Next Generation Partners

Firms To Watch: Media and entertainment

Founded by Kirsteen MacDonald, an expert in media sector disputes, Mac Media Law advises on all aspects of media law and reputation management.

Media and entertainment in Scotland

Brodies LLP

With firm chair and experienced KC Christine O’Neill at the helm, Brodies LLP‘s team in Edinburgh maintains an excellent defamation and reputation management offering, working with leading global broadcasters and content platforms on media disputes and injunctive proceedings. Senior associate Sarah McCormick further excels in this area, handling a mixture of defamation, privacy and contempt of court issues. Also praised in the contentious sphere is Niall McLean for his litigation and reputation management advice to individuals, corporations and public authorities. Martin Sloan anchors the firm’s equally strong commercial media practice, advising major Scottish publishers and global production studios on a range of contracts, IP and data matters.


‘Brodies will offer not just imaginative and enjoyable professional development opportunities, but also bespoke seminars for particular needs. It has unrivalled public law expertise and is always accessible.’

‘Christine O’Neill KC is irreplaceably smart, thoroughly decent and the finest Scots public lawyer of her generation.’

‘The team at Brodies are responsive and demonstrate a pragmatic, commercial mindset that recognises the challenges and constraints we have to work within as a business.’

‘Martin Sloan is so approachable – whether it’s to give an informal second opinion on something, or to support us with a challenging new project. He’s my go-to external advisor on data protection matters and I know we can rely on him, and his wider team, to help when we’re in need.’

‘Niall McLean provided excellent advice and displayed expertise on each matter I was facing. He also displayed exceptional ethics and moral diligence through nuanced issues.’

‘Brodies went above and beyond in precarious public matters to ensure my best interests were served at all times, and displayed a great amount of consideration to the stressful circumstances.’

Key clients



DC Thomson

Edinburgh International Festival

Edinburgh International Book Festival

Hyper Luminal Games

Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society

National Theatre of Scotland

Marine and Lawn

Rewards4 Group

Work highlights

  • Retained by BBC Scotland to provide on call legal advice to Scotland journalists and current affairs staff.
  • Providing ongoing litigation advice to a global social media platform with a focus on commercial litigation, defamation and IP infringement proceedings.
  • Advised Mowi on matters relating to its sponsorship of Gordon Ramsay’s new ITV show, Next Level Chef.

Burness Paull LLP

Burness Paull LLP‘s team in Glasgow is the first port of call to a number of high-profile media organisations and individuals, owing to its wide-ranging expertise in commercial and contentious mandates. In addition to its prolific rights management and enforcement practice, the group is experienced in media law disputes and corporate finance transactions; the latter is an area of particular expertise for team head Grant Stevenson, who has handled a multitude of high-profile acquisitions and investments, many of which are cross-border in nature, for leading Scottish media entities. IP head and litigator Colin Hulme attracts major broadcasters and rights management organisations for his content protection and rights management expertise, where he is often supported by senior associate Megan Briggs. Kirsteen MacDonald recently founded Mac Media Law, though continues to be instructed by the team as a consultant.

Practice head(s):

Grant Stevenson

Other key lawyers:

Colin Hulme; Megan Briggs; Giuseppe Pia; Fraser MacKinven


‘A very responsive firm which provides a full and prompt service.’

‘Exceptional quality of support staff, which makes more of a difference to clients than law firms necessarily realise.’

‘Flexible and innovative.’

‘Giuseppe Pia has an excellent grasp of current issues in the media, especially TV Production.’

Key clients

STV Group plc

Neptune Street Film Ltd

Comcast Corporation

Sky Limited

PPL PRS Limited


Rockstar Games

BBC Scotland


Pixsy Inc

Two Rivers Media Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising STV Group on the acquisition and investment into Mighty Productions Limited, their revolving credit facility and funding proposal for the production of the new “Blue Lights” TV series, and on a tripartite agreement to develop and co-produce exclusively with Tod Productions.
  • Managing Sky’s enforcement programme across Scotland. This involves raising copyright infringement proceedings to prevent unauthorised broadcasts of Sky’s sporting events in licensed premises throughout Scotland.
  • Advising BBC Scotland on all media law matters including contempt, defamation, privacy and contentious copyright.

Anderson Strathern

With publishing sector expert Simon Brown at the helm, Anderson Strathern remains an established player in the Scottish market and is a regular advisor to publishing houses, theatre companies, education sector clients and individuals on a range of corporate, commercial and contentious mandates. Director Barry Nichol anchors the team’s theatre and performing arts initiative, advising charities on sensitive employment and HR issues, while the Glasgow-based IP specialist Douglas McLachlan spearheads its growing film and television production practice. In the contentious sphere, senior litigator Katrina Lumsdaine handles defamation and breach of privacy cases before both the Sheriff Courts and the Court of Session. All named individuals are based in Edinburgh unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Simon Brown

Other key lawyers:

Douglas McLachlan; Katrina Lumsdaine; Barry Nichol; Colin Young


‘Prompt to respond and offer solutions in a changing environment.’

