Firm Profile > Simons Muirhead & Burton > London, England
Simons Muirhead & Burton Offices
87-91 Newman Street
Simons Muirhead & Burton > The Legal 500 Rankings
Crime: general Tier 1
Simons Muirhead & Burton's crime team is jointly led by Anthony Burton CBE and Philip Smith. The firm is well-known for acting for high-net-worth individuals and celebrities across a range of sensitive cases. Recent work for the group includes sexual assault cases, murder, bribery, armed robbery, media-related criminal law, theft and drug offences.
Simons Muirhead & Burton has a 'professional and practical approach'. It handles contentious and non-contentious matters across the digital media, film, TV, broadcasting, music and publishing industries. The film and TV department is engaged on development, production, finance and distribution matters, as well as disputes, for a range of broadcasters, financiers, producers, cable platforms and online distributors. Advising US production company, Blumhouse Productions, on its first ever UK production You Should Have Left, starring Kevin Bacon and Amanda Seyfried, was a key highlight. Senior associate Blaise Gaymer acts for various independent film and television production companies. On the publishing side, the team is instructed by an array of print and digital clients. Here, Martin Soames is renowned for his knowledge of publishing, defamation and privacy law. The music department is instructed by artists, songwriters and producers on recording, publishing and production agreements. It also advises companies in the music sector on corporate and commercial issues. Senior associate Jonny Petch advises business and creative clients in the music industry. The team also offers experience in broadcasting and sports media matters where it handles commercial and transactional mandates.
Simon Goldberg; Richard Baskind
Other key lawyers:
A very strong team in terms of capability and client care.
Martin Soames is outstanding in terms of the quality of his advice, his availability, his willingness to listen, his ability to understand the wider context of a matter, and his client care; he is a real treasure.
Nick Raphael and Jo Charrington
The LADbible Group
Simon & Schuster
First Access Entertainment
Fresh Start Media
Good Soldier Records/Good Soldier Songs
Arctic Right Management AS
Reputation management Tier 1
Simons Muirhead & Burton's 'wonderful and very approachable' media content and disputes team is led by the 'immensely experienced' Louis Charalambous . It takes on the whole range of media defendant claims for most major newspapers and broadcasters in the UK as well as book publication clearances, defence of kiss-and-tell stories and matters with a criminal aspect, which is one of Charalambous' strong suits. The team regularly assists News Group Newspapers as publishers of a variety of media. Managing partner and disputes head Razi Mireskandari has outstanding experience representing both print and online media in high-value libel claims, bringing 'his inner litigator to his media work'. 'Star in the making' Jeffrey Smele also acts for claimants and provides specialist criminal law advice to media clients. Senior associate Erica Henshilwood, who is a 'particular asset to the firm', frequently defends pre-publication injunctions for journalists and publishers. Furthermore, senior associate Gordon Clough is praised for his 'quick and minimum fuss' pre-publication advice.
‘A wonderful media team.’
‘Very approachable and have total understanding of clients’ needs, often 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Great associates too.’
‘This has been the best external legal team I have dealt with in 20 years, provides both pre-publication advice and advice in responding to legal issues arising from published articles.’
‘A very strong firm with a team specialising in all aspects of media law. Great experience and knowledge of their specialisms.’
‘Louis Charalambous is brilliant, superb at anything with a criminal element to it. He’s client friendly and gets what newspapers need.’
‘Jeffrey Smele is a real star in the making.’
‘Gordon Clough is very responsive, exceptionally helpful in getting stories into publishable form quickly and with minimum fuss, and – importantly – his advice is always delivered with admirable clarity.’
‘The firm has an excellent team – with a profile that is un-stuffy and forward-looking. They offer a broad choice of partners – supported by good quality associates.’
‘Jeffrey Smele combines being one of the nicest men in the world with being a highly effective litigator. Trained by leaders in the field, and having worked as a highly-effective team member, expect him to rise as a future star.’
‘Razi Mireskandari is as cool as cool can be – he can litigate, mediate and makes a deal where no deal is possible. He’s smoother than a top silk – charming, with a fatal sting (if you are an opponent).’
‘SMAB manages the trick of combining claimant and defendant work which allows its lawyers to see a case from the other’s point of view.’
