With ‘deep and reliable expertise in the IP area,’ the experienced barristers at 11 South Square act for musicians, film studios, and songwriters in matters involving copyright and trade mark infringement, royalty disputes, and contractual breaches. In Columbia Pictures Industries & Others v BT & Others, Mark Vanhegan QC has been instructed to advise motion picture studios on a costs point concerning injunctions ordering ISPs to block websites used for piracy. In another high-profile matter, Hugo Cuddigan QC is representing the songwriter defendants in a High Court claim for negative declaratory relief brought by Ed Sheeran and his creative collaborators, who say they did not infringe the defendants’ copyright with the composition of the song “Shape of You”.
Media and entertainment (including art and cultural property) in London Bar
’11 South Square have strength in depth for all IP matters, particularly TM disputes.’
‘Deep and reliable expertise in the IP area.’
‘Top ranking, go-to IP set, full of talent and ability at every level.’
‘The clerking is excellent, led from the from by Ashley Carr, who is always highly professional and a pleasure to work with.’
‘Jordan Foley is fantastic as a clerk. Very easy to deal with and very transparent on issues such as costs.’
In the art world, members of 3 Verulam Buildings act for defendant and claimant auction houses, dealers, and sellers involved in high-profile disputes. In Meem Ya Meem LLC v Sotheby’s, Andrew Onslow QC is acting for a second defendant seller/consignor in a claim for repayment of the price paid for an Egyptian statue valued at over half a million pounds. Rajesh Pillai QC represents a third-party auction house in Re Gowen v Helly Nahmad, which concerns a dispute over documents relating to the sale of a Modigliani alleged to have been looted by the Nazis in France during the second world war. Cleon Catsambis successfully acted for Sotheby’s in Umada v Philbrick and Sotheby's, where two parties both claimed the proceeds of the sale of pieces by Mark Bradford and Donald Judd, in the amount of over £2m; the case was part of a high-profile litigation claim against Inigo Philbrick, an American art dealer awaiting trial for allegedly defrauding clients of $20m. In addition, in Cole v Carpenter, Yash Bheeroo acts for three American defendants in a dispute over the $12m sale of Picasso's Le Sauvetage.
‘They are a very strong commercial set generally.’
‘Highly competent and able.’
‘The chambers has a very strong presence in banking, fraud. and commercial litigation. I would trust all of their barristers to give excellent advice.’
‘I have always found the clerks’ room very helpful.’
‘Exceptionally helpful – Stuart Pullum.’
‘Always receive excellent service.’
‘Stephen Penson is very professional. I have found the clerks who look after the juniors to be very impressive.’
The experienced group of art barristers at 5 Stone Buildings act in complex disputes for buyers, sellers, and auction houses. In Gelber v Christie’s, Henry Legge QC represented a claim against Christie’s in relation to the alleged negligent handling of a $100m collection. Luke Harris acts for the claimants in QIPCO and Sheikh Hamad Bin Abdullah Al Thani v Eskenazi, which concerns the Qatari investment company's purchase of allegedly forged antiquities from a dealer for a combined total of $4.9m. He is also providing English law expert advice for the owner and insurers of a Picasso in a damages claim in the Bavarian courts.
‘I have worked with a few art barristers at 5SB and they are all very knowledgeable on this area as well as chancery matters generally.’
‘Wide range of good juniors at all levels offering a good variety of expertise so you can always find someone who is able to deal with your problem.’
‘The clerks are always helpful. Paul Jennings will see to any issues quickly.’
‘Helpful and efficient.’
‘Very responsive and efficient, which is what you want.’
‘Very well-known for media and entertainment matters’, the experienced barristers at 5RB advise high-profile celebrities and media outlets in high-profile cases such as Johnny Depp v News Group Newspapers. For example, recently, Chloe Strong successfully represented the television personality and former mixed martial artist Alex Reid in Reid v KM Media Ltd, which concerned an allegation contained in an article published on Kent Online that he had hacked the mobile telephone of his ex-wife, the TV personality Katie Price. In addition, Justin Rushbrooke QC acted for the claimant in Duchess of Sussex v Associated Newspapers.
‘5RB is very well known for media and entertainment matters. Its conference rooms are of a high standard and are accessible. When we needed an additional junior, they were quick to provide options at competitive rates.’
‘The general service from the clerks was excellent. Andrew Love was extremely approachable and accessible. Jamie Clack provided excellent support.’
The experienced media and entertainment set at 8 New Square acts in disputes for broadcasters and internet service providers, as well as for individuals and companies across the film, television, print and online media, and advertising industries. In Martin v Kogan, Jonathan Hill represented Pathe Productions in a claim regarding the authorship of the screenplay for the 2016 Stephen Frears-directed film Florence Foster Jenkins, a case which established an appropriate test for determining if a script contributor is a co-author. He is opposed in Londongrad Limited v BBC by Jessie Bowhill, who is representing the claimant, who alleges that the television series McMafia (which is credited as based on the non-fiction book by Mischa Glenny) plagiarized his short film.
‘We have been very impressed with its service.’
