The Legal 500

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Top-tier recommendations


London: Corporate and commercial

Within M&A: smaller deals, up to £50m, Harbottle & Lewis LLP is a first tier firm,

Harbottle & Lewis LLP had a busy year in 2013, and saw an uptick in instructions from online and technology businesses. A popular choice for management teams and shareholders, the core team is comprised of six partners, including the ‘commercial, focused and tenacious' Mark Phillips, ‘excellent all-rounder' Tim Parker and Charles Leveque, who is praised for his ‘attention to detail and commercial understanding'.

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Within Venture capital, tier 4

Tony Littner and ‘his talented and knowledgeable team' at Harbottle & Lewis LLP provide a ‘responsive and value-for-money service' to investors and investees in the tech, digital media and online sectors. The ‘creative' Littner ‘explains concepts fluently and clearly'; he recently advised social and media monitoring company Brandwatch on securing a £1.5m investment from Silicon Valley Bank.

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London: Dispute resolution

Within Commercial litigation, tier 6

With ‘knowledgeable, proactive lawyers', Harbottle & Lewis LLP‘offers excellent client care and attention at partner level'. The team was instructed by Spring Capital in relation to multi-million pound sums due to it under certain loan agreements. Andy Millmore is an ‘excellent manager of complex disputes', and Louis Castellani‘goes the extra mile'.

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Within Defamation and privacy, Harbottle & Lewis LLP is a second tier firm,

Harbottle & Lewis LLP acts for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Russell Brand, as well as over 80 victims of phone hacking. The firm also acts for various individuals and organisations on pre-publication matters. Practice-head Gerrard Tyrrell is ‘dogged in his pursuit of clients’ interests and simply will not let an opponent off the hook'. Jo Sanders and ‘great lawyer' John Kelly are recommended.

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London: Human resources

Within Employment: employers and senior executives, Harbottle & Lewis LLP is a second tier firm,

Harbottle & Lewis LLP is ‘extremely good value for money'; clients include the National Theatre and Comic Relief. Marian Derham represents senior executives in sectors including banking, professional services, TV, film and publishing. Howard Hymanson is ‘insightful' and ‘knowledgeable'. Barry Mordsley joined the firm in September 2013 from legacy firm Salans LLP.

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London: Private client

Within Charities and not-for-profit, tier 4

David Scott’s team at Harbottle & Lewis LLP acts for clients including Comic Relief, Virgin Unite, and Malaria No More UK, and also advises the Kevin Spacey Foundation on a range of charity and commercial issues.

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Within Family, tier 5

Harbottle & Lewis LLP is ‘a modern, dynamic, innovative firm going from strength to strength in the London family law practice area - a really impressive outfit with A-list clients and A-list client service'. Tom Farley-Hills‘is quietly building an excellent reputation for himself'. Linzi Bull is deservedly very popular with clients, and Lidia Cantele‘has a good grasp of what matters in a case'.

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Within Personal tax, trusts and probate, tier 4

Harbottle & Lewis LLP, under Glen Atchison, is ‘always a pleasure to work with'. Matthew Barnett is ‘very capable'. Moore Stephens and Barclays Private Bank & Trust (Isle of Man) are clients.

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London: Real estate

Within Commercial property, tier 4

Harbottle & Lewis LLP provides ‘excellent service'. Leo Marino, Melanie Benson and Robert Reilly are commended for their ‘very quick turnarounds', and are ‘very commercial'. The entertainment, media and leisure industries are areas of focus.

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London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Within Brand management, Harbottle & Lewis LLP is a second tier firm,

Harbottle & Lewis LLP’s key clients include Diageo, Emirates, HSBC and Interpublic. Advertising and marketing team head Andy Millmore has also acted for Mortimer Whittaker O’Sullivan and Iceland Foods. Sponsorship group head Bob Mitchell focuses on sports sector work, and recently advised Rotary Watches in relation to becoming a global ‘official timekeeper’ for Chelsea FC and also appointing Frank Lampard as its brand ambassador.

