Media and entertainment in North West

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard's media and entertainment practice has a specialism in high-profile advertising and sponsorship campaigns for FTSE corporate clients, while other areas of expertise include global media buying and creative services agreements. The firm is seeing increasing instructions relating to the digital side of advertising and media buying. James Whittaker heads the team, advising key clients including PZ Cussons on promotional and brand licensing activities in relation to household name brands.

Practice head(s):

James Whittaker

Other key lawyers:

Rebecca Moore; Hayley Anderson; Harriet Powell

Key clients

CYBG plc

Diageo plc

PZ Cussons plc

John West Food Group

Swift Group Limited

Eleven Sports Network Limited

Sumo Group plc

EFL Digital Limited (a wholly owned subsidiary of the Football League)

Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Limited

British Airways

Work highlights

  • Advised Sumo Group on the acquisition of award-winning game developer The Chinese Room.
  • Advising Eleven Sports Network on the set-up of a joint venture company, production services and rights licences with IMG for the set-up and launch of a new sports channel.
  • Advised PZ Cussons on various high profile media campaigns including Made in Chelsea’s ‘Croatian excursion’.
  • Advised Swift Group on the advertisement of their new limited warranty.

Brabners LLP

Brabners LLP - ‘one of the go-to law firms in this area outside of London’ - advises a prestigious roster of clients including celebrities, sports stars and film and TV companies on reputation management matters including defamation, libel and slander, malicious falsehood, media crisis management and privacy. Other areas of expertise include content licensing and contracts relating to artists, production, broadcasting, publishing and sponsorship. Colin Bell co-heads the team and specialises in IP, contracts, licensing and advertising issues. Fellow co-head Philip Steele deals with sport and entertainment matters.

Practice head(s):

Colin Bell; Philip Steele

Other key lawyers:

Paul Lunt; Hannah Fawcett; Hayley Morgan; Glyn Lancefield; Ioana Ghiurco; Nik White


A great team, with experts in the field, excellent in both legal knowledge and practical advice to get the best for clients’.

One of the go-to law firms in this area outside of London’.

Paul Lunt  is very experienced with excellent legal knowledge as well as great head for practical, workable advice and solutions’.

‘Philip Steele and Paul Lunt are first class professionals, very quick to come back with useful suggestions and comments, and great at keeping us updated on case developments.’

Key clients

Ben Stokes

Groupon Inc

OneSoon Limited

Commonwealth Games Federation –

Alpha Theatrical Limited

Bolesworth Events

Monterosa Limited

Live Concert International Limited t/a EMR Productions

Broadway Partners

Climbtop Limited t/a Farmer Teds and Farmaggedon

Work highlights

  • Defended England cricket vice captain, Ben Stokes, against charges of affray arising from a fight in Bristol in September 2017.
  • Advising the Commonwealth Games Federation on a number of matters, including their relationship with a leading fully integrated, sports marketing and entertainment agency.
  • Drafted a template agreement for Bolesworth Events to allow it to have common terms which all future parties who wish to film either internally in Bolesworth Castle or externally in the castle gardens or estate grounds.
  • Advised Monterosa in relation to its agreements with ITV and broadcasters in Sweden and Australia in relation to the Love Island format and an app for the programme.
  • Advised Live Concert International Limited, trading as EMR Productions, on a claim by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation over the production of a new live theatre concert.

Gateley Plc

Gateley Plc's team acts for TV production companies, broadcasters, advertisers, agencies, sports stars, authors and football clubs, including Manchester City, a longstanding key client of the firm. The practice advises on the full range of matters, covering broadcasting, employment, brand endorsements, commercial agreements, sponsorship and licensing. In new media it represents vloggers, Instagram and YouTube stars. John Burns heads the team and specialises in IP matters.

Practice head(s):

John Burns

Other key lawyers:

Emily Walker; Tom Hughes; Conor Hannon


They value teamwork, honesty, respect and determination; and are genuinely interested in building a long term partnership’.

Key clients

Rockerdale Studios

Crep Protect Limited

Edition Capital

Manchester City Football Club

International Netball Federation

Work highlights

  • Advising Rockerdale Studios on scriptwriter and artist/actor agreements.
  • Advising Crep Protect Limited on brand endorsement campaigns with sports personalities, sneaker vloggers and musicians/rappers.
  • Advised Edition Capital Limited on the production services agreements and advisory agreements for a music and arts festival.
  • Regularly advises Manchester City Football Club/City Football Group on commercial agreements including sponsorship agreements and international licensing.
  • Provided the broadcasting rights agreement for the International Netball Federation ahead of its World Cup.

JMW Solicitors LLP

JMW Solicitors LLP, which is well-regarded for data protection work, represents clients in relation to crisis management, general reputation management issues, privacy complaints and group litigation. Clients include celebrities, high-net-worth individuals and businesses. The 'exceptionalNick McAleenan heads the team and has experience of phone-hacking litigation, super-injunctions and advising national media organisations.

