News & Views

Lee & Thompson is proud to support Female Film Leaders

30 January 2017

We are delighted to announce our sponsorship of Female Film Leaders (FFL).  The network was set up by three film industry executives as a practical response to  gender imbalance in the film industry. Senior people within the industry are regularly invited to give talks on their career, experiences and lessons learnt for an intimate audience of junior female industry executives.

We are proud to be supporting FFL by hosting these talks, with the 2017 line up to date is looking very impressive.   Amanda Nevill from the BFI will be speaking in February; Tessa Ross from House Productions at the beginning of March and acclaimed director, Gurinder Chadha at the end of March.

Click here for more information about Female Film Leaders.

Brit Awards 2017

16 January 2017

It's extremely gratifying to see clients in the Music industry received recognition for their achievements and successes. Which is why we are thrilled that many of our clients experienced this in the form of a nomination for a 2017 Brit Award. Congratulations to Little Mix on their nominations for the Best Group, Best Single and Video of the Year; Tinie Tempah for Best Single and Video of the Year; Anne Marie for Best Breakthrough and with Clean Bandit for Best Single and Best Video; Stormzy for Best Breakthrough and One Direction for Best Video.

We are also delighted that client Ray BLK won the BBC Sound of 2017, an accolade which is a regarded as the industry's tip for the artist set for big things over the coming months.

Bafta Nominations 2017

11 January 2017

Our Film & Television lawyers are always extremely proud when projects they have worked on are acknowledged by the industry.  Which is why we are delighted to see clients work recognised with nominations for awards at this year's Bafta ceremony. Congratulations to all of those involved with Denial, American Honey, Notes on Blindness, Under the Shadow and The Girl with All the Gifts.

We wish out clients the best of luck on the night.

 

Lee & Thompson advises Gareth Southgate on his appointment as England manager

20 December 2016

The Sports Group at Lee & Thompson has acted for client Gareth Southgate on his appointment as manager of the England Football team. Oli Shipton, client partner and Head of Sport led the negotiations with David Andrews, Head of Employment, advising on the employment issues.

Over the past few months, Oli and his team have continued to advise high profile clients in the sporting sector. The group primarily represents sports agents, professional athletes and managers on their playing contracts, endorsements and other commercial interests.

Click here to find out more about Lee & Thompson's Sport group or contact olivershipton@leeandthompson.com  if you have any queries.

Jeremy Gawade speaks at C21 International Drama Summit.

01 December 2016

Yesterday, Jeremy Gawade, Partner in the Film & TV department, chaired a panel of experts at the C21 International Drama Summit, focussing on the topic of alternative financing modules for independent TV drama.

From bankers and financiers to brands and advertisers, the industry has seen many new players entering the TV space. Joining Jeremy were a selection of these new financing models: Christian Wikander, Co-Production director at Pinewood Television, Harry Eastwood, Investment Director at Ingenious Media, Jenna Seguin, Managing Director at Aver media and Norman Merry, Financial Director at LipSync, who gave their insight into recent developments.

Click here for more information about Lee & Thompson's TV practice.

Managing Partner, Reno Antoniades talks to The Brief

28 November 2016

Managing Partner, Reno Antoniades was recently interviewed by The Brief about career highlights, motivations and aspirations for the firm. The interview formed part of the publications ongoing series of profiles on key figures in the industry.

Click here to read the article in full.

Lee & Thompson host Inside Pictures Alumni Drinks

25 November 2016

Last night we were delighted to host a drinks party for the current and past participants of the unparalleled  film industry course, Inside Pictures. Regarded as one of the best in the industry, the illustrious course is an intensive film business training programme presented by the National Film & Television School.

Now in its 13th year, the course's impressive alumni come from all disciplines of the film industry including production, finance, distribution, sales, marketing and exhibition. As well as the alumni drinks, Lee & Thompson hosts modules, contributes to the selection process and several partners have regular speaking slots over the year. The firm is a long-term and committed supporter of Inside Pictures and is proud to play its part in the prestigious programme.

