Stobbs IP is a niche intellectual property practice, specialising in trade marks and brands. Based predominantly in Cambridge, the firm relaunched itself in 2019 as an intangible asset management practice, expanding beyond IP into commercial and technology solutions. Its work encompasses trade marks, disputes, investigations, litigation, IT systems, domains, commercial contracts, licensing, designs and copyright, valuation, anti-counterfeiting and online brand enforcement. Founder Julius Stobbs and key partners Chris Sleep and Geoff Steward act for many of the world’s best-known brands in fashion, technology, publishing, telecoms, social media, food and beverage, finance and sports.
Media, entertainment and sport in East Anglia
‘They offer a different kind of service, breaking new ground, looking holistically at a client’s strategic needs – not purely legal but also focusing on the commercial aspects a lot more.‘
‘Chris Sleep has good client relationship skills, and is honest, pragmatic, commercially-focused.‘
British United Provident Association (BUPA)
Cambridge University Press
Faber & Faber
Facebook (including key subsidiaries: Instagram, Oculus VR and WhatsApp)
Great Ormond Street Hospital
GVC Services Limited (Ladbrokes)
Jagex (Runescape, etc.)
Kendall & Kylie Jenner
Liverpool Football Club
Sanrio (Mr Men)
Snap Inc (Snapchat)
Tottenham Hotspur FC
- Acting for Liverpool FC in their successful defence of a High Court (Commercial Court) claim brought by New Balance disputing whether a matching provision within that kit sponsorship agreement had been satisfied.
- Acting for Tottenham Hotspur FC in relation to its global brand strategy and enforcement matters, including particular projects around its new stadium and its reaching the Champions League Final.
- Taking over responsibility for managing global brand portfolio of GVC Holdings – FTSE 250 company and is one of the world’s largest sports betting companies (owning Ladbrokes, Coral, Owin, Sporting Bet, Betboo, party poker, Foxy Bingo, Gala amongst other brands); this includes over 1,200 active trade marks over 70 territories, with over 30 active disputes.
Fosters in Norwich joins the ranking this year having built on the experience of partner Jamie Arnall, who was previously head of legal at a prominent English football club, to develop the firm's 'In House' service. This provides legal support on a retainer basis and has proven popular with clients in the sports industry. The team has worked with Premier League and Championship football club clients, national sports governing bodies, top division sports leagues, sponsors, sports event management consultants and other industry stakeholders.
‘Extremely diligent at every stage of our dealings, clear communication and accessible when we required information or assistance.’
‘We have been hugely impressed by the level of service provided in all aspects of our interaction.’
‘The attention to detail, speed of response and understanding of our needs are always met.’
‘The level of service far exceeds anything I have received before from this sector.’
‘We feel both Charlotte and Jamie regularly go over and above what could be reasonably expected to ensure we receive the best possible service.’
International Venue Management
Nottingham Forest Football Club
- Provided general commercial advice to Nottingham Forest Football Club, on the basis of the firm’s In House product, including drafting and reviewing a range of commercial and sponsorship agreements.
Greenwoods GRM has a well-established media client base in Peterborough, for which it handles corporate, employment and regulatory matters. It counts among its clients a national newspaper group and employees of multinational media organisations. Corporate partner Alastair Gunn, who splits his time between Peterborough and London, is the lead partner for media clients. Robert Dillarstone and, in Cambridge, Joanna Scally are the names to note for employment matters.
Steeles Law in Norwich joins the ranking thanks to its strong client relationships in the sports industry. Focused mainly on motorsport, the firm has expanded its reach into the realms of cycling and rowing. Its work consists of negotiating high-value contracts, including participation, branding and sponsorship agreements, with major manufacturers and household names. Practice head Richard Bailey calls upon Oliver Brabbins for contracts, Alistair Ponder for commercial matters and barrister Damian Pitts for disputes.
Leathes Prior in Norwich has a national client base for its Full Contact online portal, which provides a range of services for sports clubs, regulatory bodies and sporting professionals. Dan Chapman, who is an active FA Registered Intermediary, leads the sports law team and is one of the few lawyers in the region who is focused purely on this practice area. His disputes work has seen him act for leading names in football and motorsport.