Firm Profile > Simons Muirhead & Burton > London, England

Simons Muirhead & Burton
87-91 Newman Street

Living Wage

Crime: general Tier 1

Led by the 'exceptional' Philip Smith, the general crime team at Simons Muirhead & Burton attracts a substantive number of the UK's most high-profile cases. Supported by Anthony Burton CBE, the team is known for representing clients facing the most serious of allegations including rape, murder,  possession with intent to supply and racially aggravated public order offences. Notably, the firm has niche expertise in mounting defences for vulnerable adults. The 'unshakeable' senior associate Henrietta Ronson is highly recommended for allegations of sexual assault.

Other key lawyers:


Exceeded all my expectations’

‘Forensic, detailed and thorough. No stone was left unturned. I felt, at every stage, that I could not have been in better hands‘.

Led by the ever-wise Anthony Burton and the exceptional Phil Smith, the crime team at SM&B provide a complete and unrivalled service to corporate and individual clients under investigation.The team is always knowledgeable, committed, organised and efficient.’

SMB are an outstanding firm.  Anthony Burton CBE demonstrated extraordinary passion and expertise in fighting my case at the Old Bailey; and in lifting my occasional despair at an absurd, unfounded prosecution. Even if he and his team had not secured a unanimous not guilty verdict I would not fault them.’

Phil Smith’s reputation cannot be overstated – he is a force of nature. His experience in all areas of criminal law is second to none and he grasps the issues in any case quickly and reassuringly maps out the best way of dealing with crisis management. He commands respect in all criminal spheres and leads the team with a pragmatism, inventiveness and vibrancy that few can match and none can surpass’

Anthony Burton is a doyen of the criminal defence fraternity, having been a founding partner of the firm.

Henrietta Ronson is thoughtful and persuasive with a track record that is as impressive as it is lengthy. Hard-working and with a quick grasp of detail she is unshakeable as she represents a wide variety of clients with incisive determination. She is clearly a unique talent’



Key clients


William Clegg

LR and GS

Simon Lyons

Dariusz Jakubik



Ian Anderson



Enda Twomey


Media and entertainment (including media finance) Tier 1

Commercial West End law firm Simons Muirhead & Burton has a strong reputation for its media and entertainment sector expertise and has the ability to assist a full range of clients including leading corporates, talent and start-ups. The group attracts praise for its 'swift, practical and commercial' advice, particularly in the publishing space, where Martin Soames is well-regarded for commercial and contentious matters. In the film and TV sector, Simon Goldberg and Razwana Akram are particularly strong for transactional work including development, production, finance and distribution matters, while clients also benefit from a disputes practice led by Stephen Shotnes. The team also has experience assisting music industry clients including artists, songwriters and producers as well as labels, publishers, agents and investors, for which Richard Baskind, Alasdair George and recently promoted partner Jonny Petch are key contacts. Senior associate Blaise Gaymer also attracts praise.


We use SMB for editorial advice and assessing any publication risk. We have always found them to be very swift, practical and commercial in their advice. Having worked with the team for a long time, we feel that they know and understand our business and our audience, which allows them to offer helpful advice, appropriate to our publications.

Martin Soames offers swift, knowledgeable and commercial advice, with a good understanding of our business and our industry.’

Key clients

Motion Picture Corporation of America (MPCA)

Mark Lewis & Martin Toher/B-Unique Records (UK) Limited

Random House Group

Outside the Wire Ltd

Great Point Media

Early Day Films

Simon & Schuster

Pure Grass Films/Unstoppable Film & TV

Banijay Group SAS

John Callum Stewart

Profile Books

The LADbible Group Ltd

The London Review of Books (Andrew O’Hagan)

