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London: Private client

Art and cultural property
Art and cultural property - ranked: tier 4

Lee & Thompson LLP

Lee & Thompson LLP acts for various wealthy clients including art agents and dealers, well-known artists and collectors as well as senior gallery and auction house directors. Other clients include retail entrepreneurs, a range of corporates as well as art technology businesses, art fairs and creative events companies. Head of team Sarah Barker has significant experience in the arts, photography and visual arts sector. The team frequently advises on diverse matters that are relevant to this sector including intellectual property, digital and various regulatory matters.

Practice head(s):Sarah Barker

Other key lawyers:Martyn Bailey


'Sarah Barker has an extremely determined but warm personality - this makes her a real stand out'.

'Sarah Barker is brilliant. Always available, super professional, creative, flexible and dedicated. She can be tough when required yet she is always fair'.

'I have worked with Sarah Barker for many years, I am always reliant on her in-depth knowledge of the art market and its nuances'.

'Sarah Barker is intelligent, sharp and extremely effective all-round'.

'Sarah Barker is smart and diligent. She goes the extra mile'.

'Martyn Bailey, who handles disputes, is also a fantastic asset for the firm; he is a highly capable and intelligent partner'.

'Martyn Bailey is a brilliant and hugely experienced operator'.

'A very knowledgeable and intelligent team'.


Key Clients


Steve McQueen

Draw Art Fair


Artscape Management

Various high-profile art galleries such as Thomas Dane and Sadie Coles HQ


Leading primary and secondary dealing global Art Gallery

Hetzler Gallery (London)

Work highlights

  • Advised Artangel on its collaboration agreement with the Tate in relation to the joint production of the forthcoming Steve McQueen Year 3 Project.
  • Advising artist and Oscar winning film maker Steve McQueen in relation to an IP and data protection matter for his Year 3 Project at the Tate.
  • Advising Draw Art Fair on various commercial arrangements and contracts.
  • Advising media agency, Cultureshock, on a large ongoing contract with Sotheby’s.
  • Advised Artscape Management on The Fourth Plinth Commission

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London: Risk advisory

Reputation management
Reputation management - ranked: tier 2

Lee & Thompson LLP

Lee & Thompson LLP  has a 'superb depth of industry knowledge' and acts for both defendants and claimants with a focus on representing celebrity clients against the media. The department led by Mike Brookes works closely with the firm's other departments to provide the entire creative industry with tailored legal advice. Brookes, who 'remains at the top of his game', played a key role in extensive phone hacking litigation against Newsgroup and the Mirror and receives regular instructions from high-profile individuals across a range of sectors. 'Star associate' Leo Dawkins has considerable experience across all areas of reputation management cases including defamation, privacy, harassment and data protection issues. Mark Stafford increasingly provides support to the reputation practice, representing clients from the music industry in disputes as well as giving pre-broadcast copyright clearance advice.

Practice head(s):Mike Brookes

Other key lawyers:Mark Stafford; Leo Dawkins


'A superb depth of industry knowledge in addition to great legal skills.'

'The team bring a wealth of experience and no issue we have brought to them to advise on has been beyond their capability.'

'Experienced in acting for both claimants, for instance in phone-hacking litigation, and media defendants. A superb and well experienced team.'

'Leo Dawkins is hard-working and tenacious, knowledgeable and articulate. He is a star associate.'

Key Clients

Prince Moulay Hicham of Morocco

Channel 5

Jude Law

Paul Hollywood

Liam Payne

Louis Tomlinson

AC Grayling CBE

James Stunt

Anna Friel

Work highlights

  • Acting for Prince Moulay Hicham (third in line to the Moroccan throne) in his libel and data protection claim against Elaph Publishing Limited.
  • Defending Channel 5 in a privacy claim brought by Mr Ali and his wife Mrs Aslam. The Claimants sued on the broadcast of an episode of "Can't Pay? We'll Take it Away".
  • Advised actor Jude Law in relation to various reputation protection matters against the tabloid press.
  • Acting for the British philosopher, author, and prominent anti-Brexit campaigner AC Grayling CBE in a libel claim relating to false and defamatory allegations made against him on Twitter.
  • Acted for businessman James Stunt in a claim against Associated Newspapers Limited for harassment, breach of privacy, and breach of the Data Protection Act.
Leading individuals

Mike Brookes - Lee & Thompson LLP

Rising stars

Leo Dawkins - Lee & Thompson LLP

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London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Brand management
Brand management - ranked: tier 3

Lee & Thompson LLP

Lee & Thompson LLP's full-service capabilities in trade mark portfolio management enable it to act for well-known brands and celebrity figures in the media, technology and creative industries, such as David and Victoria Beckham, McDonald's and National Geographic. The firm is known for its experience in managing IP rights and advising on endorsement and sponsorship arrangements for clients in the retail, performing arts and music, television production and gaming industries. Key figures include Dominic Bray, Gordon Williams, Huw Morris, Mark Stafford and Julian Ward.

