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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



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


The β€˜excellent’ Paul Bentham at Addleshaw Goddard has extensive experience of advising both private and public sector clients on major systems implementations and outsourcing projects, ERP implementations, cloud solutions and ICT outsourcing. Phil McGough is described as a β€˜rising star’ and James Whittaker, who heads the firm’s national technology and outsourcing practice, is also well regarded. Whittaker regularly assists large listed companies on IT, telecoms and technology solutions procurement matters. The team is renowned for its purchaser-focused advice in both the public and private sectors and for its involvement in some of the most high-profile, high-value IT projects, in addition to its cloud expertise. It is continuing to advise Co-op on various contractual matters relating to its agreement with IBM to build an integrated insurance platform, and is defending Diageo in a claim by SAP (UK) for alleged breach of contract and potential copyright infringement over additional software licensing fees amounting to Β£55m. Other clients include British Airways and Associated British Foods.

The β€˜very commercially aware and responsive’ team at DLA Piper UK LLP provides β€˜robust and practical advice’. The team includes a number of β€˜highly intelligent and dedicated individuals’, including the β€˜extremely bright’ Lee Brierley. For outsourcing matters Stephen Wright is β€˜very strong and exceptionally experienced at delivering the most complex IT projects’. The β€˜talented’ Sarah Bell advises public and private sectors clients on IT procurements and is also recommended alongside Peter Brook and senior associate Paddy Dwyer, who has been advising on multiple complex IT deals. The practice advises blue-chip domestic and international clients on various matters including cloud computing, complex IT and business process outsourcing and insourcing, ERP/CRM procurement, and Agile procurements. The group advised Conviviality on its procurement of an Oracle J D Edwards ERP Solution and warehouse management system. The team also continues to advise on the SEFT project, a DfT-funded programme to deliver smart ticketing infrastructure and products to the rail network surrounding London. Other major clients include Next and Biffa Group.

DWF fields a team that is β€˜particularly strong on client care and provides tailored and client-focused advice’. The β€˜excellent’ James Lonsdale is praised for providing advice that is β€˜on a par with the Magic Circle’. Craig Chaplin β€˜very quickly gets to the heart of complex matters; he has an enviable ability to co-ordinate teams to ensure that the most efficient and effective course of action is taken’. Andrew Whalley’s clients range from SMEs to large multinationals. The team has been instructed by Manchester United to review its IT contracts which involves the review of 137 contracts. In other highlights it advised a major company on its supply to utility companies of software and a managed service in relation to smart metering. Other key clients include Expedia and Serco.

Brabners LLP provides a β€˜very responsive and proactive service; it is happy to go the extra mile when needed and provides a very realistic, pragmatic and solutions-driven approach that takes into account all the relevant commercial issues’. The β€˜very reliable’ Nik White garners praise for his β€˜no-nonsense, professional and knowledgeable’ approach and his β€˜great attention to detail’. Matt Brown is able to β€˜translate the legals into understandable business language’. Its client base includes businesses specialising in biometric technology, commodity trading software and technology systems for financial market data, in addition to notable expertise acting for companies operating in the computer software games industry. It has been advising the Wayne Rooney Foundation on a range of matters in connection with Wayne Rooney’s testimonial year. It also advised Chase de Vere IFA Group on an IT system upgrade, which involved a variety of business-critical software packages.

Peter Budd at Gateley Plc is β€˜extremely bright, efficient and thoroughly understands the tech sector’. He is adept at handling all aspects of non-contentious IT work, especially those relating to data flows, cloud computing and large-scale IT procurements. He has particular expertise in financial services and regularly advises on various regulatory matters as well as major issues surrounding data protection and e-commerce.

The β€˜responsive and proactive’ team at Pannone Corporate LLP is headed by the β€˜hardworking, technically excellent and motivated’ Amy Chandler. Clients say that they have β€˜absolute trust and faith in Amy and the firm to look after our best interests’. The β€˜commercial’ Victoria Dolan is recommended and associate Rebecca Lunney is praised for her β€˜clear and easy-to-follow advice’. The practice advises on a wide range of IT contracts and disputes involving IT development agreements, software licences, IT support/maintenance agreements and hosting agreements. It also routinely advises on complex data protection issues and provides support on corporate transactions. Highlights included advising Carm Productions on a new virtual Grand National racing game and TV show, and assisting on various contractual matters. Other clients include, Brother International Europe, Steamhaus and new client Pets at Home.

