Media and entertainment (including media finance) in London
Bird & Bird LLP's 'vast media and entertainment practice' builds on the firm's traditional strengths in IP and technology matters and it handles a range of complex media and entertainment instructions across music, gaming, social media, film, TV, advertising and marketing. International head of media and head of music, Phil Sherrell focuses on litigation and related advisory work and is active on complex copyright disputes and advisory projects which involve the application of copyright to media industry licensing; the team has a 'deep understanding of the music licensing framework, particularly in respect of digital rights'. The firm's sponsorship, content distribution and sports expertise means it is well-placed to handle e-sports matters in the gaming sector; the team recently advised a leading video game publisher on the development of a third party-operated professional e-sports league. In advertising and marketing, the team handles ASA complaints, and the film and TV offering is regularly instructed on rights acquisitions, as well as corporate and commercial work.
Phil Sherrell; Howard Rubin; Richard McMorris; Simon Fielder; Bryony Hurst
Other key lawyers:
Richard McMorris; David Bintliff; Felicity Reeve; Craig Giles
Take-Two Interactive/Rockstar Games
Universal Studios International Kew Media
PRS for Music
Steve Angello/Size Records
- Advised DAZN (Perform Media), the largest sports OTT platform in the world, on its global media buying and creative services arrangements with DENTSU for all DAZN markets and negotiation of various ancillary digital ad platform agreements with Twitter, Google, Integral Ad Science, MOAT, Adgooroo and Jellyfish.
- Advised Take-Two in a multi-jurisdictional matter against the developers of cheating tools (Mod-Menus), which interfere with Take-Two’s bestselling game Grand Theft Auto V.
- Advised HBO on its licensing and consultancy agreements in relation to the creation and production of a Game of Thrones studio tour and park.
- Advised a leading video game publisher on the development of a third party-operated professional esports league, including advising on copyright licensing to the various third parties involved, sponsorship deals and the exploitation of the commercial rights to the league.
- The team advises Steve Angello on all commercial matters, including the release of his album Human through Kobalt Music, where the team advised and negotiated on all producer and side artist agreements, commercial licensing matters and IP disputes. In addition to advising on Steve’s artistic career, the team assists his record label Size Records on all commercial matters, including the signing of new talent, distribution and licensing of its catalogue.
Clintons stands out for its 'breadth of knowledge' across media and entertainment sector work; the team handles contentious and non-contentious matters across the film, TV, music, theatre and digital media sectors. Film and TV group head Kami Naghdi has a focus on complex rights transactions and feature film production and financing, where he is ably supported by associate Jennifer Parker. The theatre team, which is led by James Jones and features the 'brilliant' John Cohen, is experienced in the structuring of deals and productions, which includes advising on rights acquisitions, financing and the licensing of shows. Andrew Sharland and David Griffiths lead the 'renowned' music litigation department, which represents leading musicians, songwriters, managers and producers, as well as record companies, publishing, management, live event and digital media companies. The non-contentious music practice, which is led by Berkeley Edwards and also features Andrew Myers, handles complex global structures for established and emerging artists and is regularly involved in high-profile negotiations, re-negotiations and restructurings. The team also utilises its newly established office in Los Angeles to advise on cross-border work. Tom Frederikse heads the firm's digital media team, which advises on the licensing of digital content as well as trade mark and brand protection matters.
Kami Naghdi; James Jones; Andrew Sharland; David Griffiths; Berkeley Edwards; Tom Frederikse
The team has an outstanding media and entertainment practice.
It is adept at handling a range of complex matters
The team is hardworking and has in-depth insights into the media sector.
Bat Out of Hell
Creative House Productions
David Ian Productions
Les Enfants Terribles
Little Angel Theatre
Michael Harrison Entertainment
Talent Artistic Group
The Lowry Theatre
Jamie Wilson Productions
The Lionel Bart Estate
George Stiles and Anthony Drewe
Ambassador Theatre Group
The Anthology Group
The Wider Earth
Sony Music Entertainment
Brainfeeder Records Inc
West One Music
Cooking Vinyl Group
Spilt Milk Management
Time S.p.A Unipersonale
Richard Hall Music (Moby)
- Advised Creativity Capital on the financing of Sea Fever, starring Connie Neilson and directed by BAFTA winner Nessa Hardiman.
- Advised the producers of the musical Bat Out Of Hell on its opening in Germany.
- Represented Time, an Italian record company, and Freecut, an Italian music publishing company, on a dispute with Nir Tibor (p.k.a. “Dennis Lloyd”), a well-known songwriter, performer, musician and producer.
- Advised Michael Harrison Entertainment and David Ian Productions on the opening of a new touring production Benidorm Live, based on the award-winning, BAFTA-nominated ITV television series.
- Represented Spilt Milk Management in a dispute with internationally successful songwriter, Amy Wadge.
CMS is noted for its 'global reach' and it leverages its international platform to advise global media companies on high-profile, cross-border deals in the sector; Selina Potter and Victoria Gaskell led advice for Comcast on its acquisition of Sky and in its offer for Twenty-First Century Fox. The team is noted for its experience in film and TV instructions where it is instructed by high-profile talent and industry executives, as well as UK and international broadcast groups on carriage negotiations, corporate deals, regulatory issues, content acquisition and commissioning and broadcast infrastructure deals. Production and production financing is a pivotal part of the practice and the team acts for a number of major TV production company groups; Charles Kerrigan, Ruth Marken and of counsel Rebekah Hayes head the firm's 'well-established' media finance team, which acts for a range of debt, equity and structured financiers, as well as media funds and corporations. Advertising and marketing is also a key component of practice, where it represents a number of leading global brands on media buying and advertising arrangements, clearance work, comparative advertising claims, ASA compliance, adtech (which is led by Alex Dixie), talent deals, ambush marketing, social media and endorsement deals. Gaming, social media and interactive content is a notable specialism, where it handles IP, transactional and commercial advisory work. The team also provides contentious and non-contentious music advice for major record companies, music publishers and music users. John Enser , who is head of music, provides commercial, regulatory and copyright advice. In the publishing sector, the team handles a range of work across the book, magazine and newspaper sectors.
Victoria Gaskell; Paul Guite; Charles Kerrigan
Other key lawyers:
Selina Potter; John Enser; Susan Barty; Steven Corney; Clive Gringras; Mark Bertram; Tom Scourfield; Iain Stansfield; David Zeffman; Ruth Marken; Rebekah Hayes; Luke Pardey; Alex Dixie; Stuart Helmer; Tomos Jones; Anna Soilleux-Mills; Rebecca Platt
BBC / BBC Studios
Dentsu Aegis Networks
Comcast / NBCUniversal
Global Radio (Capital, Heart, Xfm)
Viacom (including MTV, Nikelodeon, Comedy Central and Channel 5)
- The team represented Comcast on its (now withdrawn) acquisition of Sky and in its offer for Twenty-First Century Fox
- Advissed Advance (owners of Condé Nast and Reddit) on its purchase of Stage Entertainment, one of the world’s largest theatre producers and owners.
- Advised Immediate Media on its acquisition of BBC Good Food, the UK’s market-leading food magazine, website and events business, from BBC Studios.
- Advised BT on a long-term extension and expansion to its overall content cross-supply deal with Sky.
- Advised viagogo on its settlement with the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), and the team is also providing ongoing advice in relation to various complaints made to the Advertising Standards Authority.
DLA Piper has 'wide experience in media and entertainment, with some excellent partners and lots of resources'. It handles an array of instructions across the film, TV, marketing, advertising, gaming, social media, interactive content, theatre and publishing sectors, where it is instructed by major international media companies, publishers and media rights owners. The film and TV group handles a range of broadcasting and media matters, and the advertising and marketing practice handles sponsorship, regulatory, disputes, clearance, promotions and data work. It is particularly noted for its sports sector expertise where it advises a global client on several of its most important football sponsorship arrangements, and the team also advised The Football Association Premier League on the sale of audio-visual rights to the Premier League competition for the 2019/20 to 2021/22 football seasons. Duncan Calow, who is 'calm, reasoned and approachable' and leads the video games, interactive content and social media practice, also leads on publishing and theatre work with John Wilks and Ruth Hoy .
Other key lawyers:
Ruth Hoy is clever, commercial and tactical.
John Wilks is always very dedicated and aware of the client’s aims.
Duncan Calow is a standout lawyer and trusted adviser to many in the publishing sector; his industry knowledge is very good, he has a broad range of legal skills and is pragmatic in his approach.
The Football Association Premier League
Copyright Licensing Agency
BPI (British Recorded Music industry)
Matchroom Boxing Ltd/Matchroom Sport
Informa/Taylor & Francis
International Olympic Committee
American Chemical Society Publishing
- Advised Rakuten on its global endorsement deal with Andres Iniesta, pursuant to which Iniesta was appointed as a Rakuten brand ambassador and Rakuten became the head licensor of Inista’s image rights.
- Advised The Football Association Premier League on the sale of audio-visual rights to the Premier League competition for the 2019/20 to 2021/22 football seasons on behalf of the Premier League in the United Kingdom and a number of key international territories.
- Advises LEGO on its multiple international distribution arrangements for various LEGO television properties including LEGO Ninjago, LEGO Friends, LEGO NEXO KNIGHTS, Batman Be-Leaguered; and advises LEGO on various EU broadcast regulations including on the new Audio Visual Media Services Directive.
- Advises the English Football League on all aspects of its sale of its premium property, the media rights for the UK market.
- Advised beIN Sports on acquisition/distribution arrangements in relation to the following audio-visual properties; Serie A, ITF, ATP Finals, Tour De France, FIFA World Cup 2018, F1, Ski Classics and Ballon D’Or.
Farrer & Co 's media and entertainment team handles non-contentious and contentious matters and it is active across corporate, employment, IP, commercial and reputation management mandates. The team receives plaudits for its 'exceptional' publishing sector expertise where it is instructed by leading print and digital publishers. The team has particular expertise in music and academic publishing mandates, and is also instructed by authors and literary estates . GDPR instructions have been prevalent for the team and it has provided advice on the impending ePrivacy Regulation for its publishing clients. The wider media and entertainment team acts for international broadcast production and rights companies, music estates, leading news generators and syndication houses, as well as radio, culture and film clients. In the sports sector, the team acts for leading events rights holders on production and broadcast agreements. Henry Sainty is 'very talented' and is noted for his publishing sector expertise, as well as his work in the sports and culture sectors. Paul Jones heads the team.
Other key lawyers:
Henry Sainty; Peter Wienand; Richard Lane; Jonathan Eley; Ian De Freitas; Owen O’Rorke; Alan Baker; David Morgan
The team has a wealth of experience.
The team is highly regarded for its strong publishing practice.
The Economist Group
Telegraph Media Group
Sage Publications (leading international STM/academic publisher)
The Press Association/PA Media
BMJ Publishing Group (the publishing and digital arm of the British Medical Association, and publishers of The British Medical Journal)
Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (the exam body for graded music exams and also a leading music publisher)
Lonely Planet Publications
- Continued to advise Lonely Planet on the use of personal data in its publications, including those aimed at children, as well as on broader GDPR compliance issues.
- Continued to advise Bauer on a wide range of commercial contracts, as well as pre and post publication advice.
