Firm Profile > Simons Muirhead & Burton > London, England

Simons Muirhead & Burton
87-91 Newman Street

Living Wage

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.

Media and entertainment (including media finance) Tier 1

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.

Practice head(s):

Simon Goldberg; Richard Baskind

Other key lawyers:

Martin Soames; Marc Sobol; Razwana Akram; Stephen Shotnes; Peter Weiss; Alasdair George; Blaise Gaymer; Jonny Petch; James Greenslade; Liv Lyons; Damien Yare


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.

Key clients

Blumhouse Productions

Nick Raphael and Jo Charrington

Immediate Media

The LADbible Group

Simon & Schuster

First Access Entertainment

Fresh Start Media

Tavistock Wood

42 M&P

Alberto Sciamma

Good Soldier Records/Good Soldier Songs

Arctic Right Management AS

Twist Entertainment

KA Film

Reputation management Tier 1

Simons Muirhead & Burton's 'wonderful and very approachable' media content and disputes team is led by the 'immensely experiencedLouis 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 makingJeffrey 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.

Practice head(s):

Louis Charalambous


‘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.

Key clients

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

Penguin Random House

Channel 4

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

Civil liberties and human rights Tier 2

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.

Practice head(s):

Saul Lehrfreund MBE; Parvais Jabbar MBE

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Jamaicans for Justice

Chief Justice Ivor Archie, Chief Justice of Trinidad

Gregory August

Jabari Nervais and Dwayne Severin

Jay Chandler

Joseph Ewart Layne

Stephen Stubbs

Japhet Bennett

Dexter Johnson

Yattar Bakar

Kevin Burris

Simeon Bain

Lescene Edwards

Letitia Bosma

M&A: smaller deals, up to £50m Tier 2

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.

Practice head(s):

Peter Weiss

Key clients

Stagwell Group

Dennis Publishing

Banijay Group

Keshet International UK


Vito One GmbH

Owners of “Kiddyzuzaa”

Bauer Radio Limited

Masters of Pie Limited

KFilm 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.

Practice head(s):

Anthony Burton; Philip Smith

Other key lawyers:

Henrietta Ronson; David Phillips 

Key clients

Peter Smith

Simon Childs

Amy Silvester

Hans-Olav Eldring

Carlo Palombo

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.

Practice head(s):

Maninder Gill

Key clients

Giorgio Armani

Big Issue

Alexa Chung

Boux Avenue

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.

Practice head(s):

Jane McDonagh


Jane McDonagh is a fantastic head of department‘.

Teena Dhanota-Jones is very bright‘.

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.

Practice head(s):

Maninder Gill

Other key lawyers:

Natalite Wright

Key clients

Riverford Foods


Rachel Riley

Dennis Publishing

Urban Retreat

Miss Mila

North London Collegiate School

Amanda Wakeley



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.

Practice head(s):

Marc Sobol

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

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 contracts Tier 5

The 'extremely friendly, approachable and razor-sharpSimons 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.

Practice head(s):

Simon Goldberg

Other key lawyers:


‘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’

Key clients


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)

Lumos 365

Folding Helmet Technology Limited

Liz Earle


Cage Warriors

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 ShotnesManinder Gill and consultant Peter GouldJeffrey Smele was made up to  partner.

Practice head(s):

Razi Mireskandari


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‘.


Key clients

Ionnis Kent

Parish Council of Chalfont St Peter

John Robson and Alfred Chubb

David Bailey

Keith Collins

Discovery Yachts Group

Executive Aircraft Sales

GRP Mina

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
 Richard Baskind  photo Richard Baskind
 Tessa Bray  photo Tessa Bray
 Anthony Burton CBE  photo Anthony Burton CBE
 Louis Charalambous  photo Louis Charalambous
 Gordon Clough  photo Gordon Clough
 James WR Davies  photo James WR Davies
 Teena Dhanota-Jones  photo Teena Dhanota-Jones
 Andrew Farrugia  photo Andrew Farrugia
 Alex Fengan  photo Alex Fengan
 Bronwen Fitzpatrick  photo Bronwen Fitzpatrick
 Blaise Gaymer  photo Blaise Gaymer
 Alasdair George  photo Alasdair George
 Maninder Gill  photo Maninder Gill
 Simon Goldberg  photo Simon Goldberg
 James Greenslade  photo James Greenslade
 Simon Halberstam  photo Simon Halberstam
 Asraa Hassaan Noor  photo Asraa Hassaan Noor
 Erica Henshilwood  photo Erica Henshilwood
 Neal Hodges  photo Neal Hodges
 Makbool Javaid  photo Makbool Javaid
 Ewan Keen  photo Ewan Keen
 Saul Lehrfreund MBE  photo Saul Lehrfreund MBE
 Mark Levine  photo Mark Levine
 Nicholas Lom  photo Nicholas Lom
 Tamara Ludlow  photo Tamara Ludlow
 Raoul Lumb  photo Raoul Lumb
 Wasif Mahmood  photo Wasif Mahmood
 David Martin  photo David Martin
 Jane McDonagh  photo Jane McDonagh
 Hazel McNaught  photo Hazel McNaught
 Razi Mireskandari  photo Razi Mireskandari
 Jonny Petch  photo Jonny Petch
 David Phillips  photo David Phillips
 Stephen Shotnes  photo Stephen Shotnes
 Jeffrey Smele  photo Jeffrey Smele
 Martin Smith  photo Martin Smith
 Phil Smith  photo Phil Smith
 Martin Soames  photo Martin Soames
 Marc Sobol  photo Marc Sobol
 Abdul Varachhia  photo Abdul Varachhia
 Peter Weiss  photo Peter Weiss
 Natalie Wright  photo Natalie Wright
 Lara WulWik  photo Lara WulWik
 Nigel Zaoskoufis  photo Nigel Zaoskoufis
Number of UK partners : 25
Number of other UK fee-earners : 55