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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > London > TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Media and entertainment (including media finance) > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Media and entertainment (including media finance)
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals: Media and entertainment
  4. Leading individuals: Media finance
  5. Next generation lawyers

Hall of Fame

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Leading individuals: Media and entertainment

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Leading individuals: Media finance

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Media and entertainment (including media finance) clients in London using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Bird & Bird LLP provides a β€˜strong level of service, reactivity and commitment’ and handles a range of instructions across the music, film, TV, games, social media and interactive content sectors. Clients include PRS for Music, British Academy of Songwriters Composers & Authors, Amalgamated Racing, Frontier Developments, Canyon Studios and Exposure. Phil Sherrell heads the firm’s international media, entertainment and sport sector group and has β€˜strong expertise’ in litigation in the music, publishing, broadcast and advertising sectors, handling trade mark and copyright infringement litigation, defamation and privacy disputes and complaints to the UK media regulators. The β€˜exceptional’ David Bintliff is experienced in digital media matters and is advising a leading Latin American media company on the launch of an OTT platform across Europe. Felicity Reeve has β€˜vast experience’ and handled several sponsorship deals in the sports sector, including advising Chelsea FC on its sponsorship deal with Nike, and advising Arsenal FC on several of its international sponsorship agreements. Craig Giles is also focused on the sports sector and advised the Football Association on the renewal of its domestic media rights agreements for The FA Cup. Howard Rubin has longstanding experience in acting for computer games companies. Recently promoted partner Nick Aries is noted for IP matters. In 2016 Richard McMorris joined from Wiggin LLP, and Ali Ramadan was promoted to the partnership.

CMS has unrivalled breadth of industry knowledge’ and β€˜vast’ expertise spanning film and TV financing and production, as well as broadcasting, advertising, publishing, music and digital media matters. In the film and television space, it acts for both producers (such as BBC, ITV and NBCUniversal) and financiers of content (including Bank Leumi, Anton Capital and the Doha Film Institute). The team has advised on the establishment of new production companies founded by high-profile TV executives, and advised all3media on its acquisition of Two Brothers Pictures. It acts for major UK and international broadcast groups (including Amazon Prime Video and BBC) on carriage negotiations. Advertising expertise includes adtech, clearance work for brands, ASA compliance, as well as talent, social media and endorsement deals. Gaming, social media and interactive content is a key focus of the team and it handles IP, transactions and advisory work. In the music space it advises major record companies (such as Universal Music and Warner Music) as well as music publishers and music users on contentious and non-contentious matters; recent highlights include advising Ministry of Sound Group on the sale of its label Ministry of Sound Recordings to Sony Music UK. The media finance team, is led by the β€˜exceptional’ Charles Kerrigan and acts for a range of lender, borrower and sponsor clients such as Bank of Ireland, Wells Fargo and Lloyds Bank. Paul Guite is β€˜technically excellent’ and co-heads the media team with Victoria Gaskell who has β€˜an innate understanding of the brief’. Selina Potter, Mark Bertram, Steven Corney, John Enser (β€˜unfazed by any difficulty’), and Jacqueline Hurt are also key figures in the media and entertainment space, while Ruth Marken is noted for media finance. Rebekah Hayes is also recommended.

Noted for its β€˜partner-led service’, Clintons provides β€˜extremely intelligent and reliable advice’ and handles contentious and non-contentious matters in the music industry, as well as film and TV, digital media and theatre sector mandates. The film and TV team is led by the β€˜very experienced’ Kami Naghdi and handles complex rights transactions for both sellers and buyers; complex multi-party media finance transactions; and virtual reality production and exploitation. It advised Little Lion Entertainment on a co-production deal for a TV special of The Crystal Maze. Tom Frederikse heads the digital media team, which acts for established players in the licensing of digital content. Andrew Sharland and David Griffiths head the music litigation team, which advises clients such as Sony Music Entertainment UK, Universal Music, Kobalt Music and Syco/Simco Ltd. It is acting for six leading bookmakers in a case brought by PRS, regarding the alleged unlicensed public performance by the bookmakers of musical copyrights owned by PRS via gambling gaming machines situated in the retail premises. Andrew Myers is β€˜quick, bright and results orientated’ and heads the non-contentious music team, which includes Peter Button, Berkeley Edwards and Nicky Stein (who splits his time between London and Los Angeles). James Jones and John Cohen have β€˜in-depth expertise’ in the theatre sector; highlights included advising New Adventures on the acquisition of the rights to adapt The Red Shoes film for Matthew Bourne’s new dance show, which included securing the right to use Bernard Hermann’s music for the show. Also recommended are Philip Stinson, Charles Gerada and Karim Bouzidi.

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.

The β€˜hugely knowledgeable’ team at Farrer & Co is β€˜outstanding on publishing matters’, and acts for international broadcast production and rights companies including leading news generators and syndication houses, as well as several radio, film and sports clients, with expertise in non-contentious and contentious matters. Team head Henry Sainty is β€˜well versed’ in the publishing sector and continued to advise Bauer on the infrastructure contracts supporting its print and digital supply chains, and also negotiated software licence and support agreements. Peter Wienand advises The Economist Group on IP, regulatory, commercial and reputation management matters. Paul Jones advised The British Library on the St Pancras Transformed development project. Sage Publications, Telegraph Media Group, The Conversation, Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music and Eton College are also clients. Richard Lane heads the corporate media practice, and recently promoted partner Michael Patrick is noted for contentious TMT matters.

Fieldfisher provides β€˜pragmatic and pro-active advice’ and has β€˜good strength-in-depth’. It has an β€˜outstanding media finance practice’ and is also noted for its β€˜broad experience on matters across the media sector’. It advised Tre VΓ€nner Produktion on life story rights issues in relation to new film Borg v McEnroe, continues to advise Digital UK and Freeview on the Β£100m Freeview Play project, and advised McGraw-Hill Education on an edTech deal with VitalSource for the distribution of MHE's eTextbooks and educational content using the VitalSource digital learning platform. It also acted for Channel 4 on the latest financing round for The RightsXChange. Of counsel Tom Guida, who joined from Levine Plotkin & Menin LLP in 2016, heads the media and entertainment practice and Tim Johnson heads the TMT group. Corporate head Andrew Blankfield; tax head Derek Hill; Carlton Durrant who is active on JVs, M&A and fundraising matters; corporate finance specialist Christine Phillips; and Paul Barton who advises a range of publishers, are also recommended. Senior associates Emily MacKintosh, Chris Eastham, and associate Melissa Fish are other key figures in the practice.

