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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > North West > TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Intellectual property

Index of tables

  1. Intellectual property
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Sarah Bazaraa - Pannone Corporate LLP
    • Michael Forrester - Brandsmiths
    • Andrew Lee - Brandsmiths
    • Andrew Stone - Clarke Willmott LLP

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Intellectual property clients in North West using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Paul Bentham  leads a ‘strong team’ at Addleshaw Goddard that is praised for its ‘genuine contentious procedural expertise and ability to pitch advice at an appropriate business and economic level’. The ‘superb’ James Whittaker  is vastly experienced in the acquisition and exploitation of intellectual property rights with a particular emphasis on IPR acquisition and licensing, media and sponsorship. Legal director Nick Rudgard is ‘thorough, clear-thinking and measured. He is comfortable with his expertise and happy to discuss litigation strategy with non-experts without resorting to legalese or lectures’. Managing associate/trade mark agent Tim Carter  is ‘attentive and helpful. He provides advice that is commercial. He is bright and knowledgeable and has real expertise in this area’. The team has a full-service offering with considerable strength on the contentious and non-contentious side across a broad range of sectors. It has particular expertise in the retail and consumer, financial services, transport, industrials, energy, health and the public sectors. The group handles high quality international work for household names such as Associated Foods plc, William Hill, Lakeland and Warburtons. The ‘efficient, methodical and knowledgeable team is good value for money. It is not afraid to give commercially focused advice rather than a simple restatement of all available options and risks’.

The ‘excellent' Nik White leads the team at Brabners LLP, which includes Colin Bell, who heads the contentious IP/brand protection group and has a ‘phenomenal grasp of a wide range of trademark and patent issues’. Richard Hough  ‘really knows his stuff; he listens to his clients and takes a pragmatic approach to matters’. The team was joined by Hannah Fawcett from Hill Dickinson LLP; Fawcett is a dual-qualified intellectual property solicitor and a chartered trade mark attorney who is skilled at advising on commercial contracts, corporate due diligence as well as intellectual property prosecution and infringement matters.  The team includes solicitors, chartered trade mark attorneys, chartered trade mark administrators/paralegals in addition to a chartered patent administrator. Recently the firm has been busy dealing with a significant number of trade mark, copyright, patent and design infringement cases, and has been advising on a number of major matters in the sports sector.

Clarke Willmott LLP has an ‘extremely knowledgeable and efficient team that is commercially and legally smart and tactically astute’. Team head Roy Crozier’s ‘knowledge and experience in IP is exceptional; he has proven to be an expert litigator, is very commercial and understands the bigger picture and the tactical priorities for the client’. Senior associate Andrew Stone  is ‘excellent- he has great attention to detail, is great to work with, reliable and is a good client manager who is completely committed to his clients’ cases’. For ‘patent and design right litigation this is a very good team, the lawyers understand the case, the priorities for the client and the legal arguments that are being run’. Susan Hall  is ‘pragmatic and result-orientated’. It acts for a wide range of businesses including household names such as UGG Australia, Fred Perry, Superdry and ghd. It is ‘one of the best IP teams outside of London’.

DLA Piper UK LLP's Lee Brierley  is ‘great for large and complex projects with a very good eye for detail’. Based in Manchester, Brierley specialises in all aspects of non-contentious IP with particular expertise in brand acquisition and licensing as well as technology partnering agreements, licensing and manufacturing agreements. Liverpool-based Peter Brook  is involved in all aspects of non-contentious IP, such as protection, licensing and exploitation as well as IP in technology matters.  Senior associate Jim McDonnell divides his time between Sheffield and Manchester and has a wealth of experience in patents, trade marks, designs and know-how and has niche expertise in database rights and market data. The group acts locally for an array of global companies and globally for local companies. An impressive roster of clients includes the Premier League, Beaconsfield Footwear trading as Hotter, London Stock Exchange Group and Gino D’Acampo Worldwide Restaurants.

DWF's team is headed by the ‘very user friendly’ Craig Chaplin, whose ‘service levels are excellent’. The ‘excellent’ team ‘has individuals who know their clients' business so thoroughly that they provide very efficient answers. The team has real strength in depth and adds value with its commercial approach’. Senior associate Catherine Harrison  ‘is very approachable and stands out from the rest; her specialist knowledge of IP and commercial law is first-class’. The team advises a plethora of IP-rich companies and has specialist knowledge of areas such as industrial manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and healthcare as well as leisure and hospitality. It is particularly known for its work in brand licensing, collaboration, protection and litigation work in the retail and sports sectors. It continues to provide IP, sponsorship and strategic commercial advice to British Cycling. Wm Morrisons and Expedia are also clients.

