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Julian Ward

Work 02030737600
Lee & Thompson LLP

Work Department

Digital & Technology


Julian is Head of Lee & Thompson’s Digital & Technology Group – a digital media, IP and technology lawyer with over 17 years’ experience working across the creative industries advising clients on all matters relating to digital content, interactive entertainment and digital publishing.

Julian provides specialist advice across multi-media platforms and all forms of media content with a particular focus on the development and publication of videogames, software applications and websites;  all elements relating to the licensing and distribution of online content; e-commerce and digital retail; online platforms, distribution and broadcasting (DTO, VOD, OTT); the technology architecture underpinning digital platforms; online advertising and marketing (including online partnerships, co-branding and affiliate deals);  rights management and clearance, personality rights, e-sports, betting and gambling compliance; social media publishing, the monetisation of digital content and all areas of data protection, privacy and cyber-security.

Before joining Lee & Thompson in May 2017, Julian was Head of Digital Media at Hamlins having previously spent over a decade as in-house counsel to leading media and technology companies, including BBC World Wide as Head of Business & Legal Affairs for Digital Retail and Games, and leading video games developer and publisher Codemasters as Head of Legal.

Known for his in-depth industry insight and commercial approach, Julian prides himself on his open and collaborative way of working.  He is particularly skilled at working with businesses to craft and deliver commercial and novel business models and strategies – particularly where digital aspects converge and disrupt the status quo.

London: Corporate and commercial

M&A: smaller deals up to £50m

Within: M&A: smaller deals up to £50m

Malcolm Murray leads the team at Lee & Thompson LLP, which specialises in advising clients in the media, technology and creative industries, with clients including BMG Music, Lionsgate and Sony Music. Among other highlights, Murray advised the shareholders of TCB Media Rights on the sale of the company to Toronto-based Kew Media Group, and acted for exhibition and events organiser Angus Montgomery, a longstanding client, on the acquisition of a majority stake in Fit Events; in addition, Oliver Shipton assisted Victoria Beckham Limited with an investment into the company by Neo Investment Partners. The practice has also been strengthened by the arrivals of video games industry expert Julian Ward from Hamlins LLP, Sarah Barker, who focuses on the arts sector, from Montgomery Baker, and advertising and marketing specialist Huw Morris from Reed Smith LLP. Senior associate Lucy Strauss is also noted.

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London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Brand management

Within: Brand management

Lee & Thompson LLP¬†‚Äôs brand management practice spans trademark portfolio management work and marketing and sponsorship work. ¬†The team was joined by Huw Morris¬† in August 2017 from¬†Reed Smith LLP¬†¬†. Marketing specialist¬†Dominic Bray¬† advises The Engine Group on advertising and brand management matters including a ‚ÄėPride and Breadjudice‚Äô campaign for Warburton‚Äôs. Gordon Williams¬† assists David Beckham on worldwide management and enforcement of the Beckham brand. Mark Stafford¬†'s entertainment area experience includes¬†brand protection for music industry clients¬†¬†such as Stormzy and Little Mix.¬† Julian Ward¬† works with digital, technology and video gaming clients such as Team17 and Pixel Toys on development and licensing deals.

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Media and entertainment (including media finance)

Within: Media and entertainment (including media finance)

The ‚Äėquick and efficient‚Äô team at¬†Lee & Thompson LLP¬†specialises in the media, technology and creative industries. Dominic Bray‚Äôs advertising and marketing group has been bolstered by the arrival of Huw Morris¬†from Reed Smith LLP, and advised Engine Group on several matters. Digital and technology head Julian Ward¬†joined in 2017 from Hamlins LLP¬†and advises clients such as video game developers Pixel Toys, Rovio Entertainment and Team 17. Lawrence Engel¬†¬†heads the music group, which represents a range of high-profile talent, industry organisations, major and independent music publishers and record labels and collection societies. Kieran Jay¬†and senior associate Lizzie Payne-James¬†represent a number of new and emerging artists. ¬†‚ÄėOutstanding litigator‚Äô Gordon Williams¬†represented publisher Bourne Co in a case brought by Warner/Chappell Music Publishing involving a music publishing catalogue. Martyn Bailey¬†is representing independent record label, Brille Records on a dispute with the Swedish band, The Knife. TV group head Richard Lever¬†acted for writer Beau Willimon and his production company, Westward Productions on The First,¬†a straight-to-series drama. Film group head Christos Michaels¬†is ‚Äėvery knowledgeable, well connected and always available‚Äô; he advised Rocket Science Industries on its establishment, appointment, sales, distribution and finance agreements for a number of Hollywood films. Managing partner Reno Antoniades¬†heads the film and TV group and advised¬† Potboiler Productions on the adaptation of The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, and Nicki Parfitt¬†advised Eon Productions on the production of The Rhythm Section. Film and TV finance lawyer Sam Tatton-Brown¬†is ‚Äėvery practical, thorough and responsive‚Äô.¬†Mike Brookes¬†heads the reputation protection group and is recommended alongside corporate head Malcolm Murray,¬†Mary Burrows,¬†Mark Stafford,¬†Lee Stone,Will Everitt,¬†Jeremy Gawade¬†and consultant Andrew Thompson.¬†Senior associates Simon Goodbody, Antony Swiatek¬†and Tim Fowler¬†are also singled out. Mark Ashelford¬†has joined Russells Solicitors.

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