Pride ITTQ Films Limited/Lions Den Films

Immediate Media Limited

Turquoise TV

Dr Pluto Films Limited

Edge Investments Limited

Bureau of Investigative Journalism

Refinery29 Limited & Refinery29 Inc

The Liz Earle Group

Reputation management Tier 1

Simons Muirhead & Burton excels in defamation and reputation management legal matters, offering advice to print and online media players, publishers and broadcasters. The media content and disputes department, which garners praise for its solid track record acting on behalf of defendants, is also a top choice for UK and US-based NGOs, journalist bodies and trade unions. Indicative of the firm's strength in handling highly sensitive matters which often shape the legal framework governing UK defamation and privacy law, practice head Louis Charalambous is acting as lead adviser for The Sun in a major libel claim initiated by Hollywood actor Johnny Depp. Charalambous also demonstrates extensive experience advising broadcasters and newspapers on emergency injunction applications. Litigation head Razi Mireskandari is a seasoned practitioner in all contentious matters concerning the media. Jeffrey Smele stands out in criminal law-related media aspects, but is also regularly retained to assist in privacy, data protection and confidentiality issues. Martin Soames is a practitioner to note for the extensive pre-publication clearance work the team undertakes.

Practice head(s):


‘I’m impressed by the way this practice works consistently as a cohesive team with relevant information shared across all the specialists involved. The attention to detail and client care is exceptional. The office itself is friendly and welcoming, a big plus.’

‘Raz Mireskandari is exceptionally insightful and realistically frank so that no false expectations are raised, but every possibility examined carefully. He’s kind and good-humoured, at the same time razor-sharp and forthright.’

‘Team spirit is the strongest aspect of Simons Muirhead & Burton – this has appealed to and worked for me through all the years I’ve had dealings with them. A happy environment and knowledgeable accessible staff at all levels.’


Key clients

News Group Newspapers Limited (‘NGN’), as publisher of The Sun

The Random House Group Limited

Andrew O’Hagan

Daniel Miller; Nina Power

Alex Reid

Turquoise Television

Situation Publishing Limited, its UK editor and an employed journalist

Trinity Mirror North West & North Wales Limited

News Group Newspapers Limited (NGN)

Times Newspapers Ltd, Sky, BBC, ITN

Civil liberties and human rights Tier 2

Simons Muirhead & Burton has an excellent reputation and is distinguished for its practice in international human rights work, which includes the Death Penalty Project, a legal charity founded by preeminent practitioners Saul Lehrfreund MBE and Parvais Jabbar MBE. The team has vast experience in prisoner rights issues and undertaking lengthy cross-border litigation matters for clients. Anthony Burton CBE is also a key member of the group, noted for his expertise in domestic and international criminal law.


‘This legendary firm deserves its reputation for handling cutting edge cases nationally and internationally.’

Saul Lehrfreund and Parvais Jabbar are outstanding. Committed and knowledgeable they deliver an exceptional legal product.’

The firm has a profound and inspiring commitment to Human Rights, with an international focus on the rights of prisoners sentenced to death.’

Parvais Jabbar and Saul Lehrfreund need to be specially mentioned. They have unrivalled connections in the Caribbean, the Far East, and English Speaking Africa. They are supported by Anthony Burton, Razi Mireskandari (himself an outstanding media lawyer) and Simon Goldberg.’

I have worked with the team specifically in the Death Penalty Project within Simons Muirhead and Burton – led by Saul Lehrfreund and Parvais Jabbar. The team is truly outstanding – their work on the death penalty has saved, and continues to save, countless lives and is an outstanding example of effective human rights work.’

Saul Lehrfreund and Parvais Jabbar are truly outstanding – dedicated and knowledgeable.

M&A: smaller deals, up to £50m Tier 2

Simons Muirhead & Burton has established itself as a seasoned operator within the UK media and publishing industries. The team assists clients in these sectors with the full range of M&A work and other more specialised areas such as seed funding, growth capital fundraising and angel investments. The practice has also seen an uptick in cross-border work involving jurisdictions including the US, France, South Africa and Spain. Joint practice head Simon Goldberg is particularly well known for his leading media industry experience, with a client list featuring television production companies, rights owners, publishers, content producers and broadcasters. Working alongside him, Peter Weiss is an expert on inbound investments involving English/US law and tax.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


‘They provide a first class service and assure attention to detail on the finer points of M&A transactions.’

