Russells Solicitors > London, England > Firm Profile

Russells Solicitors

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Media and entertainment (including media finance) Tier 1

Deeply ingrained in the music industry, Russells Solicitors is a go-to market leader for record companies, publishers, producers, established and up-and-coming artists. Practice co-head Gavin Maude primarily works with artists and industry executives and focuses on emerging talent. The contentious side is headed up by Steven Tregear who leads a team of 'top notch litigators', including John Reid , and predominantly handles copyright infringement, contractual, and audit claims. Third in the leadership team is Simon Esplen who represents a wide variety of industry players on commercial and contractual matters. Chris Gossage leads the firm's corporate department and recently evidenced his strength in transactions by handling Kobalt Music Royalty Fund II's catalogue sale to Chord Music. Another specialist for emerging talent is Jo Brittain whereas Ryan Vince focuses on long-term relationships between established artists and record companies. Senior consultant Chris Organ has a varied practice working in the wider field of media & entertainment.

Practice head(s):

Simon Esplen; Gavin Maude; Steven Tregear

Other key lawyers:

Chris Organ; John Reid; Chris Gossage; Jo Brittain; Chloe Forsyth; Mark Ashelford; Ryan Vince; Simon Jordan; Ally Horn; Elizabeth Scandrett


‘Steven Tregear and his team are top notch litigators.’

‘Russells’ music and entertainment work encompasses a wide range of disputes in that sector. I have been consistently impressed with their knowledge and the quality of their work in the field of company and partnership law. They are more than capable of taking on the magic circle and will be as robust as the case requires, whilst maintaining a commercial outlook.’

‘Elizabeth Scandrett is one of the best non-partner solicitors I have worked with. She is exceptionally clever, a brilliant strategist, fierce in the face of strong opposition and extremely hard working and determined.’

‘John Reid is an excellent strategist and is commercially minded – I really trust him to guide cases in the right direction and consistently make the right judgement calls.’

Key clients

George Michael’s Estate


Arctic Monkeys

Florence and the Machine

Universal Music Group


Clean Bandit

Roger Waters


Amy Winehouse’s Estate

Kobalt Music

Sam Fender

Michael Ball & Alfie Boe


Domino Recording Company

Work highlights

  • Advised Kobalt Music Royalty Fund II on the $1.1bn sale of its catalogue to Chord Music Partners.
  • Advised Coldplay on its multi-million pound contract renegotiation and extension with Warner Music Group.
  • Acting for Domino Recording Company Limited in a claim brought by producer and DJ Kieran Hebden, known as Four Tet, concerning royalty rates and ongoing obligations to exploit copyrights.

Private client > Family Tier 4

Russells combines ‘deep scale professionalism with superb customer service’ under the leadership of Carol Ellinas who is described as ‘one of the top lawyers in this field’. It acts for many celebrities (particularly in the media industry and arts sector) as well as other well- known figures such as sportspeople and TV presenters. Alongside its celebrity client base, it also works for numerous wealthy individuals who are working in the financial services sector. The group covers the full range of family matters from nuptial and cohabitation agreements to issues concerning children. It was pleased to recently add Louise Barretto to its ranks from Bishop & Sewell LLP.

Practice head(s):

Carol Ellinas

Other key lawyers:

Louise Barretto; Lucy Hoare; Andrew Miles


‘It has a strong background in entertainment law and clients – this gives the firm a very individual and client focused approach to its cases. It has a strong recruitment policy. Carol Elinas – very experienced and superb client handling skills. Lucy Hoare – former young solicitor of the year – hardworking and practical. Andrew Miles – a bright and committed upcoming solicitor’.

‘The Team is unrivalled when it comes to its breadth and depth of knowledge and experience. Whatever the case, it has the right solicitor to meet the client’s needs’.

‘The people at Russells are superb legal professionals. They are dedicated, tenacious as well skilled in achieving pragmatic and amicable results wherever possible. Lucy Hoare, is an exceptional solicitor. She knows her cases from the bottom up and has the intellectual and tactical nous that clients love’.

