s clients include MARV Films, which Jonathan Berger advised on the production and financing of Eddie the Eagle; musician James Ford, whom the ‘excellentChloe Forsyth advises; Hachette, which Shireen Peermohamed assists with a broad range of issues; and Altara Games, which Alan Moss (who is active in both video games and film) advises. Video games lawyer Mark Phillips and theatre lawyer Neil Adleman are also recommended. Abigail Payne handles media finance for banks, regional funds and crowdfunding platforms.

Lee & Thompson LLP delivers ‘very quick response times, first-rate knowledge and extremely appropriate advice’. The firm merged with Forbes Anderson Free in January 2016. Lawrence Engel heads the music department and acts for One Direction, while Kieran Jay and Andrew Thompson act for Jess Glynne and Depeche Mode, respectively. Other key names include Will Everitt, who ‘gets to grips with problems quickly’; contentious music specialists Andrew Forbes and Gordon Williams; Reno Antoniades; and the ‘extremely experiencedChristos Michaels, who advised financiers and producers in relation to a number of major films. Sam Tatton-Brown advises Coutts & Co on financing transactions, and head of television Richard Lever acted for the production company behind The Night Manager. The firm also has expertise in digital media, publishing, theatre and advertising.

The ‘incredibly sharp’ team at Lewis Silkin LLP includes Giles Crown, who heads the media, brands and technology department, and Brinsley Dresden, who leads the firm’s renowned advertising and marketing practice. ‘Superb lawyerPhil Rymerhas a huge knowledge of the industry’ and is acting for clients including Zoella and investors in the upcoming films Swallows and Amazons and Brotherhood. Jeremy Summers (who is noted for his ‘clear advice and ability to anticipate clients’ needs’) advises Live Nation on IP issues. Cliff Fluet and Simon Entwistle are also recommended.

Olswang LLPprovides excellent service backed up by great knowledge and insight’. The ‘very practicalVictoria Gaskell (who is ‘a great asset on any deal’) acted alongside the ‘extremely cleverJohn Enser for Viacom on the outsourcing of the Channel 5 advertising sales and sponsorship function to Sky Media. Paul Guite, who co-heads the media department with Gaskell, acted for DLG Acquisitions on the purchase of the entire issued share capital of New Pictures. Charles Kerrigan is the firm’s head of media finance and Selina Potter is its head of broadcasting. The BBC, Amazon and Jeremy Clarkson are also clients.

Osborne Clarke’s ‘expert’ team includes Paul Gardner, Nick Johnson and John Davidson-Kelly. Davidson-Kelly assisted talent agent Michael Foster with the creation of production agreements for TFI Friday and Top Gear, and acted for Digital UK on the implementation of its Freeview Play project. Other clients include Facebook, Microsoft and BT TV.

Key figures at RPC include Oliver Bray (who ‘has great analytical skills’), Keith Mathieson and the ‘excellentPaul Joseph. The firm acts for publishers, newspapers, video game developers and a number of high-profile internet companies. Mathieson is assisting Associated Newspapers with appeals to the Information Tribunal and Bray advises the same client on promotions and related marketing. Joseph is acting for the BBC in a dispute with Take-Two Interactive that relates to feature-length drama The Game Changers.

Lawyers at Reed Smith LLP are noted for their ‘excellent grasp of media law and the practicalities of business’. The ‘especially wise and helpful’ Gregor Pryor and the ‘deeply knowledgeable’ Stephen Edwards head the media and entertainment industry group, which includes Askandar Samad, who advised BBC Worldwide on its co-production of Earth: One Amazing Day; Nick Swimer, who assisted Sacha Baron Cohen’s company Spelthorne Community Television with its investment partnership with Channel 4; and the ‘efficient and insightful’ Michael Maxtone-Smith, who routinely advises Coutts & Co on film financings.

At Russells Solicitors, managing partner and music specialist Simon Esplen acts for a number of internationally renowned artists; and Gavin Maude, who runs the new artist department, and acts for Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys as well as a number of executives. Steven Tregear heads the litigation department, and handles contractual and copyright matters. Other key names include Chris Organ, whose clients include George Michael; Chris Gossage, who heads the firm’s corporate department; and Jo Brittain, who acted for alt-J on the renegotiation of a publishing deal. Michael Flatley, Kaiser Chiefs and Florence and the Machine are also clients.