Harbottle & Lewis LLP’s β€˜commercially aware’ team delivers β€˜swift responses’ and is noted for its expertise in video games, film and television, music and publishing, as well as media finance matters. Headline film work includes acting as production counsel for Amblin Partners for the film Entebbe; and advising Marv Films on the financing and production of Kingsman: The Golden Circle. In the music sphere, it advised artist Floating Points on signing an exclusive publishing deal with BMG, while its publishing team advises Hachette UK Publishing Group on contentious and non-contentious copyright issues. Theatre highlights included advising the producers of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on rights, financing and contractual issues. Microsoft, The PokΓ©mon Company International, Paramount Pictures, Universal Music Group and New Sparta Films are also clients. Publishing head Shireen Peermohamed handles contentious and non-contentious matters, and is assisted by senior associate Alex Hardy. Video games lawyer Mark Phillips and Alan Moss, who specialises in the financing of video games (and is also active in the film sector), co-head the interactive entertainment team. Jonathan Berger (noted for his β€˜excellent negotiating skills’) heads the film and TV department where media finance head Abigail Payne advises on film and television development, production, financing and distribution. Recently promoted partner Sarah Lazarides is also recommended on the film and TV side. Music head Chloe Forsyth is β€˜incredibly hardworking’ and provides β€˜commercial and clear advice’. Other key figures include β€˜theatre expert’ Neil Adleman, Charles Leveque, who is noted for media finance work, and senior associates Michael Lister and Rebecca Collard.

Lee & Thompson LLP β€˜combines a high degree of industry-specific knowledge and legal expertise with a very practical, commercial and strategic approach to problem solving’. Its expertise spans music, film, television, marketing, advertising, digital media, theatre and book publishing. It advises the BPI on a range of digital privacy matters against internet service providers (ISPs). It also advises Cornerstone Films on film acquisitions as well as distribution deals, and acts for Coutts on film and TV financing arrangements. Sony ATV, Channelflip, The Fyzz Facility, Engine Group, Queen, Harry Styles and Little Mix are also clients. Key figures on the music front include group head Lawrence Engel, who is β€˜exceptional’, and Kieran Jay, who acts for music artists. Head of dispute resolution Andrew Forbes delivers β€˜robust straightforward legal advice’; contentious music specialists Dominic Free and Gordon Williams are also noted. Mike Brookes β€˜leaves his ego at the door and gets the result the client wants’; he heads the reputation protection group. Also recommended are music and entertainment litigator Martyn Bailey, who is β€˜first-rate’; Will Everitt, who is active on theatre and music matters and β€˜is incredibly thorough in his thinking around a subject’; Mark Ashelford, who heads the digital media practice; Dominic Bray, who has β€˜great advertising industry knowledge’; Richard Lever, who heads the TV group; and film head Christos Michaels, who is β€˜superb’. Managing partner Reno Antoniades is also noted for film work, while Sam Tatton-Brown handles media finance and the β€˜practical, straightforward and solution-oriented’ Nicki Parfitt specialises in film and TV sales and distribution work. Lee Stone, Malcolm Murray, Jeremy Gawade, Mark Stafford and Andrew Thompson are also singled out, as are senior associates Simon Goodbody and Tim Fowler.

Lewis Silkin LLP fields an β€˜agile’ team with expertise spanning advertising, marketing, theatre, publishing, film, TV, music, gaming, social media and digital matters. Highlights included advising Royal Albert Hall Development Limited on commercial and IP matters and negotiated several licences with Disney to stage live productions; it also continues to advise Nullarbor Productions, the producers of Priscilla Queen of the Desert on a range of matters, and acted for Haymarket Media Group on the sale of its motorsports division to Motorsport Network. Vevo, Deezer, Syco, United Agents, Time Out, Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), Regal Press, Electric Shadow Company and Freemantle Media are other clients. Media and entertainment head Jeremy Summers is noted for contentious theatre and music matters. Phil Rymer acts for clients in film and television production, finance and distribution. David Deakin handles IP and digital media matters. Cliff Fluet is experienced in non-contentious music matters and handles broadcasting, radio, content and new media matters. Simon Entwistle heads the publishing team. Nick Walker is noted for disputes. Simon Morrissey is experienced in advising on the online use of personal data, particularly in the financial services, publishing, retail and leisure and marketing communications sectors. Also recommended are head of the brands and IP group Jo Farmer, who is a β€˜star’; senior associate Alan Hunt; and consultant J Alan Davis, who joined from Act Productions.

Osborne Clarke LLP is β€˜always contactable and is able to turn around high-quality commercial advice at very short notice’. Its digital business team is active across advertising, marketing, TV, gaming, social media, interactive entertainment, publishing and digital platforms. It advised Dovetail Games on a fundraising and various related strategic IP and contractual matters. It also acted for Gram Games on the opening of a London office and the acquisition of a game from another developer. Other highlights included advising Time Inc (UK) on its acquisition of digital creative advertising business, Collective Europe, from Collective Inc. Robot Wars, Vodafone, AdTech, Expedia and Yahoo! are also clients. Paul Gardner is experienced in computer games, and has a particular focus on the interactive entertainment and media industries. Other key figures include Adrian Bott, who heads the digital business sector group; Chris King, who heads the advertising and marketing services team; Nick Johnson, who is β€˜great on advertising and marketing, and is very pragmatic and approachable’; John Davidson-Kelly, who is β€˜very commercial, always contactable and is able to give a common-sense view’ and is noted for TV work; Tim Birt, who advises marketing, media and technology-focused businesses; and corporate partner Mathias Loertscher. Ashley Hurst, who is active in disputes and recently joined from CMS. Associate director Anna Williams is also noted.

The team at RPC is noted for its strength in publishing matters, particularly when it comes to defending clients in contentious matters. It also provides non-contentious advice on pre-publication, regulatory matters and agreements, and handles issues arising from marketing, gaming, social media and interactive entertainment. β€˜Advertising expert’ Oliver Bray leads on advertising, social media and interactive content; he advised Ubisoft on the transfer of its e-commerce function in-house. Publishing head Keith Mathieson has a β€˜fantastic reputation’ and is defending Times Newspapers in a privacy and data protection claim relating to an article published in The Sunday Times. Key publishing clients also include Financial Times, Trinity Mirror, Associated Newspapers, Bloomsbury, Hachette Random House, and The Spectator. It also acts for media insurers such as Hiscox, AXIS Pro Europe and Chubb. Paul Joseph is β€˜excellent’ on contentious and non-contentious IP matters. Gaming clients include Betfred and Square Enix, while Twitter is a key client in the social media and interactive content space. Legal director Nicola Cain joined from the BBC and associate Rupert Cowper-Coles joined from Withers LLP. Senior associates Kim Waite and Louise Turner are also recommended in the publishing arena.