‘Peter Weiss – the partner and visionary behind a first-class team of associates and juniors. Without his inspiration, we would not have been as well looked after.’

Key clients

Atlantic Leaf Properties Limited

Banijay Group SAS

Owner-Managers of Pure FX

Shareholders of Gate One Limited

Hungry Bear Media Limited

Dennis Publishing (UK) Limited

Shareholders of Grand Visual Holdings Limited

Captini Limited

Family Tier 3

Simons Muirhead & Burton continues to add to its team; at a senior level, Tom Farley-Hills, who has a strong track record of handling complex family cases relating to both children and finance, joined the firm from Harbottle & Lewis LLP and is a 'good addition to the team'. Under the direction of Jane McDonagh, the group continues to act for foreign nationals in cases with an international dimension or where there are assets overseas. The team has niche expertise in Sharia, Iranian and Egyptian law (all of which McDonagh is well versed in) and in Jewish divorces (where both Lara Wulwik and Teena Dhanota-Jones have strong expertise).

Practice head(s):


My impression of the Simons Muirhead & Burton family practice is that it has a modern and progressive perspective, coupled with an effective and yet still compassionate approach. I view the team as definitely on the up’

Jane McDonagh is the consummate legal professional. She is completely calm and considered in what can often be a highly charged emotional situation. She is always clear in her advice, and supportive when hard decisions need to be made. She is understanding, not only of the intricacies of the law, but also of the personal difficulties her clients face

Jane McDonagh was quickly able to get a clear overview of our situation and throughout she gave calm and consistent advice. She was always keen to hear our view and how we wished to proceed but we were guided throughout by her professional opinion. I always felt reassured having spoken to her

Tom Farley-Hills brings strength and experience to an already well-rounded team. Teena Dhanota-Jones is very experienced in her profession. She has great communication skills

The lawyers are always ahead of the game when it comes to the opposing party, which has been such a key strength. A very reliable firm, prompt with their responses and with the work. The lawyers are very, very thorough. I found Tessa Bray to be exceptional in the work that she carried out

I have only great thoughts and words for Rhiannon Guibert and Jane McDonagh. They completely understood how difficult my situation was and tried their best to achieve the desired outcome

‘Lara Wulwik was a pleasure to work with. She was able to provide detailed advice and handle matters on my behalf in a professional manner. She always acted with my best interests in mind, and worked closely with me to ensure my expectations were met

Franchising Tier 4

Simons Muirhead & Burton regularly advises household companies in the retail sector on national and international franchise networks, aided by practice head Maninder Gill's 'broad experience and knowledge in the retail sector'. Gill is also well-versed in franchise network issues, international franchising agreements and franchising disputes. As well as it's luxury retailer capabilities, the team also has a track record in advising publishers and schools on franchising-related matters.

Practice head(s):


‘I work mainly with Maninder Gill. He is very knowledgeable, very flexible and great at managing the cost.’

‘Having worked successfully and happily with Simons Muirehead & Burton for a number of years without any undue concerns, they have always delivered and I would have no problem in recommending them.’

‘I have known and worked with Maninder Gill for many years. What has made him different for me is his availability, his immediate grasp of a problem and the quality of the people he has on his team. In addition to this, having worked as leading in house lawyer for a high profile major retailer, his broad experience and knowledge in the retail sector has been invaluable.’

Key clients

Riverford Foods


The Big Issue

Dennis Publishing


North London Collegiate School

Amanda Wakeley

ETM Group

Rachel Riley

Miss Mila


Fraud: white-collar crime (advice to individuals) Tier 4

Simons Muirhead & Burton is experienced in acting for individuals in criminal, regulatory and disciplinary matters. It continues to see an increase in instructions for pre-investigation work, sanctions violations and money laundering issues. The firm handles internal and external investigations such as those brought by the SFO. Philip Smith, who heads the team, handles corruption cases and related public enquiries. Anthony Burton has more than 40 years’ experience in criminal and fraud cases, some with an international dimension.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

