Media and entertainment in North West

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard has a strong focus on advertising and marketing, with a portfolio of major brands and FTSE-listed clients, acting on a continuous basis for many high-profile companies. The firm has expanded its work within digital advertising, including issues such as content verification and click-through metrics. The team is led by James Whittaker, who advises clients on a broad range of advertising and marketing issues, including large-scale digital marketing campaigns. Director Rebecca Moore has expertise in media buying and creative services agreements, agreements with influencers, and media compliance matters.

Practice head(s):

James Whittaker

Other key lawyers:

Rebecca Moore; Jonathan Davies; Hayley Anderson


‘Addleshaw Goddard’s team are highly professional, efficient and have a solid understanding of our business, further enhanced by tactical secondments. The standard of client service, solid and pragmatic commercially focussed advice is exceptional. The team have often stepped in to support us at short notice, in complex matters and still delivering the high quality output. ’

‘Super helpful & always respond to enquiries with thorough feedback and advice.’

‘Both Jonathan Davies and Hayley Anderson have been great at providing feedback and advice in situations when we need a particularly tight turnaround. ’

‘The team have provided exceptional support on marketing and advertising matters, showing a great understanding of our business and offering commercial, risk-based advice. ’

‘Rebecca Moore has an outstanding ability to distil matters effectively and provide commercially savvy advice.’

‘Hayley Anderson is a trusted advisor on all marketing matters, with exceptional knowledge of the marketing rules and regulations.


Key clients

The Co-operative Group

Diageo plc

PZ Cussons plc

United Utilities

Whalar Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Co-op Group on a £100m naming rights deal for new 23,500 seater entertainment venue in Manchester.
  • Advised Whalar Limited (social media influencer agency) on template agreements for arrangements with brands and influencers, plus a number of actual deals with clients.

Brabners LLP

Brabners LLP's media offering encompasses high-profile reputation management cases on behalf of household name sports people and other individuals, contentious and non-contentious IP work relating to commercial advertising campaigns and branding, and media advice for sports agencies and players. The team is led by Colin Bell, who handles a broad range of IP matters, and Philip Steele, an 'exceptional' specialist media lawyer who works primarily within the media and sports sectors. Paul Lunt has great experience in sports sector litigation, while senior associate Hannah Fawcett is noted for her work on commercial media and IP matters.

Practice head(s):

Colin Bell; Phillip Steele

Other key lawyers:

Paul Lunt; Hannah Fawcett; Helen Otto


‘Helen Otto and Phil Steele are exceptional media lawyers who have provided invaluable support across many complex and difficult cases,’

‘Good availability, reliable advice, sensible and respond well to clients needs ’

‘Readily accessible, knowledgeable, and helpful. ’

‘Colin Bell is approachable, professional and there is no question that is too small or simple to ask him. ’

‘Colin Bell leads the team and is supported by Hayley Morgan and Hannah Fawcett. The team are knowledgeable and commercial in their approach, offering good solid advice upon which our decisions can be made in an informed manner.’

Key clients

Ben Stokes & Deborah Stokes

Coleen Rooney

Heroic Books

Wigan Rugby League Club Limited

Lancashire County Cricket Club

Commonwealth Games Federation

Leicester City Football Club

L10N Media pte Ltd

H&O Distribution Ltd T/A Primalash

Triple S Sports and Entertainment Group

Midas Sports Management

Wasserman Media Group

Aspire Management

John Viola Academy

Work highlights

  • Representing Coleen Rooney in defending the defamation claim brought against her by Rebekah Vardy.
  • Representing Ben Stokes in his criminal and disciplinary matters, and Mr Stokes and his mother Deborah in their cases against national newspapers.
  • Advised Wigan Rugby League Club Limited on matters relating to its UK rebrand and image rights.

JMW Solicitors LLP

JMW Solicitors LLP specialises in media and reputation management advice to clients and representation in media litigation, including defamation cases, as well as market-leading work on data rights, acting for claimants subject to large-scale data breaches. Clients include sports people, celebrities and influencers, high-net-worth individuals, and businesses, with practice head Nick McAleenan an 'authoritative' figure in the market, regularly instructed by nationally-known clients for reputation management cases. Senior associate Rebecca Young works with a diverse range of clients on data privacy, and intellectual property matters, while 'knowledgeable' associate Laura Wilkinson has a growing profile in contentious media work, particularly defamation cases.