‘The firm is equally at home defending national newspapers and suing on behalf of individuals or small businesses.‘
News Group Newspapers Limited (‘NGN’), as publisher of The Sun
Penguin Random House
Reach Plc, formerly MGN Limited (Trading as Mirror Group) – publisher of The Mirror
Times Newspapers Limited
Travel Weekly Group Limited
Simon & Schuster
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism
Tes Global Ltd as the publisher of Times Education Supplement and Times Higher Education
Simons Muirhead & Burton is renowned for its substantial work on international human rights and death penalty matters, as demonstrated by the founding of the Death Penalty Project, a legal charity, by Saul Lehrfreund MBE and Parvais Jabbar MBE. The team is skilled in complex cross-border work, resulting in landmark judgments; this was illustrated by its recent successful challenge to death penalty legislation in Barbados. Amanda Clift-Matthew has a vast criminal law practice and has represented clients in Singapore and Malaysia.
Saul Lehrfreund MBE; Parvais Jabbar MBE
Other key lawyers:
Jamaicans for Justice
Chief Justice Ivor Archie, Chief Justice of Trinidad
Jabari Nervais and Dwayne Severin
Joseph Ewart Layne
Simons Muirhead & Burton is best known for its activity in the media, technology and events sectors, and has handled significant M&A transactions in these spaces. The team's predominant focus is in the media and publishing sector, and over the past year the team has advised on media content transactions, disposals and strategic acquisitions. Notably, the team has developed its M&A offering in the virtual reality market, working with large domestic clients. Practice head Peter Weiss advises corporates and family-owned businesses on M&A deals in the firm's focus sectors and also has specialist experience in partnership law, particularly in negotiating investment vehicles through LLPs.
Keshet International UK
Vito One GmbH
Owners of “Kiddyzuzaa”
Bauer Radio Limited
Masters of Pie Limited
Fraud: white-collar crime Tier 3
Simons Muirhead & Burton advises clients on bribery, corruption, money laundering, sanctions and financial fraud cases. The firm is seeing an increase in instructions relating to pre-charge and pre-investigation advice. It represents clients in criminal and civil courts and also in SFO investigations. Co-head of team Anthony Burton CBE is particularly adept at handling financial crime matters. Philip Smith, who also heads the team, focuses on corruption, public inquiries and money laundering.
Anthony Burton; Philip Smith
Other key lawyers:
Henrietta Ronson; David Phillips
Brand management Tier 4
Simons Muirhead & Burton is particularly strong in assisting clients in the media, entertainment and luxury fashion sectors. The practice continues to be sought after by clients in relation to trade mark enforcement and prosecution, particularly those affected by registrations made in bad faith by trade mark squatters. Maninder Gill heads the department.
Family Tier 4
Simons Muirhead & Burton acts for foreign nationals in cases with an international element or where there are assets overseas. The team has niche expertise in cases with an element of Sharia or European law as well as Iranian law and Egyptian law. It also has specialist knowledge of Jewish divorces. The team is skilled at advising on pre-nuptial agreements involving multiple jurisdictions as well as on complex children matters and financial proceedings. Head of team is Jane McDonagh whose client base includes individuals from the media/creative worlds and celebrities. Teena Dhanota-Jones joined the team as a consultant from Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors. Lara Wulwik and Hazel McNaught are also recommended.
Franchising Tier 4
Simons Muirhead & Burton acts for a wide range of clients including household names and retail clients including Unilever, Rachel Riley and Amanda Wakeley. The practice handles matters at a national and international level and regularly assists with franchise network issues, international franchising and licensing agreements and franchising disputes. Alongside its retail sector strength, the group is also experienced in the publishing and education industries. Maninder Gill leads the department, which also includes Natalie Wright, who excels in beauty industry franchisings.
Other key lawyers:
North London Collegiate School
Sport Tier 4
Simons Muirhead & Burton's sports team acts for clubs, governing bodies, broadcasters and private companies, specialising in the areas of media rights, data rights and contentious regulatory cases. Media rights specialist Marc Sobol brings significant in-house broadcasting knowledge to the practice; in 2018 he acted on two major broadcasting deals, including the sale of European Professional Club Rugby's TV rights to Channel 4 and TV3. On the contentious side, the group, led by experienced litigator Stephen Shortnes, frequently represents Premier League clubs in high-profile disputes covering areas as diverse as terminations, 'tapping-up' allegations, forgery and race discrimination claims.