Peter Smith

Hans-Olav Eldring

Simon Childs

Dariusz Jakubik

Sport Tier 4

Sports media rights and regulatory disputes are the key pillars of Simons Muirhead & Burton’s sports practice. Practice head Marc Sobol saw an increase in sports rights work in 2019, adding new clients such as ITV, 4Global Consulting Limited and Women’s Sports Group to his current roster. His work typically involves the purchase and sale of media rights surrounding sporting events. Regulatory disputes are handled by Stephen Shotnes, who recently advised Watford FC on its complaint to the Premier League regarding the alleged ‘tapping up’ of former manager Marco Silva by Everton FC.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


‘The team has a breadth of experience across a number of fields of litigation, including employment law, meaning they are an up-and-coming force in sports law.’

‘Stephen Shotnes has excellent judgement, fights his client’s corner fiercely and is well respected. ‘

‘Marc Sobol is approachable and extremely knowledgeable. His work is thorough and pragmatic.’

Key clients


International Hockey Federation

4Global Consulting Limited

The Women’s Sports Group

Zone Golf Limited

Fighters Choice Management

European Professional Club Rugby

Watford Association Football Club

London Irish Rugby Football Club

Total Performance Data Limited

Professional Squash Association

Cage Warriors

British Eventing


Commercial litigation: mid-market Tier 6

Go-to media litigation practice Simons Muirhead & Burton hired commercial and property litigator Antony Perlmutter in 2019 from Hamlins LLP as partner, which expanded the firm's commercial and corporate contentious offering. Managing partner Razi Mireskandari heads the dispute resolution group, which also fields experienced partners Maninder Gill, Stephen Shotnes and Jeffrey Smele, along with consultants Peter Gould and Dina Shiloh.

Practice head(s):


The unique attributes of Simmons, Muirhead and Burton are their availability and willingness to assist on the full range of commercial issues. Their advice is clear, concise and commercially focussed. They look for the best solutions not always via legal actions.

I have worked with Maninder Gill for 12 years and he assists in so many ways, not just in his specialisms, but across the range and introducing others as required. He is knowledgeable, direct and commercially astute.

I have worked with Antony Perlmutter for nearly eight years. He is one of the most tenacious litigators I know. He seems to never sleep and is always available to clients. He is exceptionally approachable. Most of the clients that we have in common eventually view AP as more of a friend than a solicitor. He always goes the extra mile to get the client the win.

The firm has a lively collaborative ethos and has been strengthened by a number of lateral hires in recent years which have helped it to reach out beyond its traditional media-related commercial disputes into property-based litigation and financial services disputes.

Razi Mireskandari is always focused on the practicalities of the dispute. He never loses sight of the long-term objective. Anthony Perlmutter is a litigator through and through. Loves to fight his client’s corner and clients love him for it. David Phillips gets through enormous amounts of work on cases and spots opportunities that others might miss. Dina Shiloh is a recent hire who has brought with her a real range of experience and clients, including from the finance sector.

It feels like a single effective practice rather than a series of specialist groups.

Antony Perlmutter is a perceptive, responsive and able litigator. His interpersonal skills are first rate. I appreciate his straight talking and decisive advice. I had every confidence that he would do a thorough job, and he did.

A very responsive and experienced firm whose people that give practical and helpful advice at a reasonable cost.

Key clients

Parish Council of Chalfont St Peter

Discovery Yachts Group Limited

Remali Ltd

Reach Plc

Coc Coc Pte

Intellectual property: trade marks, copyright and design Tier 6

Simons Muirhead & Burton’s IP practice is highly active in the copyright-rich sectors of sports, media and entertainment; as such, the team regularly handles copyright infringement proceedings and licensing deals, often in a cross-border context. Practice head Maninder Gill is also retained by high street fashion and third sector clients for trade mark enforcement and oppositions.

Practice head(s):


The team is welcoming and approachable, making it easy to ask questions – even though everybody is busy, they always have time for you.

Maninder Gill is probably one of the best IP experts around, with great commercial and legal experience within private practice and big businesses.