Practice head(s):

Nick McAleenan

Other key lawyers:

Rebecca Young; Laura Wilkinson


‘A great team with knowledge and practical experience across the sector. Really good to work with, always collaborative. One of the best teams out there.’

‘Laura Wilkinson – Great to work with, always makes herself available and very personable. Very knowledgeable with excellent practical skills and experience.’

Nick McAleenan – Great experience, knowledge and practical skills.

‘JMW provide a top quality service and have a real depth of knowledge in relation to privacy and data protection claims. In a growing landscape of data protection complaints JMW are in the front of the field in what they offer.’

‘I have worked with Laura Wilkinson on several occasions and found her to be  dedicated and knowledgeable. She is particularly good at client relations and is very communicative.’

‘Rebecca Young – a fantastic lawyer. Her command of a case both legally and factually is unbelievable. She lives and breathes the case and clients know that. One of the most impressive litigators I have come across at her level.’

‘What I love about the team at JMW is how at ease they make you feel. I felt part of the family and they were available always at anytime of the day, with rapid replies to emails, home calls and text messages.’

‘The team is led by Nick McAleenan, who is genuinely one of the most authoritative media and data lawyers in the country.’

‘The media team led by Nick McAleenan are extremely talented and innovative. I have worked with them for several years now and have been impressed with the quality of work they are instructed on. They are incredibly thorough and use innovative techniques to book build. They are also open to exploring alternative and innovative ways to fund legal actions where they are running large group matters. ’

‘Both Nick McAleenan and Laura Wilkinson are a pleasure to deal with. Nick is incredibly innovative in terms of the work he pursues and is focused on obtaining the best results for his clients. ’

Key clients


Dan Hooper

Various Claimants v WM Morrison Supermarkets Plc

The Blue Rooms (London) Limited

Pride Planning

Various Claimants v Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority

Adam Deering

British Parking Association

Smart Parking Limited

The British Wheel of Yoga Limited

Bromcom Computers Plc

Work highlights

  • Represented almost 10,000 group claimants in UK’s first data breach class action – a landmark case which reached the Supreme Court.
  • Represented claimants in an appeal by the Defendant to the Court of Appeal against a final injunction that prevented the Defendant making disclosures or publishing information.
  • Represented a leading sports and entertainment agency in respect of reputation management issues.

Pannone Corporate LLP

Pannone Corporate LLP handles the full spectrum of contentious and non-contentious media work, including privacy and harassment cases, defamation and reputation management, sponsorship issues, advertising, and marketing. The firm has long-standing relationships with major clients, including national newspapers, retailers, and other household name brands. The team is led by Melanie McGuirk, who specialises in brand protection and reputation management, particularly defamation, harassment, and privacy issues, and Amy Chandler, who advises on IP and media matters, such as brand licensing and sponsorship agreements. Director Sarah Bazaraa represents key clients in media related disputes.

Practice head(s):

Amy Chandler; Melanie McGuirk

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Bazaraa


‘Flexibility, knowledge and adaptability to work across a wide range of IP issues. This has been both across domestic challenges as well as inter-territory/overseas challenges, such as trans-Atlantic agreements, involving the complexities of GDPR, individual overseas territory compliances (such as specific data and privacy requirements). Pannone Corporate work with us across a broad spectrum of service provision – whether it be drafting and refining our in-house rights management licences and methodologies, through to specific and bespoke commercial agreements, or even working with us to address causation and copyright infringement issues.’

‘Our main point of contact is partner Amy Chandler. We’ve worked with Amy for years. Amy is reliable, flexible and experienced.

‘Liaison with clients takes on a personal form and the relevant legal staff do not need reminding about issues. They keep in touch.’

Key clients

PPL PRS Limited UK Limited

AMS Neve Limited

Iceland Foods Limited

Pets at Home Limited

Carm Productions Limited

UP Global Sourcing UK Limited

International Game Technology plc

Travel Insurance Facilities plc

EBS Systems Limited t/a Exemplar Education

Represent Clothing Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented Travel Insurance Facilities plc in High Court libel proceedings issued against The Times newspaper for damages in excess of £1m in respect of a series of articles published.
  • Represented AMS Neve Limited in connection with a longing running claim in the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court which was the subject of an appeal to the Court of Appeal and a reference to the CJEU.
  • Advised UK Limited and its group companies on their media publications, promotional and marketing activities and in relation to the protection of their brand reputation.