Pinsent Masons LLP has an β€˜excellent, very responsive and pragmatic team’ that is β€˜always one step ahead on each transaction’. Samantha Livesey is β€˜very knowledgeable’ and legal director Claire Edwards has β€˜the knack of making complex matters sound simple, which allows her clients to focus on the commercials’. It is adept at running major technology projects and has a strong digital and online practice. The team has also been advising both private and public sector clients on how to respond to cybersecurity breaches. Highlights included acting for Celtic Football Club on a number of key IT contracts and mobile application procurements, and advising on the telecoms acquisition by Metronet (backed by Livingbridge private equity) of M247 Limited (an internet infrastructure and web hosting provider).

TLT’s β€˜team works very well together to provide a truly joined-up service’. The β€˜extremely thorough’ David Gardner has β€˜great attention to detail’ and Stuart Campbell is a β€˜very capable tech lawyer who is immensely experienced’. The team is regularly involved in outsourcing, software development, systems integration and other issues such as cloud technology. It has particular expertise in financial services, retail and the public sectors. The team acted for the sole owner of Giacom, a national provider of cloud-based solutions, in a major sale and investment transaction with Lloyds Development Capital. Other clients include a national clearing bank and Bridge Accelerator Limited.

Sean Crotty at Weightmans LLP advises high-profile clients in the private and public sector including Motor Insurers’ Bureau and Derbyshire County Council. The team advised Playground Games on a multimillion-pound video game development, and Gary Jones led the advice on the implementation of a software as a service agreement enabling its client (The University Caterers Organisation) to purchase catering supplies from a vast number of suppliers in the UK through an online procurement portal.

Susan Hall at Clarke Willmott LLP is praised for her β€˜very good technical knowledge, which endears her to clients who feel that she speaks their language’. Senior associate Andrew Stone is also singled out for his technical knowledge and his β€˜attention to detail’. Hall advises a wide range of clients from government departments to universities and multinationals on major ICT agreements and technology disputes. Her particular strengths lie in data security and data protection as well as legal issues surrounding social media. Highlights included acting for Pentest in its disposal to Secarma. Pentest is a major provider of cyber security and penetration testing services to blue chip commercial and public sector clients.

The β€˜very knowledgeable, pragmatic and commercial β€˜Harald Loeffler at DAC Beachcroft LLP is β€˜able to summarise complex issues and get to the root of the problem quickly’. Jan Levinson is also recommended for his contentious work on IT and outsourcing disputes. The team acts for software suppliers including Allscripts IT Healthcare, EMIS Health Secondary Care and Bullhorn International, and advised The Valuation Tribunal Service on all aspects of its procurement and contracting for its primary software application.

Tom Bridgford is recommended at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP, which was joined by Nick Stubbs from Ward Hadaway. Bridgford has particular expertise in IT procurement and outsourcing projects. His strengths lie in sectors as diverse as technology, franchising, chemicals and hotels/leisure. The team advises on the full spectrum of technology contracts including outsourcings, cloud computing, agile software development agreements and systems supply/integration agreements. Highlights included advising Jerrold Holdings on the drafting and negotiation of an agreement with Mando Group for the supply of consultancy services and software development and the production of digital auction finance services.

Fieldfisher is a β€˜firm with a real can-do attitude that delivers an outstanding service with a high degree of business pragmatism and responsiveness’. The β€˜solutions-driven and proactive’ Rob Sheldon β€˜provides very clear and practical advice and is also extraordinarily good at complicated commercial projects’. He is recommended for his work on IT and outsourcing projects and frequently advises clients on their compliance with privacy law. He is skilled at advising customers and suppliers from a range of sectors such as financial services, insurance and retail. The β€˜knowledgeable and experienced’Sam Jardine has the β€˜ability to see a problem from her clients’ commercial angle’. He has particular expertise in outsourcings and software-related agreements. Associate Liam Corrigan β€˜cuts to the root of the problem and then suggests practical solutions that work’. The β€˜commercial team’ is experienced across a variety of sectors such as retail, financial services and energy and counts the Department for Transport, Fortnum & Mason and as clients.

The β€˜very practical’ Mark Fitzgibbon is recommended at Hill Dickinson LLP, which was joined by Paul Walsh, who specialises in IT and telecoms disputes, from DLA Piper UK LLP. Walsh advises clients on all aspects of claims for breach of contract arising from the termination of contracts and telecoms disputes. The group advises on a wide range of IT matters, from IT procurements to software and hardware contracts, as well as handling IT audits, data protection and freedom of information issues. It is assisting Trinity Mirror Group in the spin out of its digital arm businesses.

Kuit Steinart Levy LLP acts for key suppliers and a wide range of customers. The non-contentious team is led by Martin Lewis, who has significant experience acting for FTSE 100 companies, high street retailers and NHS Trusts. The contentious team is headed by Ian Morris with support from Damian Bailey. They have advised on a number of high-value software and database disputes. Other highlights included advising Fanatics (International) on various data protection content issues and, in a multi-jurisdictional matter, providing Cloudfactory with various contractual, data protection and IT strategic advice.

