Firm Profile > Lee & Thompson LLP > London, England

Lee & Thompson LLP
80 Charlotte Street

Media and entertainment (including media finance) Tier 1

Praised for its 'cutting-edge knowledge of the sector', Lee & Thompson LLP handles contentious and non-contentious issues spanning the advertising, TV and film, and music spaces. Dominic Bray leads the advertising and marketing practice, which includes Huw Morris and digital & tech head Julian Ward, who is also experienced in video games and social media-related matters. Nicki Parfitt leads the TV and film group, which includes managing partner Reno Antoniades and count content creators, producers, sales agents, distributors and financiers among its clients; Sam Tatton-Brown frequently assists the latter. Film head Christos Michaels continues to advise an impressive roster of producers, film financiers, distributors and sales agents; while TV group head Richard Lever is praised for his 'masterful expertise and strategic sensibilities'. In the music sector, Bray and Gordon Williams are names to note for disputes following the departure of Andrew Forbes and Simon Goodbody who now lead Bray & Krais, Solicitors' media litigation practice. Lawrence Engel leads the non-contentious music sector practice; Lizzie Payne-James is a contact to note for emerging artists following the departure of non-contentious music expert Kieran Jay (who joined Harbottle & Lewis LLP). Antony Swiatek is a key name for independent film and TV producers, and legal director Tim Fowler is a member of the music group, while on the contentious side, Martyn Bailey is a go-to name for music litigation.


Lee & Thompson’s team of television solicitors are uniquely capable of handling cutting-edge television deals. They have a wealth of knowledge about the players in the UK television space, which helps immensely with adding colour to each deal. Moreover, they have great institutional knowledge as to how development works in the UK and how to structure complex deals. We recently entered the UK film & TV landscape and the firm has been a fantastic partner in helping us navigate and gain a foothold in the industry.

We work primarily with Richard Lever and Carrie Finlay. Carrie is fantastic. Richard has a unique combination of masterful expertise and strategic sensibilities, especially in an ever-changing industry. Carrie is a diligent, thoughtful and responsive associate who handles the day-to-day for us in a way that we have come to know and trust.

‘We work with Christos Michaels and Antony Swiatek. Both have excellent communications skills and can present situations very clearly.’

This is a diverse team that covers all areas of the film and television space with individuals that have extensive experience from both private practice and industry. The size of the practice gives it a unique insight into all areas of the industry that makes them part of shaping the the evolution of this section rather than just keeping pace.

Nicki Parfitt has a great breadth of experience and pragmatic approach to problem-solving. She very effectively runs teams with an ideal balance of partner and associate time.

Gordon Williams is experienced and knowledgeable. Advice is always objective.

The fact they have such a large proportion of their business in the film industry means they know most of the agreements and parties likely to be dealt with.

One of the few remaining specialised firms, and they greatly benefit from it. Cutting-edge knowledge of the sector and all the appropriate skills and experience we need. Very nice people, good atmosphere, quick enough for our needs.

Richard Lever is the doyenne of the sector and has guided many independent producers in establishing, building and selling their production companies. The fact that distributors and networks have great respect for him is testament to his deal-closing abilities, his ability to remain calm and charming even in difficult situations, and his technical knowledge.’

‘Marek George is a rising star associate. Very quick and technically knowledgeable, but a real deal closer and positive force.

Key clients

Red Production Company

Media Finance Capital

Head Gear

Cornerstone Films

Eon Productions

Union Bank

Archery Pictures

Rocket Science

Origin Pictures


Social Chain

McDonalds Restaurants

Bulb Energy

Matthew Goode

Because Experiential Marketing

Engine Group

World Wrestling Entertainment

Cision Group

Guardian News and Media

Marketing Agencies Action Group

Harry Styles


Little Mix

Jack Savoretti

Depeche Mode

Jess Glynne

Tinie Tempah

Jessie J

Craig David

Louis Tomlinson

One Direction

BMG Chrysalis


Warner Music


Bourne Co

Kathy Sledge



Steve Jones and Paul Cook (Sex Pistols)

Reputation management Tier 3

Demonstrating strength across the technology, media, entertainment and creative sectors, Lee & Thompson LLP's reputation protection group routinely collaborates with other departments within the firm. The practice acts for a diverse claimant portfolio, including well-known Hollywood actors, musicians and reality TV stars, but has also been taking on increasing defendant work.  Preventative matters are a core area of activity for the team, which is adept at advising on issues such as theft of private information, online harassment, revenge porn threats and hacking. Department head Mike Brookes, who had an active role in the phone hacking litigation, is seasoned in clearance and libel work. The highly regarded Leo Dawkins  is skilled in pre- and post- publication matters.

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Other key lawyers:


‘They are professional yet personable. It’s the first law firm I’ve used where I have been treated like a human being rather than a client or another number to file for targets.’

‘They are simply a great bunch of very intelligent, talented, charismatic lawyers, and even in tough times (as is often the case when you need a lawyer) it’s always pleasure to work with them.’

‘Leo Dawkins has gone over and above on every single case. He is fair, realistic, really knows his stuff, and manages to be a great guy, through some very tough, stressful situations. He has also achieved brilliant results and successes for his clients. He’s quite simply better than any other lawyer I’ve ever worked with.’

‘The firm is unusual for its working for both claimants and media defendants, and for its extensive involvement with the creative arts.’

‘Leo Dawkins is thoughtful and hardworking.’

‘Mike Brookes is a terrific litigator.’

