Media: Theatre, publishing and other media in London


Clintons is the first port of call to leading writers, producers and creatives thanks to its expertise in structuring deals and productions, including rights acquisitions, financing and licensing of shows to overseas producers. Specialising in advising producers, from small start-ups and mid-scale operators to some of the biggest names in the sector, James Jones heads up the theatre practice; it also includes John Cohen, who focuses on representing artists and creatives. Senior associate Stephen Pidcock is adept in all areas of theatre and live performance, including commercial, licensing and IP issues.

Practice head(s):

James Jones

Other key lawyers:

John Cohen; Stephen Pidcock; Tom Frederikson


‘Their contractual work is very strong.’

‘A practical understanding of the theatre and entertainment sector which helps in drafting pragmatic and useable documents.’

‘James Jones is efficient, pragmatic, and has a deep knowledge of the entertainment sector.’

‘The individuals that I work with are always approachable and the quality of work is exemplary.’

‘The quality of his James Jones’ advice is always extremely high and due to his deep knowledge of our business, I feel like his advice comes from a wholly complete perspective.’

‘I have worked with Tom Frederikson and Stephen Pidcock who are extremely knowledgeable, approachable and fast to respond.’

‘Experts in every aspect of the industry. They are on hand to guide clients through the difficult waters of IP creation.’

‘The experience of John Cohen is unrivalled in the field of musical theatre. Stephen Pidcock also brings detailed legal knowledge to bear on sorting out knotty contractual issues.’

Key clients

Green Room Entertainment Limited

Swamp Motel Limited

Les Enfants Terribles

Screensleeves Limited

Breda Cashe

Glynis Henderson Productions Limited

Immersive Everywhere Limited

Second Half Productions Limited

Path Entertainment Group

AK Theatricals Limited

Dramatic Events Limited

Michael Grandage Company

SGA Productions

Sony Music

Theatre Royal Haymarket

Tim Rice

George Stiles and Anthony Drewe

Don Black

Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss


Bill Kenwright Limited

Crossroads Live (formerly David Ian Productions Limited)

Michael Harrison Entertainment Limited

Mischief Worldwide Limited

New Adventures Limited

Talent Artistic Group Limited

TC Beech

Jamie Wilson Productions Limited

The Lionel Bart Estate

The Anthology Group

Sherman Theatrical Entertainment Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Ian Shaw on the production of the play ‘The Shark is Broken.’
  • Advised Kate Prince as choreographer and co-creator of the new Sting show ‘Message in a Bottle.’
  • Advised Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss on the general progression within their careers.

Farrer & Co

Farrer & Co demonstrates deep expertise in publishing matters and is a go-to advisor for leading news organisations such as the Telegraph Media Group, and academic publishers like SAGE publications, among other print and digital publishers. Practice head Paul Jones is the main contact for commercial matters, handling digitisation and contractual matters; the latter is an area in which IP and commercial expert David Morgan further excels, in addition to his broadcasting and advertising acumen. Also an established individual, Henry Sainty focuses on digital strategy and digital market regulation, commercial partnerships and data protection issues; he also assists clients in the sports sector with media issues.

Practice head(s):

Paul Jones

Other key lawyers:

Henry Sainty; Owen O’Rorke; David Morgan; Natalie Rimmer


‘The Farrers team are extremely supportive of in-house teams. For instance, their programme of live webinars and knowledge updates to assist in-house legal teams is excellent.’

‘Each of the individuals I have worked with has shown a willingness to go above and beyond in order to support me and my team. They are extremely accommodating when we are subject to tight deadlines.’

Key clients

Bauer Media

The Economist Group

Telegraph Media Group


SAGE Publications

BMJ Publishing Group

British Library

Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music

Guardian News and Media


Work highlights

  • Acting for the Telegraph Media Group in a comprehensive review of business-critical commercial contracts covering the operations and infrastructure for the organisation.
  • Advising The Economist on pre-publication content issues across its print editions, as well as in connection with Economist Radio and Economist Films.
  • Advising the British Library on strategic and operational matters including the digitisation of its newspaper collections.

Harbottle & Lewis LLP

With Neil Adleman, Harbottle & Lewis LLP is renowned for its strong international theatre practice and is a regular fixture on West End and Broadway productions, with a particular specialism in financing structures. Other clients include subsidised theatres and fringe producers, dance and immersive theatre production companies, drama schools, investors and charities. With Shireen Peermohamed, the firm is also known for its wide-ranging publishing expertise; she has extensive experience in IP and contractual disputes, related advisory work, and publishing agreements. The team acts for blue-chip clients like Hachette, academic publishers and rights holders, in addition to brands, bands and high-profile individuals.