Paul Knight leads the team at Mills & Reeve LLP following his relocation from the firm’s Cambridge office. He β€˜listens well, is able to drill down to the salient points and then can provide clients with the service they need rather than what they think they need’. Knight has particular expertise in software licensing and development in addition to data security, with a focus on the educstion and financial services sectors; his clients include the British Council, Higher Education Academy and Crowdsurfer Limited. The firm primarily acts on the purchaser side.

Key figures at Myerson Solicitors LLP include newly promoted partner Carla Murray, who is β€˜exceptional’ and has a β€˜keen eye for identifying the potential pitfalls in proposed contracts’. The team has β€˜proved to be an invaluable partner in assisting in a wide range of commercial contracts by providing a comprehensive and first-rate service’. It advises a range of clients form various industries and has particular experience in licensing software solutions to FCA-regulated sectors (such as insurance and banking). It advised Atlantic Commerce Solutions (a tech start-up that provides online marketplace management services) on the drafting of a set of standard terms and conditions, as well as on its data protection policy.

Intellectual property

Index of tables

  1. Intellectual property
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Sarah Bazaraa - Pannone Corporate 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


Addleshaw Goddard has a β€˜strong national IP practice that is efficient, methodical and knowledgeable’. Key figures include Paul Bentham, James Whittaker, managing associate Tim Carter (who is β€˜bright, attentive, helpful and sensible’) and legal director Nick Rudgard, who provides a β€˜quick and efficient service’. The full-service practice provides contentious and non-contentious advice across a broad range of sectors including retail, financial services, transport, health and the public sector. It routinely manages the trade mark portfolios of household names such as Harrods, Home Retail Group (which includes Argos, Homebase and Habitat Retail), Liverpool Football Club and Moneysupermarket. Other key clients include the Clinigen Group, Diageo and Wolseley.

Brabners LLP has a specialist IP team that deals with contentious and non-contentious IP work as well as registered trade mark and design mark prosecution. It is also skilled at advising on online brand protection and infringement such as keyword infringement and domain name complaints. Colin Bell is a β€˜pleasure to work with’ and Nik White provides a β€˜really great service’. The team is advising Melissa McCue trading as EBC Couture and Swim on the intellectual property rights in her products, including bringing claims against a number of infringers of her products.

Clarke Willmott LLP is praised for β€˜its good teamwork and for being responsive to its clients’. Roy Crozier is β€˜particularly excellent at brand protection and counterfeiting work’. He advises on all aspects of contentious and non-contentious intellectual property law and has acted for some of the best-known brands in domestic and international disputes. Also recommended are Susan Hall, who is β€˜experienced, calm, knowledgeable and very good with clients’ and β€˜efficient’ senior associate Andrew Stone, who is praised for his ability to β€˜fights his client’s corner’. Hall has worked with a wide range of clients, from government departments and universities to multinationals, owner-managed businesses and start-ups, on complex IP matters. Clients of the β€˜superb team’ include Fred Perry, Ugg Australia and new client Canon, which the practice assists with the protection, enforcement and exploitation of their intellectual property rights. In a major case the team advised BaByliss in a patent and design right infringement action that was brought in the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court relating to the client’s award-winning β€˜Curl Secret’ product.

DLA Piper UK LLP has a β€˜very experienced team that is particularly adept at advising international clients’. Lee Brierley and Peter Brook are key figures at the β€˜successful practice’, which acts for key regional clients and overseas clients on a broad range of issues such as patent litigation and high-tech litigation and database rights. It acted for AO World in its challenge to a third party that sought to register a new β€˜AO’ EU trade mark. The practice is also advising the Premier League on various matters such as the enforcement of copyright in audio-visual content against pubs showing broadcasts without appropriate licences.

The β€˜well-known and well-connected’ Craig Chaplin at DWF is β€˜seriously good at IP law; we know that we can rely on him to deliver good results’. Other key figures of the β€˜responsive and efficient team’ include James Lonsdale, Paul Attwood and Joel Heap, who spearheads the IP litigation practice. The team has specialist expertise in areas as diverse as industrial manufacturing, pharmaceutical and healthcare, and is particularly known for its work in other areas such as brand licensing. The team continues to advise British Cycling on an array of complex IP and sponsorship matters. Other clients include Wm Morrison Supermarkets, Fix8 Group, Burton Biscuits and James Cropper.