At Sheridans, music, theatre and publishing head Russell Roberts advised shareholders in Minder Music on the sale of the company to BMG, and assisted Kassner Music Publishing with the licencing of Kinks music for use in the musical Sunny Afternoon. Film and TV head Peter McInerney advised Jon Plowman on the production of a comedy series starring Dawn French for Amazon, and Jeremy Roberts is a TV specialist who acts for Dreamworks and Warner Bros. The firm also has computer games expertise in Alex Chapman, and media finance expertise in the ‘knowledgeable, fair-minded, likeable, thorough and loyal’ James Kay, whose work has included advising the producers of Trainspotting 2 and Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie.

Simkins LLP’s ‘client-focused, responsive and proactive’ practice includes ‘commercially minded and technically excellent’ film financing expert Jonathan Blair; Ed Baden-Powell, who advised BMG Rights Management on the acquisition of several catalogues, and also handles video games and publishing matters; and Paddy Gardiner and James Harman, who represented Pink Floyd in a High Court dispute with a former promoter. Also recommended are managing partner Euan Lawson, consultant Nigel Bennett and corporate media lawyer Giao Pacey. Charles Saatchi, Iron Maiden and Pottermore are also clients. Lisa Logan joined from Gateley Plc in March 2016.

Taylor Wessing LLP has ‘a very responsive and practical team that is able to provide innovative solutions’. Practice head and highly regarded media litigator Niri Shanmuganathan successfully defended Express Newspapers and Associated Newspapers from harassment allegations brought by David Walliams and Lara Stone. Mike Turner heads the corporate technology group, and advised the founders and shareholders of Unity on its £114m sale to News Corp. Copyright group head Mark Owen and gaming and gambling group head Graham Hann (who ‘can see things from an in-house counsel perspective and provide succinct and practical advice’) are also recommended.

Wiggin LLP’s Charles Moore is a ‘consummate professional who consistently provides outstanding service and invaluable expertise’. He advised Netflix Studios on the production and financing of the Brad Pitt film War Machine, and acted alongside Neil Gillard for DJ Films in relation to Dad’s Army. The ‘judicious, knowledgeable and calmDavid Quli assisted Ingenious Media with the production and funding of Carol, and the ‘helpful and tenaciousRoss Sylvester advised Lebara on the launch of a digital entertainment service. Other key figures include Sean James, who acts for clients such as AMC Networks; Alexander Ross, who acts for prominent clients in the music, digital media and publishing sectors, including Condé Nast; and Medwyn Jones, who assisted Neal Street productions with the production of Penny Dreadful and with the sale of the company to All3 Media.

Steve Holmes and Ben Allgrove head the ‘excellent’ practice at Baker McKenzie LLP, which acts for Google, Netflix, Guardian Media Group and the BBC Trust, and handles corporate and regulatory matters and litigation across all areas of the media. Allgrove continues to act for Virgin Media in a major copyright case before the Court of Appeal, and of counsel Nadia Banno (who is noted for her ‘great judgement and commercial acumen’) defended Associated Newspapers in a data protection and privacy claim brought by Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis.

The ‘excellent’ team at Bates Wells Braithwaite is ‘very good at liaising with other parties to find practical solutions’. Clients include the English National Opera, the British Film Institute, the Man Booker Prize and Endemol, as well as some of the UK’s best-known theatres. Lawrence Simanowitz heads the practice, which includes Rupert Earle, who is known for his advertising expertise, and senior associate Erica Crump, who is ‘an astute negotiator who grasps significant issues quickly and gives clear and concise advice’.

Bristows LLP’s media department is led by Myles Jelf, who advised Sony Group on IT security measures, and includes Paul Jordan, who heads the advertising and marketing practice and assisted Paramount Pictures with a multi-jurisdictional competition. Jordan also acted for P&O Cruises on TV sponsorship and product placement deals, and provides advice to Guardian Media Group. Also recommended are Iain Redford, whose clients include WPP, and Theo Savvides, who is active in the social media, interactive media and publishing sectors.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP’s practice is ‘very commercial and has in-depth industry experience’. Key names include Jason Saiban, who advises Nike on advertising, promotions and sponsorship, and is acting for MMORPG developer NCSOFT on a broad range of matters related to the European roll out of its games; the ‘very knowledgeable and responsiveMark Moncreiffe, who counts ITV among his clients; Keir Gordon, who is acting for Falmouth University on its video games and media incubation programme Alacrity; and senior associate Jaclyn Wilkins.

At Dentons, Ingrid Silver and Jeremy Cohen advised media agency Essence on its sale to WPP, and Silver assisted Canadian music rights management company Ole! Media Management on its acquisition of companies within the Boosey & Hawkes group. Other clients include Virgin Media and the England and Wales Cricket Board.