- Continued to advise the Economist Group on a range of IP, commercial and reputation management matters.
- Advised SAGE Publishing Group on data protection issues and digital product development.
- Worked with Dutch counsel to advise SAGE Publications Limited on its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Lean Library.
The multidisciplinary team at Fieldfisher handles a variety of contentious and non-contentious media and entertainment instructions, and by utilising its global footprint, the team is able to handle cross-border work. It fields specialists across media financing, digital media, interactive content, film and television, advertising and marketing, sponsorship, endorsement, publishing, rights licensing, corporate finance, banking, IP, content regulation and media tax. The media, technology, privacy and corporate groups are often engaged on digital media instructions such as the development and use of innovative platforms, the production, development and distribution of new and legacy content and advertising and digital commerce. The media technology practice media advised Freeview on the development of the Freeview Mobile App. The team is also involved in the development, production and distribution of film and television projects and the media asset finance practice is instructed by financiers, producers and distributors of film and television on the financing, creation and exploitation of media assets. Tim Johnson is noted for film and television financing work. The media tax practice advises investors in high profile film finance structures. Tom Guida heads the media and entertainment offering.
Other key lawyers:
Tim Johnson; Derek Hill; Andrew Blankfield; Carlton Durrant; Christine Philips; Oliver Abel Smith; Robin Spender
The team has in-depth experience for media and entertainment sector mandates.
The team consists of experienced partners and more junior experts.
The firm has a strong media tax offering.
Time Warner/Warner Bros.
NBC Universal/Universal Pictures
- Acted for the commercial arm of the BBC on its deal to take full control of Lookout Point; increasing its stake in the independent studio from 49% to 100%.
- Continued to advise the IAAF on the licensing of all media rights for the IAAF’s world championship-level events in Europe and Africa to the European Broadcast Union and ESPN Media Distribution.
- Assisted the IAAF in setting up a joint venture with ITN Productions for the broadcasting and media production of all IAAF sanctioned events.
- Advised Wonderhood Studios in connection with the establishment of a new advertising and production venture by David Abrahams, the former CEO of Channel 4.
- Acted for BBC Studios on the financing arrangements for His Dark Materials, a major and ambitious new high budget television drama based on the Philip Pulman novels.
Harbottle & Lewis LLP is noted for its 'breadth of expertise' across theatre, interactive entertainment, media finance, music, film, television and publishing work. The theatre team, which is led by Neil Adleman, regularly acts for producers, theatre owners, subsidised companies and individual writers and directors; it advised on all aspects of the UK and Republic of Ireland tour of the West End production of Motown. The video games group, which is led by Mark Phillips and Alan Moss, is instructed by leading console platforms and publishers, and is regularly engaged on video game financing deals. It is also noted for its e-sports expertise. Abigail Payne heads the media finance team which is experienced across debt, equity and tax-related financings for the film, TV, games, music, publishing and theatre sectors. Elsewhere, the music team is instructed by record labels, publishers, artists, producers, managers and digital music platforms. The film and TV group, where Sarah Lazarides is a pivotal figure, regularly acts as production counsel for major Hollywood productions shooting in the UK and Europe, acts for UK independent film producers and is also instructed by major SVOD platforms. Alex Hardy leads the publishing group, which acts for a number of high-profile publishing houses, authors, publishing sector start-ups and literary agents.
Neil Adleman; Mark Phillips; Alan Moss; Abigail Payne; Jonathan Berger; Alex Hardy
Other key lawyers:
Sarah Lazarides; Peter Armstrong; Kostyantyn Lobov; Ben McMeechan; Charles Leveque; Katrien Roos; George Babbington; Raffaella De Santis; Will Priestley; Harriet Stone; Clare Zucker; Shireen Peermohamed
Jonathan Berger is excellent at analysing a problem and getting things done.
The team is really friendly and is keen to help its clients in any way it can.
Alan Moss is a really dedicated, hardworking and friendly lawyer who goes out of his way to help clients.
The firm has a great relaxed style, which is backed up by tremendous breadth and depth of knowledge about film, TV and the creative sector.
The firm’s excellent partners are supported by knowledgeable and smart associates.
Jonathan Berger is a thoughtful, determined and excellent lawyer who gets things done.
Sonia Friedman Productions
Gold Circle Entertainment
Elliott Harper Productions
The Old Vic
Neal Street Productions
Take-Two Interactive/Rockstar Games
Cloud Imperium Games
The Pokémon Company International
LA Media Fund
Universal Music Group
Emoticast t/a TuneMoji
Joanne Shaw Taylor
Jean Philippe Rio-Py
Idol Tutor t/a Now Play It
Nira Park and Edgar Wright
Magic Light Pictures
The band “Queen”
Working Title Films
The Royal Household
The Publishers Association
DC Thomson & Co
The Estate of Sir Terry Pratchett
Northbank Talent Management
- Advised The Royal National Theatre on the West End transfers of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, Home, I’m Darling, The Lehman Trilogy, Consent and Nine Night.
- Acted for Quickfire Films on the financing of two upcoming theatrical feature films, entitled Summerland and Never Grow Old.
- Advised TC Film on the financing of its feature film The Courier, starring Gary Oldman and Jeffrey Dean Morgan.
- Represented music messaging platform and social network, TuneMoji, on its multi-territorial licensing deals with major and independent record labels and publishers.
- Acted as production counsel on Amazon Studios’ first feature film being shot in the UK, The Aeronauts, starring Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones.
Lee & Thompson LLP's 'professional, efficient and reliable' team is 'highly regarded' for media and entertainment work. The firm handles a raft of work across the media, technology and creative industries. The advertising and marketing team advises brand owners, agencies, producers, media platforms, influencers, ad networks and tech disruptors on contentious and non-contentious work involving IP, copy clearance, ASA regulatory investigations, production, sponsorship, endorsement, merchandising, brand protection, commercial contracts, data protection, employment and corporate matters. Dominic Bray heads the advertising and marketing team and led advice for The Engine Group on several high-profile mandates. The digital and technology team handles gaming, social media and interactive content work, and is also experienced in games finance. The film and TV group, which features newly promoted partner Antony Swiatek and managing partner Reno Antoniades, is instructed by content creators, producers, sales agents, distributors and financiers; Sam Tatton-Brown handles film and TV finance mandates. The music department, which is led by Lawrence Engel and also features consultant Dominic Free, recently promoted partner Lizzie Payne-James, legal director Tim Fowler, and senior associate Simon Goodbody, acts for talent, industry organisations, music publishers, record labels and collection societies, and it handles contentious and non-contentious work in the sector.
Dominic Bray; Julian Ward; Christos Michaels; Richard Lever; Nicki Parfitt; Lawrence Engel
Other key lawyers:
The team is pro-active, knowledgeable and the team members make themselves available when needed.
The firm’s film and TV team has great strength-in-depth.
The team is very experienced and is able to provide valuable insights and opinions on important matters; it provides an exceptional service.
Engine Group (WCRS, Synergy, PAA etc)
Red Production Company
Head Gear Films
“The Voice” Contestants (ITV)
Gloucester Place Music
Universal Music International
Steve Jones and Paul Cook (Sex Pistols)
- Advised The Engine Group on several matters, which included advising on campaigns for Warburtons and advising on contract negotiations with clients including Nestle, BMW (Synergy), Mercedes (Synergy), Southern Water (MHP), Royal Sun Alliance (MHP).
- The team advises McDonalds on advertising and marketing matters such as; its first reservations service pop-up in the UK, which included securing key celebrity hosts including Mark-Francis Vandelli from Made in Chelsea; and advising on its major Autumn 2018 TVC and social campaign around promoting its support of the UK farming industry.
- The firm advises Jagex on all commercial, intellectual property, licensing and corporate matters concerning the business.
- Advised Origin Pictures, Screen Yorkshire, Sampsonic Media and William Nicholson on Hope Gap, a much anticipated feature film starring Annette Bening and Bill Nighy.
- Advised Zephyr Films on Special Couple, which was the first non-documentary feature film to be produced under the UK-China co-production treaty.
Lewis Silkin LLP is active across a range of high-profile media and entertainment instructions and demonstrates strengths across advertising, marketing, theatre, publishing, film, TV, music, social media and digital mandates. The theatre team is regularly engaged on new productions and is instructed by producers in the sector on high-profile mandates; it is advising Nullarbor Productions on all production issues in relation to Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, the musical. Managing associate Alan Hunt specialises in IP law is instructed by clients across the theatre, fashion, media, entertainment, sport, retail, music and technology sectors. The publishing department is instructed by a range of print, digital, broadcast and social media clients, and also works closely with several trade bodies. The music group acts for record labels, digital and mobile services, brands and rights-owners. The team also handles live music mandates and is instructed by several music festivals and venues. Cliff Fluet is instructed by several music streaming platforms as well as artificial intelligence, blockchain and immersive entertainment clients. The firm is also engaged on film and TV sector work where it handles content creation, financing, exploitation, IP, content, brands and reputation management work, as well as defamation and privacy disputes. In the gaming and social media sphere, the team acts for digital producers, publishers and social talent on digital media and social media content. Jeremy Summers heads the team.
Other key lawyers:
The team has brilliant knowledge of advertising and marketing law.
The team is very hardworking and delivers excellent results.
Jo Farmer is brilliant.
- Advised Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO on two ground-breaking campaigns for AMV’s client, Essity (also known as Libresse).
- The team is advising Nullarbor Productionson all production issues in relation to Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, the musical.
- The team is advising Annerin Productions (on a new musical based on the works of Foreigner; Jukebox Hero.
- Advised the Association ofIindependent Festivals (AIF) on a long-running consultation/dispute with PRS.
- Advised Haymarket Media Group on the sale of PistonHeads, the UK’s second-largest motoring website and the UK’s biggest online motoring community, to CarGurus.
Osborne Clarke LLP
Osborne Clarke LLP stands out for its 'cutting-edge experience' in the media and entertainment sector, where it handles an array of contentious and non-contentious work. The team is adept at advertising and marketing instructions where it advises on a range of regulatory and corporate mandates for advertising, digital, media and gaming clients. It also stands out for its adtech expertise. Broadcasting and digital content mandates are also a key focus and it is regularly instructed on the regulatory aspects of direct to consumer media and entertainment and OTT services, new broadcast regulation and media rights agreements. Sports sector instructions are prevalent, and the team advised Copa90 on an investment by Infront Sports & Media (part of the Dalian Wanda group). In the publishing arena, the team advises EMAP on pre-publication, post-publication libel and other content-related matters. The interactive entertainment team is often instructed on corporate deals and is experienced in e-sports, AR and VR matters. Digital regulation and reputation management are also key areas of focus for the team, and it is experienced in advising social media and digital media platforms.
Other key lawyers:
Nick Johnson; John Davidson-Kelly; Chris King; Robert Guthrie; Tim Birt; Mathias Loertscher; Hannah Drew; Jamie Heatly
Nick Johnson makes himself available for clients, understands the situation and legal issues quickly and is very pro-active in finding solutions.
Cancer Research UK
- Advising on advertising and marketing, regulatory compliance checks and content and rights licensing for Bandai Namco.
- Advising Facebook and Instagram on multiple commercial and regulatory matters.
