Stephen Shotnes > Simons Muirhead Burton > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Simons Muirhead Burton
87-91 Newman Street

Living Wage


Stephen is a leading practitioner in media and commercial litigation, and in sports litigation/regulatory matters. He is also recognised for his expertise in forensic and investigative work. Before entering the law, he gained a broad experience base as a journalist, a parliamentary researcher, and an editor. His previous experience equips him with a wider perspective on the role of legal issues within the larger context of commerce and public opinion. In the Legal 500 Stephen has been hailed as ‘one of the best forensic solicitors, with a great nose for a case’. He has also been noted for his tenacity and for being ‘sharp as a whip’. He has acted for a wide range of clients, including TV channels/ production companies, a Premier League football club, film finance companies/film makers, celebrities/celebrity management companies, US labor unions, national and local newspapers, book publishers and the government of a South Pacific state.


Qualified 1991. Parliamentary researcher 1983; Assistant Executive Secretary UK Council for Overseas Student Affairs 1984-87; Mishcon de Reya (trainee and solicitor) 1989-95; Goodman Derrick (associate) 1995-97; partner Simons Muirhead & Burton 1997 to date.


York University (BA); University of London (MA); College of Law.

Lawyer Rankings

London > TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Reputation management

Simons Muirhead Burton is seen as the go-to practice for defendant work by some of the largest publishers and broadcasters in the country, including MGN and Channel 4. In addition, the team has a strong track record defending some of Europe’s largest publishing houses, NGOs and trade unions. Department head Jeffrey Smele advises news organisations on defamation, privacy, data protection and regulation and confidentiality issues, particularly during pre-publication clearance. Louis Charalambous is an expert in the content aspects of journalism, including libel, privacy and contempt. Razi Mireskandari, who brings his exerience as dispute resolution team head to the group, is skilled in media litigation. Stephen Shotnes is skilled in litigation and pre-publication clearance issues, while Martin Soames specialises in publishing disputes. Senior associate Emma Linch is another key name, specialising in defamation and misuse of private information work.

London > TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Media: Theatre, publishing and other media

Simons Muirhead Burton handles both contentious and non-contentious publishing work, ranging from books to social media, across to national and international news and content providers, such as ITN and Channel 4. An expert in all areas of publishing, Martin Soames heads up the practice, which has particular expertise in pre-publication matters and litigation – areas in which data protection head Stephen Shotnes is further instructed. Senior associate Emma Linch is recommended for her clearance advice to book publishers, podcasts, online media and film production companies.

London > Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: mid-market

Headed by managing partner and experienced commercial litigator, Razi Mireskandari, Simons Muirhead Burton‘s commercial disputes practice has ‘an excellent awareness of litigation risks and opportunities‘. The group also comprises Stephen Shotnes, a specialist in the forensic and evidential aspects of litigation, and Antony Perlmutter, who is ‘head and shoulders above most of his peers‘. Within the consultant ranks, Peter Gould heads a commercial litigation unit that focuses on high-value claims, and Dina Shiloh is another experienced commercial litigator.

London > TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Media: Film & TV

Simon Goldberg and Razwana Akram lead the film and television team at Simons Muirhead Burton, a firm that advises film financiers, independent production companies and traditional broadcasters such as Channel 4, ITV and the BBC across all areas of development, production, finance and distribution. The team, which also includes film finance expert James Greenslade and senior associate Blaise Gaymer, has noted an uptick in matters involving an AI or gaming component. Data protection specialist Stephen Shotnes heads up the contentious function. In a notable development, Nick Miller – former head of ACK Media Law LLP’s film and television department – joined the team; he has particular expertise advising on BAFTA and Emmy-nominated animation projects and children’s programmes.

London > TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Sport

Marc Sobol leads Simons Muirhead Burton‘s intersecting sports and media team. Sobol advises clients on investments and sponsorships across a range of sports, while seasoned litigator Stephen Shotnes notably advises football clubs on regulatory and contentious matters involving players and managers. Simon Goldberg – who serves as head of the media and business rights team in addition to co-head of the corporate, commercial and finance department –  is a key port of call for the Professional Squash Association on all its commercial, regulatory and contractual requirements.