The β€˜well-established’ team at Gateley Plc is headed by the β€˜very well thought of’ Jonathan Moakes, is praised for his β€˜very wide range of experience and excellent technical expertise’. He is known as an excellent IP litigator and for his expertise in dealing with life sciences and technology matters. Other key figures include John Burns, whose main areas of expertise lie in intellectual property exploitation, franchising and brand licensing; and β€˜excellent’ legal director Robert Lye. The team acted for a number of members of the Giftware Association in infringement actions and acted for Pendle Metalwares in an action against Office Depot Limited (Viking Direct, which related to an infringement of unregistered UK and Community design rights in cigarette bin designs. Other significant clients include Hachette Book Group, JD Sports Fashion and Phoenix 7.

HGF Law’s β€˜effective team’ attracts praise for its ability to β€˜adapt to suit the clients’ needs’. The β€˜practical and commercial’ Anthony Gold, whose advise is β€˜always to the point’, is recommended alongside Janet Knowles, an able transactional lawyer who is experienced in the life sciences industry and has also been working with educational institutions and their spin-out companies. In an illustration of its multi-jurisdictional expertise the team is acting in patent proceedings for an international manufacturing client in the Danish Maritime and Commercial Court. Other major clients include Halfords Group, Specsavers and Brooker Group.

Kuit Steinart Levy LLP has a β€˜very strong team based in Manchester’, which is noted for having β€˜a depth of knowledge that is equivalent to a far larger firm whilst having the personal level of contact of a family firm’. It provides β€˜prompt, concise and commercial advice’. The β€˜tenacious, sensible and tactically astute’ Ian Morris heads the team and β€˜will get the best commercial deal for the client’. He is assisted by the β€˜superb’ Martin Lewis, newly promoted partner Claire Meyers, who is both β€˜knowledgeable and sound’, and Yasmin Kalantari, who β€˜quickly gets to grips with often quite complex facts’. Bruce Jones joined from Hill Dickinson LLP. The team advises on both contentious and non-contentious IP law with a particular focus on complex litigation involving software and database protection, international trade mark litigation and licensing. In a high-profile matter the practice is advising Christine Kendall in her case against fashion house Alexander McQueen for alleged breach of copyright in relation to the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding dress. Other notable clients include CharacterWorld and Beauty Bay Limited.

Pannone Corporate LLP attracts praise for its β€˜professionalism, advice, service levels and response times, which are all excellent’. The β€˜extremely capable’ Melanie McGuirk β€˜will pursue infringers and their legal representatives with a dogged determination to fully protect her clients’ intellectual property rights; few other lawyers show such determination for their clients’. For non-contentious IP work the β€˜excellent’ Amy Chandler β€˜delivers a great service’. At associate level Sarah Bazaraa has β€˜extensive knowledge of dispute resolution and always provides clear, concise and practical advice which is specifically tailored to her clients’ needs’. The practice acts for clients in the fashion, consumer product, manufacturing, technology, bio-technology, software, IT and energy sectors. Highlights included advising Boohoo on its proposed bid to acquire NASTY Gal brand (which includes a substantial trade mark portfolio with trade marks in over 30 countries) and other intellectual property rights from US retailer Nasty Gal Inc for more than $20m. Other clients include Pets at Home and Iceland Foods.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s team attracts praise for its β€˜concise and commercially focused’ advice. The team is led by Samantha Livesey, an β€˜excellent communicator’ who is β€˜extremely knowledgeable, personable and professional’. It has a strong digital and online practice with particular expertise in sport, retail and consumer brands. Clients include the Jockey Club, Silentnight and the English Football League. It is also recommended for its data protection advisory work. The team advised Monster Energy Europe on a 41-jurisdiction sales promotion relating to the latest release of the Call of Duty computer game, where consumers could redeem free in-game content from codes printed under ring-pulls on promotional Monster Energy drink cans.

Key figures at TLT include the β€˜technically excellent’ Graeme Orchison; he is a β€˜cracking IP litigation lawyer’ who β€˜understands the issues and translates them into an easily understandable format for his clients’. Associate Asima Rana is also praised for being β€˜very helpful and practical’. The practice acts for a variety of blue-chip clients with a particular specialism in IP cases involving complicated IT copyright issues. David Gardner heads the non-contentious practice. On the contentious side, the team acts for Home Retail Group on all contentious intellectual property matters involving Argos and Habitat Retail. It is also acting for Matalan on an appeal to a High Court Judge by SoulCycle regarding the Souluxe trade mark.

Harald Loeffler heads the department at DAC Beachcroft LLP, which acts for national and international clients on a broad range of contentious and non-contentious IP issues. Legal director Andrew Rankin is strong on commercial contracts. The practice advised LIWEST Kabelmedien GmbH on its software and hardware licensing/transfer agreements with Netflix. It also continues to act for Europe’s largest windows brand, Internorm, on the protection of its intellectual property rights in the UK, Ireland, Canada and the USA.