Gateley Plc  has the ‘excellent’ Jonathan Moakes  at the helm. Moakes is an effective IP litigator who also has considerable expertise in life sciences and technology matters. The team also has considerable sector expertise in sport, retail (especially giftware) and manufacturing. John Burns  is adept at advising on intellectual property exploitation, franchising and brand licensing in sports and media and legal director Robert Lye  is skilled on contentious matters. The ‘very proactive’ Lye who is an ‘excellent communicator and is strong technically’ has taken a number of design right and patent infringement cases to trial as well as trade mark and passing off actions to interlocutory hearing. The team is advising Incanthera on a patent assignment and development agreement and on a clinical service agreement with Ellipses Pharma relating to the long term development and exploitation of cancer related drugs. The team has also acted for a number of members of the Giftware Association in various infringement actions.

HGF Law  has a ‘strong IP practice’ with particular strength in the life sciences as well as retail, advanced manufacturing and education. The ‘very effective team’ is also praised for its ‘strong business acumen’. The ‘very responsive’ Janet Knowles is a ‘good communicator and has a very detailed understanding of how our business works’. Antony Gold  heads the firm’s retail practice nationally and in Manchester and acts for many of the UK’s most prominent retailers. Legal director Michelle Davies  is also ‘excellent’. The team's clients include Premaitha Health Plc, Specsavers Optical Healthcare Group, the University of Manchester and Halfords Group. Recent work includes advising Novel Technologies Holdings on the acquisition of patented antimicrobial technology and know-how relating to anti-counterfeiting technology.

Kuit Steinart Levy LLP's team is led by the ‘very well-respected’ Ian Morris, who is 'one of the North West’s leading lights in IP’. Morris is praised for his ‘expertise, experience and his great skill at understanding what the client is really trying to achieve’. A qualified patent attorney, Bruce Jones  has 'a deeper insight into patent and registered design infringement cases’. Recent work includes representing Scomadi Limited (a worldwide brand of retro-styled scooters) in a complex piece of litigation which culminated in the first part of the trial at the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court in early 2017. Other active clients include Beauty Bay Limited, the University of Salford and B&M Retail Ltd.

Pannone Corporate LLP   ‘combines the cost benefits of a regional firm with the expertise of a national firm’. Members of the ‘client-focused’ team include head the contentious IP team Melanie McGuirk . McGuirk is ‘very strong on design rights’ and is a ‘stand-out performer. The results she gets for her clients are consistently impressive’. The ‘hardworking’ Amy Chandler ‘gets the best for her clients and is a safe pair of hands'; she heads the non-contentious IP team. Senior associate Sarah Bazaraa and Paul Jonson  are also recommended. The group has substantial expertise in the fashion industry with clients such as Boohoo, Prettylittething and Admiral Sportswear. It also has considerable experience in the manufacturing, consumer product, technology, bio-technology, software, IT and energy industries.

Samantha Livesey  heads the department at Pinsent Masons LLP  and was joined by senior lawyer Nadia Zegze. The group continues to act as the principal legal advisor to Jockey Club Racecourses Limited (the owners of The Jockey Club and 15 UK racecourses). It has recently been advising the client on various sponsorship and technology procurement contracts. It is also advising the Camping and Caravanning Club (‘CCC’) on its collections and archiving project. The CCC is the oldest club of its kind in the world and has a huge amount of copyright materials in its archives dating back over a century. Other active clients include Lily’s Kitchen and Silentnight.

TLT   has the ‘top-notch’ Graeme Orchison . Orchison has an ‘excellent understanding of the issues and is excellent at explaining these issues to clients. He is very knowledgeable on all aspects of IP litigation’. He has particular expertise in running heavyweight trade mark, design and patent cases to trial and in the appellate courts. He is also highly skilled at making and defending applications for interim relief. The ‘very experienced’ Orchison ‘knows his onions when it comes to IP, not just the law but how to craft a letter and keep the client happy’. Head of the non-contentious practiceDavid Gardner  has substantial experience of advising on strategic contracts and Jake Campbell is ‘very competent at drafting agreements and at making sure that the client is not exposed’. Clients include household names such as Argos and learndirect.

DAC Beachcroft LLP  works for national and international clients on all kinds of IP transactions and disputes.Harald Loeffler  regularly advises on multi-million pound disputes and Andrew Rankin  was promoted to legal director. The team continues to act for Internorm (a large windows brand in Europe) in connect with the protection of its intellectual property rights in the UK, Ireland, Canada and the USA. Other key clients include Bandex Textil und Handels –GmbH and Sir Bradley Wiggins.

At Hill Dickinson LLP Mark Fitzgibbon  and the team routinely advise on brand protection and exploitation, as well as advising on the drafting and the negotiating of sponsorship deals, personal endorsement deals, licenses and IPR assignments for clients such as Coffee Republic, Heritage Apparel and Baseline Health. Hannah Fawcett  is now at Brabners LLP.

Mark Manley at Manleys Solicitors  has ‘many years of experience in this area’. Other members of the ‘commercial and well-organised team’ include Leanne Wheeler and Katie Mickleburgh. The firm has particular experience in advising clients in the media sector such as Bauer Media as well as expertise in the entertainment industry. The team has substantial experience of enforcing its clients’ intellectual property rights and protecting brand names and marks in the High Court and through injunctive actions.