The team at Reed Smith LLP is β€˜efficient, smart and easy to deal with’; β€˜exceptional on film financings’, the practice’s expertise spans film, TV, radio, music, advertising, marketing, social media, and interactive content. Global co-chair of the entertainment and media industry group Gregor Pryor is an β€˜exceptional talent’ and advised Hub TV on the production and distribution of its new reality TV show; Pop Up Start Up. The β€˜unflappable’ Michael Maxtone-Smithis β€˜thorough, efficient, aware of what matters to clients’ and represents banks and other financiers in film and television financing transactions; recent highlights include advising Bank Leumi on the financing of The Children Act, which involved a high-value revolving credit facility with Icon. Maxtone-Smith also advised Pinewood and the Welsh government on the financing of the films Showdogs and Journey’s End. BBC and BBC Worldwide, Soundcloud, Channel Four Television Corporation, McDonald’s and Netflix are also clients. Other standout individuals include Stephen Edwards, who is noted for copyright matters; Michael Skrein, who handles contentious work; Askandar Samad, who advises on film finance and distribution; and Philip Taylor, who handles media-related corporate and commercial work. Music lawyer James Sully, who is based in London and Los Angeles, joined from Sheridans. Recently promoted partner Sachin Premnath and senior associate Huw Morris, who is UK head of advertising, are also recommended, as is consultant Nick Swimer, who handles broadcasting mandates. Richard Philipps recently retired and Laura Crowley joined Sister Pictures Limited.

A β€˜leading light for music industry expertise’, Russells Solicitors acts for a range of high-profile clients in the music industry including record companies, publishers and producers, and agencies and artists on the full range of matters including live events, sponsorship, recording and publishing agreements, TV appearances, show agreements, private client, real estate, employment, disputes and corporate matters. Chris Organ represented Roger Waters of Pink Floyd on the negotiations surrounding his global music publishing deal with BMG. Steven Tregear advised Parlophone on its dispute with Radiohead concerning digital royalties. Brian Howard advised Duran Duran on a dispute with Gloucester Place Music over the US rights to its first three albums. Gavin Maude heads the artist department and advised Coldplay on negotiations surrounding its deal with the US NFL to perform the half-time show at the NFL Super Bowl. Jo Brittain is a specialist in working with new and up-and-coming artists and advised Clean Bandit on negotiations surrounding the clearance of the performer rights on the single Rockabye. Mark Sinnott is β€˜one of the most experienced and knowledgeable music law advisers in the industry’ and advised Universal Music on the negotiation of the original soundtrack album rights licence from Universal Pictures in relation to the film Bridget Jones’s Baby. Team head Simon Esplen is an β€˜excellent commercial music lawyer who fights very hard for his clients’; John Reid is also noted for contentious mandates. Chris Gossage is a β€˜hugely experienced corporate lawyer who has the rare advantage of fully understanding the music industry’. Senior associate Ryan Vince is also recommended.

Sheridans’ β€˜approachable’, β€˜enthusiastic’ and β€˜extremely commercial’ team β€˜listens to the client’ and is β€˜always available’. Its expertise spans broadcasting and digital carriage, film, TV, music, theatre, and media finance, and video games, where clients single it out as β€˜hugely knowledgeable’. Film, TV and broadcasting head Peter McInerney advised Bend It TV on the establishment of the independent television production company and financing arrangements with Fremantle Media. Jeremy Roberts, who heads the broadcasting and digital carriage group with McInerney, advised A+E Networks UK on the launch of new channel, BLAZE, on Freeview and Sky; and Robin Hilton advised Plante Productions on the acquisition of its catalogue of programmes, formats and scripts by all3media, and on a first-look agreement with Lynda La Plante for future projects. Computer games head Alex Chapman is applauded for his β€˜insight into the commercial reality and practical side of any advice sought or given’. Media finance head James Kay β€˜combines a razor-sharp intellect with a strong EQ’ and β€˜relishes breaking new ground’; he advised Cloud Eight Films and DNA Films on the financing of T2 Trainspotting. Nigel Jones heads the Music team and advised Kylie Minogue on her recording agreement with BMG. Howard Jones heads the theatre group, John Haggis is active in the advertising sector, Tahir Basheer heads the brands group, and Russell Roberts is experienced in music-related corporate matters. Associate Nick Mahara is active in film and TV mandates.

Simkins LLP’s β€˜extremely commercial’ team provides β€˜reliable advice’, has β€˜great industry knowledge’ and delivers a β€˜partner-led service’ across the music, TV, film, theatre, digital media, publishing, and advertising and marketing sectors. Team head and managing partner Euan Lawson is a β€˜highly experienced music lawyer who can also advise authoritatively on corporate and tax matters’; he advised Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young on their European 2016 touring arrangements. Jonathan Blair handles film, TV and financing matters, and is advising JK Rowling’s production company, Bronte Film and Television, on the development, financing and production of a TV series. Ed Baden-Powell is β€˜excellent for corporate music work and has an unparalleled commitment to his clients and deals’; his recent highlights include advising has advised BMG Rights Management on its acquisition of the Roger Waters catalogue of Pink Floyd songs. Also recommended are disputes head Paddy Gardiner, who advised PRS for Music on a copyright tribunal dispute with ITV; Nick Eziefula, who advised Play Consulting on funding applications and legal issues around the development of a gamification platform; James Harman, whose clients include Mark Knopfler and Russell Brand; Caroline Copeland and Giao Pacey, who handle corporate media work; Lisa Logan, who is advising The Elf Factory on the production of Peppa Pig Series 4; recently promoted partner Tom Iverson; and associate Ed Weidman, who handles non-contentious music mandates.