Key figures at Fieldfisher include Bill Lister, a β€˜highly experienced IP lawyer who is very talented at reacting quickly to complex problems and then producing an excellent outcome for his clients. He knows his stuff inside out.’ Lister has an extensive track record advising UK and international clients on contentious and non-contentious matters. The department specialises in all areas of intellectual property law including copyright, designs, passing off, trade marks, trade secrets, breach of confidence and patents. It also has experience handling disputes in the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court and the High Court in London. Highlights included acting for Silentnight Group in a trade mark infringement claim against Deluxe Beds following the use of β€˜Silvernight’ on websites and in advertising material to sell beds, divans and mattresses. In another complex matter it is acting for Furmanac in a breach of confidence claim triggered by the disclosure of trade secrets by a former finance director to the client’s competitors.

Mark Fitzgibbon and senior associate Hannah Fawcett are key contacts at Hill Dickinson LLP. The team advises on brand protection and exploitation such as sponsorship deals, personal endorsement deals, licences and IPR assignments. It is acting for Heritage Apparel and Proper Mag Media in a trade mark dispute over the use of the mark β€˜PROPER’. Other key clients include Cataclean Global. Bruce Jones joined Kuit Steinart Levy LLP.

Jones Legal Limited attracts praise for its ability to β€˜provide the quality of advice of a large firm without the price tag; it offers better value for money than London-based IP lawyers’, according to one client. Patricia Jones adopts a β€˜straightforward, no-nonsense approach and gives very clear advice’. She has advised on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious matters in a variety of industry sectors such as chemicals, fashion, pharmaceuticals and life sciences. Her clients range from university spin-outs to large multinational companies. The firm is strong on IP litigation and is well known for brand and design right enforcement, with particular expertise in enforcing IP rights against online infringers and look-alike products. Active clients include Flatshare.

Mark Shipley heads the team at Shipley IP Ltd, which includes β€˜excellent associate’ Ben Prangell. Julien Macdonald, The App Business and BrewDog are all clients of the specialist IP practice, which focuses on trade mark, design right and software protection. It regularly advises individuals and brands from the technology, fashion, retail and media industries.

At Myerson Solicitors LLP the β€˜extremely thorough’ Jonathan Hassall specialises in non-contentious IP matters and is β€˜very good on the client care side’. He is recommended alongside non-contentious IP specialist Carla Murray, who β€˜leaves nothing to chance’. Clients include International Pastry Concepts LLC, which it advises on the enforcement of its trade marks across the UK and Europe.

Manleys Solicitors fields β€˜tenacious and innovative litigators who don’t fear to take an unconventional approach when it seems appropriate’. Mark Manley is a β€˜very experienced litigator who has a commercial approach and has excellent knowledge of this field of law’. Manley specialises in areas such as image rights issues and disputes over the wrongful use of IP. Associate Katie Mickleburgh is β€˜very focused and has good attention to detail’. The team works for a broad array of media clients; highlights included being appointed by a major celebrity photo agency, Fame Flynet, to act as their legal advisers for all IP, licensing, copyright and related issues on an ongoing basis.

Nexus Solicitors Limited advises on contentious and non-contentious intellectual property matters such as brand recognition, enhancement and exploitation strategies. It successfully concluded a claim for a high street cosmetics brand in relation to the infringement of its leading product, which was resolved by way of voluntary injunctions and the payment of its client’s costs. Christopher Pugh is a key contact.

At Shoosmiths LLP the team has been busy advising on a number of key projects. One such highlight included its appointment as sole legal adviser to Whispering Smith Ltd to advise it on a regular basis on design rights, copyright and trade mark issues. The team is now advising the company on the expansion of its flagship business into South America. Richard Millington joined the team, which includes Laura Harper.

Brandsmiths is β€˜a breath of fresh air in the North West; it is a dedicated IP firm that will do well as its reputation continues to grow, particularly in the sports sector. It could be hard to beat’. Among its β€˜experienced lawyers, who are up to date and most importantly enthusiastic’, are senior associate Michael Forrester, who is β€˜very capable’, and associate John Battersby, who is β€˜very experienced’. Clients include BMW/Mini/Rolls Royce, Beverly Hills Polo Club and SRG Apparel t/a Tokyo Laundry.

Gorvins Solicitors advises on all aspects of intellectual property including copyright, design rights, trade marks and patents, covering every stage of protecting those intellectual property rights, all the way through to enforcing or disputing those rights once established. Andrew Curwen heads the department, which acts for clients such as Dishman Europe, GPC Computer Software and Ritrama (UK).

MLP Law LLP acts for a number of household names and companies in the digital technology sector. Stephen Attree is a key contact and Steve Hartley is recommended for his transactional work.