Myerson Solicitors LLP ‘has a really strong IP team, which is growing’. Jonathan Hassall leads on contentious matters with ‘a lot of experience of litigating unregistered IP rights; he has a very strategic mind and is extremely thorough’. Hassall routinely advises on a broad range of disputes relating to trade marks, copyright, patents, confidential information and data protection. He is also skilled at advising on design rights and reputation management issues and is regularly instructed by clients from the arts, media, textile and clothing sectors in the UK and internationally. He is ‘attracting work from a broad range of clients’. Carla Murray  leads on non-contentious IP matters. Scott Sands  has a ‘good tactical awareness which is invaluable when considering commercial strategy’. The team is representing International Pastry Concepts LLC (a New York based pastry house which invented the CRONUTS products that are sold worldwide) on various matters such as enforcing the client’s international trade mark. The ‘excellent’ Vicky Biggs  is now a senior solicitor in the team.

Ben Prangell  at Shipley IP Ltd  is praised for his ‘excellent response times and detailed knowledge’. The firm is ‘an excellent firm to work with as it has a real desire to understand its clients’ businesses and requirements’. The practice has a particular strength in fashion and software and continues to attract clients on both a national and international level. Such clients include Fontsmith as well as Davanti Tyres. Mark Shipley is also recommended.

Shoosmiths LLP  has ‘superb strength in depth and is very committed and knowledgeable. It can always be relied on. Advice often goes beyond what was asked for and anticipates the next step. Even in the direst of situations, the team always comes up with a solution’. Head of department Laura Harper is a ‘strong legal gatekeeper with a broad view of how IP law intersects with business operations. She has an excellent reputation for IP advice in the creative sector’. Carol Isherwood  is an associate who has a ‘wealth of experience in protecting intellectual property, in whichever forms this takes’. It acts for a number of well-known entities such as Sharp Electronics (Europe), The Hamleys Group and Wolverhampton City Council.

Brandsmiths' key figures include the ‘pragmatic and very knowledgeable’ Andrew Lee, who ‘always fights his clients’ case with energy and enthusiasm’; the ‘tenacious' Michael Forrester, who provides ‘clear, direct and commercial advice and is confident in the advice that he gives. He understands the issues and is tactically astute’.  In recognition of their exceptional work, both Lee and Forrester have recently been promoted to partners. Associate John Battersby  is ‘very responsive and a good communicator’. The firm is ‘very modern, friendly and approachable with an excellent understanding of the commercial realities of its clients’. It has an impressive client list with clients such as Beverly Hills Polo Club and BMW/Mini/Rolls Royce.

Taylors LLP has the ‘outstanding’ Tony Catterall at the helm. Catterall is ‘highly efficient, experienced and determined’. Catterall is well regarded for his work with the home furnishing industry and his knowledge of the textiles, interior design and wallcovering market. He is particularly recommended for his work in designs and copyrights. It is a ‘very capable firm in the area of intellectual property. It possess a very focused and talented team that punches well above its weight’. It is a niche commercial firm that supports entrepreneurial owner-managed businesses and autonomous UK subsidiaries of overseas groups. Its clients include Lifeline Project, Belfield Furnishings and Globaltex.

Guy Lightowler  at Gorvins Solicitors is ‘intelligent, diligent, client-focused and tactically astute. He takes a realistic line but fights his clients’ corner’. The team advises on all aspects of intellectual property including copyright, design rights, trademarks and patents both in terms of protecting the rights and at the development stage. Andrew Curwen heads the team that acts for clients such as Dishman Europe, Initial Packaging and GPC Computer Software.

Nexus Solicitors Limited  handles both contentious and non-contentious IP work. Its principal focus is on brand recognition.Christopher Pugh  is a key contact. The firm continues to advice various clients that are operating new start-up businesses in the digital and ecommerce sectors on ecommerce and distance selling regulations, drafting website terms and conditions as well as on privacy policies and data protection issues.

IT and telecoms

Index of tables

  1. IT and telecoms
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which IT and telecoms clients in North West using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Addleshaw Goddard  ’s ‘well-established’ team is specifically noted for its purchaser-focused advice in both the public and private sectors. It is well-equipped to handle high-profile and high-value IT projects and has considerable cloud expertise. It is also skilled at acting for clients that are outsourcing their IT and business processes. Head of department James Whittaker  has an ‘excellent reputation’. The strong team continues to advise EFL Digital (a wholly owned subsidiary of the Football League) on the re-tendering of its contracts for its digital service offerings. In addition the team is advising the Co-Operative Group on a significant business transformation programme. On this deal the practice is advising on the multiple IT procurements of a new retail food IT system from SAP and JDA, together with systems integration services from TCS, SAP and other suppliers. Other important clients include household names such as Matalan and Diageo.Paul Bentham  is well regarded for his advice to clients on major systems implementations and outsourcing projects (including ERP implementations), cloud solutions and ICT outsourcing. Phil McGough  is another key member of the team and has extensive experience of advising on the full range of technology matters from system development and implementation to IT infrastructure agreements.