Centrefield LLP

Working specifically within the sport and media sectors, Centrefield LLP provides a range of services to clients, including commercial rights and franchising, reputation management and privacy issues, and event staging, with particular strength in handling media and entertainment matters for sports clients. The team is led by David Bentham, who specialises in contracts and commercial rights matters, and enjoys strong relationships with sports venues and organisations, alongside Edward Canty, who focuses on media law and reputation management, with notable expertise in phone hacking issues and work on behalf of high-profile sportspeople.

Practice head(s):

David Bentham; Edward Canty

Key clients

The Professional Footballers’ Association

The Rugby Players’ Association

Trent Alexander-Arnold

Jesse Lingard

Work highlights

  • Advising Super League on the implications of COVID-19 on Super League, particularly in respect of the broadcasting arrangements with Sky in light of the impact of the pandemic on the 2020 season/schedule.
  • Advising Trent Alexander-Arnold on the exploitation of his commercial rights programme, including various personal endorsement deals, content creation, social media activations, media commitments and influencer obligations.
  • Representing  a range of high profile individuals/entities in respect of privacy matters, including in connection with the publication of stories based on media leaks, personal matters and protection of their reputation/image.

Gateley Plc

Led by John BurnsGateley Plc advises production companies, broadcasters, advertisers, and individuals on brand and intellectual property rights, production and commercial contracts, and sponsorship agreements, as well as representing clients in contentious media matters.

Practice head(s):

John Burns

Irwin Mitchell

Irwin Mitchell advises broadcasters, publishers, and labels within the television, music, and video games spaces, combining day-to-day commercial and corporate support with intellectual property and data expertise. During 2020, the practice worked with creative industry clients and bodies on Covid-19 response issues, particularly within the grassroots music industry. The practice is led by Laura Harper, who has a strong record in the video game industry, advising developers on worldwide publishing deals, as well as working with a range of music, entertainment and TV clients.

Practice head(s):

Laura Harper

Key clients

Saffron Cherry Productions

Needs More Robots Limited

Firesprite Limited

Grandpa Productions Limited

Dinosaur UK Limited

Sharp Futures CIC

Whispering Smith Limited

Louise Newson Medical Writer Ltd

Inner City Music Limited

Louder Than Words Festival Limited

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP handles defamation, privacy and media dispute work on behalf of a range of well-known individual sports people, and celebrities. It also counts corporate and insurance sector companies as clients. Matters include libel, slander, ‘right to be forgotten’ claims, and social media monitoring. The team is overseen by commercial disputes head Richard Dawson-Gerrard, who is focused on crisis management, and principal associate Rachael Somerset, a specialist in reputation management work with a high-profile portfolio of primarily sporting clients, alongside charities and public sector organisations.

Practice head(s):

Richard Dawson-Gerrard; Rachael Somerset


Mills & Reeve have a good strength across the practice area, with particular expertise in defamation matters.

I have worked with Rachael Somerset who was excellent. She had in depth knowledge of the relevant law and drilled down to the central facts of the case that mattered.

‘Mills and Reeve are a great team and teamwork is one of their strengths. They haven’t lost the individual touch, despite being a large firm, so can offer great client care.’

‘Excellent team with particular expertise in sports.’

‘Rachael Somerset is an excellent communicator, adept at managing complex matters.’

‘Rachael Somerset is excellent – she has a great intellectual capacity and explains things in a straightforward way. She and the rest of her team are incredibly hard working and will always do their best to turn things around to meet your deadlines, even when those deadlines are imminent.’

Key clients

James Milner

West Midlands Ambulance Service

Coronation Street / ITV

England Golf

Steph Houghton

Jen Beattie

The Professional Footballers’ Association and its members

Niche Health Limited

Phoenix Group

Work highlights

  • Advised footballers Steph Houghton and Jean Beattie on reputational matters.
  • Advised ITV and the scriptwriters of Coronation Street on the content of significant storylines.
  • Representing Niche Health against a libel claim.

