The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

DLA Piper

Living Wage
Work 08700 111 111
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

DLA Piper’s practice 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 clients include William Hill, and Paysafe Group; the team recently advised the latter on gambling regulations and risk impact across 28 European jurisdictions for the purposes of reshaping its market presence policy, and also assisted with the preparation of worldwide international travel policies. The firm also represented Gala Coral Group in its voluntary settlement with the GB Gambling Commission, a matter involving significant licensing ramifications. Nick Fitzpatrick and Hilary Stewart-Jones co-head the department, and the latter is praised for her ‘very wide knowledge of both UK and international gaming law’.

[back to top]

London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Brand management

Within: Brand management

DLA Piper is regularly called on to advise major international clients on global brand management issues spanning trade mark clearances and disputes, sponsorships, and advertising and promotional campaigns, with a notable emphasis on sport, gambling and digital media. Nick Fitzpatrick and Patrick Mitchell count Baku Games, The National Basketball Association and The Premier League as clients, while John Wilks, Duncan Calow and Claire Sng advise brands including Amazon, Panasonic and Alcatel Lucent on advertising and marketing issues, including handling complex compliance projects and issues relating to digital and ad-tech. It is advising Aviva on privacy compliance issues relating to behavioural and targeted advertising, social media marketing, and use of big data for advertising and marketing purposes. The team is also assisting a number of clients on multi-jurisdictional marketing promotion reviews, and has handled trade mark filings, oppositions, portfolio management and online and offline infringement issues for Papa John’s. In another key highlight it is advising Rakuten on its €220m sponsorship of the Futbol CLUB Barcelona. The team is led by well-regarded IP practitioner and litigator Ruth Hoy and includes consultant Siân Croxon and media and entertainment specialist Duncan Calow.

[back to top]

Media and entertainment (including media finance)

Within: Media and entertainment (including media finance)

DLA Piper’s expertise spans film, television, advertising, marketing, gaming, social media, interactive content, publishing and theatre-related matters. It is advising the Football Association Premier League on the reshaping of its commercial programme; advised on the international sale of audio-visual rights to the Premier League competition for the 2016/17 to 2018/19 football seasons; and is also advising on a copyright enforcement programme. Other key clients include Discovery Communications, which the firm advised on its pan-European acquisition of rights to the Summer and Winter Olympic Games for 2018-2024, and on the creation of a long-term partnership with BAMTech; VICE Media, which the firm advised on VICELAND, a series of linear television channels. Laurence King Publishing, Copyright Licensing Agency, National Basketball League (NBA), Universal Studios, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Comerica Bank and Sony Pictures are also clients. Duncan Calow is noted for his expertise in the publishing sector, and is also active across theatre, video games, interactive content and social media. John Wilks handles a range of advertising, marketing and promotions issues. Nicholas West advises on the broadcasting and audio-visual exploitation of content and is active in the sports sector. Global co-chair of the media, sport and entertainment sector Nick Fitzpatrick, global co-CEO of the firm Simon Levine, M&A co-chair Jon Kenworthy and international corporate group head Bob Bishop are also key figures, as are recently promoted partners John Cloke and Patrick Mitchell. Chris Hanson joined Wiggin LLP in 2017.

[back to top]


Within: Leading individuals

Nick Fitzpatrick - DLA Piper

Within: Sport

DLA Piper’s practice is best known for international media rights work for sports industry clients, but also has notable expertise in commercial partnerships and stadium finance. Practice head Nick Fitzpatrick and IP specialist John Wilks, acted for beIN Sports on the infringement of its copyright and the breach of its exclusive rights to broadcast live sports events. This involved actions against infringers in various territories, including Germany, Iran, Qatar and the US as well as the UK. On the sponsorship side, Fitzpatrick assisted the Badminton World Federation (BWF) with appointing Infront Sports & Media as sales service provider for media and sponsorship rights regarding the BWF tournaments to be held between 2017 and 2025; advised Hamad International Airport on new sponsorship agreements with FC Bayern Munich; and assisted Unicef with its agreement with ITV and Endemol regarding the organisation and promotion of the Soccer Aid charity football match. On the regulatory side, Fitzpatrick advised the BHA on its funding arrangements and on its Authorised Betting Partners scheme; the firm also assists the NBA with regulatory issues. The department has a strong presence in the corporate and finance space: development finance expert Paul Gray acted for Stadio TDV on the €30m financing of various pre-development costs of the Stadio della Roma project. Other clients include the RFU, ESPN and the Football League. John Cloke, who advises sports clients on commercial, copyright and regulatory issues, is an expert in digital distribution. Patrick Mitchell, who assists clients with media rights transactions, sponsorship and sporting events, made partner in May 2017.

[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.

    - 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 ́s 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.