Lee & Thompson LLP > London, England > Firm Profile

Lee & Thompson LLP
80 Charlotte Street

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Media and entertainment (including media finance) Tier 1

A market leader across the entire spectrum of media and entertainment, Lee & Thompson LLP is home to specialists from every sector. On advertising & marketing, Dominic Bray and Huw Morris co-head the team, focusing their practice on dispute resolution and social media respectively. Fellow co-head Christos Michaels is an expert on all matters film whereas co-head Richard Lever heads up the firm’s television branch. The departments additionally benefit from co-head Nicki Parfitt ’s extensive expertise across both sectors. An expert in interactive content issues, co-head Julian Ward recently advised Lockwood Publishing on licensing music for a video game based in the metaverse. Finally, clients from the music industry may rely on co-head Lawrence Engel to counsel them in all non-contentious matters. Further noteworthy for their capabilities in matters pertaining to film/TV are managing partner Reno Antoniades, Sam Tatton-Brown , and Antony Swiatek. In the firm's music practice Lizzie Payne-James stands out for her remarkable track-record on advising artists breaking into the UK grime scene. Tim Fowler is another key contact in the music department, especially for contractual matters.

Practice head(s):

Dominic Bray; Huw Morris; Christos Michaels; Richard Lever; Julian Ward; Lawrence Engel; Nicki Parfitt

Other key lawyers:

Antony Swiatek; Chloe Hutchings; Andrew Florence; Reno Antoniades; Sam Tatton-Brown; Lizzie Payne-James; Tim Fowler; Martyn Bailey; Gordon Williams; Lee Stone; Anwen Griffiths


‘Huw Morris is wonderful. He is easy to work with, gets to know the nuances of our business and really knows his stuff as it relates to advertising. Can’t rate him highly enough.’

‘I have to say I would not be able to run my business, nor have the career I have now without the support of the team at Lee & Thompson. They have been utterly supportive and devoted through years of development deals and complicated rights wrangling. It really does feel they understand and appreciate the long game, they are always readily available for support and advice, and being across so many deals in our industry they have invaluable insight into what is going on and where else one might be able to look for funding and opportunities. I love working with them and I recommend them to everyone I can!’

´Martyn Bailey – music litigation – tough, intelligent, realistic. Very measured and very good.`

‘I love working with Antony Swiatek and more recently Chloe Hutchings. They are incredibly smart and knowledgeable, and actually a lot of fun to work with. they are tough on deal points, tirelessly supportive of the producers perspective (even when you, the producer, are fatigued and ready to give in!) and all with a calmness and humour which I always really appreciate. These deals can be stressful and ugly to resolve, but I always trust matters will be handled with the people skills I really value in my own work.’

‘Julian Ward and Andrew Florence are highly professional, attentive with valuable experience’

‘The overall offering of the team at Lee & Thompson is good – there are some good lawyers, who operate pragmatically and commercially and who are approachable. They offer competitive rates / retainer arrangements and also provide training, office use if required etc, which is appreciated.’

‘Julian Ward is our go to partner and always accessible. A real desire to be an extension to our internal team.’

‘Gordon Williams has the following attributes: – a terrific intellect – a strong knowledge of the law – a calm, unflappable manner – good people skills, interacting well with us and our clients – a commercial brain.’

Key clients





Team 17

Vue Cinemas

Harry Styles

Rita Ora




Work highlights

  • Acted successfully for Steve Jones and Paul Cook in the high-profile Sex Pistols litigation. The case revolved around the use of the Sex Pistols’ music in the TV show “Pistol” directed by Danny Boyle. John Lydon (“Johnny Rotten”) refused to consent.
  • Advised Ingenious as senior funder on British feature film Emily, the origin story biopic of Wuthering Heights author Emily Bronte, starring BAFTA nominated Emma Mackey.
  • Advised McDonald’s on its 2021 Christmas advertising campaign, including the contract with the singer Mabel for her participation in the project and recording of the track, and ancillary activities such as her attendance at pop-up events.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Reputation management Tier 3

Lee & Thompson LLP acts for a diverse mix of well-known names including Hollywood actors, platinum-selling musicians, reality TV stars, and sports personalities. Practice co-head Mike Brookes provides extensive pre-publication advice, and primarily supports defendants including two leading national broadcasters. Joint team lead Leo Dawkins has considerable media litigation and data protection experience, enabling him to provide a broad service to high-profile celebrities seeking to protect their privacy from the tabloids, while libel expert Mark Stafford handles media clearance work for a number of the UK's top production companies.

Practice head(s):

Mike Brookes; Leo Dawkins

Other key lawyers:

Mark Stafford


‘Leo Dawkins – I have known Leo throughout his career and have found him to be an excellent solicitor, thoughtful on the law and excellent with clients and barristers alike.’