Practice head(s):

Neil Adleman; Shireen Peermohamed

Other key lawyers:

Harry Bresslaw; Zoey Forbes; Georgina Long


‘Always impressed with the excellent service from this firm.’

‘Excellent service and attention from Neil Adleman.’

‘Always offer practical advice with our business objectives in mind.’

‘Shireen Peermohamed and Zoey Forbes are great to work with.’

‘The associates are technically very good and a pleasure to work with.’

‘The advice is practical, applicable and gets to the heart of the business objective.’

‘Neil Adleman and Shireen Peermohamed are both are at the top of their game – they are across all the new technologies and always one step ahead in considering commercial strategies.’

‘Shireen Peermohamed and Zoey Forbes work with us and I would recommend them without hesitation.’

Key clients

National Theatre

Sonia Friedman Productions

The Old Vic

Donmar Warehouse


Sadler’s Wells

Playful Productions

Michael Cassel Group


Ed Mirvish Enterprises

Neal Street Productions

Elliott & Harper Productions

Colin Ingram Limited

Fiery Angel Limited

Hachette UK

#Merky Books Limited

Rebellion Publishing

The Publishers Association

The Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers

The British Journal of Anaesthesia

Dazed Group Ltd

The Association of Authors Agents

The Estate of Sir Terry Pratchett

Xena Knox

Work highlights

  • Acted as production counsel to various West End producers on shows including The Lehman Trilogy, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and Jerusalem, among others.
  • Advising #Merky Books Limited on its publishing arrangements.
  • Advising Hachette on a range of commercial and IP matters.

Lewis Silkin

Commercial and IP expert Alan Hunt heads up Lewis Silkin‘s practice, which has extensive experience across both the live entertainment and publishing industries. In the former space, the team’s workload ranges from live music to theatre, fashion shows to festivals, and exhibitions to one-off global events; clients include agents and promoters, creatives and artists, broadcasters and content suppliers, and venue owners and operators, among others. In an equal manner, the group is reputed for its advice to leading publishers and corporates on regulations, commercial contracts, brand protection and IP issues – where Simon Entwistle and managing associate JJ Shaw further excel. Consultant Jeremy Summers has wide-ranging IP expertise on both contentious and non-contentious matters.

Practice head(s):

Alan Hunt

Other key lawyers:

Jeremy Summers; Simon Entwistle; Giles Crown; Adam Glass; JJ Shaw


‘The team is always knowledgeable, helpful and professional. I always feel reassured by their input and support. They have a fantastic breadth of media law knowledge which provides a high level of security and insight.’

‘They are always diligent and professional, and able to give expert advice and support on a number of different contractual and legal issues – including copyright, standard commercial or supplier terms, and IP.’

‘They have a fantastic breadth of media knowledge that means we get great insight and perspective on a number of issues. I always feel they have understood the issue we are dealing with.’

Key clients

Oxford University Press

Associated Press

Haymarket Media

Professional Publishers Association

Newsweek Publishing


Association of Online Publishers

Think Publishing Limited

Redwood Publishing

News Media Association

Fashion Freak Show

Royal National Theatre

Gainsbury & Whiting

59 Productions

British Fashion Council (Fashion shows)

Annerin Productions

RG Media

Nullarbor Productions Limited

LarMac Group

Work highlights

  • Advising Haymarket on a series of procurement and IP licensing deals.
  • Advising Gainsbury & Whiting on Alexander McQueen’s Spring 2023 collection show in London including the negotiations of the production contract.
  • Advising 59 Productions on a joint venture for a major new exhibition space in Kings Cross, London.


RPC is a regular advisor to leading national and local newspapers, web and book publishers, broadcasters, magazines, tech and freelance journalists, and media liability insurers. Team head Keith Mathieson is an expert in defamation and privacy claims; he has notable expertise with regards to press regulation, having acted for Associated Newspapers throughout the Leveson Inquiry. Experienced litigator Rupert Cowper-Coles specialises in data protection disputes. Promoted to partner in mid-2022 alongside solicitor-advocate Alex Vakil, Alex Wilson is often instructed to provide pre-publication advice and has represented clients in cases before the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.

Practice head(s):

Keith Mathieson

Other key lawyers:

Rupert Cowper-Coles; Alex Wilson; Alex Vakil; Samantha Thompson; Nadia Tymkiw; Mafruhdha Miah; Alex Pollock


‘Strong media defence practice, particularly with regard to newspapers.’

‘Keith Mathieson has enormous experience and is an extremely able lawyer.’

‘Rupert Cowper Coles is highly recommended.’