British Film Independent Film Awards

07 November 2016

Nominations for the British Independent Film Awards were released last week and our Film lawyers are extremely proud that 13 of their clients' productions are up for nominations. Between Free Fire, The Girl With All the Gifts, Notes on Blindness, Trespass Against Us, Couple in a Hole, Under the Shadow, I Am Not a Serial Killer, Supersonic, The Passing, The Levelling, A Patch of Fog, Urban Hymn and The Greasy Strangler, the productions we have worked on have racked up a total of 32 nominations. We wish our clients the best of luck at the BIFA ceremony on 4th December.  

Jeremy Gawade speaks European TV Drama Series Lab

07 November 2016

Last week, Jeremy Gawade, Partner in the Film & TV Group, chaired a panel of industry experts at the European TV Drama Series Lab. The panel provided advice and guidance to leading scriptwriters, creative and executive producers and broadcasters on the costs and budgets of international productions. The series, sponsored by Creative Europe, provides participants with exclusive insights into every aspect of the industry, with a particular focus on understanding the mechanisms behind the success of American drama series and the ability to adapt this knowledge to European market realities. 

Royal Parks Half Marathon Success

11 October 2016

Huge congratulations to the Lee & Thompson runners who took part last Sunday in the Royal Park Half Marathon. The Team took on the challenge to raise money for the firm's charity of the year, Evelina London Children's Hospital. The money raised by the courageous runners will help Evelina continue to provide its much needed and critical work for the children and young people at Guy's and St Thomas' hospital.

Evelina London was voted by the firm as this year's Charity of the Year and the Royal Parks Half Marathon was part of firm's ongoing fundraising initiatives. If you would like to support the brave runners' fundraising efforts for Evelina please click here to visit the JustGiving  page.

Jim Beshoff joins as Consultant

03 October 2016

We are delighted to announce the appointment of experienced Corporate lawyer, James (Jim) Beshoff today (3 October 2016) as a Consultant to the firm's established Corporate & Commercial Department.

Jim qualified in 1986 and was an equity partner at the City practice of what is now DACBeachcroft. In 2003 Jim moved to establish his own practice, Beshoffs Solicitors, which, has been advising on ‘smaller’ corporate transactions for a range of clients across a broad spectrum of industries including many in the creative industries. His focus has been on owner-managed businesses and clients.

His client base and expertise perfectly complements that of the existing Corporate practice at Lee & Thompson which, ably led by Malcolm Murray, is going from strength to strength acting for clients across the media, entertainment and wider creative industries.  The three Partner, three Associate Group was recently boosted further by the appointment of Employment partner, David Andrews.

Both Jim and Lee & Thompson work on a variety of corporate transactions including mergers, acquisitions, start-ups, joint venture arrangements, private equity investments, shareholders agreements, reorganisations and share & asset sales and disposals. 

Lee & Thompson Hires Three New Associates

05 September 2016

We are delighted to announce the appointment of three new associates to the firm. Their addition to the Film & TV, Music and Employment Groups will help support the respective departments with their growing client base.

The new joiners are:

Carrie Finlay has joined the Film & TV Group where she will primarily focus on television related matters. Prior to joining the firm she worked for Canada’s leading independent production company, Muse Entertainment. A joint British/Canadian national, Carrie qualified to practice law in both New York (2013) and Quebec (2012).  Carrie's prior experience will help her assist the TV group on all matters related to the development, production, financing and distribution of television productions.

Lale Kemal has joined the Music Group.  She trained and worked as an Associate in the Intellectual Property litigation team at Norton Rose Fulbright for 5 years. Following this, she worked in-house gaining further intellectual property and commercial music experience at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and the British Recorded Music Industry (BPI) respectively, including in relation to the BRIT Awards 2016.

Efrat Gordon joined the Employment Group, having previously trained and worked as an Associate at a leading boutique firm in the West End. Efrat prior experience of dealing with multi-jurisdictional employment matters, across a variety of sectors, will support the firm’s thriving Employment Group.

Team Lee & Thompson is Running the Royal Parks Half Marathon

11 August 2016

Evelina London Children's Hospital was voted for by Lee & Thompson as this year's Charity of the Year.  