Practice head(s):Dominic Bray; Gordon Williams

Key Clients


Social Chain

David and Victoria Beckham


National Geographic

Work highlights

  • Advised McDonald's on several advertising and marketing matters, including its major autumn 2018 campaign promoting its support of the UK farming industry; the Fifa World Cup social media campaign in association with McDelivery; and an agreement for reality TV stars to promote McDonald's products online, in restaurants and at major music events.
  • Acted for Alfama Films Production and Paul Branco in their dispute with Recorded Picture Company over an option to produce The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.
  • Handling the worldwide management and enforcement of the trade mark portfolios of Victoria and David Beckham.
  • Assisting Little Mix with all brand management-related matters, IP portfolio issues and endorsement deals with various brands
  • Advising the artist Steve McQueen on the IP aspects of his recently announced Year 3 project at Tate Britain.

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Media and entertainment (including media finance)
Media and entertainment (including media finance) - ranked: tier 1

Lee & Thompson LLP

Lee & Thompson LLP's 'professional, efficient and reliable' team is 'highly regarded' for media and entertainment work. The firm handles a raft of work across the media, technology and creative industries. The advertising and marketing team advises brand owners, agencies, producers, media platforms, influencers, ad networks and tech disruptors on contentious and non-contentious work involving IP, copy clearance, ASA regulatory investigations, production, sponsorship, endorsement, merchandising, brand protection, commercial contracts, data protection, employment and corporate matters. Dominic Bray heads the advertising and marketing team and led advice for The Engine Group on several high-profile mandates. The digital and technology team handles gaming, social media and interactive content work, and is also experienced in games finance. The film and TV group, which features newly promoted partner Antony Swiatek and managing partner Reno Antoniades, is instructed by content creators, producers, sales agents, distributors and financiers; Sam Tatton-Brown handles film and TV finance mandates. The music department, which is led by Lawrence Engel  and also features consultant Dominic Free, recently promoted partner  Lizzie Payne-James, legal director Tim Fowler, and senior associate Simon Goodbody, acts for talent, industry organisations, music publishers, record labels and collection societies, and it handles contentious and non-contentious work in the sector.

Practice head(s):Dominic Bray; Julian Ward; Christos Michaels; Richard Lever; Nicki Parfitt; Lawrence Engel

Other key lawyers:Reno Antoniades; Dominic Free; Sam Tatton-Brown; Huw Morris; Lizzie Payne-James; Antony Swiatek; Simon Goodbody; Tim Fowler; James Walker; Frania Cooper


The team is pro-active, knowledgeable and the team members make themselves available when needed.

The firm's film and TV team has great strength-in-depth.

The team is very experienced and is able to provide valuable insights and opinions on important matters; it provides an exceptional service.


Key Clients


Engine Group (WCRS, Synergy, PAA etc)


National Geographic



Social Chain

Avant Garde

Freud Communications


Team 17

Pixel Toys

Riot Games

Curve Digital

Hutch Games

Dovetail Games

Rovio Entertainment

Monterosa Productions

Warp Digital

Cornerstone Films

Red Production Company

Head Gear Films

Rocket Science


Eon Productions


Lionsgate UK



Harry Styles


Depeche Mode

Little Mix

Jess Glynne

"The Voice" Contestants (ITV)

Tinie Tempah

Craig David


One Direction

BMG Chrysalis


Universal Music



Gloucester Place Music


Universal Music International

Steve Jones and Paul Cook (Sex Pistols)

Work highlights

  • Advised The Engine Group on several matters, which included advising on campaigns for Warburtons and advising on contract negotiations with clients including Nestle, BMW (Synergy), Mercedes (Synergy), Southern Water (MHP), Royal Sun Alliance (MHP).
  • The team advises McDonalds on advertising and marketing matters such as; its first reservations service pop-up in the UK, which included securing key celebrity hosts including Mark-Francis Vandelli from Made in Chelsea; and advising on its major Autumn 2018 TVC and social campaign around promoting its support of the UK farming industry.
  • The firm advises Jagex on all commercial, intellectual property, licensing and corporate matters concerning the business.
  • Advised Origin Pictures, Screen Yorkshire, Sampsonic Media and William Nicholson on Hope Gap, a much anticipated feature film starring Annette Bening and Bill Nighy.
  • Advised Zephyr Films on Special Couple, which was the first non-documentary feature film to be produced under the UK-China co-production treaty.
Leading individuals

Dominic Free (Music) - Lee & Thompson LLP

Lawrence Engel (Music) - Lee & Thompson LLP

Reno Antoniades (Film and TV) - Lee & Thompson LLP

Sam Tatton-Brown (Media Finance) - Lee & Thompson LLP

Next Generation Partners

Antony Swiatek (Film and TV) - Lee & Thompson LLP

Lizzie Payne-James (Music) - Lee & Thompson LLP

Rising stars

Simon Goodbody (Music) - Lee & Thompson LLP

Tim Fowler (Music) - Lee & Thompson LLP

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Further information on Lee & Thompson LLP

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