DLA Piper UK LLP's team acts for major domestic and international clients with diverse requirements including cloud computing, complex IT and business process outsourcing and insourcing, ERP/CRM procurements, systems integration and complex service transitions. It has particular experience in supporting Agile procurements. Blue-chip clients include Axis Bank, Department for Transport/DVLA, Liverpool Football Club, JD Williams Limited as well as Next. Lee Brierley is an ‘outstanding lawyer, hugely experienced, technically first-class and commercially astute’. Peter Brook  is also recommended along with Sarah Bell who advises key public and private sector clients on IT related procurements. Stephen Wright  is ‘quick to grasp the issues and genuinely has got extensive knowledge of IT projects’.

DWF   fields a ‘competent team’ under the leadership of Craig Chaplin  that ‘scores 10/10 all round. The team produces work on time and at a competitive rate’. Key figures include the ‘extremely diligent and technically excellent’ James Lonsdale; Andrew Whalley, who has considerable experience in managing telecoms disputes and has acted for a number of leading domestic and international telecoms operators and resellers; and Aassociate Richard Meehan. The team regularly advises clients on large and complex IT projects of regional and national significance. It has a broad range of sector expertise with considerable experience in IT and outsourcing projects in the financial services and insurance sectors. Clients include Telefonica UK Ltd (o2), Poundland and WM Morrisons Supermarkets. The group acted for Utiligroup in connection with its supply to utility companies of software and a managed service for Smart Metering. Utiligroup is a provider of innovative software as a service and provides managed service solutions to utilities in addition to handling data for over four million customer registrations. Senior associate Debra Coady advises on a range of IT and outsourcing matters such as telematics services and web-based consumer services as well as on data protection and security issues in a cloud computing context.

The team at Brabners LLP  is ‘always available, flexible and is very responsive. It provides advice that is pitched at the right level’. Head of team Nik White  ‘understands the balancing act of keeping us ‘safe’ but also providing commercially viable advice’ .Matt Brown  has the ‘ability to explain complex principles in ‘plain English’ and understands the need for balanced/risk based advice. He does not try to spin out lawyer-to-lawyer discussions over points that are largely moot’. Its client base includes businesses that specialise in biometric technology, commodity trading software, technology systems for financial market information as well as artificial intelligence technology and multi-channel retail systems and solutions. It also has notable expertise in acing for companies operating in the computer software games industry. The group has advised a variety of local and international clients on website/ecommerce related issues on matters such as preparing and negotiating documents relating to website terms and conditions, privacy policies and IT security policies. It also has a number of clients in the fintech sector. The group advised Chase de Vere on a range of contracts relating to the wholesale upgrade of its IT system.

Clarke Willmott LLP  is one of the ‘leading departments outside of London in this practice area and is equal to any department in London’. The ‘extremely responsive’ Susan Hall  is ‘quick to turn things around and has an unrivalled experience of this area and an ability to master the technical detail. You want her on your side’. Hall has considerable expertise in data protection, social media and cyber security issues. Senior associate Andrew Stone  has an ‘incredible ability to master the technical detail which clients are very impressed with’. Highlights included advising the Berkeley Group (a large FTSE company) in carrying out an ongoing programme of technology refresh and replacement. This is a rolling programme and involves several major and high-value contracts in core infrastructure. Meetoo, Devon and Cornwall Housing and Informed Solutions Limited are also clients.

Fieldfisher provides a ‘fantastic service’. The ‘very proactive’ Rob Sheldon  is ‘very business-minded and is able to add value through his understanding of his clients’ business and the broader issues. He provides practical advice based on his clients’ business needs and is very solution-focused’. Both Sam Jardine  and associate Liam Corrigan ‘impress with their responsiveness, proactive nature and sound commercial advice. They show a good understanding of the industry and how any issues can affect us’. Sheldon has been leading the advice to Trilliant Networks UK on a diverse range of matters. Trilliant is a major smart-meter provider and supplies British Gas with smart meters. In other highlights Jardine has been leading the advice to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) on various matters relating to the SRA's flagship Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE), part of the SRA's Training for Tomorrow initiative.

The ‘extremely bright’ Peter Budd at Gateley Plc  is a ‘great tactician who really understands the technology sector’. Budd is skilled at advising on all types of non-contentious information technology work especially those relating to data flows (and international data flows), cloud computing and large scale IT procurement. He has particular expertise in financial services. The group's clients include Odeon Cinemas, Bibby Financial Services, Ladbroke, Lookers and Giacom Networks.

Pannone Corporate LLP's team is headed by the ‘very sensible’ Amy Chandler, who ‘impresses with her knowledge, drafting skills and general good humour under pressure’. The team advises on a broad range of issues but is best known for its work on IT software and website development and implementation and other areas such as hosting arrangements and outsourcing. The team has significant experience advising e-commerce businesses particularly in the retail sector on their online presence for clients such as and Franke. Highlights included supporting its corporate colleagues in advising the management shareholders on the sale of Bollington Insurance Brokers to a newco backed by Inflexion Private Equity (the buyer). In this matter the IT team advised on various issues and helped with matters such as ownership and licensing of domain names and websites. Victoria Dolan has left the firm for an in-house position.