Taylor Wessing LLP’s team has β€˜first-rate’ expertise spanning publishing, broadcasting, advertising, music, interactive entertainment, games and gambling. It is noted for its expertise in music and publishing rights, and is focused on the tech sector and digital economy. Highlights included advising News Corporation and News Corp UK & Ireland on a Β£220m recommended cash offer for Wireless Group; advising Sky on its $45m investment into iflix, a South East Asian streaming TV service; and acting for Magic Pony on its acquisition by Twitter. It also advised Activision Blizzard on the international launch of various games and products. Key figures include Mark Owen, who heads the UK technology, media and communications group, as well as the IP and media practice; Mike Turner, who heads the UK corporate technology team and is international head of the technology, media and communications group; and Graham Hann, who heads the technology industry team and leads the games and e-gaming practice alongside senior associate Neil Hawley. Publishing head Timothy Pinto is also recommended, as are Niri Shanmuganathan (an β€˜exceptional litigator’), Charles Lloyd and Andrew Davis.

Wiggin LLP fields a β€˜very commercial and pragmatic’ team that β€˜really specialises in media and entertainment law’, and is β€˜undoubtedly a tier-one practice’. It handles a range of TV and film mandates and is rated β€˜excellent on film finance’. As well as acting for artists, its music team focuses on rights protection, digital music rights, and advises international music licensees such as broadcasters and film producers. Publishing, defamation, privacy, digital, technology, ad tech, betting and gaming are also mainstays of the practice. Film and TV partner Charles Moore advised Paramount Pictures on the production aspects of the latest entry in the Mission: Impossible film franchise. Neil Gillard advised on the production and financing aspects of Eleventh Hour's drama series New Blood. David Quli is β€˜outstanding’ and advised Bank Leumi on the financing of British television series Black Mirror. Ross Sylvester is β€˜able to turn work around in very short timeframes’; his recent highlights include advising Virgin Media on a deal with Viacom for the distribution of the Channel 5, MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon channels throughout the UK and Ireland. Sean James advised CBS Studios on its output deal for Showtime titles with Sky across the UK and Ireland, Germany and Italy. Rachel Alexander is representing PRS for Music in High Court proceedings against UK bookmakers concerning the unlicensed public performance of music on gaming machines. Alexander Ross heads the non-contentious music team and advises Soundmouse on a range of key contracts. Medwyn Jones (β€˜tough but balanced’) advised Blueprint Television on its investment deal with Sony Pictures Television alongside Michael Brader. Caroline Kean (β€˜a stalwart’) handles defamation and privacy matters as well as publishing work.

Baker McKenzie specialises in technology and digital media matters, acting for a range of tech and media content clients. It advises Sovereign Films on film and investment agreements, acts for Google on a range of matters including complex e-commerce, consumer, regulatory and data protection issues. It is also defending Associated Newspapers in a data protection and privacy claim brought by Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis against MailOnline. Take-Two Interactive, Virgin Media and BBC Trust are also clients. Steve Holmes, who handles non-contentious media matters and has a focus on major transactions for media companies, and Ben Allgrove, who focuses on cutting-edge issues in the digital media space, jointly lead the team. Joanna Ludlam is noted for contentious matters, while Helen Brown and Julia Hemmings (both of counsel) are joint heads of the consumer and commercial advisory practice. Of counsel Nadia Banno advises on crisis response, media handling and risk management relating to sensitive investigations and litigation, public inquiries and select committee hearings. Senior associate Julia Dickenson is also recommended.

Bates Wells Braithwaite’s β€˜professional, efficient, knowledgeable and friendly team’ provides β€˜thoughtful and helpful advice’ and its β€˜response times are impressive’. It is noted for its expertise in theatre, film, TV, marketing and advertising, as well as its strength in advising charities and not-for-profit clients in the arts sector. It is advising Akram Khan Dance Company on its group restructuring, registration for charitable status, IP rights and contractual matters, and is advising Pallant House Gallery and Friends of Pallant House Gallery on the restructuring of the gallery and related organisation. Royal Albert Hall, The Space CIC, Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), Committee of Advertising Practice and Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice and British Council are also clients. Head of media and arts Lawrence Simanowitz has β€˜in-depth expertise in the sector’. Other key figures include Rupert Earle (β€˜an excellent communicator and deals well with clients’), who is noted for his advertising and marketing expertise. Recently promoted partner Erica Crump is β€˜first-rate’ and co-leads the firm’s culture and creative team with Simanowitz, solicitor Molly Waiting and associate Tom Pratt.

Media and entertainment boutique Bray & Krais, Solicitors handles IP, media and entertainment including; recording, publishing, management and merchandising agreements. Its clients include artists, record labels, producers and managers. The firm also has a growing sports law department. It advised The Rolling Stones on contracts for its US tour. Take That, First Access Entertainment and Gorillaz are also clients. The team is headed by Richard Bray, who represents high-profile artists, performers, managers, labels, publishers and senior executives, and Mark Krais, who has extensive expertise in international branded live events. Simon Dixon advises on the development and exploitation of IP rights, and has considerable experience in theatrical projects. Consultant Alan Lander is also recommended. Sports team head Udo Onwere recently joined from Farrer & Co.

β€˜Plugged into the media sector’, Bristows LLP has wide-ranging expertise in contentious and non-contentious matters covering copyright, trade mark, advertising, marketing, gaming, music, publishing, film, TV, social media and interactive media. It is advising Paramount Pictures on music licensing and copyright in relation to music played over Paramount’s live streamed film premieres of the latest Star Trek and Jack Reacher films. It is also defending Google in litigation against a group of internet users related to alleged tracking activity and targeted advertising. The team also handles advertising compliance matters for Guardian Media Group. WPP, Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe, Blizzard Entertainment and BBC are also clients. Key figures include Myles Jelf, who acts for a range of computer games and media clients; Paul Jordan, who is experienced in advertising, marketing, publishing and TV; Iain Redford, who handles advertising and marketing sector mandates; and senior associate Sacha Wilson, who has β€˜great technical understanding’ and handles advertising and digital media matters.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP advises clients within the advertising, marketing, gaming, film and TV sectors on a range of commercial, competition and dispute matters. The team advises Nike European Operations Netherlands on a range of matters and successfully defended Nike on complaints to the Advertising Standards Agency regarding an advertising campaign. Westfield Europe, NCSOFT, YouView, ITV and wagamama are also clients. Mark Howard and Mark Bailey head the TMT practice. Jon Walters handles commercial and regulatory work, with particular expertise in advertising and marketing matters. Paul Stone handles EU and UK competition work. Commercial team head Jason Saiban has expertise spanning the sports, retail and leisure sectors. Senior associate Jaclyn Wilkins is also recommended.

