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Abigail Payne

Work 020 7667 5000
Harbottle & Lewis LLP

Work Department

Film and TV.


Partner in the Film and TV Group providing advice on all aspects of development, finance, production and distribution of feature films and television programmes and exploitation of ancillary rights. Particular expertise is in advising film funds, EIS schemes and structuring international co-productions and providing advice on tax incentives (including the film and high-end TV and animation production tax credits), and international subsidies for a wide international client base of producers, distributors, broadcasters, exhibitors, agents, insurance companies and artists.


Trained Theodore Goddard; qualified 1995; business affairs executive BBC (Drama) 1995-97; associate Harbottle & Lewis 1997-2002; partner 2002.


French, German.


BAFTA; New Producers Alliance; Women in Film & Television.


Bath University (BA European Studies with French and German Hons); Nottingham Trent University (CPE; LSF).


Polo, tennis, skiing, yoga.

London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Media and entertainment (including media finance)

Within: Leading individuals: Media finance

Abigail Payne - Harbottle & Lewis LLP

Within: Media and entertainment (including media finance)

Harbottle & Lewis LLP’s ‘commercially aware’ team delivers ‘swift responses’ and is noted for its expertise in video games, film and television, music and publishing, as well as media finance matters. Headline film work includes acting as production counsel for Amblin Partners for the film Entebbe; and advising Marv Films on the financing and production of Kingsman: The Golden Circle. In the music sphere, it advised artist Floating Points on signing an exclusive publishing deal with BMG, while its publishing team advises Hachette UK Publishing Group on contentious and non-contentious copyright issues. Theatre highlights included advising the producers of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on rights, financing and contractual issues. Microsoft, The Pokémon Company International, Paramount Pictures, Universal Music Group and New Sparta Films are also clients. Publishing head Shireen Peermohamed handles contentious and non-contentious matters, and is assisted by senior associate Alex Hardy. Video games lawyer Mark Phillips and Alan Moss, who specialises in the financing of video games (and is also active in the film sector), co-head the interactive entertainment team. Jonathan Berger (noted for his ‘excellent negotiating skills’) heads the film and TV department where media finance head Abigail Payne advises on film and television development, production, financing and distribution. Recently promoted partner Sarah Lazarides is also recommended on the film and TV side. Music head Chloe Forsyth is ‘incredibly hardworking’ and provides ‘commercial and clear advice’. Other key figures include ‘theatre expertNeil Adleman, Charles Leveque, who is noted for media finance work, and senior associates Michael Lister and Rebecca Collard.

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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.

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