Pinsent Masons LLP  has a strong digital and online practice and is praised for its ‘quick and pragmatic advice’. It regularly advises on the development, procurement and licensing of digital platforms, online trading and on the collection and use of personal data. It is also skilled at advising on the exploitation of big data and online security compliance. The ‘very experienced’ Samantha Livesey and newly promoted partner Claire Edwards  both ‘provide informed, knowledgeable and commercial advice to a high standard’. The team is adept at advising on strategic data privacy projects for clients seeking to collect, own and exploit huge datasets of personal data on an international basis for fan and customer engagement. It has also been busy advising both public and private sector clients on how to respond to cyber security breaches. An impressive roster of clients includes Celtic Football Club, Bonmarché Holdings, Silentnight and the Hanson Group.

TLT is well known for its work on transformational IT projects covering telecoms, outsourcing, software development, SaaS, systems integration and Cloud. It also has a strong practice in the financial services and fintech sectors as well as public sector. It advises a number of national retailers. David Gardner  is recommended. Clients include a national leading UK clearing bank, Close Brothers and Elavon Financial Services.

Weightmans LLP's team is headed by Sean Crotty, who is experienced in drafting and negotiating major IT contracts in the private and public sectors. Crotty also has vast experience of the video games industry. Highlights included advising the Motor Insurers Bureau on the IT aspects and data sharing arrangements between it and the DVLA in relation to the MyLicense Project. The MyLicense Project is a major data sharing scheme between HM Government and the insurance industry designed to combat insurance fraud. The team also advised Playground Games Limited on a multi-million pound game development between it and a major global publisher in relation to a major AAA title together with the development of related DLC.

DAC Beachcroft LLP has an ‘excellent team that really knows its subject; it has a strong breadth of knowledge and provides balanced and commercial advice in order to allow clients to assess the business risks’. The ‘excellent ’Harald Loeffler  specialises in handling complex and often high-value IT disputes. Legal director Andrew Rankin  garners considerable praise for the ‘excellent service he provides’. Rankin and associate Nick Spearing  are ‘both responsive, knowledgeable and commercially balanced in their approach to risk management and business value’. The IT practice reflects the firm’s focus on healthcare and insurance but is also increasingly focusing on the wider private sector. Major clients include TechUK (the UK’s technology industry trade body with 900 member companies), Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Intellifo.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP  specialises in major IT projects, outsourcing contracts and disruptive technology and acts for both suppliers and customers. It has a broad range of sector expertise with particular experience in the technology, consumer, automotive and public sector. Tom Bridgford  leads the North West technology team. Nick Stubbs  divides his time between Leeds and Manchester and specialises in IT and business process outsourcing agreements, financial services distribution and affinity agreements as well as IT licensing and procurement. The team advised Santander on a deal to enable it to participate in the roll-out of a new, image-based cheque clearing system. In another major matter it acted for Computer Sciences Limited (part of DXC Technology, a leading independent end–to-end IT services company) on a new five-year deal with the London insurance market to provide back-office processing of insurance premiums and claims. Other significant clients include Vodafone and AstraZeneca.

Mark Fitzgibbon heads the IT and Information Governance team atHill Dickinson LLP  . New joiner Tracey Sheehan  from Dentons  heads the telecoms team. Sheehan brings with her a wealth of experience in respect of European telecommunications regulation, competition and state aid. The group advises on a wide range of IT matters from IT procurements to software and hardware contracts as well as other matters such as IT audits, data protection and freedom of information issues. Key clients include National Express, Trinity Mirror Group, as well as Bibby Line Group.

Mills & Reeve LLP  provides ‘very good response times and well-presented and appropriate advice that is easy to follow’. The ‘very pragmatic’ Paul Knight ‘delivers solutions and negotiates well’. Knight has particular expertise in software licensing and development and data security. His sector expertise lies in EdTech and FinTech with key clients such as the British Council and Nesta. The team continues to advise the Higher Education Academy on various matters such as on an IT dispute with an online platform provider and on the appropriate terms to incorporate into all its contracts where some personal data is being processed as part of the GDPR.

Carla Murray   at Myerson Solicitors LLP  is ‘very adept at identifying the crux of the issue and then provides clear and concise plans on how to get a solution’. Philip Ball  was promoted to senior solicitor. The team continues to advise a diverse range of clients from individuals to owner managed businesses, SME’s and public limited companies on a variety of IT matters including outsourcing contracts as well as software development and licensing agreements ( such as cloud computing). The team has gained substantial experience in FinTech and RegTech matters. Major clients include CDL Production Services, Customs Connect and Atlantic Commerce Solutions.