- Advised Gram Games, the mobile game developer behind 1010! and Merge Dragons!, on its $250m sale to leading social games company, Zynga.
- Advised the shareholders of Ninja Theory on its sale to Microsoft.
- Represented premium activewear brand LNDR in a high-profile dispute against global sportswear giant Nike, over Nike’s use of ‘LDNR’ in an advertising campaign early in 2018.
Reed Smith LLP
Reed Smith LLP's entertainment and media industry group benefits from the firm's international presence, and often draws on the firm's resources from New York, Los Angeles and across the world, to advise on cross-border mandates. The 'team's knowledge of current trends and market intelligence sets it aside from other firms'; and it handles instructions across the broadcasting, film, TV, radio, music, entertainment, advertising, video games and digital content sectors. It is often engaged on regulatory and commercial instructions, as well as high-profile corporate transactions for media sector clients. Team head Gregor Pryor is instructed by global technology companies, recording artists and media-sector start-ups; Michael Maxtone-Smith represents banks and other financiers in film and television financing transactions; and Stephen Edwards, who is experienced in copyright work, is instructed by major broadcasters on commercial and regulatory matters, and also acts for production companies and media trade associations.
Other key lawyers:
The firm has great media understanding across the entire team.
The media and entertainment practice has both legal and industry expertise and knowledge.
Gregor Pryor is an expert in the music field and is able to balance advice on strategic direction and influence, with hard legal expertise.
Stephen Edwards is a recognised expert in music copyright and is pre-eminent in analysing legal copyright matters.
RPC is 'outstanding for publishing work' and it also has expertise across advertising, marketing, IP, data protection, branding, consumer issues, media regulation, IT, telecoms, digital media, competition and corporate media work. The team acts for some of the largest brands in broadcast, print and digital media. The publishing team, which is led by Keith Mathieson, handles contentious and non-contentious work for national newspapers, publishing houses, media insurance companies and tech giants. The advertising and marketing team, where Oliver Bray who is also active on social media and interactive content mandates is recommended, is instructed by consumer brands, social media platforms and advertising agencies on international campaigns and launches. Bray leads advice for Facebook on its global advertising and marketing initiatives. The team also acts for game developers and gaming and betting platforms, and provides commercial, regulatory, pre-publication and dispute resolution advice to national broadcasters and production companies.
Keith Mathieson; Oliver Bray; Paul Joseph
Other key lawyers:
The firm has experts across all areas of TMT; contacts, brand, defamation and litigation, which means they are the number one, one-stop shop in this area.
Oliver Bray is unfailingly brilliant, always cuts a new commercial angle on things, and is always impressively up-to-date.
Keith Mathieson is the epitome of calm, collected and hugely accomplished; he is a true expert in the field.
The depth of knowledge and its pragmatic advice makes this firm stand out
Keith Mathieson‘s huge experience in this field makes him a go-to lawyer.
Associated News Group (including Daily Mail and General Trust plc)
The Financial Times
News UK & Ireland (The Times and The Sunday Times) and News Group Newspapers (The Sun and The Sun on Sunday)
House of Fraser
Techtronic Industries (Vax, Milwaukee, Ryobi and others)
Shiseido Group, including Dolce and Gabbana and bareMinerals
Google and YouTube
Betconstruct / Feedconstruct
- Advises Google on promotional activities, and advertising enforcement.
- Advises Pernod Ricard Group on global brand management and key endorsements.
- Provides advertising and marketing and other advice to electronic cigarette company JUUL.
- Advises Hachette UK on pre-publication matters relating to forthcoming books.
- Provision of commercial, advertising and data advice to McArthurGlen’s network of European designer outlet centres.
Russells Solicitors has 'the market-leading contentious and non-contentious music law practice'. The team acts for multinational record companies, publishers, leading agencies, artists and producers; and advises on music management, production, touring, sponsorship, recording and publishing agreements, as well as corporate structures, appearances and show agreements. The team has recently handled a number of major publishing deals; Jo Brittain, who heads the new artists team, secured an extension of Wolf Alice's publishing deal with the Kobalt Music Group and negotiated the signing to Polydor of Sam Fender. Chris Gossage and Ryan Vince are noted for corporate and transactional work in the music sector and are often involved in the sale of independent record labels and catalogues. Chris Organ has a 'wealth of experience'; Steven Tregear heads the litigation team which features John Reid; and Gavin Maude heads the music department. Elsewhere, the firm also offers expertise across gaming, digital, social media and publishing mandates. It has recently been bolstered by several hires including Mark Ashelford, who heads the digital and social media practice, from Lee & Thompson LLP and Chloe Forsyth from Harbottle & Lewis LLP. Simon Esplen is the firm's managing partner.
Other key lawyers:
Its key strengths are the depth of commercial insight into the music business and its consistently solid legal advice.
Chris Gossage is the leading music practitioner in respect of corporate music deals; he is always a pleasure to deal with and is extremely experienced and well-connected in this field.
The team is versatile and up to date on all areas of entertainment law in particular.
Jo Brittain is enormously reliable and trustworthy.
They are quality, discreet, reliable and dependable lawyers; they are experienced, have a great perspective, are realistic, friendly and give great advice and are also not clock watchers.
Gavin Maude is font of knowledge, well-connected and commands respect.
George Michael’s Estate
Florence and the Machine
Global Music Group
- Advised Coldplay in connection with the recent documentary film Head Full of Dreams, which was released late in 2018, in 2000 cinemas worldwide and on Amazon Prime Video. The advice included all negotiations between the band, the producers and distributors.
- Acted for long-established heavy metal band, Bullet for my Valentine, in a complicated High Court partnership dispute with two former members, who left in 2014 and 2017 respectively.
- Representing the estate of George Michael in connection with various stories relating to, for example, the probate.
- Acted for Andy Macdonald and Independiente Records on its sale to Concord Records.
- Successfully represeting three of the band members of Deep Purple in dispute with a fourth former member, who attempted to register the trade mark ‘Deep Purple’ for certain goods and services in different categories.
Sheridans has 'exceptional expertise in media and entertainment work'; it fields experts across the advertising, broadcasting, digital media, gaming, film, interactive media, music, publishing, theatre, television, the visual arts and sports sectors. The firm's TV, film and broadcasting practice, which is led by Peter McInerney, recently advised Ricky Gervais and his production company on a high-profile deal with Netflix. Media finance transactions are a key driver of the practice, where James Kay is recommended. The music group represents artists, songwriters, record labels, industry executives and publishing companies on a range of matters. Alex Chapman heads the interactive media group and is experienced in representing computer game developers and content creators. Tim Davies heads the games finance practice which advises video game financiers, publishers, and developers on funding and operational matters, including tax, development and publishing agreements, IPOs, crowd-funding and other alternative fund-raising models.
Peter McInerney; James Kay; Nigel Jones; Alex Chapman
Other key lawyers:
Jeremy Roberts; Alex Tutty; Jamie Smith; Robin Hilton; Jacqueline Hurt; Andrew Bravin; Nick Mahara; Chris Brown; Jack Jones; Russell Roberts; Lance Phillips; Stephen Luckman; Claire Lewis; Tim Davies; Gabriella Playford; Stephanie Lavington; Joshua Grant; Liam Price; Ben Harvey; Wale Kalejaiye
A very comprehensive knowledge of film and television means that the team is able to get straight to the heart of any issues.
Peter McInerney has exceptional insight into contemporary media issues.
The firm has a wealth of knowledge in the games sector.
Tim Davies has a deep understanding of the games industry; he understands about different games and the games development process; he is a delight to work with, he responds quickly to requests, he comes up with elegant solutions and is good and keeping the client up to date.
The firm takes the time to know its clients well.
Dreamworks Animation US
The Jim Henson Company
Alaraby Television Network
Twenty Twenty Productions
Wild Mercury / Kudos
Number 9 Films
Bank Leumi UK
- The team represented Miramax, on Guy Ritchie’s new $30m film, starring Matthew McConaughey, Hugh Grant, Charlie Hunnam, Michelle Dockery and Henry Golding.
- Advised Komixx Entertainment on the production of The Kissing Booth for Netflix.
- Advises Green Door Pictures, Idris Elba’s production company, on a range of matters.
- Advised See-Saw Films on the production and financing of a feature film, Ammonite, a big-budget film starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan.
Simkins LLP's specialist media and entertainment offering is 'excellent at providing commercial legal advice across all areas of the entertainment industry'. Music, TV, film, theatre, digital media, publishing, advertising and marketing sectors are the firm's key areas of expertise; it is regularly instructed by major media companies, institutions and independent producers on contentious and non-contentious work including copyright disputes, publishing agreements, audio-visual compliance, corporate acquisitions and disposals, games distribution, film production and finance, record deals and personal tax planning. Litigator Paddy Gardiner leads the disputes team and handles complex copyright and trade mark infringement claims, injunction proceedings, breach of contract, professional negligence, shareholder claims and royalty disputes. Tom Iverson is noted for contentious music instructions, while Ed Weidman is experienced in non-contentious music mandates. Ed Baden-Powell handles commercial and IP mandates and advised BMG on its acquisition of World Circuit Records, the leading world music library home to Buena Vista Social Club and Orchestra Baobab. Managing partner Euan Lawson is experienced in corporate and commercial matters across the music, television and publishing sectors.
Other key lawyers:
The team has a broad spread of technical knowledge and experience across the media sector and this is coupled with long-term partner knowledge of clients and their business.
It has the breadth of team to assist in all areas of running a commercial enterprise and its commercial approach sets it apart from its competitors.
The whole team has great legal skills tempered with a good ability to provide commercial logic to deals.
The Blair Partnership/Pottermore
Da Beat Freakz
Cutting Edge Music
Eagle Rock Entertainment
BMG Rights Management
PRS for Music
The Extreme Music Library
The Bleeding Fingers Custom Music Shop
- Advised Filmwave on all aspects of its Netflix commissioned series The Letter for the King, a family series of eight episodes, based on the classic Dutch book of the same name written by Tonke Dragt and first published in 1962.
- Advised television production company Knickerbockerglory on the award winning Mandela anniversary feature documentary film.
- Is instructed by The Bleeding Fingers Custom Music Shop on general commercial matters.
- Represented PRSfM on an application to the Copyright Tribunal regarding a new live music tariff, which was approved by the Tribunal after a three year consultation and negotiation process between PRSfM and representatives of the live sector.
- Advising Iron Maiden in relation to the Iron Maiden ‘Legacy of the Beast’ video game, produced by Nodding Frog.
Simons Muirhead & Burton
Simons Muirhead & Burton has a 'professional and practical approach'. It handles contentious and non-contentious matters across the digital media, film, TV, broadcasting, music and publishing industries. The film and TV department is engaged on development, production, finance and distribution matters, as well as disputes, for a range of broadcasters, financiers, producers, cable platforms and online distributors. Advising US production company, Blumhouse Productions, on its first ever UK production You Should Have Left, starring Kevin Bacon and Amanda Seyfried, was a key highlight. Senior associate Blaise Gaymer acts for various independent film and television production companies. On the publishing side, the team is instructed by an array of print and digital clients. Here, Martin Soames is renowned for his knowledge of publishing, defamation and privacy law. The music department is instructed by artists, songwriters and producers on recording, publishing and production agreements. It also advises companies in the music sector on corporate and commercial issues. Senior associate Jonny Petch advises business and creative clients in the music industry. The team also offers experience in broadcasting and sports media matters where it handles commercial and transactional mandates.