Other key lawyers:
European Professional Club Rugby
Watford Association Football Club
London Irish Rugby Football Club
Total Performance Data Limited
Professional Squash Association
Commercial contracts Tier 5
The 'extremely friendly, approachable and razor-sharp' Simons Muirhead & Burton specialises in media and entertainment, publishing, and technology, and is particularly well known for its expertise in film and television, music and sports broadcasting. The firm also provides cross-border expertise, with Maninder Gill well regarded as a retail sector specialist in the Far East. 'Superstar' Simon Goldberg leads the team and is an expert commercial contract adviser to the publishing sector. Also notable is James Greenslade, who was promoted to partner in 2019.
‘The team has a very strong franchises background in different countries’
‘The firm has knowledge in the targeted country, and is cost effective and always very quick in its reactions’
‘The firm’s knowledge of today’s complex media market is second to none’
‘Particularly strong in publishing and broadcasting’
‘Commercially astute with an ability to solve problems around data and rights issues’
‘Delightful to work with’
‘Maninder Gill has many years of business development experience in the retail industry and is very familiar with the international franchisee model’
‘Simon Goldberg brings great clarity and is brilliant at running a team involving multiple lawyers where his wealth of experience, problem-solving skills, imaginative ideas and commercial nous set him apart’
‘Simon Goldberg makes the whole process utterly painless’
Urban Retreat – Luxury Spa
European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR)
Gruppo Media (publisher of the Rouleur magazine)
Executors of the Estate of the late Felix Dennis and Dennis IP Ltd
Crossmedia Group (Crossmedia Inc, Crossmedia GmbH, and Crossmedia London Ltd)
Folding Helmet Technology Limited
Commercial litigation Tier 8
Simons Muirhead & Burton is 'a very serious firm that delivers results'. It is best known for its media litigation practice but also acts in disputes involving luxury hotels, public real estate, aviation and commercial shipping. Managing partner Razi Mireskandari heads the dispute resolution team, which also includes Stephen Shotnes, Maninder Gill and consultant Peter Gould; Jeffrey Smele was made up to partner.
‘A dynamic and collaborative ethos and has strength in media- related disputes‘.
‘Razi Mireskandari is able to stand back and view the issues in the context of the client’s longer-term needs‘.
‘Peter Gould is indefatigable in supporting his clients’ interests, immersing himself in the detail of cases to secure the best outcome he can for them‘.
Parish Council of Chalfont St Peter
John Robson and Alfred Chubb
Discovery Yachts Group
Executive Aircraft Sales
Simons Muirhead & Burton > Firm Profile
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.
|Managing partner||Razi Mireskandari|
|Razwana Akram||View Profile|
|Richard Baskind||View Profile|
|Tessa Bray||View Profile|
|Anthony Burton CBE||View Profile|
|Louis Charalambous||View Profile|
|Gordon Clough||View Profile|
|James WR Davies||View Profile|
|Teena Dhanota-Jones||View Profile|
|Andrew Farrugia||View Profile|
|Alex Fengan||View Profile|
|Bronwen Fitzpatrick||View Profile|
|Blaise Gaymer||View Profile|
|Alasdair George||View Profile|
|Maninder Gill||View Profile|
|Simon Goldberg||View Profile|
|James Greenslade||View Profile|
|Simon Halberstam||View Profile|
|Asraa Hassaan Noor||View Profile|
|Erica Henshilwood||View Profile|
|Neal Hodges||View Profile|
|Makbool Javaid||View Profile|
|Ewan Keen||View Profile|
|Saul Lehrfreund MBE||View Profile|
|Mark Levine||View Profile|
|Nicholas Lom||View Profile|
|Tamara Ludlow||View Profile|
|Raoul Lumb||View Profile|
|Wasif Mahmood||View Profile|
|David Martin||View Profile|
|Jane McDonagh||View Profile|
|Hazel McNaught||View Profile|
|Razi Mireskandari||View Profile|
|Jonny Petch||View Profile|
|David Phillips||View Profile|
|Stephen Shotnes||View Profile|
|Jeffrey Smele||View Profile|
|Martin Smith||View Profile|
|Phil Smith||View Profile|
|Martin Soames||View Profile|
|Marc Sobol||View Profile|
|Abdul Varachhia||View Profile|
|Peter Weiss||View Profile|
|Natalie Wright||View Profile|
|Lara WulWik||View Profile|
|Nigel Zaoskoufis||View Profile|