Practice head(s):

Nick McAleenan

Other key lawyers:

Derek Millard-Smith; Laura Wilkinson


Nick McAleenan and his assistant Laura Wilkinson are very strong on data protection and wider privacy and media and entertainment issues’.

The team are very responsive to client needs and skilled in this specialist field of law’.

The team provides superb attention to detail, they are very committed to their clients and provide a very professional service equivalent to the top London firms’.

‘The best regional firm for media and entertainment issues, particularly for data protection matters.’

Key clients

Various Claimants v Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC

SmartCredit Limited t/a SmartSearch

Aftab Marchant v DWP

Mrs Y v National Probation Service / Ministry of Justice

Dan Hooper

LWC Drinks Ltd

Michelle Keegan

Various Claimants v Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority

ParkingEye (Formerly part of Capita PLC)

British Parking Association

Work highlights

  • Appointed by the High Court as lead solicitor in a group litigation claim against WM Morrison Supermarkets.
  • Providing general reputation management advice (including pre-publication and post-publication defamation advice) to the members of the British Parking Association.
  • Instructed in relation to a dispute between model and celebrity personal trainer Dan Hooper and the Sun newspaper concerning sensitive information published about the client’s private life.

Manleys Solicitors

Manleys Solicitors works with a big-name line-up of brands and individuals, including big-name sports stars and celebrities. The team handles work relating to invasion of privacy, reputation management and securing apologies, corrections and damages from media companies for its clients. It has particular experience in phone hacking, online publishing and the removal of defamatory content from social media and search engines. Leanne Wheeler co-heads the team alongside 'exceptional client winner and handler' Mark Manley who has a track record of representing newspapers, magazines, TV companies and high-profile individuals. Senior associate Katie Mickleburgh is also recommended for her experience in phone-hacking litigation.

Practice head(s):

Leanne Wheeler; Mark Manley

Other key lawyers:

Katie Mickleburgh; Adam Berman 


‘A small team of friendly and hard-working individuals led by an excellent and savvy partner, Mark Manley’.

‘Good knowledge of their specialist area of law’.

‘Leanne Wheeler has attention to detail, particularly when having to deal with very long letters from an aggressive solicitor on the other side’.

‘Katie Mickleburgh has a very friendly and outgoing attitude’.

‘Mark Manley is an exceptional client winner and handler; he has an amazing list of clients who he has represented over the years and always seems to approach them with a very down to earth attitude’.

Key clients

Michael Owen

Tina Malone

Joe Akka

Raps Management


Samantha Faiers

Conservative and Unionist Party

Dr Riccardo Frati


Jonathan Woodgate


Benjamin Mendy

Yan Valery

ASOS Limited

20th Century Fox

Playworks Limited

Trent Alexander-Arnold

Jacqui Beswick

The Coates Family

Work highlights

  • Represented Bet365 joint chief executive Denise Coates in relation to various breaches of privacy by the media in 2018.
  • Represented Ben Bradley MP in a Twitter defamation case brought by Jeremy Corbyn.
  • Represented cosmetic surgeon Dr Riccardo Frati in a number of defamation and reputation management issues in 2018.
  • Representing former professional footballer Michael Owen in two phone-hacking claims.
  • Advised on an urgent matter concerning highly defamatory material which was posted on social media regarding Playworks Limited (Panacea Nightclub), Manchester City Football Club and French footballer Benjamin Mendy.

Pannone Corporate LLP

Pannone Corporate LLP advises on both contentious and non-contentious media work in relation to advertising, marketing, sponsorship, publishing, merchandising and social media. Other areas of expertise include defamation and reputation management, privacy and harassment claims, brand protection and hacking. Amy Chandler, who advises on IP, brand licensing agreements and sponsorship agreements, co-heads the team alongside Melanie McGuirk, who focuses on brand protection and reputation management.

Practice head(s):

Amy Chandler; Melanie McGuirk

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Bazaraa; Suzanne Townley; Alexandria Winstanley; Danielle Amor; Paul Jonson


‘The team provides attention to detail, sector knowledge and timely actions.’

‘I have developed absolute trust in Pannone as a business that they will deliver results. Much of this trust has been developed due to the long term nature of the relationship and a mutual respect.’

‘Melanie McGuirk is an excellent lawyer for contentious intellectual property matters.’