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Within Intellectual property, Harbottle & Lewis LLP is a third tier firm,

Harbottle & Lewis LLP acts for consumer brand owners, and media, entertainment and publishing sector clients on soft IP matters, covering the protection and enforcement of rights as well as copyright licensing and disputes. Key clients include Orange and Hachette. Andy Millmore has ‘an ability to identify and achieve results in complex matters'. Shireen Peermohamed has ‘in-depth legal knowledge yet is practical in providing solutions'.

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Within IT and telecoms, tier 5

Harbottle & Lewis LLP focuses on digital media work, recently advising Microsoft on licensing arrangements for its Xbox Live service. The team is led by technology lawyer Daniel Tozer and Tony Ballard, whose experience includes telecoms provision and content distribution matters. Adam Mitton left for an in-house counsel role at King.

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Within Media and entertainment, Harbottle & Lewis LLP is a first tier firm,

Harbottle & Lewis LLP has an ‘excellent' media and entertainment team. Alan Moss counts Microsoft among his computer games clients, and Peter Armstrong has assisted Dreamworks in relation to the production of numerous films. Moss leads the digital media and interactive entertainment team jointly with Mark Phillips, who led advice to Take Two Interactive on various matters and acts for UKIE, the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment. Jonathan Berger is head of the film and TV team, of which ‘genuinely exceptional' senior associate Sarah Lazarides is a key member. Tony Ballard is held in very high regard by peers. Chloe Forsyth (née Wright) is praised for her ‘excellent technical skills aligned with great commercial acumen and superb personal skills'. Her music team represents Universal and Jamie Cullum. Shireen Peermohamed acts for publishing clients such as Oxford University Press. Neil Adleman brings his ‘good business understanding' to bear on behalf of clients such as the National Theatre and The Book of Mormon.

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Within Media finance, Harbottle & Lewis LLP is a first tier firm,

Harbottle & Lewis LLP advised New Sparta on the purchase and refinancing of Icon, and has also advised Acamar Films and Omnifone on media finance issues. Abigail Payne leads the team, and Alan Moss is ‘as sharp as they come'. Charles Leveque is also recommended.

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Within Sport, Harbottle & Lewis LLP is a second tier firm,

Headed by the ‘experienced, pragmatic and commercial' Bob Mitchell, Harbottle & Lewis LLP delivers ‘a fantastic service' to clubs, individuals and governing bodies, across a range of commercial and regulatory matters. Mitchell advised Chelsea FC on its image rights arrangements with several first-team players. Praised for his ‘extraordinary work ethic', Dalton Odendaal earned particular market recognition for his sponsorship work relating to the London Olympics 2012; and senior associate Anil Matharu is also recommended. Gerrard Tyrell heads the firm’s sports reputational management practice, which was bolstered by the arrival of John Kelly from Schillings.

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Legal Developments by:
Harbottle & Lewis LLP

  • Account of profits v damages: when and why does it matter?

    Since 2007, Experience Hendrix LLC(Hendrix) and Times Newspapers Ltd (Times) have been litigating over the intellectual property rights (IPR) in a recording of a Jimi Hendrix concert that took place at the Royal Albert Hall in February 1969. In September 2006 Times distributed a free CD, or covermount, with each edition of The Sunday Times . A claim was issued against Times in March 2007 for infringement of copyright and performers’ rights under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. In March 2008 the High Court held that Times had infringed the IPR in the recording and Hendrix elected to have an inquiry as to damages in respect of that infringement. The case has given rise to some complex issues as to the basis for the quantification of damages, and the inquiry is due to be heard next year, but the case is also a reminder of more general considerations in relation to remedies in IPR cases, and why the basis for quantification of those remedies can have far reaching consequences for a successful claimant.

