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Mark Stafford

Work 020 3073 7600
Lee & Thompson LLP

Work Department

Dispute resolution.


Mark is a partner in the firm’s Dispute Resolution, Brand Protection and Digital & Technology Groups. He joined Lee & Thompson in 2006 and handles all types of contentious work across the media and entertainment industries, for both individual talent and corporate clients.

Mark advises on the full spectrum of music industry disputes, from copyright infringement matters to breach of contract claims, acting for artists, labels, publishers, management companies and agents, and has been involved in a number of high profile Court actions. He was instructed by the Wailers in their well-publicised litigation against Island Records and has recently acted for Lily Allen in High Court proceedings.

Mark represents a number of talent clients, from mainstream heavyweights such as One Direction, Tom Jones, and Queen, through to more niche artists, such as FKA Twigs, Stormzy and Joey Negro.

Mark also represents a number of film and television clients, advising producers, distributors, financiers and agents on all types of contentious issues, as well as advising talent clients, such as Stephen Fry, Bill Bailey and Matt Lucas, on brand protection matters. Mark has a particularly strong reputation for pre-broadcast copyright and libel clearance work, which he regularly undertakes for the producers of high-profile feature films and television series. Recent highlights include ‘American Honey’, ‘The Man From Mo’Wax’, ‘Marcella’ and ‘Saddam Goes To Hollywood’.

An increasing part of Mark’s practice is his privacy and defamation work, in which he has represented a number of celebrities and corporate clients in disputes with print publications and online media platforms.

A member of the firm’s dedicated Digital & Technology Group, Mark also provides advice on disputes arising from internet activity, including online infringement, digital piracy and social media issues. He also advises on brand protection matters, including digital asset protection, trade mark registration and domain name acquisition.

London: Risk advisory

Reputation management

Within: Reputation management

Lee & Thompson LLP¬†represents clients across the media, technology, entertainment and creative industries. ‚ÄėLevel-headed‚Äô partner Mike Brookes¬† led the team acting for Moroccan Prince Moulay Hicham in his libel and data protection claim against Elaph Publishing Limited, and is defending Channel 5 in a privacy claim brought against them by Mr Ali and Mrs Aslam. Other names to note include¬†Leo Dawkins¬† and Mark Stafford¬†.

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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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