Burges Salmon LLP has a full-service offering, with an impressive client base across the media, television, music, publishing and social media spaces. The group, led by Jeremy Dickerson, includes experts in IP, with a focus on trade marks; advertising and marketing, where the group is instructed by retailers and broadcasters on marketing, advertising and sponsorship issues (where Helen Scott-Lawler stands out) including major campaign launches; broadcasting, in relation to rights exploitation, IP, television programme clearance advice, commercial agreements and dispute resolution; and social media and interactive content issues. Director Emily Roberts is noted for IP issues, and in October 2019, the group welcomed senior associate Georgina Shaw from the BBC's content and brand protection team, who boosts the trade mark practice.
Media and entertainment in South West
‘Good commercial overview, comprehensive understanding of the law, practical and sensible advice, which is commercial and cost effective.’
‘Jeremy Dickerson has years of experience, good instinct and judgement, and is commercially sensible.’
Twentieth Century Fox
Racecourse Technical Services
Waitrose and John Lewis
Play Sports Group
- Advising the BBC and BBC Studios on all UK and EU trade mark applications and registrations.
- Advising Discovery, Inc on new UK channel launches, programme names and content, merchandising opportunities and third party trade mark infringement issues.
- Advising Play Sports Group on its acquisition by Discovery.
Foot Anstey has a solid reputation for advising on news publishing matters, but the practice extends to book and digital publishing, film and television, as well as advertising issues. The group combines expertise in IP, data protection and media law, and is particularly experienced in disputes involving content protection and anti-piracy. Peter Singfield heads the department, focusing on publishing and commercial disputes, as well as IP and brand protection. Neil Parkes takes the lead in media litigation, content protection and contentious IP, Tony Jaffa is a veteran of publishing law and online publishing, while Alexandra Leonidou is the name to note for privacy law and data protection.
‘Provides clear, pragmatic advice with an excellent understanding of how the business and the commercial pressures in which the business operates.’
‘Alexandra Leonidou, partner. Exceptional understanding of the law, its application and responsiveness. I particularly value Alex’s ability to understand the workings of the business and provide clear and pragmatic advice to both minor queries but also when working on large, complex projects.’
‘Peter Singfield, partner. Straight talking, commercially minded. Particularly value Pete’s ability to turn around queries on tight deadlines while still delivering pragmatic, business-focused advice.‘
‘Experts in copyright content protection, hands on mentality and result oriented.’
‘Neil Parkes: perfect understanding of online piracy and related challenges. Creative in finding solutions and able to implement new strategies for new technology threats. Excellent communicator.’
‘Historically I have experience of working with Peter Singfield on contentious issues and I rate him very highly.’
‘Peter is technically strong, quick thinking in contentious face to face situations and good at gaining client confidence.’
Conde Nast & National Magazine Distributors
The Independent and Evening Standard
Newsquest Media Group
Ministry of Sound
- Primary adviser to Sky on content protection and TV anti-piracy matters, and have worked with the client to support ongoing enforcement and PR campaigns cracking down on streaming TV piracy and public education.
- Developed an innovative legal agreement which gives music venues a new line of defence against noise complaints from incoming residential occupiers. The Deed of Easement protects venues from losing their license if residents complain about noise as those residents will now have legally accepted noise levels from the venue when they buy their properties. The model was first used with the Ministry of Sound and has since been used to protect other music venues.
- Worked collaboratively with the in-house legal and business teams to design, lead and deliver a strategic risk review of digital data flows and business processes associated with a digital advertising agency forming part of the corporate group.
Osborne Clarke's technology, media and communications practice is led by 'solution-oriented' Tom Harding and is particularly strong for customer online services and sports in the broadcasting and digital content sector, e-sports and virtual reality (VR) matters for games publishers, and digital regulation. The group is also experienced in reputation management, drawing on expertise in the London office. Associate Elliott Prentiss advises Facebook on media law issues, and is also recommended for GDPR and privacy issues.
Other key lawyers:
‘Very responsive; highly pragmatic. Quick to understand business requirements and adapt advice accordingly. Particularly strong e-commerce capabilities.’
‘The stand out partner is Tom Harding. Key qualities are flexibility and pragmatism. Very solution-oriented. Good at coordinating multi-disciplinary and multi-jurisdictional input “behind the scenes” so the client only sees the right output.‘
Bandai Namco Entertainment
- Advising multinational gaming client Bandai Namco and its group companies on various commercial, regulatory and IP matters
- Advising Facebook and Instagram on multiple commercial and regulatory matters over the last year from gambling advertising regulatory compliance checks to partnering deals, to broadcast and content regulatory work and rights licensing.