Media and entertainment

Index of tables

  1. Media and entertainment
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Carol Isherwood - Shoosmiths LLP
    • Katie Mickleburgh - Manleys Solicitors

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Media and entertainment clients in North West using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Head of department James Whittaker at Addleshaw Goddard ‘consistently provides high quality and commercially-focused advice and is very supportive to his clients’. The group continues to act for a large client portfolio on the advertiser/customer side which includes FTSE corporate clients such as Diageo, PZ Cussons and CYBG plc . It has been busy recently advising on a significant amount of work on global media buying and creative services agreements. Major highlights included acting for Millarworld on the sale of Millarworld to Netflix. This was a notable deal as it was the first major acquisition by Netflix of a content company. Millarworld is famous for its comic books and characters and has written stories that were developed into Hollywood films. Other active clients include JD Sports,, The Co-operative Group and William Hill.

The ‘excellent’ team at Brabners LLP  has been busy advising on a broad range of high profile and complex matters. In a major matter it advised Lucid Games on the negotiation of a preproduction agreement with Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe for the development of prototype software exclusively for Sony’s proprietary PlayStation games platform. The deal is important as Lucid Games is one of only a small number of third party developers that have been engaged to develop such software for Sony. Nik White heads the commercial/IP team, Philip Steele  heads the defamation/privacy group and Paul Lunt  is recommended for his work on the contentious side. The group has also been instructed to act for numerous national governing bodies on a wide range of issues including sponsorship and partnership agreements, broadcasting, digital media and intellectual property issues.

Gateley Plc  has a ‘professional, precise and accessible team’. The ‘very approachable and skilled’ John Burns  oversees the group, which includes Conor Hannon. The team assists independent television production companies, broadcasters, advertiser/agencies as well as sportspersons and football clubs. Other clients include film financiers, producers and distributors in addition to key talent and composers. The group has niche expertise in the area of new media with vloggers, Instagram and Youtube stars. Highlights included advising Rockerdale Studios on the completion of the scriptwriter and artist/actor agreements between the actors and the studio and the actors and the agents in connection with the Rockerdale Studio produced programme ‘Bobby and Harriet Get Married’. In other highlights it advised Koosh Limited on the investment and promotion of Koosh, an app allowing users to create a montage of images to use pictures or videos of friends/family members/colleagues and to connect people to make collages.

JMW Solicitors LLP's practice is headed by Nick McAleenan,  who provides a ‘first-class service and gives very good advice in a timely and efficient way’. His practice is dedicated to advising on media and reputation management issues. He is regularly asked by clients to assist on other areas such as crisis management, data protection and privacy issues. Highlights included acting in the dispute between its client Dan Hooper and the Sun newspaper over particularly sensitive information that was published about the client’s private life. Mr. Hooper is a model and celebrity personal trainer and the former fiancé of Coronation Street actress Kym Marsh. The allegations concerned the client’s use of Skype and touched on important issues relating to data security. In other matters the team has advised Parking Eye/Capita on various matters over media coverage in the national media. Solicitor Laura Wilkinson is experienced in claimant and defendant harassment matters as well as data and privacy protection issues involving corporate and government bodies.

The service at Manleys Solicitors is ‘always 100%’. It is a ‘very good and reliable firm with a genuine specialism in media law to a level unusual outside of London’.Mark Manley is ‘the trump card to have in your pocket. He is an excellent lawyer who specialises in defamation and libel. He is very knowledgeable and has a very good rapport with his clients’. Leanne Wheeler ‘deals with difficult cases very effectively’ and senior associate Katie Mickleburgh  is ‘excellent and really helps to run cases extremely well’. Solicitor Adam Berman  is a ‘very safe and trustworthy pair of hands. He has the admirable strength to keep a cool and reasonable head with the other side so that small disputes along the way (that have the potential to blow up) can be resolved quickly and effectively’. The team defends public figures, private individuals and well-known brands by various means such as preventing invasion of privacy or damaging material from being run by the press. It is skilled at securing damages, corrections and apologies on behalf clients. The team is also highly experienced in the emerging area of online publishing and related legal issues and is frequently instructed to secure the removal of online content from social media and Google.

At Pannone Corporate LLP contentious specialist Melanie McGuirk  ‘continues to impress with her high standards of work’ while the 'excellent' Amy Chandler is a key figure on the non-contentious. Senior associate Sarah Bazaraa  is ‘very professional and displays an excellent work ethic’. The large team advises on the full array of media work. Highlights included representing Mr. Marunchak, the former editor of the News of the World (Irish edition), in the long running computer hacking case in the High Court (dating back to 2011). In another key matter it advised Boohoo on the acquisition of the NASTY GAL brand (including a substantial trade mark portfolio with trade marks in over 30 countries) and other intellectual property rights of US retailer Nasty Gal Inc for $20m. Pets at Home, Iceland Foods, Rob McLoughlin (an award winning broadcaster and producer and former ITV Granada correspondent) and the founders of the Parklife music festival and live music venue The Warehouse Project are all clients.

Shoosmiths LLP is ‘always responsive and accessible. The team has that important ability to be able to explain complex details in layman’s terms’. The ‘very clear’ Laura Harper has an ‘excellent understanding of the tech sector’. Associate Carol Isherwood  has ‘outstanding technical knowledge and fantastic attention to detail’. It has a strong music law practice advising artists and managers and is also skilled at advising cultural organisations and leading festivals. The team has advised pka Orielles on various matters including its recording contract with leading indie label Heavenly Records. It counts Henkel UK and Ireland, Wolverhampton City Council, Hull UK City of Culture 2017 and Game Digital as clients.