‘From a customer experience standpoint (mine), this was certainly the most – dare I say – ‘enjoyable’ Family Law process I’ve ever experienced, witnessed or envisioned. The process from my view was, at every step, measured, emotionally-neutral, competent, and professional. I feel that the fees were kept sensible and the dialogue was kept focused to stay on track with respect to both process and billings.’

‘With respect to my experience with Carol Ellinas specifically, it would be hard to envision a more ideal outcome’.

‘Great at communicating and getting back to you. Both Carol and Lucy were entirely focused on the matter at hand when we were interacting’.

‘The firm has an excellent arrangement at all levels. The partners in the firm have expertise in various fields and they have access to barristers who can take legal matters a stage further. The solicitor that I dealt with was Lucy Hoare and she in turn communicated with Carol Ellinas, a partner in the law firm. The advice and recommendations were always excellent and typically it was a quick response’.

‘The team seems to take great care in giving you the best advice possible. To be honest the team is small and they all have my utmost respect. My immediate solicitor Andrew Miles was incredibly impressive with how he handled my case and the partner Carol Ellinas who overlooked everything helped in every way possible’.

Work highlights

  • Continued to act during 2021 for the long-term partner of a UHNW individual in this complex Schedule 1 Children Act 1989 matter involving significant international aspects, which has been widely reported already: BSA v NVT [2020] EWHC 2906 (Fam) and BSA v NVT [2021] EWHC 2202 (Fam)
  • Acting for the wife, an academia in a matrimonial/financial matter involving a jurisdiction race between the UK and China reported as J v J [2021] EWFC 43.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Reputation management Tier 4

Russells Solicitors notably acts for well-known celebrity claimants seeking advice on libel, privacy, data protection, and harassment in the media. Practice head Steven Tregear specialises in media litigation and represents a range of major record companies, artists, and talent managers. 'Go-to claimant lawyer' John Reid covers a range of privacy disputes assists clients with litigation avoidance strategy. Senior associates Dan Hoyle and Jay Joshi support the team on phone hacking litigation.

Practice head(s):

Steven Tregear

Other key lawyers:

John Reid; Dan Hoyle; Jay Joshi


‘The team is recognised as one of the top firms in this area.’

‘Dan Hoyle – excellent and skillful lawyer. He has very good judgement. He is very good with clients – offering them excellent advice and ensuring that they achieve the best result possible.’

‘A strong firm with great clients and a very experienced, intelligent and knowledgeable team.’

‘Steven Tregear is highly experienced, fearless, efficient and extremely shrewd.’

‘Among the top firms for reputation management in libel and privacy matters, they are used to acting in high profile celebrity matters and phone hacking claims. A very strong team which provides a fast and robust service.’

‘John Reid and Steven Tregear have a strong reputation in the sector in media claims. John Reid is a go-to claimant lawyer, with great experience and tactical insight.’

‘Jay Joshi is an excellent senior associate who is very good with clients.’

Key clients

Chris Martin

Cheryl (Cheryl Tweedy)

The Estate of George Michael

The Estate of Amy Winehouse

Dua Lipa

Andrew Neil

Ian Wright

Carl Barât

Natalie Imbruglia

Nicola Roberts

Kimberley Walsh

Kay Burley

Mitchell Winehouse

Work highlights

  • Handled substantial phone hacking claims for a number of well-known actors, singers, models, music professionals and others against both NGN and MGN, achieving some of the largest settlements on record.
  • Instructed by Mitch Winehouse to commence legal proceedings against Macmillan and Tyler James for defamation following the publication of a book titled My Amy: The Life We Shared. The book made several defamatory statements about Mitch Winehouse, the father of the late Amy Winehouse.
  • Represented the claimant, Jagtar Rai, in seeking an injunction and damages for libel, malicious falsehood and harassment in relation to publications made on Facebook and WhatsApp. The defendant also issued a counterclaim seeking similar relief for defamation, and (more unusually in the context of a counterclaim) harassment.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Sport Tier 4

Russells Solicitors is well-regarded for representing individual sporting talent on private client, matrimonial employment, media work and litigation advice. The practice also advises sports clubs and management agencies, across boxing and football. Practice head Steven Tregear specialises in sports litigation; he is recognised for acting on claims and disputes concerning contractual and copyright-related matters, as well as defamation and privacy claims. John Reid is recommended for dealing with regulatory and disciplinary issues for governing bodies, organisations, clubs and personalities.