‘Up to date and knowledgeable in a fast-moving industry where personal, cast and crew contracts, film and book rights, IP, and copyright are all of vital importance, and often all with conflicting requirements.’

‘Loyal, protective and supportive of their clients while being absolutely professional and at the top of their game.’

Key clients

The Great Tapestry of Scotland Charitable Trust

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland

The Rangers Football Club Limited

Birlinn Limited

Red Hot Chilli Pipers

Federation of Scottish Theatre

Carnegie Musical Limited

The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service

Whittles Publishing Limited

The National Library of Scotland

Publishing Scotland

Scottish Book Trust

South West Media Factory Productions Limited

Prepress Projects Limited

Fieldsports Press Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised The Great Tapestry of Scotland Charitable Trust on the securing and exploitation of IP rights in the Tapestry and the transfer of the Tapestry to Scottish Borders Council for permanent exhibition at a purpose-built new visitor centre in Galashiels.
  • Assisted The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service with the winding down of the intial project to establish remote jury centres at Odeon cinemas across Scotland, as well as the set up of one venue to be used for High Court trails in the long term.
  • Advised Fieldsports Press Limited on the acquisition of five shooting magazine titles, plus the Shooting & Country online TV channel and the website from Archant Community Media.


Drawing on its international reach, CMS works with a notable roster of blue-chip MNCs and Scottish organisations on commercial and contentious mandates; the former is an area of expertise for team head Alan Nelson (managing partner of the firm’s Glasgow office), who handles contract negotiations, tech projects, software licensing, and outsourcing deals. Also active in the non-contentious space is the Edinburgh-based Duncan Turner, whose transactional capabilities span the protection, acquisition, disposal, development and exploitation of IP rights. On the contentious side, IP litigation head and sports sector expert Neeraj Thomas (Glasgow) has acted for a number of major international and Scottish companies in proceedings before the Court of Session.

Practice head(s):

Alan Nelson

Other key lawyers:

Cynthia Johnston; Duncan Turner; Neeraj Thomas; Kimberley Cross

Key clients

Scottish Event Campus



National Museums Scotland


Scottish FA

Trump International

Gleneagles Hotel Ltd

Gleneagles Townhouse Edinburgh Ltd

St James Quarter (GP) Limited

BT Sport

MoonBug Entertainment Ltd

Galactic Media Group Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising the Scottish Event Campus on a broad range of matters in relation to the OVO Hydro, including sponsorship agreements with new anchor arena sponsors, artist filming rights, the arena naming rights agreement with OVO as well as advising on the branding of backstage areas.
  • Advised ITV on an IP dispute which resulted in a successful interim interdict against an online seller marketing sunglasses which infringed on the client’s popular ‘Love Island’ brand.
  • Advised National Museums Scotland on all aspects of its arrangements with the BBC to host a ‘Dr Who’ exhibition, which involved advising on the exhibition hire, licensing of the BBC’s iconic ‘Dr Who’ brand, and ensuring that the client had the requisite marketing and merchandising rights.

Harper Macleod LLP

Harper Macleod LLP assists a wide range of blue-chip media organisations, governing bodies and high-profile individuals with both contentious and non-contentious matters. The team is led by the Edinburgh-based IP and cybersecurity specialist Jamie Watt, who is renowned for his expertise in the music sector and cross-border capabilities. Tom Thomas‘ commercial knowhow spans film and television production and location agreements, in addition to sports broadcasting rights arrangements, while James McMorrow‘s experience includes film production funding and location matters. In the contentious space, David Kerr‘s recent work involves advising public broadcasters on breach of contract and defamation issues. All named individuals are based in Glasgow unless noted otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Jamie Watt

Other key lawyers:

Tom Thomas; E-Ming Fong; James McMorrow; David Kerr


‘We have always been very impressed with their commercial approach to dealing with quite complex areas of law. We often need them to filter their Scottish law advice into our wider UK advice and they do this seamlessly and in a way which is pitch perfect for our clients.’

‘Jamie Watt is responsive, vastly experienced and delivers spot on advice through a commercial lens.’

‘Jamie Watt is an excellent commercial lawyer offering sound, sensible and pragmatic advice that goes to the heart of the issue at hand. His communication style is efficient and to the point, which makes it clear and easy to understand.’