As a firm, we have set ourselves a target of raising £10,000, to support Evelina in continuing its vital work.

To help the firm reach its fundraising target, eight Lee & Thompson employees have taken on the challenge of running the Royal Parks half marathon on 9th October.

Please help us reach our goal, by supporting our team of: Reno Antoniades, Christos Michaels, Tim Fowler, Lian Lockert, Guy Mawson, Simon Goodbody, Harriet Oliver and Vicki Carvajal who are taking on the 13.1 miles/21.09km route around some of London's most iconic landmarks.

Rest assured these are not seasoned runners, so this is no easy feat,  please give generously and help us support Evelina London continue its important work.

You can find the fundraising page here

Lee & Thompson acts for Derek Wax on new venture Wild Mercury Productions

26 July 2016

The TV Group at Lee & Thompson has acted for client Derek Wax on the launch of new independent drama-focused production company, Wild Mercury Productions, which will sit within parent Endemol Shine Group. Wild Mercury Productions will be run independently by Derek but use Kudos's production infrastructure.

The first project from Wild Mercury will be Troy: Fall of a City for BBC One, a retelling of the Trojan War, which will be produced in association with Endemol Shine Group's production company, Kudos. The new production company also has a number of other projects currently in development, including a slate of contemporary dramas and the recently announced Cicero Project, the adapted trilogy of political thrillers set in ancient Rome.

Richard Lever, Head of TV, led the negotiations with Oliver Shipton, partner in the firm's Corporate group assisting on the Corporate matters and David Andrews, Head of Employment, advising on the employment issues.

Lee & Thompson is a proud sponsor of London Indian Film Festival

13 July 2016

We are delighted to announce our support of the London Indian Film Festival for the fifth consecutive year. The festival, which kicks off tomorrow, showcases the very best new Indian and South Asian independent cinema over two weeks at venues across London.

Lee Stone, partner in the Film & TV department will host his annual 'Guru Lounge' at BAFTA on Monday 18th June, offering legal advice to the future stars of Indian film making.

Click here for more information about the London Indian Film Festival

Lee & Thompson Supports One Great Day

15 June 2016

Last Thursday Lee & Thompson joined fellow businesses and residents of St Christopher's Place in taking part in One Great Day – an annual fundraising event in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children.

The firm joined in various activities throughout the day, including the renowned bike race – where 12 Lee & Thompson cyclists competed on static bikes to finish the 3 km race, the distance between St Christopher's Places and Great Ormond Street Hospital.

One Great Day is a UK wide annual Charity fundraising day that takes place over 60 venues across the country.

Text GREAT to 70300 to donate £3

Lee & Thompson Ranked in Eprivateclient's Top 25 Law Firms

06 June 2016

We are delighted to announce that Lee & Thompson's family team, led by Catherine Bedford, have been included in eprivate client's 2016 Top 25 Family Law Firms.

As with the existing Top 25 series from eprivateclient, the Top 25 Family Law Firms is based on a survey of law firms throughout the UK. The Top 25 have been selected on the basis of the most thorough assessment of ten factors of which five key criteria are published in the rankings.

Eprivate client is the leading website and news service for private client practitioners, providing incisive analysis and feature the people, businesses and trends.

Click here for more information about Lee & Thompson's Family Practice.

Two Lee & Thompson Partners speak at MIDEM

06 June 2016

Last weekend Andrew Forbes, Head of Dispute Resolution and Gordon Williams, Head of Brand Protection separately addressed attendees of MIDEM in Cannes.

Andrew gave a presentation on anti-piracy measures to the ICMP (the international representative body of the music publishing industry), discussing the various strategies available which deal with online infringement of copyright in music.

Gordon addressed the International Associate of Entertainment Lawyers, providing an update from the UK on the legislative changes and significant updates that have impacted the UK entertainment industry over the past year. You can find Gordon's address in full here.

Jeremy Gawade speaks at Drama Summit West

24 May 2016

On Friday 20 May, Jeremy Gawade, Partner in our TV Group addressed The Drama Summit West in LA.