Dentons acts for a number of global media companies and has expertise across the film, TV, advertising, marketing, music, publishing, gaming, social media and interactive content sectors. It advised Lions Gate Entertainment on the English law aspects of the $4.4bn merger of Orion Arm Acquisition and Starz. Ingrid Silver heads the media and entertainment team and advised the shareholders of Essence, alongside Jeremy Cohen, on its sale to WPP. Darren Acres’ β€˜advice is always practical, clear and concise’; he advised ole! Media Management on its acquisition of UK-headquartered rights management group Compact Media from Lyceum Capital. Managing associate Alex Haffner handles regulatory issues and β€˜replies swiftly and promptly with clear and practical advice’. TMT head Andy Lucas is also recommended. England and Wales Cricket Board, Tribune Media Services and Virgin Media are also clients.

Goodman Derrick LLP is active across mandates in the advertising, marketing, film, TV and publishing sectors. Team head Paul Herbert advises Digital 3 + 4 on DTT broadcasting activities and regulatory matters, and advised We Are Fearless on contractual agreements with NestlΓ©. Tanya Shillingford advises BBFC on a range of classification, policy and commercial issues. Edward Hoare advised Guardian Media Group and Caledonia Investments on the disposal of a majority interest in Seven Publishing Group. North One Television, Portland Television and Digital UK are also clients.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s β€˜pragmatic’ team handles transactional, operational, regulatory, competition and disputes work; music, sport, gaming, advertising, live events, film, TV, interactive content, channel and digital platforms, social media and rights management are all areas of expertise. The team acts for Tabcorp on its white label partnership with News UK to launch an online wagering and gaming business in the UK and Ireland. It is also advising Moby Media Group on its partnership with Vice Media to launch Vice into the Middle East. It is also advising Sky on Twenty-First Century Fox's proposed Β£11.7bn acquisition of Sky, and advised STV in relation to the renegotiation of its advertising sales agreement with ITV. Global head of media and entertainment Stephen Wilkinson stands out for his β€˜knowledge, gravitas and cool under pressure’. Also recommended are Gavin Davies, who handles corporate and M&A transactions in the sector, Alan Watts, who handles disputes, Joel Smith, who is noted for rights issues, and Stephen Wisking, who is experienced in competition matters in the sector. Senior associate Hayley Brady is β€˜bright, has bags of stamina, and is a great problem solver’. Nick Elverston joined Ashurst in 2016.

The β€˜innovative’ team at Howard Kennedy LLP is β€˜the team you want to go to if you have a high-profile and very sensitive media case’. Its expertise spans the music, publishing, film and TV sectors, advising on contentious and non-contentious matters spanning corporate, financing, international broadcasting, online content, IP, regulatory compliance, financing, employment and defamation. It acts for a number of North American media outlets including Washington Post, CNN, Thomson Reuters and New York Times. It also acts for UK-based media outlets including Express Newspapers. Mills & Boon, The Old Vic and Ingenious are also clients. The team is jointly headed by Mark Stephens, who is β€˜second-to-none on strategy’ and is experienced in international comparative media law and regulation, and IP, publishing, entertainment and media specialist Robert Lands. They are ably assisted by Jane Amphlett, who handles employment matters, Tim Bignell, who handles disputes in the sector, senior associate Elizabeth Morley, who also handles dispute resolution and is β€˜quietly charming, but with a steely core’, and consultant David Hooper, who joined from RPC in 2016 and β€˜brings endless knowledge, expertise and wisdom’.

Tech-sector specialist Kemp Little LLP is β€˜always quick to respond’ and is praised for its β€˜ability to marry knowledge of the law with technical understanding’. Highlights included advising Anthony Ganjou, the founder and owner of Curb Media, in respect of a sale of part of his shareholding in Curb Media, which involved Chime/CMS taking a stake in other businesses co-founded and co-owned by Anthony Ganjou. Buzzfeed, British Interactive Media Association, Ericsson Media, Thomson Reuters and Turner Broadcasting are also clients. Calum Murray, Paul Garland and team head Andy Moseby are β€˜seasoned veterans of their trade’. Consultant Susan Biddle advised William Hill Online on the evolution of its supply arrangements with Playtech Software, including the extension of strategically important agreements for the supply of casino, poker and bingo software and services for use on its website and in the UK, Italian and Spanish markets. Senior associate Deborah Angel handles corporate matters.

Simons Muirhead & Burton is β€˜fast to respond’ and has β€˜strength-in-depth, especially in media law’. Louis Charalambous and Razwana Akram are advising i-D magazine (owned by Vice Media) on its brand partnership collaboration with Chanel to create a new online platform celebrating women in the creative industries, and also advised Vice on the launch of its new TV channel VICELAND. Richard Baskindand consultant Alasdair George, who joined from Edge Investment Management in 2016, advised Pete Tong on the commercial, corporate and legal aspects of his agreements with The Heritage Orchestra, Jules Buckley and Chris Wheeler regarding live performances at the O2, as well as negotiating the related recording deal with Universal Music. Virgin Media, Great Point Media, talkSport and Econet are also clients. The β€˜first-rate’ Simon Goldberg heads the practice, which includes Marc Sobol, who leads on sports and broadcasting, Stephen Shotnes, who leads the TV and film disputes team, and Charles Law, who handles music and digital media matters. Also recommended are Martin Soames, who is β€˜excellent’ on publishing matters, and senior associate Jonny Petch, who handles music matters and is β€˜a star of the future’.

Swan Turton LLP is β€˜quietly professional, with deep knowledge and extensive experience’, and has β€˜particular niche expertise across the entertainment industry as a whole’. The team also has β€˜vast experience, particularly in the music industry’. It advised Street Cat Film Distribution on all legal matters, including handling the soundtrack, to the feature film A Street Cat Named Bob; advised Rick Smith of Underworld on his agreement for the creation of original music for the film T2 Trainspotting; and advised

Madness on the recording and publishing deals for their current album. Music team head Julian Bentley acts for artists and key players in the music industry as well as comedians. Stuart Barry has β€˜in-depth music industry knowledge’ and Julian Turton acts for a number of music artists; he also utilises his expertise in music publishing, advising authors on book publishing matters. Stuart Barry is also a key figure in the music team. Charles Swan is β€˜a person of considerable knowledge and experience’ and heads the advertising and marketing team. Antony Gostyn leads the film and TV team. Consultant Lawrence Harrison joined from independent business affairs consultancy, Lawrence Harrison, while Carolyn Burbridge joined William Grace and Ann Harrison joined SSB Solicitors.

