Media and entertainment in South West

Burges Salmon LLP

Burges Salmon LLP acts for clients from throughout the media and entertainment industry, including television broadcasting, music, publishing and social media. It also has a first-rate reputation in the advertising and marketing sphere. The team, which is led by Jeremy Dickerson, handles a notably high volume of work for media clients, particularly in relation to the protection and enforcement of IP rights. In the broadcasting space, the team advises major international media companies on TV show clearances, the exploitation of related merchandise and dispute resolution. Director Emily Roberts is another notable individual.

Practice head(s):

Jeremy Dickerson

Other key lawyers:

Helen Scott-Lawler; Sarah Kenshall; Emily Roberts; Tim Deacon

Key clients

BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation and BBC Studios Ltd)

Discovery Communications, LLC (Discovery Channel)

Racecourse Technical Services Limited

Waitrose & John Lewis

Virgin Care

Work highlights

  • Provide brand protection and IP advice to the BBC, and act as sole counsel for all UK and EU trade mark applications and registrations.
  • Advising Waitrose / John Lewis ion endorsements and partnerships with celebrities.
  • Assist Virgin Care with advertising and marketing issues in relation to campaign launches.

Foot Anstey

In addition to having an impressive publishing client base, Foot Anstey has a notable profile in the film and TV, marketing and music sectors. Neil Parkes  regularly acts for media companies in both the UK and US, and also works with international law firms. Tony Jaffa is knowledgeable about all areas of publishing law, which is complemented by his expertise in reputation management, regulation and copyright, among other areas. Richard Neary is the head of the media and technology sector team.

Practice head(s):

Richard Neary

Other key lawyers:

Tony Jaffa; Neil Parkes; Peter Singfield; Martin Cuell; Mark Millar; Alexandra Leonidou;

Key clients

Sky UK Limited

HarperCollins UK

Reach PLC (formally Trinity Mirror)

The Independent and Evening Standard

Newsquest Media Group


The Mirror Online

Ministry of Sound Limited


Work highlights

  • The team is representing Reach Plc in a defamation claim in relation to a published article.
  • The team provides editorial and litigation legal support to The Independent and Evening Standard on an ongoing basis, including libel, privacy, contempt, regulation and copyright.
  • Ongoing legal support to Sky UK Limited in relation to content protection and TV anti-piracy matters.
  • Defended the publisher of the Oxford Mail in a defamation claim in relation to an allegedly false headline.

Osborne Clarke

Osborne Clarke advises clients across the media and entertainment sector on complex issues such as content licensing, online platform launches, product liability, competition and dispute resolution. In the interactive entertainment sphere, the firm has had an increase in mandates from major international clients in connection with cutting-edge augmented reality and virtual reality technology. Elsewhere, the team's other strengths include broadcasting (particularly sports broadcasting) and digital content, and digital regulation. Practice head Tom Harding specialises in commercial transactions relating to the production and exploitation of entertainment products and services.

Practice head(s):

Tom Harding

Other key lawyers:

Clare Robinson; Charlie Wedin; Simon Jones; Elliott Prentiss; Hannah McCarthy;

Key clients

Bandai Namco Entertainment


Facebook, Instagram

Gram Games

The Players’ Tribune




Work highlights

  • Advising Bandai Namco Entertainment on commercial, regulatory and IP matters in relation to marketing, product development and licensing.
  • Acted for Gram Games in its $250m sale to a gaming competitor.
  • Advising The Players’ Tribune on IT and tech aspects of its digital content distribution channels.


Laceys has a first-rate reputation in the music industry, where it advises both artists and record labels on licensing, distribution and contract agreements. Sam Freeman in Bournemouth heads up the team, which includes Luke English. English previously worked as in-house counsel at Sony Music.

Practice head(s):

Sam Freeman

Other key lawyers:

Luke English

Key clients

AJM Management

Guvna B

Kieran Gowan-Wade

Rebecca James

Bright Star Management

Mr Kimberley Rew

Be Known Music

Ben Bowerman

Work highlights

  • Drafted and negotiated music management agreements on behalf of AJM Management.
  • Acted for Rebecca James in negotiations of her record label contract.
  • Advised Be Known Music on protection of its IP rights and drafted record label and producer agreements.
  • Acted for Isaac Borquaye on negotiations for international music distribution of a new music album.

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP's media and entertainment practice works with a number of household name clients on matters concerning TV production contracts, advertising technology, rights exploitation and data protection. The firm also represents clients in disputes. In addition to acting for media sector clients in Bristol and the South West, the team also advises household name clients on projects outside of the region. Plymouth-based Tom Phipps brings his IP expertise to bear in the areas of copyright and franchising.

Practice head(s):

Tom Phipps

Key clients

Historic England

Institute of Physics Publishing

TRP Research Limited

Workbooks Online Limited

Guardian News and Media Limited


The Roald Dahl Story Company

Claire Warner


Historic England

Battens Solicitors Limited

Yeovil-based Battens Solicitors Limited is particularly strong in representing independent content creators in disputes with major international media companies. On the non-contentious side, the firm's work includes advice on trade mark protection and exploitation, the negotiation of joint venture agreements and assistance with the financing, production and broadcast of TV programmes. Brian Levine heads up the media and entertainment team, which includes Peter Livingstone.

Practice head(s):

Brian Levine

Other key lawyers:

Peter Livingstone; Marie Smale

Key clients

Mallinson Sadler Productions


Work highlights

  • Advised Mallinson Sadler Productions on matters relating to the financing, production and broadcast of a TV documentary series.

Thrings LLP

Thrings LLP, whose practice is led by Graeme Fearon, handles commercial matters for media businesses such as start-ups and international companies. Areas of expertise for the team include negotiating satellite broadcast agreements for sporting events, the financing and commercialisation of TV shows and the drafting of publishing agreements.

Practice head(s):

Graeme Fearon

Royds Withy King

Royds Withy King advises clients on ownership of rights, confidentiality agreements, royalties, licensing and publishing agreements, among other matters. Philip Banks-Welsh is the key contact.

Steer & Co

Name partner Rebecca Steer leads the practice at Steer & Co, which acts for film, media and broadcasting clients. It also generates mandates from alternative content platforms and so-called 'disrupters' in the production industry.

Practice head(s):

Rebecca Steer


‘Very specialist expert advisers – they really bring industry as well as legal advice to the table.’

‘Steer & Co offer us a specific legal skillset. Their knowledge specific to our industry means we can get a more focused service and advice. They operate at a size that keeps them personable and relatable, whilst delivering a totally professional service.’

‘Rebecca Steer is an absolute expert in this sector and you feel like you are getting such a wide array of experience so she is able to give great commercial perspective as well as legal advice.’

‘Rebecca Steer’s knowledge of our sector and specifically of the IP issues within it mean she is best placed to offer us targeted help and guidance. She is also able to call in strategic assistance where a particular problem becomes even more granular. Rebecca is a great communicator and helps to give clear and focused advice.’