‘Mike Brookes and Leo Dawkins are highly experienced media lawyers who have acted for claimants in the past but now act mainly for defendants – poachers turned gamekeepers. also very astute on costs (a key issue in media litigation).’

‘Mike Brookes – seasoned, calm, experienced. Leo Dawkins – new partner with a bright future.’

‘Mike Brookes is an outstanding media litigator: not just a great lawyer but tactically very astute and always focused on getting the best outcome for the client. He is ably supported by Leo Dawkins, Mark Stafford and other members of the team.’

‘A small but high-quality reputation protection team with the ability to handle complex and high profile litigation.’

Key clients

Channel 5 Broadcasting Limited

AC Grayling CBE

Paul Hollywood

Jude Law

Little Mix

Ant McPartland

Liam Payne

Harry Styles

Various high-profile Film and TV Production companies and broadcasters

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Intellectual property: trade marks, copyright and design Tier 5

Covering all aspects of soft IP, the Lee & Thompson LLP practice is well known in the creative industries, and regularly advises clients in IP-rich sectors including the film, TV, music, digital media, art, theatre, and sport arenas. Capable of handling both contentious and transactional matters, the team is led by disputes specialist Dominic Bray, who continues to act for high-profile individuals. Also of note within the disputes space is Martyn Bailey, with recent instructions including acting for a client in a high-profile copyright dispute.

Practice head(s):

Dominic Bray

Other key lawyers:

Martyn Bailey; Mark Stafford

Key clients

Victoria Beckham Limited

Working Title

Little Mix

World Wrestling Entertainment


FTSE International



Consolidated Developments Limited

Harry Styles

The Engine Group

Work highlights

  • Acted for Steve Jones and Paul Cook in the high-profile Sex Pistols litigation.
  • Acting for writer Nick Martin in a long-running dispute regarding rights for the screenplay for the Oscar-nominated film Florence Foster Jenkins, starring Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant.
  • Acting for Kathy Sledge in her long-running dispute with her sister regarding rights for the SISTER SLEDGE brand.

Employment > Senior executives

Pre-eminent in the media and entertainment space, Lee & Thompson LLP‘s growing senior executives practice also represents former senior government ministers, HR directors, business critical engineers and private equity and law firm partners in a range of disputes and move negotiations. James Baker is spearheading the firm’s expansion in this area.

Lee & Thompson is one of the UK’s leading law firms for the media, technology and creative industries.

The firm: Lee & Thompson provides clients with the legal services they need to succeed in their creative and commercial ambitions. The firm counts multinational media organisations, brand and rights owners, production companies, record labels and entrepreneurs as clients as well as acting for many of the world’s most successful creative talent throughout their careers.

Since its inception in 1983, the firm has been at the top of its game and it has achieved this by prioritising two things: building a firm that understands the interdependence of the creative industries and by being relentless when it comes to meeting the needs of all its clients, whether these are professional or personal, creative or commercial.

It’s not just the high quality or breadth of the firm’s legal advice that sets it apart. It is the lawyers’ ability to merge this expertise with both a rigorous understanding of the industries in which the firm’s clients operate.

Types of work undertaken: All aspects of commercial, corporate and IP law  together with a strong and complementary litigation and employment offering.  We work across the media, entertainment and creative industries with particular strength and experience in advertising and marketing; art; digital and interactive entertainment; fashion; film and tv; live events; music; publishing; sport; theatre; video games.