The ‘pragmatic and highly responsive’ lawyers at Farrer & Co provide ‘detailed, well-structured advice’ to a number of high-profile publishing clients including Bauer Media, the Telegraph Media Group and the Economist Group. Henry Sainty heads the department, which includes Peter Wienand, who is ‘responsive and easy to work with’, Paul Jones and associate Alan Baker.

Goodman Derrick LLP is noted for its ‘good, clear advice and excellent sector knowledge’. The ‘responsive, careful and reliablePaul Herbert acted for Digital UK and its stakeholders in negotiations with Ofcom concerning the clearance of a DTT Spectrum band, and advised the Authority for Television on Demand on its remit and operations. Tanya Shillingford acts for The BBFC, and the ‘professionalEdward Hoare acts for Seven Publishing Group and Pavilion Books.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s practice is led by ‘robust negotiator’ Nick Elverston, who advised Al-Arab on the launch, suspension and relocation of an Arabic-language news channel, and acted for video on demand company FilmFlex Movies. Senior associate Hayley Brady is ‘unflappable under pressure, with incredible stamina and a real eye for detail’.

Kemp Little LLP is ‘an excellent firm’ that ‘continually impresses with its timely, professional, informed support’. Advertising and marketing clients include SET creative, which the firm advised on its partial sale to WPP, and digital marketing agency AKQA. The ‘very pragmaticCalum Murray acts for Ericsson on a range of matters, and acted alongside Paul Garland on IP and litigation matters for The Mill. The firm also provides employment advice to BuzzFeed and Spotify. Susan Biddle joined from Pinsent Masons LLP in November 2015.

Highlights for Simmons & Simmons included advising Comcast on its acquisition of AdTech business Adazzle and defending Activision Blizzard in a dispute brought by former shareholders of a video game developer acquired by the client in 2007. Andrew McMillan and Alexander Brown head the team, which includes IP specialist David Stone. Twentieth Century Fox, Warner Bros and MGM are clients.

Simons Muirhead & Burton is ‘a fantastic firm that does not disappoint’. Simon Goldberg’s highlights included advising Zig Zag Productions on the financing and production of the Channel 4 street magic programme Troy. Marc Sobol, who joined from Wasserman Media Group in March 2015, acted for Premiership Rugby in the packaging of its international media rights for an auction. Also recommended are ‘prompt and practical’ music lawyer Richard Baskind, Razwana Akram, who specialises in film production and finance, and Stephen Shotnes, who is recommended for media-related disputes.

Swan Turton LLP attracts praise for its ‘dedicated and personal service’. The ‘incredibly insightfulJulian Bentley acts for clients including Italian composer Ennio Morricone, while Ann Harrison and Carolyn Burbridge advised The Corrs on their reunion tour and recording contract. Burbridge also worked alongside Stuart Barry and Charles Swan to provide advice to J Walter Thompson. Antony Gostyn heads the film and TV team, and advised on the production of A Street Cat Named Bob.

The ‘excellentAllen & Overy LLPis a force to be reckoned with’. Recent highlights include advising 888 Holdings on its £900m offer to acquire bwin.party, and acting for Activision Blizzard on its $5.9bn acquisition of King Digital Entertainment. Other clients include WPP, Sky and Paddy Power. Antonio Bavasso heads the department, which includes Simon Toms and Dominic Long.

At Bray & Krais, Solicitors, Richard Bray acts for artists, performers, athletes, managers and labels, and Mark Krais acts for clients in relation to live music events. Simon Dixon is especially active in the music and theatre sectors, and advises clients on contractual issues and branding and endorsement deals.

Collins Long is active in the music, theatre and film sectors, where it acts for artists, actors, writers and composers on a broad range of contracts and agreements. Simon Long and James Collins are recommended.

Eversheds LLP advises clients on the exploitation of music catalogues and assists lenders with TV financing transactions. The firm also advised a co-producer of Top Gear Live on the ramifications of Jeremy Clarkson’s dismissal from the BBC. Other clients include Apple Corps, the George Harrison Estate and Elton John. Neil Mohring and Andrew Terry head the department.

At Hamlins LLP, Laurence Gilmore advised the Performing Right Society on copyright infringement and debt actions. Christopher Hutchings’ clients include HELLO! Magazine, which he represented in negotiations pertaining to its coverage of the wedding of George Clooney and Amal Clooney. Philip Herbert provided advice on children’s TV programme The Hive. Julian Ward’s clients include Monterosa.

