Irwin Mitchell provides comprehensive advice to individuals across the media sector; the firm is instructed by international sportspeople, musicians, Youtube personalities and authors on reputation management, commercial agreements and IP protection. As well as working with private clients, the firm also assists television production companies, game developers and new companies. Senior associates Thomas Barnard and newly promoted partner Aurelia Butler-Ball are the names to note; the former, a commercial litigator, handles royalties and copyright infringement disputes, while the latter is known across the market as an expert in commercial agreements. Stuart Padgham leads the team, which is based in Gatwick.
Media and entertainment in South East
Other key lawyers:
Aurelia Butler-Ball; Thomas Barnard
Conan Doyle Estate Limited
Shot From The Street
Grandpa Productions Limited
Lee Miller Estate
Inner City Music Limited
- Advised one of the UK divers who rescued a group of young footballers and their team coach from a flooded cave system in Thailand in 2018 on a Life Right Agreement with MGM films.
- Provided contractual, commercial and regulatory legal advice to Inner City Music, the charity behind Band on the Wall.
- Advising Lady Leshurr on numerous commercial issues.
An Oxfordshire boutique primarily focussed on the media sector, Maier Blackburn LLP is perhaps the go-to firm in the market when it comes to publishing law, though it also advises music promoters, film directors and academics. The group's client base includes the literary estates of some of the twentieth century's most successful authors, including Agatha Christie and J.R.R. Tolkien, which it advises on commercial agreements and IP protection. The team is made of partners Steven Maier and Cathleen Blackburn, who respectively handle contentious and non-contentious issues.
Steven Maier; Cathleen Blackburn
‘The practice is small, and I felt like I have had full personal attention from day one.’
‘I’ve dealt exclusively with partner Cathleen Blackburn, and she has combined clear legal advice with deep business knowledge in the publishing sector. She has been especially helpful in obtaining good terms in protracted contract negotiations, and has been able to help me maintain perspective throughout.’
The Tolkien Estate
Agatha Christie Limited
Ayebia Clarke Publishing Limited
Watership Down Enterprises Limited
M C Beaton Literary Estate
The Cochrane Library
Pemberley Books Limited
Daniel Field Products Limited
- Acting for the heirs of Watership Down author Richard Adams in obtaining a High Court judgment against the California-based Producer of the 1978 film of the book.
- Acting for Ayebia Clarke Limited on the sale to Faber & Faber of two novels by the 2020 Booker Prize nominated author, Tsitsi Dangaremba.
- Acting for the Tolkien Estate against the developers and operators of a private student accommodation building which had been named Tolkien without the consent of the Estate.
Moore Law has developed a real niche in the new media market, and is undoubtedly the leading firm in the region when it comes to advising social media influencers and professional youtubers. Based in Brighton, Scott Appleton and firm founder Tris Moore are key advisors to the Sidemen (one of the most successful online collectives in the country) and provide assistance with IP registration, employment issues and commercial agreements. In addition to representing media figures, the firm also works extensively with talent agencies on event sponsorship, talent management and advertising issues.
Other key lawyers:
Upload Agency / Upload Merchandise
Glam & Glitter / Tamara Kalinic
Lucy & Yak
Live the Adventure
We are Tilt
Fat Tape Promotions
- Advising The Sidemen on commercial, IP and employment issues.
- Advising Upload Agency on commercial contracts and IP protection.
- Advising Zeitgeist Agency on a master services agreement with AB InBev and Lyle & Scott.
Based in Guildford, the cross-practice media and technology group at Stevens & Bolton LLP comprises specialists from numerous areas, and as such the team is able to provide comprehensive service to its clients which range from individuals and start ups through to nationally known media companies and publishing houses. IP work is the busiest part of the practice; primarily handled by practice head Tom Lingard, this includes advising media groups, television personalities and marketing companies on infringement disputes and licensing agreements.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team at S+B are good at being responsive, listening well and constructively engaging with business challenges.’
‘The person we deal with most is Tom Lingard. Tom has that rare ability to make you feel like he’s got all the time in the world and is very responsive when we have urgent issues to tackle. His in-depth knowledge of all things IP has been a god send for both us and we’ve recommended to some of our own clients.’
‘A great team to work with with excellent relationships and depth of knowledge. Always able to align the right resource against the specific work required. Also, creative in how the relationship work in terms of hours and billing. Form part of the team and willing to educate client in ways to further improve business. ’
‘The team are always on hand and very responsive to all requests. They build strong relationships across the management team to ensure the correct support is given. They understand our business and provide very genuine, open and honest advice. Very trusted by our business and great to have working alongside us.’