Key clients

Jude Law

Paul Hollywood

Harry Styles

Liam Payne

Louis Tomlinson

AC Grayling CBE

Channel 5 Broadcasting Limited

Jewish Chronicle / Markel International

Various high-profile Film and TV Productions companies and broadcasters

Art and cultural property Tier 4

Lee & Thompson LLP advises on all matters pertinent to the art, design, photography and the wider visual arts industries. It has considerable strength on the litigation side, handling contentious matters relating to title, authenticity, intellectual property and agency disputes. Under the leadership of Sarah Barker, it has a good reputation for supporting individual artists, photographers, business owners, agents and dealers in addition to investors and art galleries. The practice also frequently advises start-up and emerging businesses in this sector.

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The standard and quality of work output is exceptional. Commercial and practical advice as well as very reasonable fees

Excellent client care by Sarah Barker. Sarah is highly commercial, astute and understands broader strategic objectives on projects. The advice she provides is high level and to the point. Sarah has a stellar private practice corporate background and also an in-depth understanding of the art market. It is rare to find lawyers with that mix. I have also found it easy to have frank conversations about fees and estimates which she always sticks to

Key clients

Draw Art Fair

British Art Fair Group

British Antique Dealers Association (BADA)

Thomas Dane Gallery

Karsten Schubert Gallery

Addis Fine Art

Cabinet Gallery

Steve McQueen



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 & marketing; art; digital & interactive entertainment; fashion; film & tv; live events; music; publishing; sport; theatre; video games.

Department Name Email Telephone
Partner, Film & TV and Managing Partner Reno Antoniades 020 3073 7600
Head of Employment David Andrews 020 3073 7600
Consultant & Co-Founder Andrew Thompson 020 3073 7600
Consultant & Co-Founder Robert Lee 020 3073 7600
Partner, Dispute Resolution and Head of Brand Protection Gordon Williams 020 3073 7600
Head of Corporate Malcolm Murray 020 3073 7600
Partner and Head of Film Christos Michaels 020 3073 7600
Head of Dispute Resolution and Partner, Advertising & Marketing Dominic Bray 020 3073 7600
Partner, Film & TV and Head of Media finance Sam Tatton-Brown 020 3073 7600
Partner and Head of Music Lawrence Engel 020 3073 7600
Partner, Dispute Resolution and Head of Reputation protection Mike Brookes 020 3073 7600
Partner, Corporate Oliver Shipton 020 3073 7600
Partner and Head of Television Richard Lever 020 3073 7600
Partner, Music Will Everitt 020 3073 7600
Partner and Head of Art & Fashion Sarah Barker 020 3073 7600
Partner, Advertising & Marketing Huw Morris 020 3073 7600
Partner and Head of Digital & Technology Julian Ward 020 3073 7600
Partner, Film & Television Lee Stone 020 3073 7600
Consultant, Film & Television Jeremy Gawade 020 3073 7600
Partner, Music Kieran Jay 020 3073 7600
Partner, Dispute Resolution Mark Stafford 020 3073 7600
Partner, Film & Television Nicki Parfitt 020 3073 7600
Partner, Dispute Resolution Martyn Bailey 020 3073 7600
Partner, Film & TV Anwen Griffiths 020 3073 7600
Partner, Film & TV Antony Swiatek 020 3073 7600
Partner, Music Lizzie Payne-James 020 3073 7600
Head of Marketing & Business Development Jo Rosenblatt 020 3073 7600
CFOO Simon Boyden 020 3073 7600
Photo Name Position Profile
 Reno Antoniades photo Reno Antoniades Reno is managing partner of Lee & Thompson. He trained at the…
 Martyn Bailey  photo Martyn Bailey Partner, Dispute Resolution 
 James Baker  photo James Baker Partner and Head of Employment 
 Sarah Barker  photo Sarah Barker Partner and Head of Art and Fashion Groups
 Dominic Bray  photo Dominic Bray Head of Dispute Resolution; Head of Advertising & Marketing Group 
 Mike Brookes  photo Mike Brookes Mike is a partner in the Dispute Resolution department and head of…
 Lawrence Engel  photo Lawrence Engel Lawrence is a partner at Lee & Thompson and heads the firm’s…
 Will Everitt  photo Will Everitt Will is a partner in the firm’s Music Group having specialised in…
 Jeremy Gawade  photo Jeremy Gawade Jeremy is a partner at Lee & Thompson with over 25 years’…
 Robert Lee  photo Robert Lee Robert Lee co-founded Lee & Thompson in 1983 and is now a…
 Richard Lever  photo Richard Lever Richard is a partner and heads Lee & Thompson’s Television Group, advising…
 Christos Michaels  photo Christos Michaels Christos is a partner and heads up Lee & Thompson’s renowned Film…
Mr Huw Morris  photo Mr Huw Morris Partner, Advertising & Marketing 
 Malcolm Murray  photo Malcolm Murray Malcolm is a partner and heads up Lee & Thompson’s Corporate &…
 Nicki Parfitt  photo Nicki Parfitt Nicki trained at the city firm Denton Hall and, after qualifying in…
 Oliver Shipton  photo Oliver Shipton Oli is a Partner and a member of the firm’s Corporate &…
 Mark Stafford  photo Mark Stafford Mark is a partner in the firm’s Dispute Resolution, Brand Protection and…
 Lee Stone  photo Lee Stone Lee is a partner in Lee & Thompson’s Film and Television Groups.…
 Sam Tatton-Brown  photo Sam Tatton-Brown Sam is a partner in Lee & Thompson’s film and TV group.…
 Andrew Thompson  photo Andrew Thompson Andrew is one of the Lee & Thompson’s founding partners and is…
Mr Julian Ward  photo Mr Julian Ward Julian is Head of Lee & Thompson’s Digital & Technology Group –…
Mr Gordon Williams  photo Mr Gordon Williams Partner, Dispute Resolution and Head of Brand Protection
 Sarah Williamson  photo Sarah Williamson Partner
Number of UK partners : 23
Number of UK fee-earners (non-Partner) : 37

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.