The ‘go-to set for media-related work’, the large group of barristers at Blackstone Chambers act for music and newspaper publishers, film production companies, composers, artists, authors, and performers in matters ranging from licensing rights and copyright infringement to partnership claims and royalty disputes. In Sheeran & Ors v Chokri & Ors, Ian Mill QC is acting for the singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran and his creative collaborators, who are seeking a declaration that they have not infringed copyright of the defendants in the writing and exploitation of the song “Shape of You”. In Jon Moss v Culture Club, Tom Weisselberg QC (leading Celia Rooney) represents Jon Moss, the former drummer in Culture Club, in partnership claims against his former bandmates, including Boy George, following his ejection from the group.
‘An excellent set for commercial work and for art litigation. Their barristers understand the art market better than most.’
‘Excellent for Media and Entertainment issues.’
‘Blackstone are a very strong set with some excellent barristers.’
‘Blackstone, as a set, is hugely impressive. Its strength in depth is probably unparalleled and it has built a reputation to match.’
‘They have a good range of barristers with experience in copyright/media matters.’
‘All the clerks are excellent.’
‘Excellent. Gary Oliver and Derek Sutton are both consummate professionals and very responsive and helpful. Julia Hornor and Mat Swallow (respectively the Chambers Director and Deputy Director) are both also a pleasure to deal with.’
‘Gary Oliver and Adam Sloane are very strong.’
‘Experienced, well connected, and professional.’
‘I have always found the clerks’ room very responsive and pleasant to deal with.’
A number of barristers at 'top-class set' Essex Court Chambers act for art dealers, collectors, and auction house claimants and defendants engaged in disputes involving matters of breach of contract, purchasing, and authenticity. In Sotheby’s v Mark Weiss Ltd, Joe Smouha QC (leading Claudia Renton) acted for an art dealer, and Emily Wood appeared for Sotheby’s in a contractual dispute over a painting, purported to be work of Frans Hals, but subject to dispute over authenticity - the auction house successfully sought the recession of the sale. Wood also represented the New York-based defendant in QIPCO v Ariadne Galleries, in which Qatari state-linked entities and members of the royal family alleged that it had purchased forgeries from the gallery.
‘One of the strongest sets that there is – without a doubt.’
‘Top-class set with whom we work a lot across the board. One of our go-to sets.’
‘Ollie Butcher is very responsive.’
‘Clerks are good.’
‘Always been very efficient.’
With ‘a good breadth of expertise and range of seniority’, the media specialist barristers at Hogarth Chambers act for artists, companies, and rights holders in television, film, music, and publishing on matters ranging from copyright and trademark infringement to licensing and contractual disputes. In Watership Down Enterprises v Sirocco Productions Inc, Andrew Norris QC successfully acted for the family of author Richard Adams, in an infringement and breach of contract claim against the US film and production company that obtained film rights for his novel Watership Down in 1976, and subsequently claimed possession of all ancillary rights to the book. Amanda Michaels is currently representing John Lydon, better known as Johnny Rotten, in Cook and Jones v Lydon, which involves a contractual dispute between Lydon and former Sex Pistols bandmates Steve Jones and Paul Cook concerning the licensing rights to the Sex Pistols’ songs, in relation to Lydon's objection to their usage in the planned Danny Boyle-directed television series Pistol. Also, in Capitol Records v BT and Young Turks Recordings v BT, Gwilym Harbottle is acting for the record industry to obtain blocking injunctions to require internet service providers to block access to websites offering stream ripping and file hosting services.
‘Strength in depth, counsel are keen to engage and make themselves available. Down to earth.’
‘They have a good breadth of expertise and range of seniority, which makes it easy to find the right person to instruct for a given case.’
‘It is a solid Chambers although less well-known than the ‘big three.’ Their client seminars are excellent.’
‘The clerks are very responsive and pragmatic. Ian Bowie and Clive Nicholls deserve a particular mention in this regard.’
‘Ian Bowie is an outstanding clerk, totally committed, professional, and a real fixer.’
‘Generally very good. Clive Nicholls is extremely helpful.’
‘A first-rate set’, the large team at Matrix Chambers acts in high-profile media disputes involving those working in the entertainment industry, professional athletes, and members of the royal family. In HRH Duchess of Sussex v Associated Newspapers Ltd, Antony White QC is acting for the defendant who is being sued for publishing the contents of a letter written by the Duchess of Sussex to her father in the Mail on Sunday and Mail Online without her consent. In Guardian News and Media v Rubicon Project Inc., he was joined by Edward Craven in successfully represented the Guardian in a claim for deceit, breach of contract, and misrepresentation on the part of Rubicon, who was alleged to have retained millions of pounds in secret commission in the sale of the newspaper's online advertising inventory through Rubicon's online auction platform.
‘A first-rate set.’
‘Matrix Chambers has formidable barristers whose practices cover a wide range of areas.’
‘I really rate Elizabeth Bousher who is a please to deal with.’
‘The most professional practice management at the London Bar. Elizabeth Bousher is particularly impressive.’