Simon Goldberg; Richard Baskind
Other key lawyers:
A very strong team in terms of capability and client care.
Martin Soames is outstanding in terms of the quality of his advice, his availability, his willingness to listen, his ability to understand the wider context of a matter, and his client care; he is a real treasure.
Nick Raphael and Jo Charrington
The LADbible Group
Simon & Schuster
First Access Entertainment
Fresh Start Media
Good Soldier Records/Good Soldier Songs
Arctic Right Management AS
- The team is instructed by Simon and Schuster UK on pre-publication issues related to three high-profile books on Donald Trump’s presidency.
- Advised major independent UK music publisher, Salli Isaak, on its sale to a leading US music publisher.
- Advises The LADbible Group on a range of matters such ascommercial, IP and new media deals, which includes its branded partnerships, talent and licensing deals. It also provides pre-publication advice and assists with legal issues surrounding competitions and gambling.
- Advises Immediate Media on general publication advice.
- Advises First Access Entertainment on major distribution deals.
Taylor Wessing LLP 'stands out for its industry expertise' and for its 'international reach'. The media and entertainment team is able to advise on a range of matters across publishing, advertising, marketing, gaming, social media, interactive content, TV, broadcasting and music mandates. The cross-practice team offers expertise across M&A, corporate venturing, copyright, trade marks, content licensing, tech transactions, defamation, litigation, media regulation, advertising regulation and transactions, data and employment matters. Corporate partner Mike Turner is experienced in corporate deals in the gaming sector; Turner led advice for Wooga, a Berlin-based casual games developer, on its sale to Israeli mobile games company, Playtika. Media litigator Niri Shanmuganathan advises publishing, advertising, sport, film and TV clients on defamation, contempt, obscenity and privacy issues. Adam Rendle, who was recently promoted to partner, advises on projects, licensing, disputes and corporate transactions.
The lawyers are readily available and are able to offer pragmatic advice and assistance.
You want Niri Shanmuganathan on your team.
The team has a thorough understanding of the specificities and intricacies of music industry practice, including collective management of rights, which is not always the case with firms of this size.
Adam Rendle is able to quickly analyse and understand complicated issues and provide high-quality drafting and legal advice; his understanding of the music industry has enabled him to advise effectively.
Global Media & Entertainment
Cambridge University Press
Amaya (owner of the world leading online gambling brands: PokerStars, Full Tilt, BetStars and StarsDraft)
GVC (owner of bwin, PartyPoker and PartyCasino brands)
Activision (and its eSports subsidiary, Major League Gaming)
- Advising new client, Direct Line, on the appointment of its media buying agency.
- Advises Omnicom Group on a range of matters including IP and data privacy.
- Advised Pearl Abyss, one of South Korea’s largest game developers, on its acquisition of CCP Games, Iceland’s biggest gaming studio.
- Advised AppNexus on complex data protection issues, which included wide-ranging GDPR compliance advice and advising on the data privacy aspects of its $1bn acquisition by Xandr.
- The team defends Hearst (a publisher of magazines such as Cosmopolitan) on a copyright infringement claim brought by a photographer.
Wiggin LLP has a 'wealth of talent' for media and entertainment sector mandates, where it handles contentious and non-contentious matters. The team offers expertise across advertising, marketing, sponsorship, film, TV, content distribution and transmission, corporate, content protection and litigation, computer games, technology, music, publishing, interactive content and media finance. Among the 'fantastic team'; Sean James specialises in the creation, acquisition, licensing and distribution of content, as well as broadcast advertising; Charles Moore specialises in film and television production, financing and distribution; Medwyn Jones advises on the development, finance, production and distribution of television programmes, and also handles sponsorship and broadcasting issues; Neil Gillard is active across film and television production, finance and distribution; Chris Hanson is a media finance expert and led advice for MUFG Union Bank on a loan for the financing of the production of the next film in the Kingsman series; and David Quli is instructed by financiers, producers and distributors on the financing of films, television programmes, video games and music. Elsewhere, Paul Gardner is 'incredibly knowledgeable on the computer game sector'; Daniel Whybrew is 'strong on TV and film financing work'; and Sarah MacDonald, who was recently promoted to partner, heads the advertising, marketing and sponsorship team.
Sarah MacDonald; Sean James; Charles Moore; David Quli; Neil Gillard; Sean James; Michael Brader; Caroline Kean; Alan Owens; Paul Gardner; Simon Baggs; Alexander Ross; Adrian Jones
Other key lawyers:
Ross Sylvester; Ciaran Hickey; Gurminder Panesar; Chris Hanson; Medwyn Jones; Daniel Whybrew; Gráinne McKenna; Alexander Lea; Chris Hammond; Matthew Dando; Alexander Ross; David Naylor; Shaun Lowde; Chris Elliott; Rachel Alexander; Flora Greenwood; Claire Livingstone; Victoria Gyles
The team offers in-depth expertise across a range of media and entertainment sub-sectors.
The firm’s computer gaming experience is exceptional.
It has well-regarded experts for film and TV financing.
Addison Global (MoPlay)
Perform Group/ DAZN
News Corp UK
Disney / ABC
Warner Media (Warner Bros; HBO; Warner Horizon; Turner)
NBC Universal (Universal Studios; Focus Features)
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
CBS Studios International
The National Online Self-Exclusion Scheme
Addison Global (Moplay)
International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI)
Sony Music Entertainment UK
Warner Music UK
PRS for Music
Downtown Music Publishing
One Media iP Group
Sony Interactive Entertainment
The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
Associated Newspapers Limited
News UK (including The Sun and Dow Jones)
Penguin Random House
Audible (an Amazon company)
- Addison Global on its shirt sponsorship and affiliation deal with Watford for its MoPlay betting app.
- Advised Fulwell73 on its part-sale to US media conglomerate, Valance Media.
- Acted for Gerard Piqué on his investment into The Players Tribune.
- Advising Gamer Network on all aspects of its sale to Reed POP.
- Advised Downtown Music Publishing on the acquisition of the Salli Isaak music publishing catalogue.
Allen & Overy LLP is engaged by global media companies on advertising and content production, network distribution and technology-related mandates. It is also able to offer expertise across corporate transactions, finance, IP, antitrust, regulatory, employment, real estate and commercial work. The department is regularly engaged on cross-border transactions, leveraging the firm's extensive global footprint; it advised long-standing client, 21st Century Fox on its acquisition by The Walt Disney Company.
Other key lawyers:
David Stone; Neville Cordell
21st Century Fox
Metro-Goldwyn Mayer-Studios (MGM)
Acamar Films (BING BUNNY)
Danjaq / James Bond
- Advised 21st Century Fox on the extensive merger control, regulatory and litigation issues linked to its £27.7 billion takeover bid for Sky.
- The team defended defended Warner Bros. in EU-wide trade mark infringement proceedings.
- Advised Mubadala Investment Company, the Abu Dhabi-based investment company, on the merger control aspects of the sale of its interests in EMI Music Publishing to Sony Corporation of America.
- It is advising Acamar Films in relation to its global trade mark filing programme.
- The team manages all of James Bond’s (Danjaq LLC) UK trade mark work.
Baker McKenzie's cross-practice team consists of technology, IP, M&A, tax, compliance, competition and dispute resolution experts. The team is instructed by a range of media clients across the gaming, social media, interactive content, film, TV, music, publishing and events sectors on corporate, commercial, regulatory and contentious matters. Advising Sovereign Films, and its associated companies, on a series of major motion pictures, including Cradle of Champions, Being a Best, Tunnels of Chu Chi, The Cooks Sisters and We Love You Charlie Freeman is a key example of the team's film sector expertise.
Ben Allgrove; Steve Holmes
Other key lawyers:
Will Holder; Joanna Ludlam; Julia Dickenson; John Groom; Nadia Banno
The team has a strong commercial and strategic sense combined with excellent technical detail, and excellent client service.
The team is very professional, and very patient; particularly with client team members who did not have a strong grasp on media.
Google (includes Youtube)
Take Two Interactive
IMG / Endeavor
Bates Wells has 'strength-in-depth and commercial nous combined with the highest standards of legal and technical know-how'. The team is noted for its 'extensive' advertising and marketing expertise, where Rupert Earle is regularly instructed by the Advertising Standards Authority, as well as the Committee of Advertising Practice, the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice and the Direct Marketing Association. The team is also experienced in challenging regulators and defending regulatory investigations and prosecutions. Data protection, IP, privacy and freedom of information work are also notable strengths of the team. Elsewhere, the firm is also home to a dedicated culture and creative team, where Erica Crump is recommended. Here, the team is instructed by number of cultural and arts organisations on commercial, contracts, IP, charity and governance matters.
Rupert Earle; Erica Crump
Other key lawyers:
Molly Waiting; Tom Pratt
The team is very understanding and personable.
Tom Pratt takes his time to explain situations and advises in the most helpful way possible.
Erica Crump has a particularly pragmatic yet rigorous approach and makes the client feel like an essential part of the team.
The team is very responsive and flexible, with high levels of skill and finesse in approaching complex issues and ensuring swift resolutions.
The team is reassuring and supportive.
The team is professional, expert, efficient and a pleasure to work with.
The partners are always available and the junior staff are of a very high quality as well.
Erica Crump runs an excellent team; she cuts though and simplifies complex issues.
Science Museum Group
British Film Institute
Old Vic Theatre Trust
Royal Albert Hall
The Art Fund
South London Gallery
Booker Prize Foundation
Advertising Standards Authority
Committee of Advertising Practice
Arts Council England
- Advises the Science Museum Group on a variety of contractual issues.
- Advises the BFI on real estate, governance, fundraising, data protection, valuation and audience development matters.
- The team provides a significant amount of advice for the Royal Albert Hall including; employment advice, public and regulatory advice and advice in relation to media.
- The team acts for the Advertising Standards Authority on numerous (and frequently complex) UK, EU law and European Convention issues, and threats of judicial review relating to a huge range of matters.
- Advises the Committee of Advertising Practice on various public law issues.
Bray & Krais, Solicitors
Boutique outfit Bray & Krais, Solicitors offers specialist expertise across IP, media and entertainment instructions and it is experienced across the advertising, sports, music, film, television and theatre sectors. The firm is particularly experienced in advising high-profile music sector clients, such as artists, performers, record labels, executives, management companies and producers, on a range of matters such as recording, publishing, merchandising and management agreements. Mark Krais has extensive expertise in international branded live events and advised on the contracting of the Rolling Stones 'No Filter' 2019 USA tour. Richard Bray has a 'huge depth of knowledge and adopts a commercial approach' and advised on the branding collaboration between Gorillaz and Casio.
Mark Krais; Richard Bray; Simon Dixon
Other key lawyers:
Simon Dixon; Alan Lander; Dorothea Thompson;
The firm is personable and highly professional.
As a small and tight-knit team, it is very attentive to the needs of the client.
Richard Bray‘s care and attention-to-detail is unmatched within the industry.
Mark Krais is very commercial, technically very strong and has a great manner with his clients.