‘Keith Mathieson is an extremely experience elder statesman whose advice is always spot on,’

‘Alex Vakil is ambitious and charismatic – his advice is clear and he does not shy away from a challenge.’

‘We have been very impressed with quality of the up-and-coming Alex Pollock’s work.’

‘RPC has more strength in depth on issues such as libel, privacy and data protection than any other London law firm.’

‘Keith Mathieson is the most experienced media defence solicitor in London, having worked the sector for decades, with many high-profile national and international publisher clients.’

Key clients

Associated Newspapers Limited

Times Newspapers Limited

News Group Newspapers Limited

Reach plc (Mirror Group Newspapers)

Bloomberg L.P.

Peter McCormack

Channel 4

Realtid Media AB

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism

Carole Cadwalladr

Work highlights

  • Defending Associated Newspapers in an ongoing libel claim brought by the Duke of Sussex.
  • Advising MGN on the long-running and high-profile phone hacking litigation.
  • Defending Carole Cadwalladr in a libel claim brought by Arron Banks which was subject to a Court of Appeal decision.

Simons Muirhead Burton

Simons Muirhead Burton handles both contentious and non-contentious publishing work, ranging from books to social media, across to national and international news and content providers, such as ITN and Channel 4. An expert in all areas of publishing, Martin Soames heads up the practice, which has particular expertise in pre-publication matters and litigation – areas in which data protection head Stephen Shotnes is further instructed. Senior associate Emma Linch is recommended for her clearance advice to book publishers, podcasts, online media and film production companies.

Practice head(s):

Martin Soames

Other key lawyers:

Simon Goldberg; Stephen Shotnes; Louis Charalambous; Maninder Gill; Jeffrey Smele; Emma Linch; Raz Mireskandari; Gordon Clough


‘The team has a deep knowledge of book publishing.’

‘The team is highly competent and have our trust.’

‘They have experience and work hard to stay on top of developments in the media space, having represented journalists and media outlets in many of the leading media law cases over the last 20 years.’

‘Louis Charalambous has a unique practice defending journalists and media organisations in criminal related media cases – clients value his calm and sensible representation of their interests.’

‘Raz Mireskandari is a knowledgeable and highly experienced media lawyer.’

‘Jeffrey Smele has a strong legal intellect and great experience representing tabloid newspapers.’

‘The team are responsive, exceptionally clear in their guidance, and provide the level of reassurance that news teams need in a fast-paced environment.’

‘Gordon Clough has been a rock-solid source of advice and guidance for our editorial team. He is responsive and stands out from the crowd in providing advice that is laser-focused on helping us to publish stories while minimising risk.’

Key clients

Random House Group / Penguin Books

News Group Newspapers

ITN/Channel 4

Reach plc

Simon & Schuster

London Review of Books

Faber & Faber

Royal Institute of International Affairs

Verso Books

Work highlights

  • Defending Atlantic Books’ publication of ‘Black and Blue’, an exposé of the Met by senior police officer Parm Sandhu.
  • Acting for The Sun in the ‘Wagatha Christie’ trial: Vardy v Rooney.
  • Advising Penguin Random House on content issues, including the publication of ‘Spare’ by Prince Harry.

Taylor Wessing LLP

Reflective of practice head Adam Rendle‘s capabilities in the publishing sector, Taylor Wessing LLP is a regular advisor on publishing agreements, IP rights and content-related disputes. Seasoned litigator Niri Shanmuganathan is noted for his expertise in defamation, contempt and privacy matters; he provides pre-publication and post-publication advice in matters involving high-profile newspapers and political campaigns. Another name to note is senior counsel Timothy Pinto for his advice to international publishers dealing with media, IP and advertising law issues.

Practice head(s):

Adam Rendle

Other key lawyers:

Niri Shanmuganathan; Timothy Pinto


‘The team brings a wealth of experience and global perspective to questions of media practice that is unparalleled.’

‘Timothy Pinto, Adam Rendle and Niri Shanmuganathan have a depth of understanding about the unique needs and concerns of their media clients. They are detail-oriented and creative in providing options and approaches.’

Key clients

Beyond Entertainment

TodayTix Group

Wiggin LLP

Wiggin LLP‘s publishing practice is well-placed to guide journalists and content creators through each stage of the publication process, from the conception of a story to defending it in high-profile litigation. In addition, thanks to the firm’s broader commercial and IP capabilities, the team can provide digital expertise to publishers transitioning to alternative forms of content, including podcasts, film and television, social media and e-commerce platforms. Recommended individuals include experienced litigators Matthew Dando, drawing on his depth of experience with commercial and contractual disputes, and Robin Shaw, who joined from Ince & Co in June 2022, and head of the firm’s renowned defamation and litigation practices Caroline Kean.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Dando; Alexander Ross; Rachel Alexander; Ted Shapiro

Other key lawyers:

Caroline Kean; Robin Shaw; Adelaide Scardino Lopez; Elizabeth Wiggin


‘The leading practice in soft IP media law – it combines experience, efficiency and skill with industry awareness and friendliness. I can’t think of a weakness that their offering has in this field.’