Practice head(s):

Steven Tregear

Other key lawyers:

John Reid


‘Steven Tregear has developed a reputation as one of the leading solicitors in boxing, as well as having great experience in football and other sport/entertainment disputes.’

‘Russells is one of the leading names in sports.’

‘Steven Tregear is one of the old guard and a stand-out sports lawyer.’

Key clients

Frank Warren / Queensbury Promotions

Tyrannic LLC, for the services of Mike Tyson

Frank Lampard

Ian Wright

Mark Sampson

David Haye / Hayemaker Ltd

Modest! Golf Ltd

Lee McGregor and Chantelle Cameron

TaP Sports & Entertainment Limited

Steve Bould

Work highlights

  • Advised David Haye on negotiations for his comeback exhibition fight against Joe Fournier for the American video-sharing social networking service, Triller.
  • Advised talent management agency TaP on the establishment of a joint venture company, TaP Sports & Entertainment Ltd, – a sports agency and athlete management business, which can count among its initial clients Premiership club Leeds United and England international Kalvin Phillips.
  • Negotiated the terms of Steve Bould’s exit deal from Arsenal.

Russells is widely regarded as a market leader in the music industry. The firm is also now recognised as an all round entertainment and media practice.

The firm: Established in 1974, Russells is based in the West End of London and is known historically as a niche firm specialising in all areas of media, entertainment and leisure including music, sport, e-commerce, digital media and technology, theatre, television and film. Russells is consistently rated amongst the top firms (as well as having leading individuals in its fields) in both professional guides and publications. The firm has grown steadily and today has 14 partners, 8 senior associates and 13 solicitors. In addition, there is 1 senior consultant (Chris Organ), 2 consultants (James Wyllie and Mark Sinnott), 5 trainee solicitors, 3 paralegals and a professional and disciplined support staff.

Principal areas of work: Russells offers most of the advice and services that its clients require from a general practice. In addition to its core business of negotiating agreements in the entertainment industry, buying, structuring and selling companies, the sale or acquisition of music publishing or master rights catalogues, litigation, digital media and technology, employment and immigration advice; it also undertakes private client work (such as wills, estate planning and probate), conveyancing and matrimonial advice. Its litigation department enjoys a reputation that is second to none, successfully representing its clients in numerous high profile cases and, more recently, achieving notable successes in privacy and reputation management. The commercial department is highly respected with individuals who have been involved in some of the most significant deals within its industry, representing artists, authors, sport and TV personalities and actors, as well as companies and industry organisations. Well regarded for its negotiating rigor and ability to conclude agreements, the firm’s outlook is always coupled with a sound, pragmatic approach to ever-changing industry landscapes.

The firm has a low profile and is known for the longevity of the relationships it enjoys with its clients, many of whom have been with the firm from the start of their careers, and who now enjoy worldwide fame and success.

Russells has grown organically to accommodate the increase in its client numbers and the breadth of its clientele. The reputation of the firm and word of mouth recommendation are the primary sources of business for Russells as opposed to aggressive advertising and promotion trading on the back of the fame and notoriety of its clients.

Senior consultant Chris Organ
Managing partner Simon Esplen
Music Gavin Maude
Corporate Chris Gossage
Litigation Steven Tregear
Employment John Reid
Family Carol Ellinas
Private client Peter Smith
Digital media and technology Mark Ashelford
New Artist Jo Brittain
Conveyancing/Real Estate Angela Fong
Number of UK Partners : 16
Number of Senior Consultants : 1
Number of Consultants : 2
Number of Senior Associates : 10
Number of Solicitors : 11
Number of Trainee Solicitors : 5
Number of Paralegals : 3