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London: Human resources

Employment: senior executives
Employment: senior executives - ranked: tier 4

Simkins LLP

The employment team at Simkins LLP advises employers and senior individuals on a wide range of employment related issues. Historically renowned for its work in the media and entertainment sector, the team, led by Susan Thompson and Victoria Willson, now has a client base spanning many industries, including construction, finance, banking, professional services, recruitment, marketing and charity. The team is currently defending a complex disability discrimination and sexual discrimination claim in the construction sector.

Practice head(s):Susan Thompson; Victoria Willson


'Simkins' employment team demonstrate a unique understanding of media-focused clients' employment needs. They demonstrate a real commitment to understanding client needs and supporting their ambitions and goals.

'Both Neil Gill and Victoria Willson show a real understanding of their client's needs and work wholeheartedly to get the best result.'

Key Clients

Morrisons Utility Services Limited

McLaren Construction UK Limited

Vinci Construction UK Limited

First Group Holdings Limited

MCCGLC Limited

Logic Financial Services Limited

PSR Distribution Limited

Innocent Drinks Limited


Work highlights

  • Acting for Vinci Construction in defence of a claim brought by one of its peripatetic mobile repair technicians whose claim relates to being subjected to detriment for opting out of the 48-hour limit on his average working week.
  • Defending a complex disability discrimination and sex discrimination claim brought by an employee of McLaren Construction UK Limited.
  • Advising on a disability discrimination and harassment claim brought against Skywire Limited.

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London: Risk advisory

Reputation management
Reputation management - ranked: tier 1

Simkins LLP

Simkins LLP's reputation department 'has strength in depth and real experience in this field' and successfully undertakes highly sensitive cases and deals with reputational threats linked to privacy, confidence, anti-harassment, data protection and copyright issues emanating from different channels. The team, headed by the 'outstanding' Gideon Benaim , has earned particular praise for its representation of Sir Cliff Richard in the 2018 landmark case against the BBC and South Yorkshire Police, establishing a precedent in privacy and data protection rights of individuals accused of criminal offences. Tom Iverson advises both claimants and defendants in proceedings in High Court, frequently obtaining injunctions for his corporate clients. The 'great and enormously supportive' Jon Oakley is an additional key figure of the exceptionally strong team as is 'effective litigator' Jessica Welch.

Practice head(s):Gideon Benaim

Other key lawyers:Jon Oakley; Tom Iverson; Jessica Welch


'Simkins has excellent knowledge and experience of the relevant practice area and is also very approachable and easy to get on with. Strength in depth, not just at partner level.'

'Exceptional experience of high-profile media cases, which they are able to bring to their ongoing practice.'

'Gideon Benaim is the stand-out partner who managed their exceptional prosecution of Cliff Richard's privacy claim. A historic victory.'

'Jon Oakley is great and enormously supportive.'

'Simkins have an enviable combination of experience, dynamism and patience - all of which are essential when representing high-profile clients.'

'Gideon Benaim is the guy I want on my client's side when things go awry. He is calming presence and tactically very astute. I know that if I ever need him he will always be there at any time of day and night.'

'Gideon Benaim is robust without being aggressive, astute without being snide and caring without being weak.'

'Gideon Benaim is outstanding. He gives sound counsel and is not afraid to say what he thinks is the best advice, regardless of whether this is what the client thinks they want to hear.'

'A high-quality defamation and privacy practice with strength in depth and real experience in this field - as evidenced by their role in acting for Sir Cliff Richard in his successful claim for invasion of privacy against the BBC.'

'Jon Oakley is hugely experienced and a superb lawyer with good strategic insight. His calm approach inspires confidence in particular with corporate clients.'

'Jessica Welch is definitely a name to watch. A very effective litigator whose quality of work product and judgement belie her relative lack of seniority.'