    - Harbottle & Lewis LLP

Legal Developments in the UK

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

    In the recent case of Newbury v Sun Microsystems [2013], the defendant argued that an offer to settle proceedings was ‘in principle' only and that a binding contract could not be formed until further terms had been agreed and a formal contract had been signed. It supported this argument by referring to a statement, in the offer letter, that the settlement was to be ‘recorded in a suitably worded agreement'. 

  • Behind the corporate veil: is that all there is?

    That companies have an existence entirely separate to that of their shareholders and directors is a foundational principle of English law and commerce.

  • Restoring environmental damage: putting a price on ecosystem services

    On 7 August 2009 a 40-inch pipeline ruptured, spilling 5,400 cubic metres of crude oil into the soil and groundwater of La Crau nature reserve in southern France, a habitat protected under French and European law. The operator had to excavate and replace 60,000 tons of soil, install 70 wells to pump and treat groundwater and 25 pumps to skim oil from surface water, at a cost in the region of €50m. However, this was just the primary remediation (that is, restoring the site to the state it would have been if the damage had not occurred). The operator was also required to compensate for the damage to the habitats and the loss of the ecosystem services that would otherwise have been provided by La Crau nature reserve. Measures included purchasing land outside of the nature reserve and contributing to its management for a period of 30 years (over €1m), monitoring the water table for 20 years (over €500,000), monitoring fauna over three years (€150,000) and rehabilitation in accordance with best available ecological techniques (nearly €2m). Overall, the compensatory restoration (to compensate for the amount of time that the ecosystem was impacted) and complimentary restoration (to compensate for elements of the ecosystem that had been permanently lost) came to more than €6.5m. 

  • The role of arbitrators in EU antitrust law

    In May 2014, it will be ten years since Regulation No 1/2003 entered into force. When the legislator of the European Union adopted this Regulation on 16 December 2002, its main objective was to decentralise the enforcement of the two main provisions of EU antitrust law, Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (now Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)). Where do the arbitrators fit in this picture?

  • New Immigration Bill, October 2013: cause for concern or appeasing public sentiment?

    The year 2013 has seen a string of reforms to the immigration system by the current coalition government. On 10 October, the government published a Bill aimed at continuing its drive to reduce net migration figures. 

  • New Schengen EU Regulations: impact on short-stay visa visitors

    The publication on 26 June 2013 of the European Union Regulation EU 610/2013 modified the incumbent Regulation EU 562/2006 in relation to third country nationals (ie non-EU citizens) and those travelling on a short-stay visitor visa, as well as those who do not require a visa to enter the Schengen area, Romania, Croatia and Bulgaria. Exceptions include EU and EEA nationals travelling to other EU/EEA states within the Schengen area together with foreign nationals holding either long-stay or residence permits for their destination Schengen countries.

  • New revised guidelines for administrators in pre-pack sales

    Pre-pack sales by administrators are now used frequently enough for most people in business to be aware of them and many have come across them in their business lives. A small amount of controversy still attaches to pre-packs, but it is probably right to say that they are now an accepted part of the UK business scene as a useful means of rescuing a business in difficulty and preserving some or all of the jobs connected with the business.
    - Druces
  • Silence is not always golden

    In PGF II SA v OMFS Company 1 Ltd [2013], the Court of Appeal considered, for the first time, whether a failure by a party to respond to an invitation to mediate should be treated as an unreasonable refusal to mediate - previous cases having focused on situations where there had been an express refusal to do so. 

  • Continued uncertainty for international manufacturers in the US

    For manufacturers that export, a key strategic issue for in-house counsel is assessing the risk of being sued in another jurisdiction - particularly the US. 

  • Parking rights: here to stay? Consent might be the surprising answer 

    In the field of the acquisition of easements by prescription, little has caused more consternation over the last decade or so than the question of whether a right to park cars can be acquired by twenty years user as of right. The types of property capable of being adversely affected range from individual residential units all the way up to major development sites. The establishment of such a right can have a devastating impact on the value of the burdened land.