- Negotiated the producer and artist clearances for Bugzy Malone’s album B Inspired. The firm also negotiated the endorsement agreement between the artist and the lifestyle clothing brand, The North Face.
- Advised on and negotiated Jae5’s recording agreement with Black Butter Records.
- Advised on and negotiated Mist’s publishing agreement with EMI Music Publishing and SM Music Publishing.
Bristows LLP's tech sector group handles contentious and non-contentious matters for household-name brands, advertising agency networks, large media companies and industry associations. Advertising, marketing, gaming, music, social media, interactive content, publishing, TV and film are key areas of focus and it offers a range of IP, commercial, competition, corporate, M&A, copyright, data protection, privacy, trade mark and regulatory expertise. Paul Jordan is active across advertising, marketing, publishing and TV work; he advises on influencer and promotion agreements, global IP protection, multi-platform advertising clearance and global brand restructuring, as well as compliance, the preparation and defence of ASA complaints, Trading Standards and CMA investigations. Jordan advises Spotify on advertising matters. Myles Jelf is noted for his contentious expertise, particularly in the gaming sector. The team also has expertise in the publishing sector where it is increasingly acting for life sciences companies on issues related to online publishing.
Myles Jelf; Paul Jordan
Other key lawyers:
Simon Clark; Mark Brown; Andrew Butcher
The firm offers a very good service.
Advice is thorough, efficient and also practical.
Paul Jordan is very helpful and knowledgeable, is always quick to respond, is thorough in his advice which is also practical.
Guardian News and Media
Institute of Practitioners in Advertising
NLA Media Access (the newspaper licensing agency)
TBWA/the DISRUPTION® Agency
British American Tobacco
- The firm manages the worldwide trade mark portfolio of the Financial Times.
- Advised Activision Blizzard on a £10m breach of contract case against a company creating bots for Blizzard games.
- Advised Amazon.com on its follow-on investment into award winning UK-based game studio, Sensible Object.
- Advised GTech on trade mark litigation.
- The firm acts for Paramount Pictures on advertising compliance matters relating to influencer marketing and movie adverts.
Charles Russell Speechlys LLP offers expertise across advertising, marketing, film, TV, gaming, social media, interactive content, music, sports, publishing and theatre work. The team's advertising and marketing department is a core focus, where it is instructed by a number of household-name brands, media agencies and celebrities on sponsorship, influencer engagement, copy clearance, ASA compliance, disputes, brand partnerships and media buying agreements, as well as digital, social media and consumer matters. For gaming, social media and interactive content, the team is engaged by global publishers and games studios, and it is increasingly active in the esports arena. Senior associate Jaclyn Wilkins specialises in digital media and gaming matters. The film and TV practice is engaged by independent UK broadcasters and it is experienced in sports rights and media rights matters.
Mark Howard; Mark Bailey
Other key lawyers:
Jason Saiban; Paul Stone; Jody MacDonald; Duncan Lamont; Jon Higton; Natalie Elsborg; Caroline Swain
The team is very commercially aware, and it provides excellent, timely advice.
Made By Many
- The team advises Nike and its subsidiaries, including Converse, on various legal matters ranging from sports-related contracts to real estate, litigation and employment. The team has recently handled work for Nike’s digital and brands team where we it has advised on a full range of advertising and marketing work including; activations, promotions, influencer campaigns, brand ambassador arrangements, events and competitions and ASA complaints handling.
- The team advises Wagamama on a range of issues such as brand partnership and media buying agreements.
- Advised Made By Many on a range of digital media agreements, which included advising on negotiating agreements with household brand names.
- The team advises FitBit International on marketing campaigns involving prize competitions and prize draws, advertising clearance and compliance matters, which includes charity law and dealings with the Advertising Standards Authority.
- Advises NCSOFT on its strategic commercial relationships and work relating to the European roll out of its MMORPG games.
Goodman Derrick LLP's 'fast and efficient' team has 'many years of experience in dealing with media matters and the partners are straightforward'. It excels across advertising, marketing, film, TV and publishing work. The advertising and marketing team is noted for its experience across broadcast and VOD advertising law and regulation. The film and TV team has production and financing experience; it advised the estate of PL Travers on its negotiations with Disney for the release of the Mary Poppins Returns film. The firm is noted for its corporate and M&A work for media clients, and it also has competition and regulatory experience in the media and sports sectors. Defamation and media disputes are also a core strength of the team.
Other key lawyers:
Edward Hoare; Stephen Hornsby; Clive Ince; Tanya Shillingford; Keith Northrop
British Board of Film Classification (BBFC)
Office of The Adjudicator for Broadcast Transmission Services
The Estate of PL Travers
Think Make Create
- The team advises the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) on various classifications, policy and commercial issues. It also provided advice concerning the BBFC’s proposed designation as the Age Verification Regulator under the Digital Economy Bill.
- Advised TVT on various contractual agreements with broadcasters.
- The team advised Readers Digest throughout 2018 on publication and content issues.
- The team advises the Office of the Adjudicator for Broadcast Transmission Services (OTA-BTS) on regulatory and contractual matters.
- The team advises on Bridget Riley on IP and contractual issues.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's media and entertainment offering handles a raft of high-profile transactional, operational, regulatory, competition and dispute resolution mandates. The team is active across film, TV, interactive content, OTT platforms, digital and social media, technology, IP and rights management instructions, while music, sports, gaming, live events, sponsorship, advertising, marketing, information and data services and betting work are also key focuses. Consultant Hayley Brady is UK head of digital and media and specialises in commercial, advisory and regulatory work. Brady advised Smilegate on the commercial agreements relating to the launch of Smilegate Megaport's mobile games (including Epic Seven). In an example of its market-leading transactional expertise, the team was instructed by the Independent Committee of Sky on the competing takeover offers from 21st Century Fox and Comcast Corporation.
Other key lawyers:
Stephen Wilkinson; Stephen Wisking; Alan Watts; Andrew North; James Balfour
The team is hardworking and positive.
Hayley Brady is calm, focused and will work as long, and as hard as required.
British American Tobacco
Focus Features (ComCast)
Dubai Department of Tourism, Commerce and Marketing
- Advised British American Tobacco on its entry into a partnership and technology collaboration agreement with McLaren Racing and McLaren Applied Technologies.
- Advised the Independent Committee of Sky on the competing takeover offers from 21st Century Fox and Comcast Corporation, which resulted in Comcast’s successful £30bn recommended cash offer, and followed an initial recommended offer from 21st Century Fox. It culminated in a rarely-seen competitive auction process run by the Takeover Panel.
- Advised Time Inc. on the disposal of its UK arm to Epiris, following a competitive auction process.
- The team advises Tabcorp on all legal, regulatory and strategic matters; it advised on the closure of its Sun Bets platform, as well as the closure of its operations in the UK and the negotiation of its exit arrangements with News Corporation.
The media and entertainment practice at Howard Kennedy LLP is instructed by individuals and corporate clients on publishing, theatre, film, TV, music, advertising, PR, marketing, gaming and social media instructions. It offers contentious and non-contentious expertise in these areas and is adept at providing advice across corporate, financing, IP, regulatory compliance, employment, international broadcasting, online content and global rights protection matters. The team's core strength is in publishing work, where it handles a range of issues such as negotiating and preparing contracts, freedom of information, copyright and dispute resolution matters for magazines, newspapers, book publishers and literary agents. Theatre instructions are also a key focus, where it handles corporate, commercial, employment, real estate and charity issues for theatre clients. Elsewhere, major broadcasters instruct the team on regulatory and licensing issues. Mark Stephens CBE is an expert in international comparative media law and regulation, and he acts for corporates and individuals in high-profile domestic and international disputes. Senior associate Elizabeth Morley handles disputes involving defamation, reputation management, privacy, data protection and freedom of speech.
Mark Stephens CBE; Robert Lands
Other key lawyers:
The team has in-depth knowledge of the sector.
Media outlets in the North America including: Washington Post, CNN, Thomson Reuters, New York Times, Associated Press, BuzzFeed, Condé Nast, CBS, Simon & Schuster, Christian Science, New Yorker and HBO Daily Beast
Media outlets in the UK including Express Newspapers
Publishers including: Bloomsbury, Faber & Faber and Biteback Publishing
The Old Vic & Young Vic
Ingenious (the largest independent investor in the UK creative economy)
Greene Light Stage
- Acting for the world renowned guitarist, Richard Blackmore, (formerly of Deep Purple and Rainbow and currently of Blackmore’s Knight) on his claims against HEC Limited and DPO Limited (both in administration).
- The team is instructed, on an ongoing retainer-basis, by a well-known media group to provide urgent advice in relation to various pre-publication matters, as well as acting in relation to threatened publishing claims whenever needed.
Kemp Little LLP is 'plugged-in to the TMT sector ' and it stands out for its work at the forefront of emerging technologies, cloud-based services, data distribution, and data security; the team utilises this knowledge for a raft of media sector clients, which includes global media companies and start-ups. The firm also offers M&A, employment, regulatory, IP, dispute resolution and commercial advice to the sector. It is instructed by advertising, marketing, digital broadcast, music, digital publishing, online gambling, gaming, social media and interactive content clients. Advising Dooh.com, the digital experience agency, on the sale of 25% of the company to WPP (Kinetic division) is an example of the firm's experience in the advertising sector. The team is praised for its 'flexible and pragmatic' approach; it is 'focused on helping the client navigate to the outcome that they are looking for'.
Other key lawyers:
Calum Murray; Deborah Angel; Rachael Barber; Rupam Davé; Emily Nuttall-Wood
The team takes the time to explain all the options and then makes clear recommendations.
Deborah Angel instils confidence that she has subject matter expertise; she is ultra-responsive, personable and grounded.
British Interactive Media Association
- The team advises Leaf Group in relation to its ongoing use of the SAATCHI brand to advertise and promote The Other Art Fair.
- Advising Summit Media on a wide range of commercial and IP matters relating to the productisation and licensing in software development for major corporations.
- Advised Encore Tickets on the acquisition of the entire share capital of Box Office Tickets.
- Advising The Mill (Facility) on employment matters.
- Acting for Gamblewise on the establishment of a mobile product to help gamblers control the time they spend gambling.
Latham & Watkins is 'extremely knowledgeable across a broad range of entertainment law fields' and it receives plaudits for its experience in film and TV corporate and finance work. The team is adept at handling content production, is active on a number of high-profile development deals and handles a raft of large projects in the film and TV industry. Its cross-border capabilities are also praised by clients; the London team often works closely with colleagues overseas to advise on complex, multi-jurisdictional mandates. The firm is also able to provide tax, competition and employment work for its global media sector clients, and it offers litigation and dispute resolution advice in relation to commercial, media, technology and regulatory matters. Team head Lisbeth Savill is 'incredibly knowledgeable about media and entertainment finance matters, is a delight to work with and is exactly the person you want in a difficult situation'. Savill led advice in London for Anonymous Content on the establishment of a joint venture with two UK talent agencies (United Agents and Casarotto). Counsel Clare Hardwick is a 'tough negotiator but knows how to get a deal done'.
Other key lawyers:
Ian Felstead; Clare Hardwick; Rachael Astin
The team is extremely well connected, very experienced and highly capable.