Key clients

Performing Right Society UK Limited

Caters News Agency

Brother International Europe Limited

AMS Neve Limited

Iceland Foods Limited

Carm Productions Limited

Wainhomes (North West)

International Game Technology plc

Nasty Gal Limited

SMG (UK) Limited

Lola Ideas Limited

Travel Insurance Facilities plc

Seven Bro7hers Brewery

End of the Road Festival

Work highlights

  • Representing Tifgroup in respect of £1m High Court libel proceedings against The Times.
  • Representing sound console producer, AMS Neve, in a claim in the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court against a competitor in Spain which is currently the subject of a reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union.
  • Advised SMG, a global venue management company, in respect of a contract for the installation of guest Wi-Fi at Manchester Arena and a separate sponsorship agreement with Deezer which was appointed as the Arena’s official streaming partner.
  • Drafted and negotiated a collaboration agreement between Seven Bro7hers Brewery and Mercury Prize winners, Wolf Alice, pursuant to which the parties developed a unique brew to be sold under their joint brands.
  • Advised Lola Ideas / Camco in respect of an events agreement with the owner of warehouse space in Liverpool docks for the hosting of live ‘Circus’ and ‘ENRG’ club nights and raves.

Centrefield LLP

Sports and media boutique Centrefield LLP advises on a spread of matters including commercial rights exploitation, personal endorsement arrangements, franchising, licensing, merchandising and broadcasting. Other areas of expertise include social media, joint ventures, confidentiality, defamation and privacy matters. Clients include sports personalities, individuals and venues. Co-head of team David Bentham specialises in contractual matters and Edward Canty, who also heads the team, focuses on reputation management.

Practice head(s):

David Bentham; Edward Canty

Other key lawyers:

Oliver Sadler

Key clients

The Professional Footballers’ Association

Newcastle United Football Club

The Rugby Players’ Association

Leicester Tigers

Liverpool Football Club

Everton Football Club

Work highlights

  • Advised The Professional Footballers’ Association on media, reputation management and privacy matters.
  • Advised a significant number of high profile individuals in connection with potential claims against various newspapers in light of police investigations into phone hacking and payments to police and public officials.
  • Advising Newcastle United Football Club on all elements of its arrangements with a promoter in connection with the staging of three Ed Sheeran concerts at its stadium.
  • Instructed to advise Event City on a broad review of its venue hire arrangements in connection with the multi-purpose venue located at the The intu Trafford Centre.
  • Advising Newcastle United Football Club on the sourcing, installation, maintenance and operation of state of the art in-stadia media inventory.

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP represents sports clients, celebrities, private individuals, public bodies and corporates, with areas of expertise including reputation management and also defamation work. Richard Dawson-Gerrard, who focuses on crisis management, heads the team alongside ‘excellent’ principal associate Rachael Somerset, who specialises in reputation management and libel issues.

Practice head(s):

Richard Dawson-Gerrard; Rachael Somerset

Other key lawyers:

Ben Reeves


Strong team in reputation management and media litigation’.

They provide a fast and efficient service’.

Rachael Somerset is exceptional in her handling of complex litigation: clever, quick and communicative, an excellent litigator’.

The team are very easy to work with and able to articulate complicated legal positions in a very user-friendly, straight forward manner’.

Excellent communicators with the required level of information and discretion applied to ensure a first-class service’.

Rachael Somerset has an outstanding knowledge of her area of expertise – she is ab industry leading and excellent communicator who is able to provide clarity to the most complex of issues’.

Key clients

The Professional Footballers’ Association

Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF)

The British Council

Triumph Motorcycles

West Midlands Ambulance Service

England Golf

Luton Town Football Club

ITV / Coronation Street

Work highlights

  • Advised the West Midlands Ambulance Service on a libel claim arising out of statements made to the BBC, that were alleged to be defamatory.
  • Advised ITV and the scriptwriters of Coronation Street in relation to the content of a significant storyline.
  • Worked with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds to develop contracts for film production services.

Weightmans LLP

Weightmans LLP mainly advises clients in the interactive video games sector. Areas of expertise include negotiating deals with major publishers and platform holders. The firm also advises on tax relief within the sector. Sean Crotty heads the team and represents media and entertainment clients on development agreements, licensing, talent, image rights, exploitation and recording agreements.

Practice head(s):

Sean Crotty

Other key lawyers:

John Schorah; Sarah Walton

Key clients

Playground Games Limited

Side (UK) Limited

The Independent Games Developers Association (TIGA)

Apadmi Limited

Nomad Games Limited

Novarama Technology SRL

AXM Venture Capital Limited

Secret Sorcery Limited

Sounding Sweet Limited

Motor Insurers’ Bureau

Mercato Limited

Fun Learning Studies Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for the individual shareholders of British game developer Playground Games on the multimillion-pound sale of their shareholdings to Microsoft.
  • Advised Side (UK) Limited on a variety of voice talent and motion capture agreements in relation to a number of high quality titles.
  • Advised Playground Games Limited on various work for hire arrangements in relation to the provision of content for a major AAA video game being developed on behalf of a major global publisher.
  • Advised Nomad Games Limited 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 The Independent Game Developers Association in relation to the contractual documentation with various videogame studios for the preparation of a salary survey.