The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

DLA Piper

Living Wage
Work 02073 490 296
Fax 020 7796 6666

Nick Fitzpatrick

Work 020 7796 6046
DLA Piper LLP (US)

Work Department



Nick is Global Co-Chair, Media, Sport and Entertainment Sector at DLA Piper, and a media lawyer with 22 years’ experience experience of negotiating and structuring complex arrangements for the exploitation of media rights across all platforms, brand exploitation, event organisation, sports administration, copyright, gambling and advertising. He advises clients from US studios and international broadcasters to major sports rights holders. He is also an intellectual property specialist, with particular focus on copyright. Clients include: NBA, Rio 2016 BeIn Sport, Football League, British Horseracing Authority.


2005 to date, Partner, DLA Piper; 2001 to 2005, Partner, Dentons; Apr 2000, Seconded to Motion Picture Association of America; Jan – Apr 2000, Seconded to Warner Bros, Burbank; 1993 to 2001, Solicitor, Dentons.


The Law Society.


Long Eaton Community College; Jesus College, University of Oxford.

London: Crime, fraud and licensing

Gaming and betting

Within: Gaming and betting

The gaming and betting practice at DLA Piper regularly handles IT, IP, corporate and litigation matters for its broad range of gambling sector clients, and also has notable expertise in domestic and international tax issues. Key partners include Nick Fitzpatrick and Hilary Stewart-Jones.

[back to top]

London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Brand management

Within: Brand management

DLA Piper ’s practice spans the entire spectrum of brand management from trademarks portfolio management to commercial exploitation by advertising and sponsorship. The team is also well-known for its work in sponsorship acting for clients in the aviation, e-commerce and leisure space such as Etihad, Rakuten and Merlin. Practice head Ruth Hoy  is experienced in trade mark and commercial strategy, counting Zenimax Media and Kite Pharma as clients. Nick Fitzpatrick ’s area of expertise in commercial IP exploitation  includes advising Merlin Entertainment on advertising agreements and Rakuten’s shirt sponsorship with Barcelona FC. Recently promoted partner Patrick Mitchell  assists broadcast and media clients with commercial and regulatory matters; his recent instructions include helping Vice Media launch a series of TV channels, and UNICEF on several sport sponsorship arrangements. Duncan Calow  and John Wilks  are also recommended for advertising and regulatory issues.

[back to top]

Media and entertainment (including media finance)

Within: Media and entertainment (including media finance)

DLA Piper is active across mandates in the film, TV, advertising, marketing, gaming, social media, interactive content, theatre and publishing arenas. The sports sector is also a key focus; the team continues to advise the Football Association Premier League on several matters, and advised The English Football League on the global sale of media rights. It is also advising Badminton World Federation (BWF) on its appointment of Infront Sports & Media to provide media rights sales services and sponsorship rights sales services relating to BWF Tournaments until 2025. Duncan Calow is experienced in a range of publishing matters and has expertise in digital media, interactive entertainment, gaming, digital content, advertising and marketing. Other standout individuals include John Wilks, who acts on a range of advertising, marketing and promotions matters; Nicholas West, who is active across broadcasting matters and the audio-visual exploitation of content; and John Cloke, who advises content owners and distributors on commercial, copyright and regulatory issues. International corporate head and M&A practice co-chair Bob Bishop, Nick Fitzpatrick, who is global co-chair of the media, sport and entertainment sector group, and global co-CEO of the firm Simon Levine are also recommended, as are Patrick Mitchell and M&A practice co-chair Jon Kenworthy.

[back to top]


Within: Leading individuals

Nick Fitzpatrick - DLA Piper

Within: Sport

The 'excellent' team at DLA Piper is 'fast, well-organised and highly skilled'; it has cross-border capabilities and is particularly experienced in football, horseracing and motorsports. Major media rights transactions are a distinguishing strength: John Cloke acted for the Premier League on its sale of the audio-visual rights to the 2019-'20 and 2021-'22 football seasons, including a lucrative rights agreement for the Chinese market. 'Highly professional' group head Nick Fitzpatrick assisted the British Horseracing Authority with the long-awaited reform of the Horserace Betting Levy, and on the commercial side acted for Football DataCo on its data licensing strategy. He also advised Rakuten on its shirt sponsorship with Barcelona FC. Financing work is another strength of the department: Paul Gray advised Goldman Sachs Bank USA, HSBC and Bank of America Merrill Lynch on their £425,000 financing of Tottenham Hotspur FC's new stadium. The 'legally knowledgeable, commercially astute' Ruth Hoy is 'a pleasure to work with'; fellow IP expert John Wilks is 'very careful and thorough'. Simon Levine and Patrick Mitchell are also recommended.

[back to top]

Back to index

Legal Developments by:
DLA Piper LLP (US)

  • Sentencing guidelines for corporate manslaughter

    In February 2010 the Sentencing Guidelines Council (the SGC) issued definitive guidelines to courts on imposing appropriate sentences for corporate manslaughter and health and safety offences causing death. The SGC states that fines imposed on companies found guilty of corporate manslaughter should not fall below £500,000, while fines in respect of health and safety offences that are a significant cause of death should be at least £100,000. Crucially, the SGC declined to provide for a fixed link between the imposed fine and the turnover or profitability of the offending company.‚Ä©
    - DLA Piper UK LLP

Legal Developments in London

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • The legal difference between a consultant and an employee according to Nicaraguan Law

    Knowing the legal difference between a consultant and an employee is important for a company that needs to hire someone in Nicaragua or for a person interested in rendering services for a company or another person, due to the fact that the nature of the contractual relationship will determine many factors that both parties must be aware of before executing the contracting modality that will govern the relationship between them - the nature of the contractual relationship impacts on the employment benefits, tax implications and liabilities that the parties must comply with according to the law.  labor_law_in_nicaragua
  • Single director - shareholder Companies according to the Nicaraguan legal system

    What is a Single Shareholder and Director legal entity?
  • Business in Nicaragua- The Most Important Changes in the Recent Tax Reform

    In recent years, the country ŐĀs the government has been committed to improving Taxation in Nicaragua and attempting to follow the legislative model used by some of the other countries in the region. Starting January 1st, 2013, a new tax law (Law No. 822, Tax Concertation Law) came into force in and completely changed the taxation system in Nicaragua. Two years later a new law was issued by the National Assembly containing more than 80 amendments, additions and repeals (Law No 891) which came into force December 18th, 2014.