PA Media Group
Tyrrell Promotions Limited
MediaBlaze Group Limited
Electric Gamebox Ltd
Todos Media Ltd
- Assisted PA Media Group Limited with obtaining an interim injunction against the Workers of England Union (WEU).
- Acting for Todos Media on a copyright infringement dispute with its former CTO in respect of the source code for a new social media platform.
- Advising the winner of a Netflix reality show on a range of commercial endorsement issues.
Blake Morgan LLP's media work is primarily an offshoot of its excellent IP practice, though the team also has expertise in various other matters such as defamation, publishing ethics and competition law. The group works with clients from the higher education, retail and public sectors on trade mark registration and disputes, while it has also developed a specialism in assisting academic publishers. Practice head Jill Bainbridge focuses on cross-border contentious issues, with defamation being an area of particular focus. Christopher Williams departed the firm in July 2020 to join Clyde & Co LLP.
Other key lawyers:
‘Really good team with cross-disciplinary knowledge and skills. Great practical experience.’
‘Jill Bainbridge – A fantastic solicitor with great skills and practical experience to go with her impressive knowledge of the area. Always good to work with.’
‘The team is well led by the excellent Jill Bainbridge, well backed up especially by Ben Evans ’
‘Jill Bainbridge- very experienced, knowledgeable, commercial, efficient, delightful to work with. Ben Evans, less experienced, but otherwise with those same characteristics’
‘We use Blake Morgan for technology and media. The team is very responsive and knowledgeable. They are, without fail, a pleasure to deal with and our go-to firm in the UK.’
‘The individuals we always go to in this area are Jill Bainbridge and Ben Evans. If they do not handle the matter directly, they will pass us to a colleague. Jill is an outstanding lawyer and gives excellent advice. Ben is a very able partner and we like working with him. He is clearly a rising star within the firm.’
Kerry Group PLC
Hay Festival of Literature
Critical Mass Studios
The Company of Biologists
Nosy Crow Limited
The Welsh Government
- Advised eFlorist in relation to defamation and harassment issues.
- Advising a variety of publishing clients on ethics and copyright matters.
- Advising a local authority in relation to a defamation and malicious falsehood claim.
Cripps Pemberton Greenish uses its 'pragmatic approach to problem solving' to assists media agencies, marketing companies, technology companies and entertainment venues on a broad spectrum of issues. The group is able to collaborate with its strong corporate and commercial property teams to assist companies in the sector with management buyouts, M&A transactions and premises leases. Having previously worked in house at an advertising and media company, Nigel Stanford is ideally placed to work with clients from the sector, specifically on cross-border joint ventures. Pete Kenyon heads up the advertising, technology and media sector team.
Nigel Stanford; Pete Kenyon
Other key lawyers:
‘The CPG team has a pragmatic approach to problem solving and the individuals that assist our company have demonstrated a great deal of competence throughout.’
Local Planet International
We Are Social
Awesome Dog Ltd
Chase & Co Advertising
Sahara Presentation Systems
English National Ballet
The Mango Agency Limited
- Advised Local Planet International Limited, the only privately-held global media agency in the world, on all their legal matters.
- Acted for Holiday Extras Investments Limited on the refinance of its existing term and revolving facilities and a new CLBILS facility.
- Advised the shareholders of the Sahara Group on its sale to Nasdaq listed Boxlight Corporation.
When is comes to reputation management, Healys is one of the leading firms in the region. Based in Brighton, the group is consulted by a number of high profile individuals from the film, television and finance sectors to represent them in defamation proceedings. Nicholas Taylor is the primary practitioner in this regard, while also advising on trademark infringement, professional negligence and fraud issues. Non-contentious work is led by Andrew Sparrow and often involves assisting digital media companies with software development agreements and licensing.
Other key lawyers:
‘The Team we dealt with was very efficient, friendly and helpful’
‘I valued their honesty, subject knowledge and efficiency of reply’
Working closely with its East Midlands offices, Howes Percival LLP's Milton Keynes team is experienced in the television and publishing sectors, where it assists individuals and companies on reputation management and intellectual property issues. James Howarth is the key practitioner; recommended by clients for his ability to provide 'excellent analysis and practical advice in high pressure situations', Howarth frequently works with publishing houses in libel claims. In 2020, the team assisted Captain Tom Moore and his family with trademark registration.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team is knowledgeable, easy to communicate with and super supportive’
‘James Howarth provides excellent analysis and practical advice, in high pressure situations’
Sir Captain Tom Moore
Sounds Like Publishing
DOLCE Music Limited
Quarto Group plc
- Representing a lottery winner in obtaining a final injunction restraining publication of a memoire on privacy grounds.
- Advising Sir Captain Tom Moore’s representatives on image rights, copyright and passing off.
- Advising Polyco Healthline on defamatory TV and press coverage.