At Hogan Lovells International LLP, Richard Welfare advises advertisers such as Mars and Belstaff on campaigns and endorsement relationships. Highlights for Peter Watts included advising Discovery Communications on the formation of a joint venture with National Media Group. News Corp and BBC Worldwide are also clients.

Howard Kennedy LLP’s practice is headed by Mark Stephens and Robert Lands. Stephens advised the Design Artist Copyright Society in an arbitration dispute regarding the division of royalties. Tim Bignell acted for Mogwai in a breach of contract claim against its publisher. Brian Eagles left to join Burlingtons Legal LLP in May 2016.

Latham & Watkins’ media specialists include Lisbeth Savill and counsel Sarah Caughey. Both are ‘tremendous lawyers, who are great in negotiations and completely dedicated to their clients’; they assisted Participant Media with the financing of Denial and Eon Productions with the financing of Spectre, as well as advising Cohen Media Group on the purchase of a number of films from the Merchant Ivory film library.

Tony Morris leads Marriott Harrison LLP’s media and IP team, which acted for the shareholders of The Agency Group on its sale to United Talent Group and advised Charlie Simpson on negotiations pertaining to the reunion of the band Busted. Morris also assisted Carnaby Sales and Distribution with a co-production deal for the sequel to Rise of the Footsoldier. Associate Aideen Burke is also recommended.

At Mayer Brown International LLP, the ‘calm, experienced and user-friendly’ Miles Robinson handles disputes relating to music and publishing; Mark Prinsley, who heads the IP and IT group, advises on advertising and social media; and Robert Hamill focuses on corporate transactions. Clients include Hachette, Entertainment One, Universal Music Group and Chatham House.

Travers Smith LLP is noted for its ‘fast, accurate and reliable service’. Highlights included advising Pinewood on the formation of Pinewood Group Television, Nikkei on the £884m acquisition of the Financial Times, Nicab on the launch of parenting app BabyBundle, created in collaboration with Mumsnet, and Ambassador Theatre Group on the launch of its app Ordertorium. Richard Brown and Ben Chivers are recommended.

The technology and IP transactions group at Weil, Gotshal & Manges is chaired by Barry Fishley, who provides advice on IP licensing issues and social media, and includes Hannah Field-Lowes, who specialises in contentious IP matters. Facebook and Yahoo! are clients.

ACK Media Law LLP continued to provide content advice on the Fifty Shades of Grey film trilogy, and acts for the producer of the ITV sitcom Plebs. It also acted for Lupus Films in relation to the BBC adaptation of the Raymond Briggs book Ethel and Ernest. Coutts & Co is also a client. Sue Charles and Nick Miller are recommended.

Arnold & Porter (UK) LLP acts on media-related matters for ITV, Viacom, Barnes & Noble and Disney Interactive. Richard Dickinson leads the transactional media and entertainment practice and focuses on TV clients, while Christopher Stothers handles copyright and trade mark disputes.

Collyer Bristow LLP fields ‘an outstanding’ team of six partners led by Steven Heffer, who ‘combines intellectual ability with real consideration for his clients’ needs’. Howard Ricklow’s highlights included advising composer David Arnold on his work on the film Keeping up with the Joneses, and assisting David Julyan when he came to re-record the Memento soundtrack.

Key individuals at Cooley (UK) LLP include Becket McGrath, Sarah Pearce, and special counsel Brian Chadwick, who joined the firm in March 2016 after serving as general counsel to Miniclip. They advise clients on advertising and marketing, IP issues and corporate matters. As well as advising a number of emerging companies, the practice acts for Twitter, Guardian Media Group and Warner Music International.

The ‘absolutely fantasticDWFM Beckman is noted for its ‘honest, constructive and highly professional approach’. Irving David (‘a very likeable character who never fails to obtain a positive result’) assisted Holding-On Rights with the formation of a joint venture agreement regarding the presentation of an annual music festival, and advised producer Joe Kearns on the grant of a synchronisation licence for the use of his music in a TV advertising campaign. Emerson, Lake and Palmer and violinist Min Kym are also clients.

Foot Anstey’s long list of impressive media clients includes Ministry of Sound, Aardman Animations, Which?, and Newsquest. The Exeter-based Tony Jaffa routinely acts for publishers in defamation-related matters, and advised Local World on competition law aspects of the launch of a digital platform. Tim Taylor advised Warner Bros on the expansion of the Harry Potter Studio Tour.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s corporate department is active in the media sector. Key figures include global M&A group head Ben Spiers and Simon Marchant, who was involved in the 2013 combination of Penguin and Random House and heads the corporate team in London.