Allen & Overy LLP’s expertise spans advertising, content production, licensing, IP, branding, network distribution and technology, and the team is particularly applauded for its M&A and antitrust expertise in the sector. It is advising 21st Century Fox on its Β£18.5bn takeover offer for Sky, is advising UBM on its $485m acquisition of Allworld Exhibitions, and advised Shanghai Giant Network Technology on its $4.4bn consortium-led acquisition of Playtika, the online social and mobile gaming arm of Caesars Entertainment. Virgin Media, 888 Holdings, Thomson Reuters, MGM, Facebook, News Corporation and WPP are also clients. Antonio Bavasso is global head of media. Corporate specialist Simon Toms is also recommended. Global head of brands David Stone joined from Simmons & Simmons.

Collins Long handles a range of matters across music, theatre, TV and film for managers, artists, bands, producers, songwriters, writers and composers. Simon Long and James Collins are key figures.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP’s β€˜responsive and commercial’ team is best known for its music practice, as well as its general media practice which advises clients in the film, television and computer games industries, acting for blue-chip corporate clients on advertising, marketing and sponsorship issues, and handling media finance and banking transactions. It advised Apple Corps on all aspects of The Beatles film, Eight Days A Week, advised Empire Cinema Group on its Β£94m sale of five cinemas to Cineworld Group, and advises Coca-Cola on advertising and promotional campaigns across their entire product range. Experience Hendrix, Sir Elton John, PRS for Music, U2 and Live Nation are also clients. The team is headed by Neil Mohring and Andrew Terry, who specialises in IP issues, brand protection, reputation management and media-related work.

Primarily based across its London, Exeter and Bristol offices, the team at Foot Anstey is β€˜great for publishing matters’ and also for its handling of film, TV, music, marketing and advertising matters. Matthew Stoate advised Silvergate Media on its investment from Los Angeles-based private equity firm Shamrock Capital Advisors, while disputes partner Peter Singfield, who leads the marketing team, led advice for Trinity Mirror on journalist Gareth Davies’s appeal against a Police Information Notice that was issued while investigating a story relating to fraud. Tony Jaffa leads the editorial and regulatory media team; he has a β€˜fantastic reputation’ for publishing matters and has been appointed by Mirror Group Newspapers to give pre-publication advice to, and has been instructed by the Independent and Evening Standard to provide editorial and litigation legal support, and daily pre-publication advice. Warner Brothers Studios, Aardman Animations, Ministry of Sound and Sky UK are also clients. Key figures include employment specialist Richard Neary, who heads the media and technology team; commercial lawyer Martin Cuell, who heads the technology team; and Neil Parkes (β€˜commercial, pragmatic and sensible’), who is noted for disputes and heads the TV, film and music team. Senior associate Alexandra Leonidou joined from Warner Bros. Entertainment and Jennifer Agate (also a senior associate) joined from Farrer & Co.

Hamlins LLP is β€˜pre-eminent in the area of protecting the public performance rights of musicians and record labels’. The team acted for PRS For Music and Phonographic Performance Limited in a case against CGK Trading and others seeking an injunction, damages and additional damages for copyright infringement. Head of media, entertainment and IP Christopher Hutchings is noted for his expertise in defamation and privacy, and also advises a wide range of media clients on commercial issues and image rights. Recently promoted partner Martin Ochs focuses on contentious music and copyright litigation and is β€˜tenacious, well-organised, hardworking and intelligent’. Video Performance Limited (VPL), TRAP (Trademark & Rightsholders Against Piracy), Bravado International Group, Laurence Aston and Red Hot Chilli Peppers are also clients. Julian Ward joined Lee & Thompson LLP in 2017. Senior associate Hayley Devlin is also recommended. Former team head Laurence Gilmore has retired.

Hogan Lovells International LLP acts for a range of global media and entertainment groups and advertisers and its expertise spans IP, regulatory, advertising, marketing, corporate matters, financing and restructuring, litigation, competition and antitrust. It is advising Mars on advertising campaigns and on promotional activities and advised the British Paralympic Association on brand enforcement issues in the build-up to, during, and following the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio. It is also advising STIM on its joint venture with PRS for Music and GEMA on the creation of a multi-territory music licensing hub. Team head Peter Watts advises on complex networks of contracts and innovative commercial structures. Richard Welfare handles regulatory work, including advertising and marketing, copy clearance, promotional activities and product compliance.

Latham & Watkins provides β€˜top-notch commercial advice’. It handles transactional matters including financing, investment, individual production financing and slate co-financing arrangements for film and television productions. Other areas of expertise include licensing deals, first look arrangements, content venture agreements and corporate sales and acquisitions. The β€˜outstanding’ Lisbeth Savill advised Dasym Investment Strategies on the sale of the Hammer film library, advised EuropaCorp on co-production and licensing arrangements for the television series Taken, and advised Moon River Features on a first look producer deal with Entertainment One. International Olympic Committee, Moose Entertainment, Open Road Films and MGM are also clients. Counsel Sarah Caughey handles the financing of independent British film productions, as well as slate co-financing arrangements and television content ventures between advertising agencies and broadcasters.

The β€˜first-class’ team at Mayer Brown International LLP acts for content owners in the

music, publishing and broadcasting arenas, and also advises major corporate and financial institution clients on advertising and social media matters. It advised Village Roadshow on its Β£30m acquisition of 100% of the share capital of Countrywide Property Investments (UK). Hachette, Perrigo, Entertainment One, Royal Institute of International Affairs, Modern Times Group, HSBC and Publishers Association are also clients. The β€˜very experienced’ Miles Robinson has β€˜a calm and methodical approach to large-value and high-profile litigation claims’. Robert Hamill is an β€˜excellent lawyer with a calm demeanor’ and handles corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions and joint ventures. Richard Page, who advises on corporate finance and transactional matters, is also recommended.

Travers Smith LLP is β€˜very responsive’, has β€˜great industry knowledge’ is β€˜technically great and also very commercial’. The team advises on media sector transactions, as well as regulatory matters in the sector. Film, TV, broadcasting and publishing are core areas of focus, and it also handles theatre and new media matters. It advised Wireless Group on several matters including the Β£100m sale of its television business to ITV, and on the client’s Β£220m sale to News Corp UK & Ireland. Other highlights included advising Exponent on its acquisition of the Racing Post from a consortium of private investors. Pinewood Shepperton, TES Global and Genesis Films are also clients. Richard Brown heads the team, which includes Ben Chivers, who specialises in joint ventures, strategic alliances and commercial contracts. Corporate partners Ian Shawyer and Andrew Gillen, and senior associate Sonny Mallet, who handles commercial matters, are also noted.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP regularly advises on high-value transactions and financings, as well as complex contractual and licensing disputes, and trade mark, copyright and other IP issues. It represented eight partnerships operated by Ingenious Media on a Β£1bn dispute with HMRC, and advised Vonage Holdings Corp on its $250m acquisition of Nexmo. It also advised Ardian on the acquisition of Envision. Yahoo!, Facebook, eBay and Oracle are also clients. Technology and IP transactions head Barry Fishley is recommended, as is Hannah Field-Lowes, who handles contentious IP instructions.