Armstrong Legal predominantly handles non-contentious contractual work for independent production companies, including negotiating programme production contracts with all of the major broadcasters, script writing agreements with writers and format agreements with rights owners. It is also skilled at advising on distribution agreements for the international exploitation of programmes. The ‘well-regarded’ Lisa Bindahnee  is a key contact for clients such as Title Role, Libra Television and Channel X.

Counterculture Partnership LLP has ‘very intelligent lawyers who are extremely rational and solution focused. They are keen to keep our costs down and have flawless attention to detail, better than I have ever experienced before’. Others say that the firm is ‘the ‘go to’ firm for arts organisations’. Keith Arrowsmith  is ‘able to convey information clearly and concisely in layman’s terms’. Arrowsmith along with solicitor Laura Marsden are ‘both helpful and responsive’. Mark Roberts  is another primary contact. Clients include Blue Raincoat Music, InnerCity Music t/a Band on the Wall, Children’s Media Conference and Southbank Sonfonia.

At Mills & Reeve LLP  Richard Dawson-Gerrard leads the team and has a particular focus on reputation management and crisis management. The team advises sports clients/household names, individuals, education establishments, corporate and high-net-worth individuals. Principal associate Rachael Somerset is also recommended.

At Weightmans LLP  team head Sean Crotty advises media and entertainment clients on a wide range of issues such as major video game development agreements, licensing, talent, image rights and exploitation in addition to recording agreements. His key clients include Playground Games, Novarama Technology, Side (UK), Nomad games, Secret Sorcery and the Independent Games Developers Association.


Index of tables

  1. Sport
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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The large and cross-disciplinary team at Brabners LLP continues to advise various entities including international federations, national governing bodies, clubs, player/athlete unions, agents and intermediaries as well as individual sportsmen and women. The skilled team also advises sponsors, broadcasters, new media and merchandising licensees. It is acting for new client The Commonwealth Games Federation on various matters including on its relationship with a leading, fully integrated, sports marketing and entertainment agency. In other highlights, the team acted for LEN and its President Mr. Paolo Barelli in contesting various decisions made by FINA (the International Federation and World Governing Body for aquatic sports) related to the determination of complaints that had been made by LEN and Mr Barelli about the conduct of certain senior officials of FINA and their interference in the independent election process of LEN. In other matters the department has advised a number of football clubs on their responses to Clive Sheldon QC’s independent review into historic child sex abuse in football. Maurice Watkins and Lydia Edgar are highly regarded.

Centrefield LLP  is recommended for its work across a range of sports including rugby, swimming, golf, triathlon, cricket and cycling. It is ‘particularly active and strong at representing football clubs’. The ‘specialist team’ advises a host of individuals, intermediaries and high profile sporting organisations including player associations such as PFA (football) and RPA (rugby union) and their members. The firm is regarded as one of the pre-eminent practices in football and regularly represents three quarters of all the Premier League clubs including Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool, Everton, Tottenham Hotspur, Leicester City, Newcastle United and Watford. In addition the team has acted for a number of football clubs internationally across Europe, Asia, North America and Oceania. The department acted on football transfers worth over £500m in the summer of 2017 transfer window. Matthew Bennett  is ‘the ‘go-to’ person for regulatory work’. Bennett advises on complex and high value international player transfers, high profile disciplinary cases as well as on the resolution of disputes at an international level. The ‘well-regarded’ David Bentham  specialises in the commercial aspects of sport such as advising on sponsorship agreements, endorsements and venue agreements. Associate Deirdre McCarthy  is ‘very conscientious and thorough’.

The ‘highly regarded’ John Burns leads the team at Gateley Plc  that ‘has the depth in the team to really support clients’. The ‘excellent’ Stephen Roberts has advised sports organisations and NGBs on a range of governance issues. Senior associate Nick Murrills  focuses on sports litigation and defamation/reputation management. The group is particularly well regarded for brand licensing, sponsorship and general commercial contract work as well as for its work on stadium development. It acts for six premier league clubs and is acting for Bournemouth FC to advise on the construction contracts for its new training facilities which will include ten full-size pitches, three junior pitchers, an indoor artificial playing surface as well as state-of-art medical, fitness and rehabilitation facilities. The department has also been instructed by Brighton and Hove Albion FC on various commercial matters.

The ‘outstanding’ Mark Hovell  at Mills & Reeve LLP is ‘great for international arbitration work and is a vastly experienced lawyer’. He heads the sports team and is a noted arbitrator at the Court of Arbitration for Sport where he is known for his ‘very robust judgments’. Overall the team is ‘absolutely top-class’. Caroline Couse heads the Latin American desk and is experienced in football regulatory and commercial matters. Couse has a wide range of clients with a particular focus on Hispanic clients. Other areas of expertise include advising on women’s sport and on doping cases in football. The group represented Accrington Stanley footballer Patrick Lacey who failed an anti-doping test for cocaine. He was facing a four year ban from the sport. The firm did its own advocacy and managed to reduce the penalty to a 14-month ban instead. The department also acted for Wigan Rugby League Club Limited as it had been charged by the RFL with refusing to play a match. The matter was heard before the RFL and the team was successful in getting the fine and other penalties quashed.