Taylors provides an β€˜outstanding service; it has first-class knowledge and its response times are fast’. The team is β€˜easy to communicate with at every level’ and is led by the β€˜fantastic’ Tony Catterall, who is praised for his β€˜extensive knowledge of all aspects of intellectual property’. He is recommended for his work within the home furnishings industry and has a vast amount of knowledge of the textiles, interior design and wallcoverings market industries. The team is well placed to advise on all aspects of intellectual property matters. Highlights included successfully settling a claim for infringement of copyright in textile designs that was brought by its client. The team favourably settled the matter before it went to court on the basis of undertakings, an apology in the trade press and the payment of damages/costs.

Media and entertainment

Index of tables

  1. Media and entertainment
  2. Leading individuals

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


The β€˜excellent’ James Whittaker leads the team at Addleshaw Goddard, which acts for a large portfolio of clients on the advertiser/customer side, with an extensive track record of advice on high-profile advertising and sponsorship campaigns. Whittaker is recommended for his experience in drafting brand ambassador contracts, agency contracts and sales promotions. Legal director Rebecca Moore is praised for her work in matters such as copy clearance and sponsorship agreements. In a major highlight the team acted for 2 Sisters Food Group (owners of the Goodfella’s Pizza brand) on the drafting and filing of a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority regarding superlative comparative advertising claims that were made by Dr. Oetker in respect of its Ristorante pizza brand in various media, on-pack and across social media. Other clients include Royal Mail, and Marketing Manchester (part of the Manchester Growth Company).

Brabners LLP fields lawyers who are β€˜knowledgeable, practical and excellent at anticipating clients’ needs; the team is superb at client care’. Philip Steele is noted for his β€˜thorough knowledge of the law combined with good practical sense, which enables him to provide good all-round advice to his clients’. Paul Lunt is also singled out for praise. The β€˜terrific’ team routinely acts for clients in the sports, media and entertainment industries on reputation management issues involving media crisis management, misuse of confidential information, libel and slander, in addition to malicious falsehoods. The team provides a range of media and defamation advice to International Sports Agency Management and several of its sports clients.

Gateley Plc provides a β€˜consistently excellent service; responses are quick, accurate and helpful’. The β€˜enormously helpful and knowledgeable’ John Burns is a β€˜very reliable lawyer who gives us reassurance and confidence in what we are doing’ and solicitor Conor Hannon is β€˜diligent and quickly grasps the key issues’. The media team assists a wide range of entities such as independent television production companies and broadcasters, in addition to individuals such as film financiers, producers and composers. The team has also been developing its traction among new media clients such as vloggers and Instagram and Youtube users. Highlights included advising on the hosting, broadcasting and other commercial sponsorship arrangements for the Lacrosse World Cup, which is to be held in Manchester in 2018. It also advised Lookers on an agreement with its Audi franchise to use musicion Danny O’Reilly of The Coronas as a brand ambassador. Other clients include Bestival and Everton FC, as well as new clients such as Those Licensing People.

Clients of JMW Solicitors LLP appreciate the team’s β€˜very hands-on approach; the team ensures that its clients are given a level of service that is on a par with the Magic Circle in London’. Head of department Nick McAleenan attracts praise for his β€˜friendly and knowledgeable demeanour, which makes him one of the most user-friendly solicitors in this area’. He is supported by solicitor Laura Wilkinson. The team has been appointed by the High Court as lead solicitor (representing over 5,500 claimants) in a group litigation claim against Wm Morrisons Supermarkets, which arose from the leak of Morrison’s payroll information in 2014 by a Morrison’s employee. Other key clients include the actress Cath Tyldesley and the British Parking Association and its membership.

Manleys Solicitors fields a team of β€˜hardworking lawyers that is genuinely committed to each case. The team is always conscious of keeping costs down and of advising on the most effective course of action for the clients to take.’ Key figures include the β€˜exceptionally strong’ Mark Manley and the β€˜very thorough and insightful’ Leanne Wheeler, who is β€˜very experienced’. The specialist media practice has an extensive celebrity and media industry client base across the UK and also acts for a growing number of high-profile politicians and public figures. It is acting for Professor Mundell in the defence of a defamation case and is advising ex Joy Division and New Order bassist Peter Hook on a derivative claim by Vitalturn that holds all the rights to the New Order trade mark and to the band’s back catalogue. The firm is also known for its experience in pursuing high-value phone hacking claims against publications on behalf of its celebrity clients.