Boutique firm ACK Media Law LLP acts primarily for financiers and producers of feature films and TV productions. It also provides script-content advice for film and television productions, advising on a range of defamatory and reputational concerns arising out of production. It provides ongoing content and brand management advice on Fifty Shades Darker, and also advises on matters relating to the Fifty Shades of Grey books. It also advised Lupus Films on legal, production, finance and commercial matters relating to the animated feature Ethel & Ernest. Sue Charles handles defamation, privacy and compliance issues and Nick Miller heads the film and TV group.

Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP is active across the broadcasting, production, publishing, digital content, advertising and TV industries. Western Digital, ITV, Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE), Disney Interactive, Viacom and Barnes & Noble are clients. Transactional media and entertainment practice head Richard Dickinson acts for major broadcasters and producers, as well as advertising agencies. Contentious media partner Christopher Stothers advises on technology and online content, and handles copyright and trade mark disputes. Michael Bywell handles contentious matters in the technology sector and Rob Bratby, who joined in 2017 from Olswang Asia, advises on corporate, commercial and regulatory matters for clients in the telecoms, media, and technology sectors.

The β€˜strong team’ at Collyer Bristow LLP does β€˜excellent work in the field of media and entertainment’. Its expertise covers non-contentious matters such as commercial agreements, event management and sponsorship agreements, marketing and agency agreements, and recording, publishing and live performance agreements. On the contentious side, the team acts for claimants and defendants on libel, breach of privacy, breach of contract, copyright and trade mark infringement cases, and is β€˜particularly good on phone hacking claims’. Howard Ricklow is advising David Julyan recently advised on the soundtrack for the 2017 film The Crucifixion. Ambache Charitable Trust, David Arnold, Josephine Halbert, Into Film and Patrick Wolf are also clients. Steven Heffer has β€˜a wise head and only ever does the best for his clients’; he heads the media and privacy team and the arts and culture group.

Cooley (UK) LLP’s digital media and entertainment team advised MTB Ventures on its 2016 Tie Break Tens event ahead of the ATP Vienna Open, which included broadcasting negotiations and negotiations with sports rights agencies. It also advised two shareholders in Finnish mobile game company, TicBits, on the sale of 100% of their shares to Hong Kong-based mobile publisher Animoca Brands. Guardian Media Group, Odeon & UCI Cinemas Group, Nikon Europe, Warner Music International and Twitter are also clients. The team is headed by commercial and IP lawyer Chris Coulter, who has a particular focus on technology and telecommunications transactions. Other key figures include Nicholas Bolter, who handles IP matters; Becket McGrath, who advises on EU and UK competition law; Mark Deem, who specialises in TMT litigation; and Sarah Pearce, who advises on technology-related transactions. Special counsel Brian Chadwick is experienced in the digital media, gaming and entertainment industry and handles cross-border M&A, corporate finance, and private equity matters.

DWFM Beckman acts for professional musicians, songwriters, actors and television production companies, as well as independent record producers, music publishers, artists’ managers and booking agents. Highlights included advising ArtAxis Music on the preparation and review of various agreements, and acting for Harvey Goldsmith on the negotiation of a complex joint venture agreement between Holding-On Rights, John Lewis and OnBlackheath relating to a music festival. Primary Talent International, Panjabi MC and One Dance UK are also clients. Irving David heads the team.

Gowling WLG is best known for acting for global brands, providing national and international brand management and advertising advice. It advised Nomad Foods on the consolidation and re-tendering of its pan-European media account, and advises Weetabix on IP matters, as well as international advertising law issues. Director Dan Smith is noted for his expertise in advertising law. Carlsberg and Mothercare are also clients. Birmingham-based Kate Swaine is head of brands and specialises in the enforcement and clearance of brands, advertising and designs.

The β€˜superb’ team at Hansel Henson is β€˜always reachable’ and focuses on digital media and IP law, advising on bringing apps and computer software to market, as well as on the publishing and broadcasting of content via the internet, TV and mobile networks. The team also handles brand communication for clients with interactive media demands and is noted for its expertise in handling international mandates. It advised Delinquent Interactive (now MAG Interactive) on MAG’s initial investment in Delinquent and its subsequent sale, and provides ongoing advice to MAG Interactive on IP, data protection and contract matters. It is also advising Future Games of London on the take down of other apps published on platforms such as the App Store and Google Play that infringe the rights in one of its games. Hutch Games, Another Place Productions, Fin London and Inca Productions are also clients. Tom Henson β€˜has a good eye in helping the client pick the right battle during contract negotiations’ and β€˜always communicates very clearly’; he heads the team with David Hansel. Richard Barnett joined the Science Museum Group in 2016.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s cross-departmental team is active across the broadcasting, publishing, film, live entertainment, online media, social media, music, sports and advertising sectors. Areas of expertise include handling disputes, regulatory, corporate, IP, brand and reputation management, and financing matters. It advises McLaren Racing and McLaren Applied Technologies on the management of its global IP portfolio, and recently advised on the Β£4.5m sale of its catering business, Absolute Taste, to One Event Management. Arqiva, Avesco Group, Econet Media, Pancho Music and Trinity Mirror are also clients. Mike Knapper heads the team and is adept at non-contentious IP instructions. Other key figures include Ian Lopez, who advises corporates within the media sector; Chris Pearson, who handles corporate finance transactions and M&A; and Jonathan Ball, who co-heads the IP disputes practice.

Onside Law Limited is active across the sports, fashion and media sectors providing corporate, commercial, regulatory and dispute resolution advice. Jamie Goldberg handles corporate, commercial and regulatory matters, and the β€˜great’ Adam Leadercramer specialises in technology, digital media, broadcasting and sport.

