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Boyes Turner fields a specialist digital media team, which is led by recently promoted partner Sarah Williamson, who has ‘an incredible breadth of knowledge’ in data protection, brand licensing, digital advertising technology and commercial agreements, among other matters. The practice’s clients include Guardian News and Media, Hot Pickle and Auto Trader; the latter instructed Williamson on several high-profile matters, including advising on an agreement in relation to making a promotional film for Ferrari featuring Ben Collins, who appeared as The Stig on BBC’s Top Gear. Mark Blunden leads the commercial and technology practice, and assisted a US marketing company with an event to celebrate the release of a major film in Times Square. Content harvesting and commercialisation spanning traditional, online and mobile media outlets are among Blunden’s other strengths.

Cripps LLP has handled a number of corporate transactions and commercial contracts work for media, marketing and publishing companies. Nigel Stanford acted for DAC Group Europe in its £4.15m acquisition of Ambergreen Internet Marketing, and advised Local Planet on launching a privately owned international network of media agencies. Keesing Media Group and Samba Communications are other clients. Recently promoted partner Kathryn Rogers, Irfan Baluch, Salim Somjee and practice head Pete Kenyon are key figures in the practice, which is also adept in corporate reorganisations, data protection, IP work and various other matters.

Musicians, sportsmen and other high-profile private clients instruct Irwin Mitchell, and the firm’s recent merger with Thomas Eggar Solicitors‎ added practice head Stuart Padgham and associate Aurelia Butler-Ball; the duo advised Lady Leshurr on a series of lucrative contracts, including her signing to RCA Records and a brand deal with Converse. Sarah Birkbeck also joined through the merger with associate and sport expert Tom Barnard, who is representing Jessica Varnish in a British Cycling investigation and bringing counterclaims against the governing body concerning press and public relations exposure. Kim Walker and Birkbeck provide ongoing advice to The Conan Doyle Estate on global brand protection, licensing, trade mark applications and developing brand guidelines. Clients also include Lawton Communications Group and DK Music Management.

Publishing law is Maier Blackburn LLP’s forte and the firm’s recent matters included contractual mandates, IP issues and moral rights disputes. The ‘excellentCathleen Blackburn has been particularly active in copyright work with litigator Steven Maier, who acted for The Tolkien Estate in filing a copyright infringement claim against a jeweller relating to rings that had been inscribed with Elvish script from The Lord of the Rings trilogy; the firm also represented the estate in a high-profile dispute with Our Lady's Abingdon, which released two unpublished poems without permission. Agatha Christie Limited, DreamWorks Animation, Simon & Schuster and Marvel Entertainment are also clients.

Tom Lingard leads Stevens & Bolton LLP’s practice and is well regarded for publishing agreements, IP, defamation and a plethora of other mandates. Advising Ross Dickerson and his company DR Physique on copyright issues and a publication agreement with Misfits Publishing was a highlight for the practice, which is also acting for Dickerson in a dispute concerning the book’s publication. Lingard, together with senior associate Elaine O'Hare, also represented Belgian company BONJOUR in bringing a copyright infringement claim against freuds and Greater London Authority in relation to films made by the companies. Other mandates included trade mark infringements, license revocations and employment matters. Cineworld, Centaur Media and Nintendo UK are also clients.

Jill Bainbridge impresses with ‘excellent client care’ and leads Blake Morgan LLP’s practice, excelling in cross-border, social media, defamation and reputational management work. A recent highlight saw Bainbridge act for a national charity in a dispute with a former employee who breached a compromise agreement by making statements to an international journal, and representing QCR Recycling Equipment against a competitor that allegedly made repeated defamatory statements and malicious falsehood claims. The client list also includes the University of Winchester, Fuel Defend Global and private clients. Associate and chartered trade mark attorney Ben Evans is an ‘excellent lawyer, who understands client needs’.

The technology and media sectors are among Moore Law’s core industry strengths. Digiquip Group, Cactus Studios and Aptivate are key clients of the specialist commercial and IP firm, which is led by the ‘accomplished’ Tristram Moore, who ‘has a huge amount of experience’. The firm handled IP, web compliance and corporate matters for The Culture Space to develop its online media and ticketing platforms. Other areas of expertise include social media content management, royalty agreements, and copyright protection and exploitation.

At Shoosmiths LLP, London-based associate Sherif Malak is ‘a consummate professional, who clearly cares deeply about providing an excellent service’. Recent highlights included advising Estée Lauder on launching a retail messenger facility on Facebook’s messenger service, and assisting Euromonitor International with contracts for its online intelligence subscription service, Passport. YouGov, The White Company and GAME are additional clients of the practice, which is led nationally by Gary Assim from the London and Milton Keynes offices. Publishing and digital media expert Laurence Kaye became a consultant.

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Legal Developments in South East for Media and entertainment

  • Ofcom publishes review of the wholesale broadband access market

    On 3 December 2010, Ofcom published its final statement setting out its analysis of the state of competition in the wholesale broadband access (WBA) market and the measures it is taking to protect consumers in situations where competition alone is insufficient. 

    - SJ Berwin LLP

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