Lisbeth Savill is smart, practical, knowledgeable, well-connected, experienced and thorough.
The team is not just a source of legal advice but is a source of practical business advice across all sectors of the entertainment industry.
The team remains motivated, knowledgeable and committed throughout longstanding and laborious legal processes, crossing several international jurisdictions.
As part of the service, they team remains available 24/7 and it meets strict deadlines in a quick and efficient manner.
Helena Potts and Stewart Robinson’s scope of knowledge is insightful and their ability to lever the firm’s network of lawyers across Europe helps to mitigate potential issues quickly, with the relevant expertise.
The team is highly experienced, with deep industry knowledge.
Lisbeth Savill’s calm, professional and elegant demeanour plays a substantial role in keeping everyone focused on the task at hand.
Stewart Robinson does a phenomenal job in tracking every single detail.
The team is extremely attentive to each and every issue that needs to be figured out, strategized, organized, implemented and responded to.
The team is extremely fast and deeply thorough with everything it does.
Anonymous Content, LLC
The Ink Factory Limited
- Advised the General Sports Authority of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on the hosting of the new WWE event ‘The Greatest Royal Rumble’.
- The team advised Pinewood Studios in connection with the issuance by Pinewood, a leading independent provider of the real estate required for the production of film and television content, that consisted of £250m in aggregate principal amount of on its 3¾% Senior Secured Notes due 2023, entering into a new super senior revolving credit facility and new intercreditor agreement.
- The team represents ITV in relation to long-running litigation regarding the television programme format, The Alphabet Game.
- Advises Facebook on its acquisition of sports rights worldwide and related matters
- Advised Raine Capital in connection with the structuring, incorporation and capitalisation of a day-one start-up company to acquire and optimise children’s digital content, Moonbug Entertainment.
Swan Turton LLP
Swan Turton LLP's 'experienced' team is active across the music, film, TV, publishing, theatre and digital media industries, handling contentious and non-contentious work, where it is instructed by individuals, start ups, SMEs and major international organisations. The music department is 'first-rate' and is instructed by music talent as well as business clients such as record and publishing companies, managers and start-ups. TV and film sector work includes advising on the development, production and exploitation of audio-visual material and clients include talent, producers, financiers, broadcasters, distributors, exhibitors and merchandising licensors, television format-owners and creators. The team advises Carnaby International on a range of matters relating to its Rise of the Foot Soldier franchise. The publishing department represents a range of authors, libraries, professional associations, literary agencies and book publishers, and is particularly noted for its contentious expertise where it handles copyright litigation and contractual disputes. Theatre work is a major area of expertise, where the team advises on copyright, rights acquisition, development, funding, production and licensing matters. Theatre producers, investors and theatre owners are clients, as are playwrights, directors, composers and lyricists. Marketing and advertising is also a key focus, where Charles Swan is a leading figure.
Julian Bentley; Antony Gostyn; Julian Turton; Lawrence Harrison; Stuart Barry
Other key lawyers:
Catherine Fehler; Tony Morris
Raindance Film Festival
Adam Ethan Crow
- The team advises writer and director, Adam Ethan Crow, and his production company, Ditto Films, on his multi-award winning film The Assassin and the upcoming Blair project.
- The team advised musician and songwriter, Peter Green, on his US royalties for the album Then Play On, for streaming with Warner Music US.
- Advised Leeds International Pianoforte Competition on all significant third-party deals for the competition in 2018,, which included deals with Warner Bros, Medici TV for streaming anonline live transmission, withthe BBC for a highlights programme.
- Advised the producer of film recordings of live stage shows on the recording of eight stage shows, including An American in Paris, Red and 42nd Street. The work included contracts with the underlying rights owners, stage producers, theatres, cast and creative team, as well as financing and distribution agreements.
- Advised Underworld on its collaboration in recording and releasing tracks with Iggy Pop.
Music and entertainment boutique Collins Long is instructed by a range of artists, producers, songwriters, distributors, publishers, record labels and managers in the music industry on contentious and non-contentious matters. Film and TV work is also a key driver of the practice, where it handles development, financing, production, distribution and rights acquisition mandates. The team also has a strong theatre following and it acts for writers and composers, as well as theatre producers, directors, agents, actors and theatre companies.
Dentons' media and entertainment practice is well-placed to handle cross-border commercial, regulatory and corporate matters, due to its international reach. The firm acts for well-known brands across the film, TV, advertising, marketing, sports, esports, music, publishing, gaming, social media and interactive content sectors. In an example of its transactional expertise, the team advised digital media and events business, Bonhill Group, on its $27.1m reverse acquisition of the trade and assets of InvestmentNews from Crain Communications.
Darren Acres; Andy Lucas
Other key lawyers:
Anna Copeman; Joseph Alterndorff; Jeremy Cohen
The team is strong on cross-border and complex transactions.
Lions Gate Entertainment
Discovery/ Scripps Networks Interactive
Turner Broadcasting System
- Advised Nordic Entertainment Group (formerly MTG) on the the exit of founder and CEO, Jeremy Fox, from distribution group DRG and drama commission club Atrium TV.
- Advied Troika on its merger with media management and professional services agency, the James Grant Group (JGG).
- The team is advising Eleven Sports in connection with its challenge of UEFA’s so-called ‘black-out’ rule.
- Advised Science in Sport on its £32m acquisition of PhD Nutrition and its related equity placing of shares to raise £29m.
Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's media and entertainment practice is noted for its experience in music industry mandates, where it acts for a number of household names. The team is adept at handling reputation management issues, particularly in relation to social media. TV, film, gaming, sport, advertising and sponsorship are also key industry focuses for the team, which advises on media buying, IP, marketing and advertising agreements for major brand owners and blue-chip clients. The firm is also able to advise on media finance and banking issues. Advising Apple Films on a new Beatles film, which is directed by an A-list director, is a notable highlight for the team.
Other key lawyers:
The firm is very experienced in media-sector work.
Harrisongs Limited / The George Harrison Estate
Sir Elton John
Audit Bureau of Circulation
- The team advised Apple Corps on all aspects of the releases and events to mark the 50th anniversary of the White Album, which included the release of the White Album deluxe boxset.
- The team advises John Lewis Partnership on a range of IP matters.
- The team advises Coca-Cola on numerous ongoing advertising and promotional campaigns across it entire product range.
- The team advises industry body ABC (the Audit Bureau of Circulation) on all aspects of its IP needs.
Foot Anstey has a 'brilliant reputation in publishing work' and the team is also experienced across work in the film, TV, marketing and music industries. The team is regularly engaged on regulatory, corporate, commercial, employment, IP, data protection, reputation management and dispute resolution instructions. The publishing team advises on regulation, copyright, brand protection, advertising, promotions, data protection, and freedom of information matters for newspapers, online publishers, magazine publishers and TV broadcasters. The team is representing Trinity Mirror (now Reach) on a high-profile defamation claim regarding an article published on the website www.mirror.co.uk, which involved a a number of allegations which were claimed to be defamatory to a former Commander of Specialist Operations in the Metropolitan Police, Roy Ramm. For film and TV, the firm handles a raft of media litigation, content protection and anti-piracy work for creative industry clients.
Richard Neary; Tony Jaffa; Neil Parkes; Peter Singfield; Martin Cuell
Other key lawyers:
Jonathan Oddy; Alexandra Leonidou; Jennifer Agate; Annalisa Checchi
The team has a wealth of experience in publishing matters.
Reach PLC (formally Trinity Mirror)
The Independent and Evening Standard
Newsquest Media Group
The Mirror Online
Ministry of Sound Limited
- The team advies Sky on a range of commercial litigation matters, such as; anti-piracy, copyright disputes, consumer disputes, pre-broadcast clearance and post-broadcast complaints, as well as business support on any potentially contentious matters across the Sky business.
- The team advises Mirror Online on pre-publication matters.
- Is advising HarperCollins on dispute resolution matters.
- The team advises The Independent and Evening Standard on editorial and litigation matters, which includes libel, privacy, contempt, regulation, data protection, and copyright matters.
- Advised Lypiatt Studio and its directors on a dispute concerning the ownership of copyright in the works of art of the renowned British sculptor, Lynn Chadwick.
Hamlins LLP stands out for its contentious music practice; the team, which is led by Martin Ochs, handles litigation for the leading UK collecting societies, PPL, PRS For Music and PPLPRS. The team also advised PPL and PRS For Music on a range of aspects of its joint venture for public performance licensing, PPLPRS. The team handles contentious matters for clients in the music publishing, film, design and music merchandising industries. Defamation and privacy are also active areas for the media and entertainment department and the team also offers expertise across IP, commercial issues and image rights.
Christopher Hutchings; Martin Ochs
Other key lawyers:
Simon Gallant; Callum Galbraith;
Martin Ochs has a pragmatic approach and gives clarity in his advice.
Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL)
Performing Right Society Limited (PRS For Music)
PPL PRS Limited
Video Performance Limited (VPL)
TRAP (Trademark & Rightsholders Against Piracy)
David Nicholl (manager of The Kooks and others)
Bravado International Group
Mighty Atom Productions
Whickers World Foundation
All Media Music
- The team advises PRS for Music on around 100 instructions per year, relating to the infringement of musical works in public.
- Advises long-standing client PPL on a raft of copyright enforcement matters on behalf of record companies.
- The team is representing Bravado International and Danilo Promotions on a large image rights infringement and unfair competition dispute against a number of defendants.
- The team is instructed by TRAP (Trademark and Rightsholders against Piracy) on a raft of unauthorised copy/counterfeit matters relating to band merchandise that is exclusively licensed to the TRAP membership.
- Advises Whickers World Foundation on a range of IP and contractual matters.
Hogan Lovells International LLP stands out for its cross-border expertise in media and entertainment sector matters, where it is experienced in advising global media companies and companies in the advertising and marketing sectors. It is able to advise on competition, regulatory, corporate and commercial matters.
Mayer Brown International LLP acts for clients across the music, film, TV, publishing, gaming and information services industries. The team is noted for its contentious expertise; it handles contractual and commercial claims, often with a cross-border element. It is also experienced in publishing and music industry disputes and has advised on contentious music royalties cases. On the corporate side, the team handles corporate finance, M&A, joint venture and governance instructions; it advised Entertainment One on its acquisition of a 49% stake in The Mark Gordon Company, a leading TV and film producer, and also advised on a related placing to raise proceeds to part fund the acquisition. The firm is also instructed by major corporate clients and financial institutions on data privacy, advertising and social media issues.
Other key lawyers:
Robert Hamill; Rebecca Bothamley
The team is commercially aware and is able to handle complex work.
Modern Times Group
Promotora de Informaciones, S.A.
- Advised Promotora de Informaciones (Prisa), the publisher of El Pais, on its offering of €563m of ordinary shares.
- Acted for Reliance Big Entertainment (Singapore) on the IPO of Codemasters Group Holdings.
- Advised subsidiary companies of Entertainment One on a UK debenture for a production facility for The Rookie, a co-production between Entertainment One (eOne) and ABC Studios.
- The team advises Overmore Group on GDPR compliance and IP rights.
- The team advises Wolters Kluwer on IP and data privacy matters relating to various online professional information databases and software solutions.
