The 'innovative, forward thinking, strategically strong' practice at Stobbs IP in Cambridge provides 'cutting edge advice on brand protection and other contentious IP matters' to a host of sports, entertainment and media clients, among them Liverpool Football Club, music producer Pharrell Williams and publisher Faber & Faber. 'They are unquestionably market-leading in terms of their knowledge and experience in this area, and are particularly strong in emerging arenas such as NFTs and blockchain', remarks one client. Principal Julius Stobbs is 'truly excellent - a great mix of genuine creativity, deep experience and willingness to really understand our business'. Solicitor team head Chris Sleep is 'available, thorough, commercial'. The vastly experienced Geoff Steward is a key adviser on IP disputes and Chris Hawkes is recommended for design rights and copyright matters.
Media, entertainment and sport in East Anglia
Other key lawyers:
Chris Sleep; Geoff Steward; Chris Hawkes
‘Innovative, forward thinking, strategically strong.’
‘Chris Sleep – extension of the team, available, thorough, commercial.’
‘Great comms and have a real feel for our brand.’
Automobile Club de l’Ouest
Cambridge University Press
England & Wales Cricket Board
Faber & Faber
Foo Fighters / Dave Grohl
Fred Astaire (estate of)
Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH)
Kendall & Kylie Jenner
Liverpool Football Club
Raspberry Pi Foundation
Sanrio (Mr Men)
Snap Inc (Snapchat)
Tottenham Hotspur FC
Verizon Media (including Yahoo & Oath)
- Appointed as UEFA’s international firm for trade mark portfolio and infringement work, pursuing and enforcing against infringers and ambush marketers in the lead up to and during the postponed Euro 2020 competition.
- Following the implementation of a new global brand protection strategy for all key brand assets of Jagex Limited, the firm filed over 110 new trade marks around the world to improve protection for key brand assets – most notably RUNESCAPE, including to provide the basis for brand licensing opportunities around the world.
- Continues to advise Liverpool FC on its IP infringement and contractual disputes (as well as the management of its IP/brand portfolio).
The Norwich office of Fosters is home to the firm's dedicated sports practice, led by Jamie Arnall who has in-house experience as head of legal at Norwich City Football Club. The firm is a key adviser to Premier League and Championship football club clients, top division sports leagues, sponsors, e-sports providers, sports event management consultants and other industry stakeholders, among them The Basketball League Limited and Nottingham Forest Football Club Limited. Associate Charlotte Darkins advises sports clients on IP matters. The firm has 'a clear ethos of going over and above what could be reasonably expected on every interaction and this applies consistently across the entire team'.
Other key lawyers:
‘Excellent service provided from every interaction and with a personal touch. Consistently meeting deadlines, even if extremely short notice and/or outside of office hours. Always receive detailed and carefully considered input/advice. Have clear ethos of going over and above what could be reasonably expected on every interaction and this applied consistently across the entire team. Simply the best in the business in our opinion.’
The Basketball League Limited
Real Project Management Limited
Nottingham Forest Football Club Limited
- Advised, and acted on behalf of, The Basketball League Limited on the £7 million investment by US investment fund 777 Partners into the British Basketball League (Great Britain’s top division professional basketball league).
Mills & Reeve LLP
The sports practice at Mills & Reeve LLP is led from both London and Cambridge, where private client partner Chris Belcher is a key adviser to numerous athletes and their families on tax matters, trusts and estates. He also handles image rights contracts and the establishment and restructuring of image rights companies. He leads a ‘really impressive team‘ that includes commercial, IP and IT partner Greg Gibson in Norwich. Both work with teams across the firm’s office network, enabling the firm to handle commercial, regulatory, employment issues, corporate, litigation, property, tax, pensions, IP, private wealth and family law matters.
Other key lawyers:
‘Really impressive team. Adapted to remote working so well is as if they’ve always done it.’
‘Thoroughly know the area and able to provide insights from different areas to provide imaginative solutions to problems posed.’
Tees Law in Cambridge has a new sports practice led by senior associate Alastair Cotton who joined in early 2021 from an in-house role at the International Paralympic Committee, which is now a key client of the firm. His work for the IPC covers all of its income-generating activity. Cotton 'has a wealth of experience across a range of commercial and regulatory sports matters', notes one client, adding that 'his calm and focused approach provides great reassurance'. The firm acts for numerous regional sports clubs, primarily in rugby and cricket, as well as individual athletes and international sprots federations and national governing bodies, among them British Canoeing.
‘The team takes the effort to understand clients’ needs and accommodate with dedicated resource to ensure that deadlines are met with as much as possible.’
‘Personalised and expert service. Very approachable and knowledgeable across a broad range of sports law matters.’
‘I worked with Alastair Cotton on media rights negotiations and contract management matters. He was very dedicated and understood the values and importance of our organisation.’
‘Ali Cotton has a wealth of experience across a range of commercial and regulatory sports matters. His calm and focused approach provides great reassurance.’
International Paralympic Committee
Bishop’s Stortford Rugby Club
National Council for the Training of Journalists
- Retained in April 2021 on an 18 month initial contract to provide a wide range of legal advice to the The International Paralympic Committee in respect of all of the IPC’s income generating activity.
- Instructed to advise British Canoeing on a range of regulations including the sport’s Disciplinary Rules and Appeals Procedures, Selection Policies and its Athlete Disciplinary Rules and Procedures.
- Acting for Bishop’s Stortford Rugby Club advising on the continued development of its grounds and facilities, including securing the funding arrangements to finance these developments.