‘Caroline Kean is experienced and savvy – she knows the media sector and is trusted by numerous blue-chip clients.’

‘The team are ingrained in the sector and fully understand and appreciate its current challenges. We have found this insider knowledge to be valuable when seeking support – the team offers sensible and commercial advice.’

‘Caroline Kean‘s advice is fantastically efficient. She is commercial and decisive in her approach.’

‘Matthew Dando’s calm, thoughtful and able guidance in a dispute has helped us many times.’

Key clients


Private Eye

The Telegraph

The Guardian



Times Newspapers Limited

Penguin Random House

Conde Nast

21st Century Fox

National Geographic

Fox Searchlight

New York Post





HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Associated Newspapers Limited

Future plc

News Group Newspapers


Dow Jones

Tom Bower

The Wylie Agency

Ocean Media Group

PinkNews Media Group Ltd

Centaur Media

MBC Group


Argus Media Limited

Harriman House Ltd

Cambridge University Press

DAZN Group

Stats Perform

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism


Oxford University Press



Faber & Faber

Immediate Media


Orion Books

Spitting Image

Jewish Chronicle

Byline Times


Andersen Press

Publishers’ Licensing Services


Work highlights

  • Advice to Spotify on the negotiation on all its exclusive podcast contracts for deals worldwide.
  • Represented The Bureau of Investigative Journalism in its successful appeal of Thurrock Council’s and the ICO’s refusal to provide financial information detailing the investment practices of the most leveraged council in the UK.
  • Defending HarperCollins Publishers Ltd in a libel claim against the book, Pervasion of Justice: The Jeffrey Epstein Story in a claim brought by Ghislaine Maxwell’s former assistant, Emmy Taylor.

Bates Wells

Bates Wells receives regular instructions from large and acclaimed theatres, performance companies and venues, such as the English National Opera, Royal Albert Hall and Shakespeare’s Globe, as well as foundations established by high-profile media personalities and brands. Culture and creative head Erica Crump handles branding, commercial, governance and IP issues for a range of performance and cultural organisations. Also adept in the publishing sphere, Crump co-heads the practice alongside advertising and marketing veteran Rupert Earle.

Practice head(s):

Rupert Earle; Erica Crump

Other key lawyers:

Molly Carew-Jones


‘Exceptional team that is highly dynamic and forward thinking.’

‘Erica Crump is a standout performer who is passionate and aligned to client objectives.’

Key clients

The Horniman Public Museum and Public Park Trust

Elba Hope Foundation

Landmark Theatres

Amy Winehouse Foundation

Advertising Standards Authority

Independent Venues

Amit Lahav

Work highlights

  • Advising the Horniman Museum on its highly publicised decision to return its 72 Benin Bronzes to Nigeria.
  • Supported Landmark Theatres on their financing, operations, charitable status, assets, and framework within the corporate group.
  • Advising Amit Lahav (artistic director of Gecko Theatre) on IP and production matters related to theatrical performance, performance-based rights, and music and other creative rights.

DLA Piper

Drawing on the firm’s competition, tax and corporate teams, DLA Piper has a track record of work on e-book and digital distribution opportunities, the use of social media platforms, e-commerce, audio and non-traditional content, as well as production and print distribution, and publication disputes, among other issues. Duncan Calow is praised for his expertise in the convergent worlds of content, tech and e-commerce, with recent work including copyright licensing issues. IP expert John Wilks is a regular advisor to national broadcasters and newspaper publishers. Broadcasting specialist Nick Fitzpatrick heads up the practice.

Practice head(s):

Nick Fitzpatrick

Other key lawyers:

Duncan Calow; John Wilks; Ruth Hoy

Howard Kennedy LLP

Handling both contractual and IP matters and a range of litigation in the publishing sphere, Howard Kennedy LLP is a regular port of call for leading magazines, newspapers, book publishers, authors and literary agents. A specialist in international and regulatory matters, Mark Stephens CBE co-heads the practice with Robert Lands, an IP expert with a strong profile for his work in the publishing and broadcasting spheres. On the contentious side, Elizabeth Morley comes recommended for her expertise in reputation management, privacy and data protection, where she advises various media organisations, journalists, bloggers and publications.