Jeremy was joined by Matt Forde, EVP, content production, sales and distribution, BBC Worldwide North America; Nina Lederman EVP of scripted programming All3Media America; Sharon Hall, President at Endemol Shine Studios; Ted Miller, Co-head, TV department, Creative Artists Agency; Rola Bauer, Studio Canal; Carrie Stein, EVP of global productions entertainment One Television.

The illustrious panel unveiled new initiatives and explained how they are looking to develop new collaborations across borders, in light of the US becoming increasingly open to international coproduction, and domestic audiences becoming more receptive to European drama.  

Lee & Thompson continues successful partnership with Soho House

19 May 2016

On Wednesday 18th May, Mark Stafford, Partner in the Brand Protection Group led a panel at Soho House looking at the different ways to protect, grow and manage a brand. This was the ninth in Lee & Thompson's popular 'How To' talks hosted in partnership with Soho House, a series which provides valuable insight and advice on a variety of topics within the creative industries.

Mark was joined by Hugh Carling, CEO at Liveminds and Alison Battisby Founder of Avocado Social. The group provided the perfect eclectic mix of advice on brands for start-ups and SMEs. Speaking to a sold out event, the panellist discussed social media strategies, audience engagement and the legal issues which arise from managing the brand of a fast-growing company,

Click here to find out more about Lee & Thompson's Brand Protection practice or contact markstafford@leeandthompson.com

Lee & Thompson partners named in Spear's 500 Best Family Lawyers Index

06 May 2016

We are delighted to say that two partners in our Family department, Catherine Bedford, Group Head and Nicholas Westley have been listed in the Spear's Best Family Lawyers Index with Catherine making the Top Ten.

The Spear's 500 guide identifies the country's top individuals across the entire spectrum of private-client practice and wealth management in the UK, from family lawyers to family offices, philanthropy and private banking. The guide merits Catherine's 'dedication and intellect' noting that she is a 'respected leader among the profession's young and vibrant new guard'.

Click here to find out more about Lee & Thompson's Family practice or contact catherinebedford@leeandthompson.com

Lee & Thompson promotes Mark Irving to the Partnership

22 April 2016

We are delighted to announce the promotion of Mark Irving to the partnership.

Mark has built up a significant practice and is experienced in all aspects of private family law with a particular emphasis on complex financial and children cases and those with an international dimension. 

Described by clients as "outstanding", "kind but forceful" and having "superb client skills", Mark has been involved in a number of leading reported cases including the Court of Appeal decision in Grey  v Grey [2009] EWCA Civ 1424 which clarified the law surrounding the impact of cohabitation on maintenance post-divorce.  More recently, Mark successfully represented the wife in the case of FB v PS [2015] EWHC 2797 which involved complex financial structures, offshore trusts and cross-jurisdictional tax issues.

In March 2013, Mark won the prestigious Family Lawyer of the Year Award at the Spear's Young Turk Awards 2013 which "celebrate the brightest young talents in the private client world".  In winning the award, Mark was praised for his "judgement, diplomacy, speed and determination".  

In May 2015 Mark was named as a 'Rising Star' in Spear's Magazine Family Law Index, a list of the country's top 50 family lawyers and ranked as one of the leading private client advisers in The Spear's 500 2016 index.  

Mark's promotion to the partnership increases the number of Family Group partners to three supported by five Associate Solicitors, one paralegal and one trainee. Led by Catherine Bedford, the team represents clients from all walks of life, however it has particular experience in representing clients in the public eye and those working in the media, entertainment and creative industries.  This expertise allows Lee & Thompson to provide a more rounded service to its clients on both a professional and personal level. 

Mark Stafford talks Brand Management

29 February 2016

In February, Mark Stafford, a Partner in the Brand Protection group, joined a panel of seasoned industry professionals to provide advice and guidance on managing and protecting your brand. 

Hosted by the HeadSpace Group, Mark was joined by Katie McPhee, Strategic Marketing at Eventbrite, Dudley Nevill-Spencer, Director of Brand Revolution and Alison Battisby, Founder of Avocado Social.

Attended by Founders, CEOs and Marketing professionals the panel discussed social media strategies, influencer engagement and the legal issues which arise from managing the brand reputation of a fast-growing company.