Weightmans LLP

Weightmans LLP is a destination practice for digital media clients, advising on image rights, commercial contracts, development and licensing agreements for a range of companies, particularly in the field of interactive video games, as well as performers and celebrities. The team also advises clients in the education and pharmaceutical sectors, including public sector bodies. The team is led by Sean Crotty, who has a leading practice in the video game sector and specialises in drafting IT, data, and IP contracts.  Victoria Robertson works on commercial issues for software developers, video game companies, and other media clients, and managing partner John Schorah remains active on transactions and commercial contracts in the video game space.

Practice head(s):

Sean Crotty; Victoria Robertson

Other key lawyers:

John Schorah

Key clients

Playground Games Limited

Side (UK) Limited

The Independent Games Developers Association (TIGA)

Liverpool Media Academy Ltd

Nomad Games Limited

Apadmi Limited

The Open University

Novarama Technology SRL

AXM Venture Capital Limited

Secret Sorcery Limited

Sounding Sweet Limited

Motor Insurers’ Bureau

Mercato Limited

Fun Learning Studies Limited

Chiesi Ltd

Sussex & Surrey Police

Work highlights

  • Advised Side on a variety of voice talent and motion capture agreements in relation to a number of high quality titles involving high profile actors.
  • Advised LMA on its national expansion and new 60,000 sq ft campus in the former Olympic village.
  • Advised Nomad Games on its amicable exit from a publishing agreement with a video games publisher based in France, which included complex royalty, intellectual property and platform provisions.

Counterculture Partnership LLP

Counterculture Partnership LLP focuses on the creative sector, providing advice on finance, tax, governance, leadership, and strategy to a range of clients including record labels, musicians, agents, writers and performers, and creative charities. The team is led by Keith Arrowsmith, an experienced charities lawyer, while Laura Marsden was promoted to partner in late 2020 and continues to build her music practice, handling issues such as contracts, royalties payments, and rights management.

Practice head(s):

Keith Arrowsmith

Other key lawyers:

Laura Marsden

Key clients

English Folk Expo No

Ad Hoc Group Ltd

National Operatic and Dramatic Association

Bodylistics Limited

Islington Mills Arts Club CIC

Leeds Culture Trust

National Museum of Art, Architecture & Design, Norway

Work highlights

  • Advised Ad Hoc Group on a management contract.
  • Advised the National Operatic and Dramatic Association on internal governance mechanisms, charity law, and entertainment law.
  • Advising Leeds Culture Trust on the full range of the charity’s activities to deliver the Leeds 2023 festival and other artistic events.

Fletcher Sports Law

Well known for its high-profile sports work, Fletcher Sports Law handles a wide range of media matters for sportspeople and clubs, alongside a variety of broadcasters, talent agencies, and individuals, including celebrities and influencers. Key areas include contracts, commercial agreements and endorsements, management issues and disputes, and reputation management. Managing partner Paul Fletcher regularly handles media matters for major sporting clients, and senior associate Tom Grant has developed a notable practice acting for reality TV and influencer clients, advising on lucrative endorsement and partnership agreements.

Practice head(s):

Paul Fletcher

Other key lawyers:

Tom Grant


‘Unique specialist cross-over client base covering elite sportsmen and women (particularly noted for acted for premier league footballers and clubs), celebrities and reality televisions stars.’

‘Paul Fletcher is an expert in the athlete and footballing world. His expertise is second to none. He has had great successes in putting together teams to act strategically to keep scandals out of the newspapers without court proceedings.’

Tom Grant is developing a strong client base and has a friendly but confidence-inspiring demeanour that clients love.

‘Tom Grant is my lawyer and I cannot recommend him enough. He is professional, friendly and efficient. He has helped me through a crazy journey and guided me in the right direction. What makes him different to other individuals is that he makes my issues, his issues. He makes them personal and gets them sorted as if they were his own. A number of times I would just ring him for advice and he would always be there at the end of the phone happy to help. Tom has been fantastic and I look forward to working with him again. ’

‘Tom Grant has got a great niche of work with social media influencers and new media stars.’

Key clients

Lystra Adams

Amber Gill

Ferne McCann

Will NE

Patricia Bright

Demi Rose Mawby

Ovie Soko

Force 1 Management

Finley Tapp

Paige Turley

Work highlights

  • Advising Real Housewives of Chester star Lystra Adams on her contributor agreement for series 13 and 14 of the hit ITV2 show.
  • Advised Amber Rose Gill on a variety of endorsement deals and partnerships during the course of 2020.
  • Advised Ferne McCann on a number of endorsement deals.