Key Clients

Sir Cliff Richard

JK Rowling

Evangelos Marinakis

Work highlights

  • Represented Sir Cliff Richard in his groundbreaking privacy and data protection case against the BBC and South Yorkshire Police.
  • Issued proceedings against the Daily Mail on behalf of Greek shipowner Evangelos Marinakis in relation to an article falsely stating the client had abused a UEFA referee during a football match.
Leading individuals

Gideon Benaim - Simkins LLP

Tom Iverson - Simkins LLP

Rising stars

Jessica Welch - Simkins LLP

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London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Brand management
Brand management - ranked: tier 4

Simkins LLP

Simkins LLP continues to perform strongly in contentious IP, with a focus on trade mark infringement claims. As head of IP, Jim Dennis has particular expertise in handling disputes involving trade marks and passing off.  On the non-contentious side, he is also experienced in advising clients on brand development, protection and enforcement. Commercial partners Caroline Copeland and Nick Eziefula focus on the marketing and advertising sector, advising on commercial arrangements between agencies, their clients and media owners; compliance and regulatory issues; and brands’ and agencies’ rights clearance and strategic issues in relation to their use of content.

Practice head(s):Caroline Copeland; Jim Dennis

Key Clients

Rude Health Foods Ltd


Lonza Inc

Hearology Ltd

The Blair Partnership

Work highlights

  • Defending The Blair Partnership against a publishing copyright infringement claim in the IPEC.  
  • Successfully defended KPMG LLP in a trade mark opposition brought by Benetton against KPMG’s “Pilot” trade mark application at the UKIPO.
  • Advising Lonza Inc on its UK trade mark portfolio.
  • Continuing to advise Rude Health on trade mark oppositions and invalidity actions against Nude Health, Rude Cosmetics, Inc and Rude Limited.

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Media and entertainment (including media finance)
Media and entertainment (including media finance) - ranked: tier 1

Simkins LLP

Simkins LLP's specialist media and entertainment offering is 'excellent at providing commercial legal advice across all areas of the entertainment  industry'. Music, TV, film, theatre, digital media, publishing, advertising and marketing sectors are the firm's key areas of expertise; it is regularly instructed by major media companies, institutions and independent producers on contentious and non-contentious work including copyright disputes, publishing agreements, audio-visual compliance, corporate acquisitions and disposals, games distribution, film production and finance, record deals and personal tax planning. Litigator Paddy Gardiner leads the disputes team and handles complex copyright and trade mark infringement claims, injunction proceedings, breach of contract, professional negligence, shareholder claims and royalty disputes. Tom Iverson is noted for contentious music instructions, while Ed Weidman is experienced in non-contentious music mandates. Ed Baden-Powell handles commercial and IP mandates and advised BMG on its acquisition of World Circuit Records, the leading world music library home to Buena Vista Social Club and Orchestra Baobab. Managing partner Euan Lawson is experienced in corporate and commercial matters across the music, television and publishing sectors.

Practice head(s):Euan Lawson

Other key lawyers:Paddy Grafton Green; James Harman; Jonathan Blair; Caroline Copeland; Lisa Logan; Giao Pacey; Nick Eziefula; Tom Iverson; Ben Gisbey; Ed Weidman


The team has a broad spread of technical knowledge and experience across the media sector and this is coupled with long-term partner knowledge of clients and their business.

It has the breadth of team to assist in all areas of running a commercial enterprise and its commercial approach sets it apart from its competitors.

The whole team has great legal skills tempered with a good ability to provide commercial logic to deals.

Key Clients

Iron Maiden

The Blair Partnership/Pottermore

Da Beat Freakz

Universal Music

ATC Management

Cutting Edge Music

Eagle Rock Entertainment

Snowed-in productions


BMG Rights Management


PRS for Music

J.K. Rowling

The Extreme Music Library

The Bleeding Fingers Custom Music Shop


Work highlights

  • Advised Filmwave on all aspects of its Netflix commissioned series The Letter for the King, a family series of eight episodes, based on the classic Dutch book of the same name written by Tonke Dragt and first published in 1962.
  • Advised television production company Knickerbockerglory on the award winning Mandela anniversary feature documentary film.
  • Is instructed by The Bleeding Fingers Custom Music Shop on general commercial matters.
  • Represented PRSfM on an application to the Copyright Tribunal regarding a new live music tariff, which was approved by the Tribunal after a three year consultation and negotiation process between PRSfM and representatives of the live sector.
  • Advising Iron Maiden in relation to the Iron Maiden 'Legacy of the Beast' video game, produced by Nodding Frog.
Leading individuals

Paddy Gardiner (Music) - Simkins LLP

Next Generation Partners

Ed Weidman (Music) - Simkins LLP

Tom Iverson (Music) - Simkins LLP

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Further information on Simkins LLP

Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about Simkins LLP in other jurisdictions.


Offices in London

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