Key clients

AlphaCharlie (trading as ALEXA CHUNG)

Lisa Eldridge (and the Lisa Eldridge group of companies)

Alexa Chung

Mr Black Spirits Pty

Muslim Aid

Alan Walker

Immediate Media Limited

Crossroads Concert LLC

Cage Warriors

Professional Squash Association

Simons Muirhead & Burton was established in 1972. It is a very highly rated, commercially astute, medium-sized firm with a strong reputation in a diverse range of core areas.

The firm: The firm’s foundations in media, crime and human rights have expanded significantly and it now provides a competitive service for a broad range of corporate and individual clients.

Consistent with the firm’s reputation as a progressive law practice utilising specialists to deliver innovative and practical advice, it provides an accessible, responsive and efficient service through its mixture of home-grown lawyers and ex-City practitioners, many of whom have international expertise. The established areas of work continue to develop, along with the firm’s ever-increasing reputation for its general commercial practice, including media and commercial litigation, corporate work, employment work, family and commercial property. Razi Mireskandari was appointed managing partner in 2010.

The firm was the first UK practice to establish a dedicated pro bono human rights team, which operates the award-winning Death Penalty Project. It is internationally recognised for its continuing commitment to human rights work through its provision of free legal representation and support for those who face the death penalty outside the USA.

Types of work undertaken
Media and commercial dispute resolution: commercial media litigation with an emphasis on press, media and entertainment issues, including defamation, privacy, publishing, contempt, confidentiality, data rights, IP and music-related royalty disputes. The team is familiar with litigation funding, insurance and ADR, particularly mediation.

Film and TV: the team deals with film and TV production and financing, including a range of film finance schemes. It acts principally for independent producers, film financiers, distributors and broadcasters.

Music: the team represents rights holders, and talent and music industry executives, and advises on live events, IT, branding and the fashion industries.

Publishing: the team works for traditional and digital media, including national newspapers, top magazine publishers, and leading London and New York book publishers.

Corporate and commercial: the team advises start-ups, sole traders, listed companies and major international corporations on all their corporate needs, including flotations, M&A, complex investment, shareholder agreements, joint ventures, e-commerce and digital media, franchising partnerships, private equity, venture capital and acquisition finance, restructuring and insolvency.

Broadcasting and sports media: the team acts for major UK and overseas broadcasters and television platforms, and advises sports federations and licensees upon the sale and acquisition of sports media rights.

Employment: the team advises on the full range of corporate contentious and non-contentious employment law issues, including senior level and severance, restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, trade union and High Court instructions. There are specialists within the team in the area of discrimination law, TUPE and team transfers.

Crime and business crime: all aspects of proceedings in the Magistrates’ Court, Crown Court and all appellate jurisdictions, including the Serious Fraud Office, HMRC, DTI and CPS in addition to insider dealing, money laundering, OFT and EU cartel enquiries, and regulatory work.

Property and construction: conveyancing (commercial, domestic and large-scale residential developments), investment leasing, development (including industrial, leisure and retail), construction, hotel and restaurant transactions, and offshore company incorporations.

Family and children: handles divorce and separation and the related issues of children, finances and property, emergency applications and ADR, also advising on cohabitation and pre-nuptial agreements.

Technology and information: the team advises a wide range of technology companies, investors and acquirers on a range of commercial, data protection, IP and regulatory issues. The firm’s clients include FinTech, Retailtech and Blockchain companies, which it has helped to close deals across Europe, the USA and the Middle East.

Privy Council: the firm’s expertise and extensive Caribbean contacts in criminal and constitutional appeals to the judicial committee of the Privy Council have formed the basis of a very active commercial and civil Privy Council practice.