Gowling WLG, formed by the February 2016 merger of Wragge Lawrence Graham and Gowlings, advises Carlsberg, Unilever, Volkswagen and Marks & Spencer on advertising matters. Dan Smith assisted Transport for London with its agreement with Santander for the sponsorship of its cycle hire scheme, and acted alongside Kate Swaine for Hovis on the repackaging and re-launch of its bread range.

King & Wood Mallesons acts for Universal Music, Sky, Nintendo and Activision Blizzard. William Holder and Mark Sanders head the team, which handles IP matters and corporate transactions. Jeremy Schrire is also recommended. David Rose moved to Mishcon de Reya LLP in May 2016.

Norton Rose Fulbright advises clients in the publishing and broadcasting sectors on IP, regulatory matters, corporate transactions and disputes. Mike Knapper, Ian Lopez, Chris Pearson and Jonathan Ball are recommended.

Onside Law Limited advises a number of start-up digital media businesses on fundraisings, as well as on IP and employment matters. Jamie Goldberg’s clients include Open Inclusion, a software company that facilitates internet access for disabled users. The ‘fantastic’ Adam Leadercramer acted for e-sports promoter Gfinity in a streaming agreement with Simplestream.

Redd is a specialist IP firm that acts for Microsoft and Take Two Interactive, the creators of the Grand Theft Auto series, and represented Skype in a trade mark dispute with BSkyB. Anna Carboni, Simon Chalkley and Sara Ashby are recommended.

Sound Advice (Legal) LLP provides ‘thorough, quick, commercially focused legal advice’ to artists, songwriters and producers. Sonia Diwan is ‘very personable’ and Robert Horsfall is ‘knowledgeable, professional and tactical’. Chase and Status, Zane Lowe and Robert Plant are clients.

At Weightmans LLP, Sean Crotty advises clients including Playground Games, Nomad Games and Secret Sorcery on software development agreements and other computer gaming-related matters.

B M Nyman & Co is a publishing boutique that advises publishers, authors and literary agents on copyright, trade marks, reputation management and contracts. Bernard Nyman is the key contact.

Clients of the ‘strongBindmans LLP include pianist and author James Rhodes, whom Tamsin Allen defended in an injunction action to prevent the publication of his memoir. Allen ‘combines top-level legal skills with strategic insight’. Criminal lawyer Kate Goold acted for David Miranda in a case that concerned journalistic freedom.

Blake Morgan LLP advises a number of specialist publishers on issues such as copyright, film licensing and libel. Simon Stokes heads a team that includes Sarah Rees and acts for clients including ATG Media, the publisher of Antiques Trade Gazette.

Highlights for Fladgate LLP corporate lawyer David Robinson included advising Cambridge University Press on its acquisition of a list of language textbooks from Advance Materials and assisting One Delta with its acquisition of Audioboom. IP lawyer Eddie Powell successfully defended The United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra in a trade mark and passing-off dispute with the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.

At Gordon Dadds, consultant Nigel Davies handles commercial and IP-related matters in the media and entertainment sector, and consultant Robin Shaw represents clients in media-related litigation. His clients include Private Eye.

Hansel Henson is a specialist firm that advises app and software developers on commercial agreements, advertising law and IP issues. Tom Henson and Richard Barnett are ‘very communicative, well-organised, efficient and personable’, and David Hansel is ‘commercially aware’. Clients include Cellcast, Hutch Games and Easy Fundraising.

At Healys LLP, David Schollenberger advises broadcasters on their dealings with Ofcom, and Nicholas Taylor ‘has a strong understanding of the television sector’. Both advise social media companies and other clients on trade mark and copyright infringement.

Mathias Gentle Page Hassan LLP provides advice to musicians, writers, producers and publishing companies on a wide variety of media-related issues. David Gentle and Bob Page are recommended.

Key figures at Memery Crystal LLP include Tim Ryan, who acted for digital football media business Bigballs Media on commercial contract negotiations with YouTube. Consultant Stephen Milne advised Electric Word on agency agreements in Italy and the UK, and assisted the client with a dispute in Australia. Guardian Media Group and BMJ Publishing Group are also clients.

At Mishcon de Reya LLP, Lewis Cohen advises a number of major clients on advertising and sponsorship matters, and acts for mobile app developers. Fellow IP specialist Ray Black joined from King & Wood Mallesons in July 2015.

GC Diversity and Inclusion Report

In partnership with...

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 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