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



Index of tables

  1. Media and entertainment
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Carol Isherwood - Shoosmiths LLP
    • Katie Mickleburgh - Manleys Solicitors

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Head of department James Whittaker at Addleshaw Goddard ‘consistently provides high quality and commercially-focused advice and is very supportive to his clients’. The group continues to act for a large client portfolio on the advertiser/customer side which includes FTSE corporate clients such as Diageo, PZ Cussons and CYBG plc . It has been busy recently advising on a significant amount of work on global media buying and creative services agreements. Major highlights included acting for Millarworld on the sale of Millarworld to Netflix. This was a notable deal as it was the first major acquisition by Netflix of a content company. Millarworld is famous for its comic books and characters and has written stories that were developed into Hollywood films. Other active clients include JD Sports,, The Co-operative Group and William Hill.

The ‘excellent’ team at Brabners LLP  has been busy advising on a broad range of high profile and complex matters. In a major matter it advised Lucid Games on the negotiation of a preproduction agreement with Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe for the development of prototype software exclusively for Sony’s proprietary PlayStation games platform. The deal is important as Lucid Games is one of only a small number of third party developers that have been engaged to develop such software for Sony. Nik White heads the commercial/IP team, Philip Steele  heads the defamation/privacy group and Paul Lunt  is recommended for his work on the contentious side. The group has also been instructed to act for numerous national governing bodies on a wide range of issues including sponsorship and partnership agreements, broadcasting, digital media and intellectual property issues.

Gateley Plc  has a ‘professional, precise and accessible team’. The ‘very approachable and skilled’ John Burns  oversees the group, which includes Conor Hannon. The team assists independent television production companies, broadcasters, advertiser/agencies as well as sportspersons and football clubs. Other clients include film financiers, producers and distributors in addition to key talent and composers. The group has niche expertise in the area of new media with vloggers, Instagram and Youtube stars. Highlights included advising Rockerdale Studios on the completion of the scriptwriter and artist/actor agreements between the actors and the studio and the actors and the agents in connection with the Rockerdale Studio produced programme ‘Bobby and Harriet Get Married’. In other highlights it advised Koosh Limited on the investment and promotion of Koosh, an app allowing users to create a montage of images to use pictures or videos of friends/family members/colleagues and to connect people to make collages.

JMW Solicitors LLP's practice is headed by Nick McAleenan,  who provides a ‘first-class service and gives very good advice in a timely and efficient way’. His practice is dedicated to advising on media and reputation management issues. He is regularly asked by clients to assist on other areas such as crisis management, data protection and privacy issues. Highlights included acting in the dispute between its client Dan Hooper and the Sun newspaper over particularly sensitive information that was published about the client’s private life. Mr. Hooper is a model and celebrity personal trainer and the former fiancé of Coronation Street actress Kym Marsh. The allegations concerned the client’s use of Skype and touched on important issues relating to data security. In other matters the team has advised Parking Eye/Capita on various matters over media coverage in the national media. Solicitor Laura Wilkinson is experienced in claimant and defendant harassment matters as well as data and privacy protection issues involving corporate and government bodies.

The service at Manleys Solicitors is ‘always 100%’. It is a ‘very good and reliable firm with a genuine specialism in media law to a level unusual outside of London’.Mark Manley is ‘the trump card to have in your pocket. He is an excellent lawyer who specialises in defamation and libel. He is very knowledgeable and has a very good rapport with his clients’. Leanne Wheeler ‘deals with difficult cases very effectively’ and senior associate Katie Mickleburgh  is ‘excellent and really helps to run cases extremely well’. Solicitor Adam Berman  is a ‘very safe and trustworthy pair of hands. He has the admirable strength to keep a cool and reasonable head with the other side so that small disputes along the way (that have the potential to blow up) can be resolved quickly and effectively’. The team defends public figures, private individuals and well-known brands by various means such as preventing invasion of privacy or damaging material from being run by the press. It is skilled at securing damages, corrections and apologies on behalf clients. The team is also highly experienced in the emerging area of online publishing and related legal issues and is frequently instructed to secure the removal of online content from social media and Google.

At Pannone Corporate LLP contentious specialist Melanie McGuirk  ‘continues to impress with her high standards of work’ while the 'excellent' Amy Chandler is a key figure on the non-contentious. Senior associate Sarah Bazaraa  is ‘very professional and displays an excellent work ethic’. The large team advises on the full array of media work. Highlights included representing Mr. Marunchak, the former editor of the News of the World (Irish edition), in the long running computer hacking case in the High Court (dating back to 2011). In another key matter it advised Boohoo on the acquisition of the NASTY GAL brand (including a substantial trade mark portfolio with trade marks in over 30 countries) and other intellectual property rights of US retailer Nasty Gal Inc for $20m. Pets at Home, Iceland Foods, Rob McLoughlin (an award winning broadcaster and producer and former ITV Granada correspondent) and the founders of the Parklife music festival and live music venue The Warehouse Project are all clients.

Shoosmiths LLP is ‘always responsive and accessible. The team has that important ability to be able to explain complex details in layman’s terms’. The ‘very clear’ Laura Harper has an ‘excellent understanding of the tech sector’. Associate Carol Isherwood  has ‘outstanding technical knowledge and fantastic attention to detail’. It has a strong music law practice advising artists and managers and is also skilled at advising cultural organisations and leading festivals. The team has advised pka Orielles on various matters including its recording contract with leading indie label Heavenly Records. It counts Henkel UK and Ireland, Wolverhampton City Council, Hull UK City of Culture 2017 and Game Digital as clients.

Armstrong Legal predominantly handles non-contentious contractual work for independent production companies, including negotiating programme production contracts with all of the major broadcasters, script writing agreements with writers and format agreements with rights owners. It is also skilled at advising on distribution agreements for the international exploitation of programmes. The ‘well-regarded’ Lisa Bindahnee  is a key contact for clients such as Title Role, Libra Television and Channel X.

Counterculture Partnership LLP has ‘very intelligent lawyers who are extremely rational and solution focused. They are keen to keep our costs down and have flawless attention to detail, better than I have ever experienced before’. Others say that the firm is ‘the ‘go to’ firm for arts organisations’. Keith Arrowsmith  is ‘able to convey information clearly and concisely in layman’s terms’. Arrowsmith along with solicitor Laura Marsden are ‘both helpful and responsive’. Mark Roberts  is another primary contact. Clients include Blue Raincoat Music, InnerCity Music t/a Band on the Wall, Children’s Media Conference and Southbank Sinfonia.

At Mills & Reeve LLP  Richard Dawson-Gerrard leads the team and has a particular focus on reputation management and crisis management. The team advises sports clients/household names, individuals, education establishments, corporate and high-net-worth individuals. Principal associate Rachael Somerset is also recommended.

At Weightmans LLP  team head Sean Crotty advises media and entertainment clients on a wide range of issues such as major video game development agreements, licensing, talent, image rights and exploitation in addition to recording agreements. His key clients include Playground Games, Novarama Technology, Side (UK), Nomad games, Secret Sorcery and the Independent Games Developers Association.

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