Travers Smith LLP's cross-disciplinary media team handles a range of dispute resolution, regulatory, IP, M&A, corporate and commercial matters for major household brands, as well as more niche media entities. The team is also instructed by private equity and other investors in the media and entertainment sector. Its expertise spans the publishing, advertising, film, TV, broadcasting, theatre, new media and media infrastructure industries. The team is also noted for its ability to handle cross-border instructions; it advised private equity firm Exponent on the £166m acquisition of publishing heavyweight Dennis Publishing and advised TES Global and THE World Universities Insights on various matters such as collaboration and international sponsorship agreements in various territories.
Richard Brown; Dan Reavill
Other key lawyers:
Ben Chivers; Ian Shawyer; Sonny Mallet
The team provides very straight-talking advice.
It is very commercial.
The Ascential Group
Immediate Media Company
Ambassador Theatre Group
Open Fibre Networks
- Advised private equity firm Exponent on the £166M acquisition of publishing heavyweight Dennis Publishing,
- Advised new client S4 Capital Limited, Sir Martin Sorrell’s investment vehicle, on its acquisition of global creative production powerhouse MediaMonks
- Advised New Scientist on a wide range of business-critical issues including several major outsourcings and a print services agreement.
- Advised Wireless Group, owned by News Corp, on a major competition complaint to broadcasting regulator Ofcom about the BBC.
- Advised TES Global and THE World Universities Insights on various matters including collaboration and international sponsorship agreements in territories ranging from North America through to Russia, the Middle East and Asia.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP's cross-disciplinary offering handles a range of corporate, finance, litigation and restructuring work, and is also active across employment, pensions, real estate, competition, antitrust, IP, technology and tax mandates. Clients also benefit from its private equity and capital markets experience. The firm is instructed by international media and entertainment companies.
Specialist media boutique ACK Media Law LLP handles a raft of media finance transactions, where it is instructed on domestic and international projects. It is also adept at handling TV and film instructions and advises writers, distributors and media rights owners on a range of issues. Content clearance, compliance, IP data protection, privacy, defamation and reputation management are key areas of focus. The team is also regularly engaged on animated film projects.
Ashurst's media practice offers a range of expertise which includes providing corporate and financing advice, and it also handles pre-publication, copyright, broadcasting, regulatory, licensing and commercial mandates. The team is adept at handling disputes in the sector and has advised on copyright, defamation and contempt matters. The firm also has a dedicated digital economy group which assists high-profile clients on the development of complex digital strategies.
Browne Jacobson LLP 's brands, advertising and marketing team acts for a range of well-known luxury brands, global products groups and advertising agencies, as well as new media and fintech clients. It is experienced in a range of specialist advertising work which includes experiential, live and behavioural advertising. The team is regularly engaged on national and international campaigns and is experienced in advising production agencies and influencer agencies; the team created a precedent agreement for Whalar for it to use in relation to the governance of all of its promotional agreements. The team also handles ASA complaints.
Other key lawyers:
The team is dynamic, responsive and creative in its solutions and approach.
Alex Watt is calm, measured and very direct and on-point with his advice.
Billion Dollar Boy
PZ Cussons International
The National Trust
- The team prepared two precedent agreements for TopCashback that will be used for its various social media campaigns and brand ambassador arrangements.
- Advised Kiko UK on a set of precedent social media competition terms.
- Prepared partnership agreements with two prominent social media influencers for PZ Cussons Beauty’s, St Tropez brand.
- Advises Camelot on all of its advertising and marketing matters, which included a substantial purchase of media directly with ITV and a deal for the purchase of media space through media agency Vizeum.
Burges Salmon LLP advises media clients across the TV, social media, publishing and music industries on IP enforcement and protection mandates. The team acts for a range of major retailers, broadcasters, transport, healthcare and energy sector clients on marketing and advertising campaigns and sponsorships. The team also advises on social media and interactive content issues. Broadcasting clients provide a key stream of work for the team, where it advises on rights exploitation, IP and clearance issues, as well as commercial arrangements and disputes; it provides brand protection and IP advice to the BBC and BBC Studios.
Other key lawyers:
Helen Scott-Lawler; Sarah Kenshall; Emily Roberts
BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation and BBC Studios Ltd)
Discovery Communications, LLC (Discovery Channel)
Racecourse Technical Services Limited
Waitrose & John Lewis
- Provides IP and regulatory advice to Discovery Communications, which includes advising in relation to new channel and programme launches, brand protection, and merchandising.
- Advised Racecourse Technical Services (RaceTech) on its appointment by Arena Racing Company to provide broadcasting coverage and integrity services at all ARC horseracing fixtures from 1 January 2019.
- It advises John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners on endorsements and partnerships with celebrities.
- Advises Virgin Care on advertising and marketing issues in relation to campaign launches.
Collyer Bristow LLP handles commercial matters in the media and entertainment sphere, and it is noted for its fashion, arts and sports sector expertise. It has experience in events, marketing, publishing and sponsorship matters, while IP, copyright and data protection matters are also a key specialism. The firm also handles libel, privacy, reputation management, phone hacking and contractual disputes.
Cooley (UK) LLP is experienced across technology, media and communications work. The team handles data privacy, competition, corporate, IP, commercial, copyright, trade marks, advertising, outsourcing, regulatory and corporate instructions, and is also noted for contentious matters.
DWFM Beckman's media and entertainment practice, led by Irving David, handles transactional work and has experience across recording and music publishing contracts, management agreements, film, TV and software development agreements, licensing agreements, publishing contracts, co-production agreements, as well as employment and sponsorship contracts. It is instructed by a number of musicians, songwriters, actors, television production companies, independent record producers, music publishers, managers, concert promoters and booking agents. IP work is a key focus, and the team is engaged on copyright protection, trade mark, licensing and merchandising agreements, revenue collection agreements, and character protection. It also offers expertise across arts, dance and music industry mandates; it advises composer Hans Zimmer on passing off proceedings and trade mark matters.
‘Irving David is admired for his no-nonsense approach, his, seemingly, vast knowledge and his good humour.’
Primary Talent International
The Band, ELP
Hans Zimmer (Composer)
Askonas Holt Ltd
Birmingham Royal Ballet
Big Red Talent
One Dance UK
Frederick Ashton Foundation
Snappy Happy TV
- Advises Primary Talent International on contractual matters.
- Advises International Artist Managers Association (IAMA) on a range of matters.
- Advised Panjabi MC on the successful acquisition of his back catalogue from Nachural Records.
- Advised the Birmingham Royal Ballet on its talent contract templates.
Fladgate LLP handles a range of contentious and non-contentious matters for media and entertainment sector clients, which include advertising agencies, interactive entertainment distributors, newspapers, book and magazine publishers, and e-publishers as well as sports, music, technology, gaming, internet, gambling and e-commerce companies. The team's expertise includes commercial and corporate work; it advised Gfinity on its acquisition of the entire share capital of RealSM, a sports media company which operates a fan-oriented digital sports media platform under the brand name RealSport. The team's experience also covers online content delivery, data protection, IP, privacy, competition and regulatory work.
Other key lawyers:
James Earl; David Robinson; Alan Wetterhahn; Alex Haffner; Ben Milloy
Concert Productions International BV
Scottish Professional Football League
Digital Cinema Media
Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL)
- It advises Concert Productions International BV (CPI) as the promoters of the ‘Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains’ exhibition.
- Advised the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) on its new media rights tender for the UK and Ireland; and also advised on the fallout from the insolvency of MP&Silva, the SPFL’s international media rights partner,
- The team advises Digital Cinema Media on a variety of matters, which includes advising on stand-alone commercial arrangements and template agreements for cinemas.
Gowling WLG's advertising offering is instructed by a raft of global brands across the food, drink, automotive, retail, technology and fast-moving consumer goods sectors, and it is also engaged by rights-holders and agencies. Utilising the firm's international network of offices, it is often engaged on multi-jurisdictional advertising projects; it advises Volkswagen on a range of advertising and marketing-related matters across its brands including; Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT, Skoda and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. The team, which is led by director Dan Smith, often advises on emerging issues in digital marketing, native advertising, influencer marketing, reviews and augmented reality. ASA complaints, sponsorship and ambush marketing are also key areas of expertise.
Other key lawyers:
Kate Swaine; Mathilda Davidson; Jason Stephens; Alice Stagg
The team has a flourishing advertising practice.
Marks & Spencer
Dollar Shave Club
- Advised Volkswagen Group UK on ground-breaking ASA rulings on the depiction of new connected and safety technologies in vehicles.
- Advises Carlsberg on all of its alcohol marketing clearance, queries and ASA issues.
- Provides Mothercare with specialist retail advertising advice.
- Advises Hovis on the full range of advertising law issues across its business.
- Advises a number of charities (such as Oxfam, Royal National Institute for Blind People (RNIB), WWF) on marketing matters.
Hansel Henson's 'enormously helpful, responsive and agile' digital media and IP boutique has 'outstanding knowledge of IP law, which is coupled with good common sense and commercial acumen'. It is adept at a range of instructions in the IP and digital sphere, where it acts for clients across the gaming, fashion, sport, travel, retail and entertainment sectors. The team is instructed on a range of matters such as digital marketing and advertising, app and computer software development, regulatory matters, online publishing and broadcasting, and brand communication. The team is regularly engaged on cross-border instructions and advises Future Games of London (wholly owned by Ubisoft) on takedown and brand protection work.
David Hansel; Tom Henson
Other key lawyers:
David Hansel has outstanding commercial judgement, common sense, clear articulation and understanding of problem statements.
Tom Henson is an extremely safe pair of hands; he meets deadlines and has excellent understanding of technical law.
The personal approach taken by the lawyers is a real differentiator.
Future Games of London
Another Place Productions
Sixt Rent A Car
Enterprise Technology Management Limited t/a dDaaS
- It advises Hutch Games on a variety of development and production contracts, including a mobile gaming app development agreement with Formula One Digital Media .
- It advises Conversion Factory on a variety of commercial contracts, including provision of its services to clients such as a major player in the UK fashion space.
- Represented UNRD in two financing rounds, as well as ongoing assistance in drafting and negotiating a variety of commercial contracts, including agreements with social media influencers.
- Advises Hubber in relation to brand protection and commercial contract matters, which includes advice in relation to its forthcoming hair dresser chair rental app.
- Advises Another Place Productions on various development and publishing contracts and brand protection work.
Keystone Law handles contentious and non-contentious instructions across the advertising, marketing, publishing and photography industries. The team acts for corporations and individuals on a range of reputation management and privacy matters, and acts for broadcasters and publishers on defamation and privacy disputes. High-profile work includes representing TV personality Noel Edmonds on a £65m claim against HBOS. The team is also active in the marketing and advertising space where it advises on sales promotions, consumer rewards-schemes, sponsorship and endorsement agreements, lotteries, games, merchandising and regulatory matters.
Norton Rose Fulbright is active on transactional work and disputes in the media and entertainment space. It advises on M&A, joint ventures, network sharing and outsourcing matters, while IP, regulatory, financing, brand management and investment matters are also key areas of activity for the team. Its global footprint means it is well-placed to advise on cross-border mandates. The telecoms, sports, publishing, advertising and broadcasting sectors are notable areas of expertise.