Partner, Film & TV and Managing Partner Reno Antoniadesrenoantoniades@leeandthompson.com020 3073 7600
Consultant & Co-Founder Andrew Thompsonandrewthompson@leeandthompson.com020 3073 7600
Consultant & Co-Founder Robert Leerobertlee@leeandthompson.com020 3073 7600
Partner, Dispute Resolution and Head of Brand Protection Gordon Williamsgordonwilliams@leeandthompson.com020 3073 7600
Head of Corporate Malcolm Murraymalcolmmurray@leeandthompson.com020 3073 7600
Partner and Head of Film Christos Michaelschristosmichaels@leeandthompson.com020 3073 7600
Head of Dispute Resolution and Partner, Advertising & Marketing Dominic Braydominicbray@leeandthompson.com020 3073 7600
Partner, Film & TV and Head of Media finance Sam Tatton-Brownsamtatton-brown@leeandthompson.com020 3073 7600
Partner and Head of Music Lawrence Engellawrenceengel@leeandthompson.com020 3073 7600
Partner, Dispute Resolution and Head of Reputation protection Mike Brookesmikebrookes@leeandthompson.com020 3073 7600
Partner and Head of Television Richard Leverrichardlever@leeandthompson.com020 3073 7600
Partner, Music Will Everittwilleveritt@leeandthompson.com020 3073 7600
Partner, Advertising & Marketing Huw Morrishuwmorris@leeandthompson.com020 3073 7600
Partner and Head of Digital & Technology Julian Wardjulianward@leeandthompson.com020 3073 7600
Partner, Film & Television Lee Stoneleestone@leeandthompson.com020 3073 7600
Consultant, Film & Television Jeremy Gawadejeremygawade@leeandthompson.com020 3073 7600
Partner, Dispute Resolution Mark Staffordmarkstafford@leeandthompson.com020 3073 7600
Partner, Film & Television Nicki Parfittnickiparfitt@leeandthompson.com020 3073 7600
Partner, Dispute Resolution Martyn Baileymartynbailey@leeandthompson.com020 3073 7600
Partner, Film & TV Anwen Griffithsanwengriffiths@leeandthompson.com020 3073 7600
Partner, Film & TV Antony Swiatekantonyswiatek@leeandthompson.com020 3073 7600
Partner, Music Lizzie Payne-Jameslizziepayne-james@leeandthompson.com020 3073 7600
Head of Marketing & Business Development Jo Rosenblattjorosenblatt@leeandthompson.com020 3073 7600
CFOO Simon Boydensimonboyden@leeandthompson.com020 3073 7600
Reno Antoniades photo Reno AntoniadesReno is managing partner of Lee & Thompson. He trained at the…
Martyn Bailey photo Martyn BaileyPartner, Dispute Resolution
James Baker photo James BakerPartner and Head of Employment
Dominic Bray photo Dominic BrayHead of Dispute Resolution; Head of Advertising & Marketing Group
Mike Brookes photo Mike BrookesMike is a partner in the Dispute Resolution department and head of…
Lawrence Engel photo Lawrence EngelLawrence is a partner at Lee & Thompson and heads the firm’s…
Will Everitt photo Will EverittWill is a partner in the firm’s Music Group having specialised in…
Jeremy Gawade photo Jeremy GawadeJeremy is a partner at Lee & Thompson with over 25 years’…
Robert Lee photo Robert LeeRobert Lee co-founded Lee & Thompson in 1983 and is now a…
Richard Lever photo Richard LeverRichard is a partner and heads Lee & Thompson’s Television Group, advising…
Christos Michaels photo Christos MichaelsChristos is a partner and heads up Lee & Thompson’s renowned Film…
Huw Morris photoMr Huw MorrisPartner, Advertising & Marketing
Malcolm Murray photo Malcolm MurrayMalcolm is a partner and heads up Lee & Thompson’s Corporate &…
Nicki Parfitt photo Nicki ParfittNicki trained at the city firm Denton Hall and, after qualifying in…
Stephen Spence photoMr Stephen SpenceStephen is a Partner in our Film & TV Group. A media…
Mark Stafford photo Mark StaffordMark is a partner in the firm’s Dispute Resolution, Brand Protection and…
Lee Stone photo Lee StoneLee is a partner in Lee & Thompson’s Film and Television Groups.…
Sam Tatton-Brown photo Sam Tatton-BrownSam is a partner in Lee & Thompson’s film and TV group.…
Andrew Thompson photo Andrew ThompsonAndrew is one of the Lee & Thompson’s founding partners and is…
Julian Ward photoMr Julian WardJulian is Head of Lee & Thompson’s Digital & Technology Group –…
Gordon Williams photoMr Gordon WilliamsPartner, Dispute Resolution and Head of Brand Protection
Number of UK partners : 28
Number of UK fee-earners (non-Partner) : 50

Lee & Thompson is a truly special place to work and at the very heart of the business are some exceptional people. There is a unique culture that fosters real passion for delivering good results for clients, expression of personality, respect and genuine support for all who work at and with the firm.

We want to ensure that our people are able to become the very best that they can be and we offer the support and encouragement required to fulfil these ambitions. Above all, we want everyone to take pleasure and pride in all that they do. A significant part of our culture is fostering a sense of belonging and inclusion and we work hard to ensure that our people, and all those who we work with, are able to bring their whole selves to the office.

Our Inclusion Network celebrates diversity and belonging at our firm and beyond. We are committed to ensuring that we are inclusive of and accessible to anyone and everyone who wants to work at or with the firm. The Network’s activity is varied and multi-faceted – from raising awareness of inequality and supporting various creative industry led D&! organisations to regularly reviewing and improving the firm’s own recruitment and wellbeing programmes.

In 2019 we launched our inaugural Vacation Scheme, opening the doors to students from diverse backgrounds and giving them first hand experience of working in a specialist media firm. We are hopeful that the firm will be able to offer positions to Vac Scheme alumni when the time is right.