Laura Harper heads a strong team at Shoosmiths LLP that is well known for its work on music law advising artists, managers, lawyers and cultural organisations. It is also skilled at advising on leading festivals with clients such as Future Everything and Liverpool Sound City. In addition it is known for its work in the communications sector advising advertising, design, PR and digital agencies on various issues such as brand protection, advertising regulation and data protection. Following a national competitive tender it has been appointed to Hull UK City of Culture to act as a specialist arts legal adviser on this high-profile cultural and regeneration project. It has also advised Iconix Brand Group (a global brand licensing corporate) on its suite of agreements relating to a high-profile endorsement campaign for its Lee Cooper brand with recording artist Jack Garrett.

Armstrong Legal advises on non-contentious contractual matters for independent film production companies. Lisa Bindahnee is recommended.

Richard Dawson-Gerrard and principal associate Rachael Somerset are the main contacts at Mills & Reeve LLP, which advises corporates, education establishments, high-net-worth individuals and sports clients. It is particularly known for its work on reputation management issues in the sports and education sectors.

Christopher Pugh is a principal contact at Nexus Solicitors Limited. The team continues to advise a number of clients operating in the digital and e-commerce sectors on various issues such as e-commerce and distance selling regulations. It is also active in drafting website terms and conditions and privacy policies, as well as data protection issues, brand management issues and intellectual property matters.

Pannone Corporate LLP has a β€˜top-notch team that shows strong commercial awareness and is incredibly focused on providing an efficient, cost-effective service’. Melanie McGuirk is β€˜consistently reliable and wise beyond her years’. Also recommended are Amy Chandler, who leads on the non-contentious side, Paul Jonson, and associate Sarah Bazaraa, whose β€˜advice and case management is excellent; she is very good at ensuring that desired outcome is achieved’. The team advises on the full range of media work and is acting for the former editor of the News of the World (Irish Edition) in a long-running computer hacking case in the High Court (dating back to 2011). It also acted for the founders of the Parklife Weekender music festival and live music venue The Warehouse Project on the simultaneous sale of a majority interest to Live Nation (the world’s largest live entertainment company).

Andy Booth at SAS Daniels LLP specialises in the music business, book publishing and creative industries generally. He acts for a number of artists including New Order, Pixies, The Coral, Johnny Marr, Blossoms and many other well-known bands. Recent highlights include advising Jane Weaver on the negotiation of a worldwide record deal with Fire Records.

Sean Crotty at Weightmans LLP advises a number of high-profile media and entertainment clients on a wide range of issues, including major video game development agreements, licensing, image rights, and exploitation and recording agreements. His key clients include Playground Games Limited, Novarama Technology SL, Relentless Software Limited, Side (UK) Limited, Secret Sorcery and The Independent Games Developers Association. The team advised Nomad Games in relation to a video game development agreement for a major PC title.


Index of tables

  1. Sport
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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Key figures at Brabners LLP include the β€˜excellent’ Maurice Watkins and the β€˜thorough’ Lydia Edgar; Edgar β€˜quickly understands the clients’ needs, provides options and solutions to tight deadlines, and is good at making the clients feel confident that they are in safe hands. She is trustworthy, reliable and reassuring’. The team was joined by Simon Taylor from Kennedys; he specialises in motor sport work primarily. Director Jason Smith is also singled out for praise. The team has been advising on a five-year commercial agreement between Premier Gateway International and its client Chester Race Company in relation to providing wagering services at Chester & Bangor-on-Dee Racecourses. Other clients include Liverpool FC, Barnsley FC, British Swimming and UCI (the world governing body for cycling).

According to one client, Centrefield LLP is β€˜among the best specialist sports practices by some distance, and undoubtedly one of the leading firm of solicitors for football’. The β€˜extremely popular’ Matthew Bennett has β€˜unparalleled knowledge and experience of regulatory law and is very popular with clients’. The β€˜first-class and responsive’David Bentham has β€˜excellent industry knowledge and a superb commercial focus’. The β€˜very bright, calm and unflappable’ Stuart Baird, who was recently made partner, β€˜knows the football industry inside out and commands respects’. Edward Canty is another β€˜pre-eminent sports lawyer who is knowledgeable, skilful and user-friendly’. The team works with governing bodies, national associations, leagues, clubs, players and athletes on the full range of sports matters. It represents the Professional Footballers’ Association on a broad range of matters and has been advising Leicester Tigers Rugby Union Club on its new sponsorship agreement with Holland & Barrett, which was appointed as the club’s main sponsor ahead of the 2016/2017 season. Other recent highlights include advising on high-profile managerial appointments and dismissals in the Premier League and the Football League.