Sound Advice (Legal) LLP
Sound Advice (Legal) LLP is a specialist music boutique that acts for artists, songwriters, producers and managers; the firm stands out for its 'extraordinary sector knowledge'. It is experienced in handling a range of management, recording, publishing, sponsorship, merchandising and live performance agreements. It is also adept at advising on band member and partnership arrangements, as well as production and licensing issues, brand partnerships, investment funding and recording and publishing catalogue purchases and sales. It represents a mix of heritage artists, established artists and emerging artists and in an example of the latter, it advised emerging artist Zie Zie, and his manager, on label bids for his record deal and also negotiated his publishing deal. The team also handles dispute resolution matters for its music sector clientele.
Robert Horsfall; Sonia Diwan
Other key lawyers:
Pete Bott; Jules O’Riordan; Viktoria Hoof
The firm has a very personal and hands-on approach.
Sonia Diwan is a reliable, efficient, caring, and yet brutally honest, professional.
Ali Campbell (UB40)
Chase & Status
Bring Me The Horizon
Let’s Eat Grandma
While She Sleeps
Camo & Krooked
- Advised DJ and artist, Netsky, on an extraction from his record label and publisher, and also advised on a new recording agreement with label Republic.
- Advised songwriting and production collective, TMS, on the sale of its publishing catalogue.
- Advised management company and boutique record label and publisher, Straight Forward Music, on its joint venture label with Virgin Records, and on its first two artist signings, Nana Rogues and Maejor.
- Advised producer and writer, Ayo, on a publishing deal with BMG.
- Advised artist Fieh on her extraction from an indie record label, to enable her signing to Decca Records.
Weightmans LLP is active across a range of commercial, IP, data, media and entertainment matters. The team stands out for its interactive video game practice where it advises on major video game development agreements, licensing, talent, image rights, exploitation and recording agreements. Funding, acquisitions, joint ventures, disposals and publishing mandates are also key areas of expertise. The team advised the individual shareholders of Playground Games, on their sale to Microsoft Corporation. The team also advises on contractual matters for music and TV industry clients and handles tax work in the sector.
Other key lawyers:
John Schorah; Sarah Walton
Playground Games Limited
Side (UK) Limited
The Independent Games Developers Association (TIGA)
Nomad Games Limited
Novarama Technology SRL
AXM Venture Capital
Motor Insurers’ Bureau
Fun Learning Studies
- The team advises Side (UK) on voice talent and motion capture agreements for a number of major video game titles.
- Advised Playground Games on various work-for-hire arrangements in relation to the provision of content for a major video game being developed on behalf of a major global publisher.
- Advised Nomad Games on a licensing deal in relation to a major series of books for the purposes of developing an online video game based upon the series.
- Advised TIGA on the contractual documentation between it and various videogame studios for the preparation of the TIGA Salary Survey, which will entail the analysis and evaluation of video game development staff salaries.
- Advised Fun Learning Studios on the sale of a controlling stake in Fun Learning Studios to Moonbug Entertainment.
Bindmans LLP is instructed by claimants and defendants in media cases involving defamation, privacy and data protection law. The team represents a diverse range of clients including politicians, NGOs, TV producers, national newspapers, and notable high-profile individuals working in the TV, drama, arts and music industries. The firm provides specialist whistleblower, reputation and crisis management advice where it draws on the firm's wider experience across crime, family, employment and immigration. The team also defends individual journalists and major media organisations in criminal investigations and prosecutions. The team is regularly engaged on high-profile matters and it provided pre-publication and strategic advice to Mr Wylie, the Cambridge Analytica whistleblower, in relation to the risk of publishing confidential and defamatory information about Cambridge Analytica, SCL Elections and Facebook.
Other key lawyers:
Katie Wheatley; Kate Goold; Martin Rackstraw
Mirror Group Newspapers
Franny Armstrong & Spanner Films
- Acted for Mr Sanni, a former volunteer for Vote Leave, in relation to the risk of publishing confidential information about his experience working with Vote Leave, the official campaign for ‘Leave’ in the EU Referendum in June 2016, and the repercussions of doing so.
- The team advises Lush Limited, the owner of cosmetics company Lush, on pre-publication matters.
- Advised Mirror Group Newspapers on a potential libel, copyright and harassment claim brought by a senior barrister and journalist following an article published about her conduct in criticising victims of sexual abuse.
- Represented independent film maker Spanner Films in relation to novel funding, format, distribution and content agreements.
GSC Solicitors LLP is particularly noted for its music sector expertise where it is engaged on enforcement work for the leading UK collection societies. It regularly acts for longstanding client PPL, and its sister company Video Performance Ltd (VPL) on enforcement matters as well as copyright issues and matters regarding the distribution of licence fees to record companies and performers. PRS for Music and PPL PRS are also clients. Elsewhere, the team also handles a range of corporate and commercial matters and it is noted for its advice on branding matters, copyright infringements, and Advertising Standards Authority issues.
Other key lawyers:
The team has the ability to understand what its client’s business is truly about.
When time is of the essence, the team will do what is necessary to get the job done.
Clive Halperin is very knowledgeable in M&A; and his ability to understand the nuances of a software business is exceptional.
Phonographic Performance Limited
Video Performance Limited
PRS for Music
- Acted for PPL in its successful appeal to the Court of Appeal in relation to the remedy of additional damages for copyright infringement.
- The firm has continued to act for PPL on enforcement matters where actions are commenced against nightclubs, bars, pubs, shops and other venues.
- The team continues to act for PRS in respect of the enforcement of their rights.
The media team at Healys LLP handles a range of contentious and non-contentious instructions across the publishing, broadcasting, TV, film, music and digital media sectors. On the non-contentious side, the team is experienced in advising on copyright licensing, games development and the team also advises on licensing and distribution; the management of artists and performers; the production, licensing, distribution and promotion of audio and music; the development and acquisition of TV and film projects; and the production, distribution and licensing of film and TV programmes. The contentious team handles a range of media disputes such as defamation, reputation management cases, as well as IP and rights protection issues.
Other key lawyers:
Martin John; Andrew Sparrow
Himsworth Scott - which rebranded during 2018 with the arrival of former Schillings partner Chris Scott - is particularly noted for its sports sector expertise, where it acts for sports personalities, football clubs, player associations and governing bodies. The team handles a range of contentious and non-contentious work, which includes IP, reputation management, sponsorship and regulatory matters. The firm is also instructed by several well-known brands.
Matt Himsworth; Chris Scott
Other key lawyers:
Ince's media, IP and trade marks practice handles commercial work and dispute resolution mandates. Its broad contentious experience includes music copyright and royalty accounting, reputation management, defamation, privacy actions and contractual disputes. It is experienced in acting for newspapers, magazines, book publishers and individuals in creative industries. The team is instructed by John Lydon on a dispute regarding the distribution of royalty revenues of the back catalogue of the Sex Pistols and the division of such revenues between Glenn Matlock and the Trustees of the Estate of the late Sid Vicious. IP enforcement and litigation, trade mark filing, IP portfolio management and IP rights work are also key areas of focus, and the team also advises on soft IP, franchising, licensing, and commercial contracts.
Other key lawyers:
Robin Shaw; Melanie Hart; Matthew Hiscox; Max Robinson
Robin Shaw is an exceptional individual and has unparalleled experience as a litigator in this field; he understands the needs of clients and understands the commercial realities of those involved with the media.
Robin Shaw has phenomenal judgment which, combined with his fantastic legal and technical knowledge, makes him a brilliant litigator.
The Angel Foundation/Dream Brands (GOD TV)
Sportpesa Holdings (and various subsidiaries)
Usborne Publishing Limited
Mr John Lydon
The Daily Telegraph
Marc John, a film producer
Firstfind Limited (owners of China White trademark)
Remka, Inc. (the 8 year old YouTube star)
Pressdram Limited (publisher of Private Eye)
Mr Victor Chandler
- Advises The Angel Foundation/Dream Brands on various trade mark and wider IP matters, which involves the clearance, protection, policing, exploitation and enforcement of IP matters.
- The team manages manage Sportpesa’s worldwide trade mark portfolio.
- Advises Usborne Publishing on contentious trade mark, passing off, copyright and domain name issues.
- Represents The Daily Telegraph Newspaper in the privacy litigation concerning Sir Philip Green.
- Represeting FirstFind (the owners of the China White trade mark) on claims concerning the ownership of the trading name and trade marks associated with the international night club, China White.
The commercial, media and technology team at Memery Crystal LLP handles digital media, cyber security, financial technology, IP, data protection and commercial contract instructions. It also advises on digital strategies, technology finance and matters in the gambling sector.
Northridge Law LLP's digital media team acts for leading agencies, brands and media and entertainment businesses on commercial partnerships, advertising, marketing and regulatory matters. The team advises AEG Worldwide on matters relating to its advertising and marketing at the O2 Arena, which has included advising on the venue sponsorship agreement and venue hosting arrangements. The team stands out for its 'personal approach'; and for its 'ability to communicate effectively and do the job with minimum fuss is unmatched'. The sports sector is also a key focus.
Other key lawyers:
The firm distinguishes itself from other bigger practices in that the lawyers are experts in niche fields, such as sponsorship deals in the sports market.
Jon Walters, Paul Shapiro and Jamie Feldman are all stand out individuals, not only because of their ability to communicate in an easy and effective way, but also because of their ability to deal with complex legal issues efficiently and quickly.
- Advises KIN Partners on content, marketing and advertising matters.
- Advised professional poker player Harry Greenhouse on a dispute with Paysafe regarding referral fees.
- Advised W12 Studios on its partnerships with brands, and also advised the owners on the sale of the company to TATA Consultancy Services.
- Advised Roc Nation on the launch of its European business, Roc Nation Europe.
- Advised new soccer centric digital platform, OTRO on footballer deals and on a global regulatory review of its broadcasting activities and launch.
Onside Law Limited
Boutique firm Onside Law Limited is regularly instructed by sports sector clients and it is experienced across regulatory, corporate, IP, employment, dispute resolution and commercial work.
Technology-focused firm William Grace handles contentious and non-contentious matters for digital media and technology clients. The firm is often engaged by companies engaged in cutting-edge areas and advised CryptoCompare, a leading provider of crypto currency related data, on the development of all its contractual terms and licensing agreements. On the contentious side, the team handles complex contracts and dispute management mandates for hi-tech and IP-rich companies.
Other key lawyers:
It is a small firm, but it can tap into a broad spectrum of other advice.
Carolyn Burbridge is focused and delivers; she offers strong, practical advice, and is very easy to deal with.
Universal Beacon Registration Ltd (t/a Exaactly)
Crypto Coin Comparison (t/a CryptoCompare)
- Advises Agilisys Ltd on discrete matters relating to substantial legal proceedings against CGI IT UK Ltd.
- The team assists blockchain technology specialists, ChainCubed, on a wide variety of corporate and commercial contract matters.
- Provides legal support Empiribox, in connection with customer engagement and internal compliance issues.
- Advised Glasswall Solutions on the development of a suite of client engagement contracts for the provision of cloud-based solutions.
- Advised Modulr Finance on a number of compliance and contractual matters including various arrangements with its marketing, advertising and business development suppliers.