IP firm Redd Solicitors LLP is noted for its expertise in the digital and social media, computer games, software, and emerging technologies sectors. It acted for Deutsche Bӧrse and Market News in a copyright infringement and breach of contract action in the High Court against Realtime Analysis & News. It also advises Microsoft on trade mark matters. Simon Chalkley handles transactional IP matters; Anna Carboni is noted for her litigation expertise, particularly in relation to trade marks, designs and copyright, and is also noted for brand protection matters; Sara Ashby handles IP disputes and is active across brand protection and enforcement mandates. Recently promoted partner Michael Browne is also recommended. *Following publication of the 2017 edition, the firm merged with Wiggin LLP.

Sound Advice (Legal) LLP is a β€˜dynamic specialist music practice’ that focuses on representing artists, songwriters and producers, and also represents artist management companies and live agency companies. It handles contracts in the music and entertainment sphere, and also has expertise in IP and copyright law. Clients include Jonas Blue, Snarky Puppy, TMS, Naughty Boy and UB40. Sonia Diwan is β€˜devoted to her clients’ and Robert Horsfall has β€˜outstanding deal-making abilities’; β€˜both are totally absorbed in the music industry’.

Weightmans LLP is noted for its expertise in the gaming sector, advising on a raft of instructions including major video game development agreements, licensing, talent, image rights, exploitation and recording agreements. It advised Playground Games on a video game development with a major global publisher, and is advising Side (UK) on a variety of voice talent and motion capture agreements for the provision of voice talent services for major video game titles. Secret Sorcery, Nomad Games and The Independent Game Developers Association (TIGA) are also clients. Sean Crotty heads the team and managing partner John Schorah is also recommended. Both are based in Liverpool.

Ashurst’s cross-departmental team has a focus on the digital economy, and supports clients in the development of digital strategies. It handles channel distribution, the creation and launch of new services, rights acquisition, licensing and audits, as well as joint ventures, M&A, regulation and antitrust matters. It advised Japan Broadcasting Corporation on its co-production, The Tokyo Trials, which is streaming on Netflix, and advised Virgin Media on its complaint that the arrangements by which the FA Premier League sells the audio visual rights to the Premier League infringe competition law. It also advised Johnston Press on its acquisition of the business and certain assets of the i newspaper from Independent Print, and assisted Johnston Press with its disposal of 13 publishing titles and associated websites in East Anglia and the East Midlands to Iliffe Media. In 2016, Nick Elverston, who has β€˜great industry knowledge, is very personable and is a real lateral thinker’, joined from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP alongside Amanda Hale. Duncan Liddell is also recommended.

Publishing boutique B M Nyman & Co advises on contracts for publishers, literary agents and authors. It also handles IP and defamation matters. Bernard Nyman is the sole partner.

Bindmans LLP is noted for its work for claimants and defendants in defamation and reputation management matters, and it also acts for publishers in providing pre-publication, copyright and libel advice. It advised film company Undercovers on privacy, libel and copyright issues relating to the script of a drama series, and advised IMPRESS on its application for recognition as an independent press regulator by the Press Recognition Panel. Media and entertainment team head Tamsin Allen is β€˜superb’ and specialises in defamation, privacy, data protection, phone hacking claims and press regulation. Kate Goold handles criminal matters for journalists and media organisations and defends high-profile individuals accused of crimes. Martin Rackstraw and Katie Wheatley are also noted.

Fladgate LLP handles soft IP litigation across the media and sports sectors, with particular expertise in publishing and e-publishing. The team also advises on data protection and security, e-commerce, digital media and social media. It acted for Monster Energy on a number of marketing and advertising campaigns. Digital Cinema Media, Odeon Cinemas and Parkway Cinemas are also clients. IP, technology and commercial specialist Eddie Powell heads the team. James Earl, who joined from Pinsent Masons LLP in 2016, leads the sports group; corporate lawyer David Robinson handles capital markets and M&A in the technology and publishing sectors. Commercial lawyer Alan Wetterhahn is also noted.

The corporate, IP, antitrust and finance teams at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP handle mandates in the media sector. Clients include digital content creators and broadcasters. David Aitman, Martin McElwee and Giles Pratt are leading Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) on the European Commission’s investigation of pay-TV licensing arrangements between six major Hollywood studios and UK broadcaster Sky. Head of corporate Simon Marchant is also noted.

GSC Solicitors LLP’s main focus is in the music industry, although the firm also handles publishing, advertising and digital media matters. Its clients include music industry licensing body PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited), for which it handles a raft of enforcement actions. It acted for PRS on public performance enforcement work. Clive Halperin leads on non-contentious matters, and Justin Goldspink is noted for contentious matters.

Healys LLP is praised for its β€˜entrepreneurial approach’ and advice on IP, disputes, licensing, commercial matters and rights protection in the media and entertainment sector. David Schollenberger acts for broadcasters, production companies, social media websites, musicians, actors, content suppliers and authors on commercial matters, agreements and licences. Nicholas Taylor β€˜has great instinct for the strengths in cases’ and specialises in media law, including defamation, IP and rights protection. Martin John handles non-contentious media matters and Andrew Sparrow is noted for his expertise in internet and digital commercial instructions.

St Albans-based Himsworths Legal Ltd’s β€˜level of service is fantastic’; its β€˜industry knowledge is second-to-none and it provides practical advice that is always grounded in commercial common sense’. The team is β€˜well versed’ in digital media, and often advises on social media policies; β€˜in a fast-moving area of the law, the response times are very quick’. It is well established in the sports industry, where it acts for a raft of clients including sports organisations, as well as individual players, managers and athletes such as James Haskell and Stan Collymore. It also acts for non-sports clients, and has advised a number of start-up companies and digital enterprises. Managing director Matthew Himsworth β€˜is an expert; personable, highly efficient and delivers excellence’, he β€˜displays highly proficient organisational and communication skills’.

Mathias Gentle Page Hassan LLP is active across media entertainment and the arts sectors and advises on a range of matters including recording and music publishing, as well as acting for artists, writers, producers and managers. It also acts for art galleries, painters and sculptors. David Gentle and Bob Page are the key contacts.

Memery Crystal LLP is active in digital media production and distribution, and also advises businesses in traditional print media. Its expertise spans digital media, print and electronic publishing, social media, rights, licensing and syndication, on-demand services, games and interactive applications. It advises Guardian Media Group on a range of IP and transactional matters, and acts for Bigballs Media on IP and commercial contracts. Seven Publishing Group, Wyndeham Press Group, Electric Word and Seven Publishing Group are also clients. Key figures include Tim Ryan, who heads the commercial, media and technology team, consultant Stephen Milne, and Jonathan Riley, who joined from Gowling WLG in 2016.

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