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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 > South East > TMT > Media and entertainment > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

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

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Aurelia Butler-Ball - Irwin Mitchell
    • Sarah Williamson - Boyes Turner

Who Represents Who

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Boyes Turner fields a high-calibre digital media team with specialist knowledge of advertising, digital media services and technology utilised by online publishers and advertisers. Key figure Sarah Williamson maintains a strong portfolio of clients, routinely supporting advertisers and publishers in complex technology-related projects, including agreements with providers such as Google and AppNexus for the licence of their advertising platforms. Williamson maintains her niche position as outsourced in-house counsel for Auto Trader and the Guardian, recently advising Auto Trader on a media-buying agreement and an agreement for the appointment of a creative services agency, and preparing agreements for the printing and distribution of the Guardian Weekly in New Zealand and Australia. Head of the commercial and technology practice Mark Blunden also acts for a number of multi-media sector clients, particularly on their technology-related projects. The team was strengthened in 2017 by the hire of Helen Dobson from Osborne Clarke, who has strong experience in the marketing and advertising sector.

The 'excellent'¬†Cripps LLP¬†team ‚Äėunderstands the client‚Äôs business thoroughly‚Äô and ‚Äėis as good as any of the big London firms‚Äô. The firm acts for major advertising and marketing services agencies, rights owners and publishers, among others, with representative clients including Instinctif Partners, Hearts & Science and Samba Communications.¬†Pete Kenyon¬†heads the firm‚Äôs advertising, technology and media team in Kings Hill and specialises in working with media and creative agencies and online publishers, with recent projects of note including acting for social media marketing agency Influencer on an issue of shares to Caspar Lee and advising We Are Social on its commercial agreements. Tunbridge Wells-based¬†Nigel Stanford¬†specialises in M&A deals in the technology and media sectors, recently completing a joint venture arrangement for client DAC Group Europe with Spanish media agency Infinity Media Services.¬†Kathryn Rogers,¬†Irfan Baluch¬†and¬†Salim Somjee¬†are other figures of note.

Irwin Mitchell's¬†team provides ‚Äėprompt responses, clear advice and great support‚Äô, while being ‚Äėvery accommodating for clients in this sector‚Äô.¬†Stuart Padgham¬†heads the team and is primarily assisted by recently promoted senior associate¬†Aurelia Butler-Ball,¬†who is ‚Äėpersonable and engaging‚Äô with ‚Äėexcellent client engagement‚Äô. Padgham and Butler-Ball have been advising YouTube personality Em Ford on agreements with a major agency and a global cosmetic brand and continue to represent longstanding clients Lady Leshurr and the Conan Doyle Estate on the protection of their respective brands. Other clients of note include London Championships Limited, Wimpy Restaurants and The Sports Sphere.¬†Sarah Birkbeck¬†handles contentious matters in the media, technology and retail sectors and has advised clients on a range of claims, including for copyright infringement and for alleged breaches of post-termination restrictions.¬†Tom Barnard¬†was recently promoted to senior associate; he focuses on the entertainment and sports sector and regularly advises individuals, agents, clubs and commercial entities with interests in the sector.

‚ÄėGood value for money‚Äô¬†Maier Blackburn LLP¬†is noted for its ‚Äėspecialist knowledge of copyright issues and the publishing industry‚Äô. Name partner¬†Cathleen Blackburn¬†is known for her expertise in international copyright and in trade and academic publishing, and is recommended as being ‚Äėextremely knowledgeable and sympathetic, prompt and helpful‚Äô. Fellow name partner and litigator¬†Steven Maier¬†has specialised in contentious publishing, media and entertainment law for a number of years, dealing with copyright, design right and trade mark infringement, passing off and related cases. Maier and Blackburn have both been involved in advising The Tolkien Estate in long-running litigation in California against Warner Bros and others concerning the extent of the grant of merchandising rights in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, which settled in June 2017. Maier and Blackburn between them also recently worked on significant matters for Agatha Christie Limited, Watership Down Enterprises and The Society for Medieval Archaeology.

Stevens & Bolton LLP advises both on contentious matters (including copyright and trade mark infringement issues, defamation and contractual disputes) and advisory and licensing work. Solicitor advocate Tom Lingard heads the sector offering and is primarily involved with litigation matters; Charlotte Tillett and senior associate Elaine O'Hare are other key figures on the contentious side. Lingard and Tillett advised digital content marketing agency Mediablaze on its investment from iCrossing, while Lingard and O’Hare represented Future Publishing in a claim for declaratory relief, breach of contract, misrepresentation and trade mark revocation brought by Edge Interactive and Edge Games. On the advisory side, commercial partners Gary Parnell and Nicola Broadhurst are key figures; project highlights include Broadhurst and associate Tom Collins handling the drafting and negotiation of an endorsement and image rights licence between client T.M Lewin & Sons and BBC Sport presenter Gary Lineker.

Jill Bainbridge¬†heads the offering at¬†Blake Morgan LLP¬† is noted for her ‚Äėexcellent client care‚Äô. Bainbridge handles a wide variety of defamation and reputation management matters; highlight matters include advising Quercus Capital Rentals in relation to defamatory statements and malicious falsehood on the part of a competitor, defending multinational publisher Informa against copyright infringement proceedings worth over ¬£100m, and acting for Shard Financial Media in a professional negligence claim against Withers & Rogers. Senior associate¬†Ben Evans¬†advises on reputation management matters, particularly where such disputes involve the internet and social media. Clients include the University of Winchester, The Trussell Trust and Palladian Publications.

Niche digital, media and technology-focused firm Moore Law acts for a considerable number of digital media agencies, influencers and businesses. Principal solicitor and founder Tris Moore heads the practice and is noted for his expertise in developing areas of IT and telecoms, including agile software development, digital media and YouTube. Moore has assisted YouTube personality Calfreezy with a number of significant agreements related to his commercial activities, including endorsements in the UK and elsewhere. Other areas of expertise include social media content management, royalty agreements, and copyright protection and exploitation.

Howes Percival LLP regularly acts for clients across the creative industries, including television production companies, music distributors, fashion houses, theatres, advertisers and publishers, with particular strength in copyright, defamation and privacy dispute matters. James Howarth has extensive experience of copyright and passing off disputes, with a specialism in the publishing and digital sectors, while associate Jenna Bruce possesses longstanding experience in the media sector, having previously worked in-house at ITV. Recent highlights include advising DOLCE Music on various music licensing matters and artist engagements and assisting GC Biosciences with obtaining an injunctive order requiring Virgin Media to disclose the IP address used by the creator of a blog site which infringed copyright and defamed the claimants.

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