Department Name Email Telephone
Managing partner Razi Mireskandari
Civil Razi Mireskandari
Commercial Simon Goldberg
Employment Makbool Javaid
Crime Anthony Burton
Property Martin Smith
Matrimonial Jane McDonagh
Photo Name Position Profile
 Razwana Akram  photo Razwana Akram Partner – specialist in Finance and media, particularly film, TV and IP,…
 Richard Baskind  photo Richard Baskind Partner and head of Music. Specialising in all aspects of music and…
 Tessa Bray  photo Tessa Bray Tessa joined Simons Muirhead & Burton as a Senior Associate in September…
 Anthony Burton CBE  photo Anthony Burton CBE Anthony Burton CBE is a partner and co-head of the Crime and…
 Louis Charalambous  photo Louis Charalambous Partner and Head of Media Litigation. Recent major libel and privacy actions…
 Gordon Clough  photo Gordon Clough Senior Associate
 James WR Davies  photo James WR Davies Partner.  With more than 25 years’ experience James specialises in all aspects…
 Teena Dhanota-Jones  photo Teena Dhanota-Jones Consultant
 Andrew Farrugia  photo Andrew Farrugia Senior Associate in the Dispute Resolution team. Andrew advises clients on commercial…
 Alex Fengan  photo Alex Fengan Partner and Joint head of Real Estate
 Bronwen Fitzpatrick  photo Bronwen Fitzpatrick Consultant 
 Blaise Gaymer  photo Blaise Gaymer Senior Associate in the Media and Corporate and Commercial departments at Simons…
 Alasdair George  photo Alasdair George Partner
 Maninder Gill  photo Maninder Gill Maninder Gill is the head of the firm’s Intellectual Property and Retail,…
 Simon Goldberg  photo Simon Goldberg Partner and head of the commercial media practice, combining traditional film and…
 James Greenslade  photo James Greenslade Senior Associate. Advising on all production, finance and distribution arrangements within the…
 Simon Halberstam  photo Simon Halberstam Partner
 Asraa Hassaan Noor  photo Asraa Hassaan Noor Senior Associate
 Erica Henshilwood  photo Erica Henshilwood Senior Associate
 Neal Hodges  photo Neal Hodges Partner
 Makbool Javaid  photo Makbool Javaid Head of employment, team of 15 fee earners. Acts on behalf of…
 Ewan Keen  photo Ewan Keen Partner
 Saul Lehrfreund MBE  photo Saul Lehrfreund MBE Co-Executive Director
 Mark Levine  photo Mark Levine Partner and Joint head of Real Estate
 Nicholas Lom  photo Nicholas Lom Consultant Solicitor
 Tamara Ludlow  photo Tamara Ludlow Partner. Employment law and related HR issues, primarily acting for employers; specialist…
 Raoul Lumb  photo Raoul Lumb Senior Associate
 Wasif Mahmood  photo Wasif Mahmood Senior Associate
 David Martin  photo David Martin Partner
 Jane McDonagh  photo Jane McDonagh Head of family law. Jane McDonagh has twenty five years’ experience in…
 Hazel McNaught  photo Hazel McNaught Senior Associate Solicitor.
 Razi Mireskandari  photo Razi Mireskandari Managing partner, head of civil litigation.
 Jonny Petch  photo Jonny Petch Senior Associate
 David Phillips  photo David Phillips Senior Associate
 Stephen Shotnes  photo Stephen Shotnes Stephen is a leading practitioner in media and commercial litigation, and in…
 Jeffrey Smele  photo Jeffrey Smele Senior Associate
 Martin Smith  photo Martin Smith Specialising in all aspects of landlord and tenant ,commercial and residential property…
 Phil Smith  photo Phil Smith Partner with over 25 years’ experience in high stakes criminal cases, often…
 Martin Soames  photo Martin Soames Partner
 Marc Sobol  photo Marc Sobol Marc’s broadcasting and content distribution work encompasses media rights holders and distribution…
 Abdul Varachhia  photo Abdul Varachhia Consultant Senior Lawyer focusing solely on Charity and Not for Profit Organisations.…
 Peter Weiss  photo Peter Weiss Partner and head of the corporate and commercial department. Advises start-ups, lenders…
 Natalie Wright  photo Natalie Wright Partner specialising in M&A, corporate finance and restructurings, joint ventures, shareholder arrangements,…
 Lara WulWik  photo Lara WulWik Lara is a highly experienced family lawyer and mediator. She joined Simons…
 Nigel Zaoskoufis  photo Nigel Zaoskoufis Senior Associate
Number of UK partners : 25
Number of other UK fee-earners : 55