Led by the β€˜highly regarded’ John Burns, Gateley Plc has a β€˜strong position in the market’ and provides a β€˜very personable and responsive service’. Burns is β€˜extremely commercial and has an ability to see the world from the client’s perspective’. Also recommended are associate Nick Murrills, who has β€˜wide-ranging knowledge of sports law’, and solicitor Conor Hannon, who is β€˜precise, knowledgeable and pragmatic’. The practice has been advising on a range of important deals and is well regarded for its work in brand licensing, sponsorship, general commercial contracts and stadium development work in the sports sector, especially for football clubs. It has been advising Everton FC on its first-ever rights deal with USM Holdings for the club’s training ground at Finch Farm. It also advised Samworth Brothers on the partnership agreement between the client’s Ginsters brand with the Football League and separately with Plymouth Argyle FC. This was the first football league partnership that Ginsters had been involved in. Other key clients include Manchester City FC.

Mark Hovell heads the team at Mills & Reeve LLP. He is a noted arbitrator at the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) and in 2016 issued more than 40 decisions at the CAS involving issues ranging from doping, match fixing and employment law to disciplinary and training compensation matters. Carol Couse is a key consultant and heads the Latin American desk. She is vastly experienced in football regulatory matters and has a particular focus on Hispanic clients. The team regularly advises clubs such as Burnley FC and Glasgow Rangers on transfer deals, player contracts and on various disciplinary matters with players. It also routinely advises on the full range of issues involving image rights in football, such as establishing and restructuring image rights companies in the UK and abroad to ensure tax compliance. It also advises on image rights deals between footballers’ image rights companies and football clubs following transfer negotiations. Other key clients include the Welsh Rugby Players’ Association.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s β€˜top-notch team’ is headed by the β€˜commercially astute’ Julian Diaz-Rainey, who is one of the β€˜go-to people for sports disputes outside of London; he is an excellent litigator who has a very strong following in sport’. His main area of expertise is sports-related litigation and arbitration, but he also covers issues concerning governance and regulation in sport. He represents Premier League players as well as Premier League and Football League clubs. The β€˜dedicated and knowledgeable’ Andrew Mitchell (a senior associate) also has an β€˜impressive pedigree in this area’. β€˜Hardworking, switched-on and very experienced’ senior associate Jo Seed is also recommended. Clients include Everton FC, Sport England, Rugby Football League, London 2017 and British Equestrian Federation.

At DAC Beachcroft LLP, Jan Levinson continues to enjoy longstanding relationships with a number of sports clubs, governing bodies, venues, personalities and their insurers. He is also known for his work on sports injuries. The team was instructed by Sir Bradley Wiggins in relation to the termination of his agency relationship with his agent, MTC (UK) Limited. The team has acted for Manchester United for more than 20 years in relation to all alcohol/gaming and other licensing issues.

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 and athletes. Richard Green and Geraldine Ryan are recommended. The team is acting for a number of sports people, celebrities and other high-profile individuals on compensation claims arising from News Group International/Mirror Group’s well publicised phone-hacking. In another key matter it represented Wayne Rooney following an article published by the Irish Examiner alleging that Wayne Rooney was dropped from the Manchester United squad for their fixtures with West Ham United and Wolfsburg as he turned up to training with alcohol in his system. The claim was settled by the Irish Examiner with an apology and the payment of damages and costs.

Paul Fletcher at Adelphi Sports Law has a β€˜real depth of sports law knowledge, particularly in football. He is very good at managing the politics of football and balancing the needs of clubs, managers, agents and the players’. The team is best known for advising football intermediaries/agents and their players on matters including sponsorship and endorsement agreements, player transfers, image rights, book deals and other issues such as crisis management. Other areas of expertise include advising event promoters, PR companies, marketing agencies and sports apparel and equipment suppliers on contentious and non-contentious matters.

Farleys Solicitors LLP provides a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary service mainly to individuals employed in sport but also to bodies and associations. It has continued to act for those involved in various sports such as football, darts, cycling, short mat bowls and boxing. Team head Daniel Draper is experienced at representing clients in various venues such as before FA arbitrations and football disciplinary commission panels. In addition he has acted for a number of footballers in contract negotiations with English Premier League clubs.

Hillyer McKeown has a new head of team following the arrival of senior associate Dominic McGinn from Cassell Moore. He represents a wide range of clients including Premier League footballers and football agents. Steve Harvey and David Jones were instructed by the UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) to draft and negotiate a tripartite co-operation agreement between WADA, UKAD and RUSADA for the provision of sample collections and testing services to Russian athletes.

JMW Solicitors LLP’s ongoing highlights include representing Wilfried Bony in a claim against two former agents, their two companies and a Premier League football club in relation to the misappropriation of substantial sums of money over a period of years. In another significant matter it is advising Scott McGarvey in a claim against the Daily Telegraph for deceit/misrepresentation arising from undercover reporters pretending to be an overseas investment group wishing to invest in a UK football agency. Mike Blood, Marc Yaffe and Jordan Mornington are recommended.

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