Julian Diaz-Rainey at Pinsent Masons LLP  has extensive experience in sports-related litigation and arbitration as well as governance and regulation issues in sport. His main expertise lies in football and he represents leading premier league and football league clubs as well as a host of major premier league players, governing bodies and agents. Diaz-Rainey has acted for major football clubs, sporting bodies and leading individuals on a range of matters from contractual disputes, disciplinary proceedings to sponsorship agreements. Samantha Livesey  advises on technology and digital rights in addition to wi-fi and data privacy issues for sports related clients. Livesey has also brought on board a number of new retailers who are operating in the sportswear industry. The team continues to advise The Jockey Club on various sponsorship matters. The club owns and operates 15 of the UK’s most famous racecourses (including Aintree, Epson, Cheltenham and Sandown Park). Andrew Mitchell  is a senior associate who specialises in contentious sports matters. He has experience in a broad range of sports such as football, cricket, rugby league, athletics and motor sport. Jo Seed  who is also a senior associate has extensive experience on a wide range of sports including motor sport, football, horse racing and cricket. Manchester City Football Club/City Football Group Limited, Leeds United FC Club, Regatas Vasco De Gama FC and The English Football League are significant clients.

Adelphi Sports Law  is ‘fantastically expert in football in both litigation and non-contentious advice. It is really making a name for itself in reputation management, defamation and injunction work’. The ‘commercially astute’ Paul Fletcher ‘gets good results for his clients and is highly experienced in sports law litigation’. The group is best known for advising football intermediaries/agents and their players on matters including sponsorship and endorsement agreements, player transfers, image rights structures and other areas such as regulatory issues and media crisis management. Fletcher has a particular focus on football but he also provides advice in other sports such as rugby, cricket, darts, tennis and snooker as well as golf.

Jan Levinson heads a multi-disciplinary team at DAC Beachcroft LLP, which provides a wide range of commercial services to an ever-growing portfolio of sports clients. It advises on issues such as employment and contractual matters to sports stadium issues and corporate finance. Senior associate Andrew Martin  is also recommended. The group continues to act for Manchester United and has advised it on issues such as variations to the club’s premises licence. It has also been instructed by Brighton & Hove Albion FC on various matters such as real estate matters and property matters. Sir Bradley Wiggins, ECB Cricket Discipline Commission and National Autograss Sport Association are all clients. The group is also very well regarded for its work in sports injuries.

Hill Dickinson LLP  ’s multi-disciplinary team advises on sports contracts, dispute resolution, disciplinary and regulatory matters, with an increased focus on rights, reputation and brand management issues for clubs, promoters, athletes and ex-athletes. Richard Green and Geraldine Ryan are recommended. The team acted for Triple S Sports & Entertainment Group (a football agency) in a claim for damages against a former employee and football agent involving allegations of breach of post-termination contracts. In another matter it acted for Philip Foden (a Manchester City player and England U17 World Cup winner) in relation to his first professional contract and various sponsorship agreements.

Farleys Solicitors LLP  acts for clients involved in football, athletics, darts, Derny Bike Championships, cycling, short mat bowls as well as golf and boxing. It provides a comprehensive, multidisciplinary service mostly to individuals employed in sport but also to bodies and associations. Head of team Daniel Draper is skilled at representing clients before FA arbitrations, football disciplinary commission panels and in applications before the Premier League Board. Draper has also acted for various footballers in contract negotiations with English Premier League Clubs.

Steve Harvey   heads the department at Hillyer McKeown LLP  . The team continues to act for UK Anti-Doping (‘UKAD’) and a host of professional sports clubs, associations and individuals. Bromborough Golf Club, British Judo and New Brighton Cricket Club are also clients.

At JMW Solicitors LLP Mike Blood  and Marc Yaffe are singled out for praise. Ben Peppi now heads the sport services team having joined the team from an in-house position. Highlights included defending Wayne Rooney when he was charged with driving with excess alcohol. The team continues to act for the match commander David Duckenfield and other senior officers in the recent inquest and ongoing criminal proceedings and alleged regulatory offences stemming from the sporting disaster that occurred at Hillsborough in 1989.

Shoosmiths LLP's team is headed by Richard Millington , who joined in 2016 to set up the sports practice after 12 years as a senior in-house lawyer for companies including Nike and Iconix, the owner of the Umbro brand. The team has worked on matters such as advising Lendy Finance on its sponsorship of the Cowes Week sailing event and providing guidance to The Federation of Sports and Play (FSPA) throughout the UK's Brexit negotiations. It also advised a major international sporting analytics company on privacy concerns under the proposed new GDPR regime.

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