Key clients

The Musicians Union

Publishing Scotland

Creative Scotland

The Society of Authors

Scottish Mountaineering Trust

Celtic FC

Jack and Victor


Kate Nash Literary Agency

Sandstone Press

Work highlights

  • Advised The Musicians Union on the proposed reform of UK copyright law.
  • Acted for well-known Scottish comedians Jack and Victor from the Still Game series on a challenge to their whisky brand by Jack Daniels.

Thorntons Law LLP

IP expert Liam McMonagle – who splits his time between Edinburgh and Glasgow – heads up Thorntons Law LLP‘s practice, which works with major Scottish production studios, publishers and arts institutions; he has particular expertise in matters encompassing the gambling, television and education sectors, many of which are of a cross-border nature. Dundee-based managing partner Lesley Larg specialises in brand management, computer games and live music, the latter being an area in which newly promoted partner and chartered trade mark attorney Kirsty Stewart further excels, in addition to music publishing. Alistair Lang, who splits his time between St Andrews and Edinburgh, handles high-profile sports broadcasting rights arrangements and sponsorship agreements.

Practice head(s):

Liam McMonagle

Other key lawyers:

Lesley Larg; Alistair Lang; Kirsty Stewart


‘A bespoke service with a focus on personal needs for great value.’

‘A strong, well-resourced team, who deliver high quality practical advice.’

‘Liam McMonagle consistently delivers high-quality, practical advice, within the timescales asked for.’

Key clients

Design Dundee Limited (operators of V&A Dundee)

Beano Studios Ltd

Abertay University

Ant Workshop Limited

Stormcloud Games Limited

People’s Postcode Lottery

Snag Group Limited


Scotch Limited

Urbancroft Films

Blackhouse Films

St Andrews Links Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Postcode Lottery Limited on a major advertising campaign partnership with ITV which ran over the Christmas period in 2022.
  • Ongoing advice to Design Dundee Limited (operators of V&A Dundee Museum) on all aspects of the operation of the museum, including arrangements for exhibition and cultural events.
  • Ongoing advice to St Andrews Links Limited on licence and partnership agreements to both renew existing official supplier and partnership agreements, and develop new relationships with multiple entities.

BTO Solicitors LLP

With team head and commercial litigator Paul Motion, Edinburgh-based BTO Solicitors LLP has particular expertise in the contentious sphere, where the team advises on defamation and reputation management, production and recording contracts, and copyright issues. IP and cybersecurity expert Lynn Richmond, also noted for her commercial litigation credentials, has been active in the latter space. The team, which is best known for its music sector capabilities, is further geared to advise on non-contentious matters. Clients include artists, labels, promoters, and content platforms.

Practice head(s):

Paul Motion

Other key lawyers:

Lynn Richmond; Lauren McFarlane; Lily Morrison

Key clients

Stephen Gorman (Flowercard Scotland Limited)

Criterium Cycles Limited

Briffa Legal Limited

Courtney Riley

Ali Najafian

Paula Obrien Psychic Medium

Mallorca Lee & Rodger Hughes

BLOKSHOK productions

Club Los Claveles

Printerinks Europe Limited

Laura Barker

Work highlights

  • Advised Paula Obrien Psychic Medium on a contractual dispute in relation to her social media and website.
  • Provided Printerinks Europe Limited with short-term reputation management advice after the client was contacted by a BBC Watchdog demanding responses to questions.
  • Advice to BLOKSHOK Productions (the trading name of well-known Scottish musician Martin Metcalfe) on the registration of around 50 tracks with PRS by an organisation that the client maintains had no right to do so.

DLA Piper

Among DLA Piper‘s client roster are some of Europe’s largest leisure businesses and venue operators, for which the Edinburgh-based team handles matters involving sponsorships and online marketing, outsourcing deals and supply services agreements, among others. Practice head John McKinlay advises on media rights, content licensing and associated IP issues, where he is often supported by senior associate Catriona Melton, while Alistair Drummond, head of the Scottish litigation and regulatory practice, anchors the team’s contentious offering, with expertise in court actions and arbitrations.

Practice head(s):

John McKinlay

Other key lawyers:

Alastair Drummond; Catriona Melton; Laura Maclennan

Key clients

Merlin Entertainments


ExCel London

Lothian Amusements Limited

Odeon Cinemas

The Football Association of the Premier League

Admiral Taverns

Ambassador Theatre Group

Intercontinental Hotels Group plc

Leonardo Hotels

Work highlights

  • Advising Merlin Entertainments on promotion, branding and sponsorship contracts.
  • Advising ExCel London on commercial IP matters, including contracts for the supply of catering and electric charging points, and a refresh of its contract suite, including IP and branding advice.