- Advise Cookpad on all issues, ranging from content exploitation, to privacy, corporate and employment law matters. Many of these centre around new and innovative ways of content creation and exploitation, often on a global basis.
Lawyers at Laceys have developed an outstanding practice advising music industry clients, including artists, record labels and managers, on the spectrum of their businesses, including contractual issues and rights protection. Other areas of expertise include film production and social media, where the firm is instructed by a number of influencers. Media lawyer Sam Freeman heads the team, which includes corporate expert Natasha Jones.
Other key lawyers:
Lauren Bannon aka Lloren
Isaac Borquaye aka Guvna B
Right Track Records
Tarousel Media Management
Gone to Ground
- Negotiated on behalf of Lauren Bannon (2nd in the Voice 2018) with A&G Songs
- Negotiated a music management and partnership agreement for Galaxy Thief
- Negotiated a book publishing agreement on behalf of Guvna B for his 2nd autobiography with Harper Collins
Tom Phipps is the contact for media and entertainment advice at Ashfords LLP. The group is experienced in television production contracts, adtech, advertising and marketing, as well as rights issues, data monetisation, data protection and privacy.
‘The team is knowledgeable, highly experienced and incredibly responsive, drawing in additional expertise when appropriate. Always thinking ahead and anticipating future issues or questions and liaising regularly, they provide advice and assurance by the bucket-load.’
‘Tom Phipps (partner) stands out for his professional approach, considerable knowledge and his exceptional levels of communication.’
- Advised Alexander Blackman, known as “Marine A” who was convicted of murdering a Taliban operative while on active duty, on media matters throughout the appeal against his murder conviction and its reduction to manslaughter. Then advised on the subsequent negotiation of his contract with a literary agent and ghost writer. His book, Marine A, was published in 2019.
- Advised property PR and marketing agency Sectorlight on matters including the promotional campaign for the development into residential accommodation of a former cinema in Ealing and a luxury development in Algarve, Portugal. Both campaigns involved rights clearance and advice on issues relating to social media marketing.
- Acting for Aardman Animations in applying to invalidate an EU designation of an International trade mark registration for ‘aardman’, filed by a Chinese entity. The application is based on bad faith, as well as on damage to our client’s well-known brand.
Battens Solicitors Limited
Brian Levine heads the media and entertainment department at Battens Solicitors Limited, which stands out for its work advising film production companies and content creators on issues relating to distribution and rights protection. Peter Livingstone is often instructed in media-related disputes.
Other key lawyers:
Beacon Chill Music Festival
- Advising Bristol-based producer Mallinson Sadler Productions on all matters relating to the financing, production and broadcast of a multi-series prime-time documentary on major terrestrial and pay TV channels worldwide, effectively a Tier 1 London deal.
- Acting for photographer Michel Haddi in protecting and promoting his portfolio of work.
The group at Thrings LLP is led by consultant Graeme Fearon, who mainly focuses on IP and data protection issues for clients in the creative and media sectors. The group also advises on broadcast and publishing agreements.
White Jackman was co-founded by Duncan White and Tim Jackman in 2019, two former Nash & Co lawyers, and is a television and digital media law boutique. The group has developed an active practice advising south west-based production companies on programme compliance, privacy, IP, co-production arrangements and crisis management issues.
Other key lawyers:
Oxford Scientific Films
South Shore Productions
Boom Cymru TV
Rebel Television and Media
Gritty Pearl Productions
Really Good Films
- Provided advice and legal support to the organisers of TEDxBristol throughout the organisation and staging of the event.
- Advised Twofour Broadcast on matters relating to the development, financing, production and broadcast of the Win the Wilderness: Alaska television series (BBC).
- Advised Label1 Television on matters relating to the pre-production, production and broadcast of Hospital Series 4 and 5 (BBC).
Steer & Co
Steer & Co provides commercial advice to digital and creative agencies, as well as digital content providers. The group's experience includes negotiating master supply and freelancer agreements, supplier contracts and data protection advice. IP, IT and media law expert Rebecca Steer takes the lead.
Calling The Shots
Aspect Film & Video
- Advised Calling the Shots on £1m+ funding from The Arts Council and the BBC for a New Creatives series of films.
- Advised VVAST on a variety of direct to consumer e-retail marketing services. VVAST provides online marketing support to luxury clothes businesses who sell direct to consumers online.
- Advised film production company Aspect on rights clearance issues for use of films and content online. Also produced a suite of contracts for use with clients, freelancers and contractors and advised on clearance of voiceover rights for use in online media.