Practice head(s):

Mark Stephens CBE; Robert Lands

Other key lawyers:

Elizabeth Morley


‘Mark Stephens has a vast breadth and depth of knowledge and experience, and will use that knowledge creatively and strategically to best support clients’ interests – yet offers pragmatic advice and is approachable and very client friendly.’

‘Elizabeth Morley: knowledgeable, reliable, responsive, a safe pair of hands and works hard for clients.’

‘They listen, act and communicate brilliantly.’

‘Easy to deal with and highly skilled.’

‘Robert Lands is always a pleasure to work with. He’s extremely knowledgeable and explains issues very clearly, giving us great confidence in responses to queries and any issues raised.’

Key clients

Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition

Factory 42

The Sentry

Express Newspapers


Faber & Faber

Biteback Publishing

The Old Vic & Young Vic


Greene Light Stage PLC

Gate Ventures

Melanie Newman

72 and Sunny

SEGA Corporation

Andrew Nurnberg Associates International Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising four women on the wrongful exploitation of their images in the Spanish government’s “All Bodies Are Beach Bodies” campaign.
  • Advising SEGA Corporation on the clearance, filing and enforcement of trademarks in the UK and on a global scale.

Russells Solicitors

Russells Solicitors has a notable offering in both the theatre and publishing sectors, with a client roster that includes individual writers, celebrities looking to negotiate book deals, household name theatre companies and producers, traditional publishers and talent management agencies. Senior associate and IP expert Sebastian Davey is an essential contact in the team, handling brand partnerships, merchandising and sponsorship matters, and the marketing and exploitation of digital content. Litigation head Steven Tregear comes recommended for defending copyright infringement, contractual and audit claims.

Practice head(s):

Simon Esplen; Gavin Maude; Steven Tregear

Other key lawyers:

Chloe Forsyth; Sebastian Davey


‘Russells have a lot of strength in depth. I’ve worked with four of their partners and a similar number of associates and always feel confident that their knowledge, understanding and effort will be first class.’

‘Russells contains an extremely specialised and skilful senior team that is aware of everything from daily boiler-plate contract issues right the way up to complex corporate affairs and rights management. We’ve been working with Russells for over 20 years and would rate them highly for anyone seeking exquisite counsel in the music and entertainment space.’

‘Russells are the best lawyers we have worked with, they are easily contactable and quick to react. The team are very up to date with new laws/issues etc and the associates support the partners incredibly well.

‘They have a very diverse and strong client base and attract a considerable amount of new talent as their reputation and client roster is compelling. In recent years they have been very early on new deals, they have researchers that scour the internet for potential talent, I am not aware of other firms that do this.’

‘They keep very much abreast and ahead of innovations and challenges that the music industry faces, and give up to date and constructive advice.’

Key clients

The Estate of Wilbur Smith

Trevor Horn

Petronella Ravenshear

Work highlights

  • Advising the estate of novelist Wilbur Smith on all literary publishing matters, including ongoing arrangements with his publisher Zaffre.
  • Representing Trevor Horn on his book deal with Nine Eight Books for the publication of his memoire “Adventures in Modern Recording: From ABC to ZTT”.
  • Acting for Petronella Ravenshear on her book deal with HarperCollins for “The HBD Cookbook”, which was released in January 2023.


Claire Lewis heads up Sheridans‘ theatre group and specialises in acting for both producers and individual creatives across the entire spectrum of theatre, including structuring and investment matters. Also an established figure in this space, Peter McInerney has experience working in-house across both the broadcasting and theatre spheres. On the publishing side, Robin Hilton is the main point of contact.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Luckman; Claire Lewis; Robin Hilton

Other key lawyers:

Peter McInerney


‘Sheridans are very responsive to our needs and help develop solutions to issues.’

‘As well as being extremely knowledgeable in their own area, they are prepared to look into other areas and overlap when necessary to give an overall package of help and advice.’

Key clients

Liz Pichon

Lynda La Plante

Jack Higgins Estate

International Literary Properties Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising the estate of Jack Higgins on the exploitation of rights in the substantial catalogue of books written by Higgins, including ‘The Eagle has Landed’.
  • Advising International Literary Properties Limited ILP on the acquisition of a catalogue of works by a children’s author.
  • Advising Lynda La Planteon on various publishing matters.

Simkins LLP

With managing partner and commercial expert Euan Lawson at the helm, Simkins LLP is regularly called on for advice on theatrical matters. Elsewhere, the team - which includes transactional specialist Ben Gisbey - is well-versed in publishing mandates, including the acquisition and sale of literary rights.

Practice head(s):

Euan Lawson

Other key lawyers:

Ben Gisbey