Click here to find out more about Lee & Thompson's Brand Protection group or contact markstafford@leeandthompson.com   if you have any queries.

Celebrating the best of British music

22 January 2016

The Brits nominations were announced last week. Congratulations to our Music team's clients Jess Glynne, One Direction, Little Mix and Jessie J on their nominations.

Jess Glynne for Best Female Solo Artist, Best Breakthrough Act and Best Single of the Year; One Direction for Best Group and Best Video; Little Mix for Best Single and Best Video and Jessie J is up for Best Video.

 

We wish our clients the best of luck at the Awards next month.

Awards Season

22 January 2016

January always marks the start of the awards season for the film and television industries. With the New Year comes the opportunity to look back at the film and TV productions we worked on in 2015 and applaud our clients on their achievements.

Between the BIFAs, BAFTAS, Golden Globes and the Oscars the productions we worked on in 2015 amassed 50 nominations and have won 7 awards so far. With The Danish Girl, Amy, Childhood of a Leader, Freeheld, Macbeth, 45 Years, Legend, The Survivalist, Sunset Song, Kajaki all fairing extremely well.

We wish our clients the best of luck at the forthcoming BAFTA and Oscar ceremonies.

Lee & Thompson hosts panel at Soho House

20 January 2016

The latest in Lee & Thompson's successful 'How to' partnership with Soho House, saw Partner, Jeremy Gawade focus on the big questions of 'How to successfully create and exploit an international television drama format'.

Attended by over 50 aspiring format creators, producers and distributors, Jeremy was joined by Martin Rakusen, Commercial Director (Fiction) at BBC Worldwide, Daniel Isaacs, Joint CEO at Kudos and Amanda Davis, Head of Theatre, Film & Television at talent agency, Curtis Brown. The panel provided insight into what it takes to create a drama format that will work in the current market, discussing the different stages of the process from pitching to broadcasters, securing production commission, finance arrangements, to distribution arrangements.

Click here for more information about Lee & Thompson's TV Practice or contact jeremygawade@leeandthompson.com

Lee & Thompson advises Legend Exhibition on its acquisition

26 November 2015

Malcolm Murray and Joshua Metliss from Lee & Thompson's Corporate and Commercial team have advised the shareholders of Legend Exhibitions on its recent sale to Reed.

Legend organises some of Europe's largest retail technology and retail design events. Its portfolio includes the Retail Business Technology Expo, which attracts more than 12,000 visitors to London annually.

The move is expected to see Legend continue its strong growth and place it in a good position to benefit from the dynamic UK retail market.

Click here for more information about Lee & Thompson's Corporate & Commercial practice.

Benjamin Clementine winner of the 2015 Mercury Prize

23 November 2015

For our Music Lawyers there's nothing more rewarding then seeing their clients receive acknowledgement from the industry. Which is why it was extremely gratifying to see Benjamin Clementine receive the prestigious Mercury Prize for his album At Least for Now. This is the Londoner's debut album, which has been described as a 'spell binding introduction to an atypical singer-songwriter.'  

Clementine first created waves when he performed his track 'Cornerstone' on Later ….with Jools Holland back in October 2014 and since then has been universally applauded for his bold, raw and unique sound.

Click here to find out more about Lee & Thompson's Music Group.

Lee & Thompson merges with Forbes Anderson Free

18 November 2015

We are delighted to announce our merger with the specialist media and entertainment litigation firm, Forbes Anderson Free.

The agreement, which will come into effect on 1 January 2016, will see Forbes Anderson Free move into our central London offices, with the combined firm operating under the Lee & Thompson name.  The total number of partners will increase from 20 to 24, with the four Forbes Anderson Free partners joining our partnership.  

The move will further strengthen Lee & Thompson's well established media and entertainment litigation group to create one of the largest contentious practices of its kind in the UK, with a total of seven partners and six associates handling contentious matters for the media and creative industries.  This serves further to complement the firm's wider commercial offering, which is recognised as one of the most significant media and entertainment practices in the country.  

Lee & Thompson's current contentious practice has, for many years, been considered to be at the forefront of media and entertainment litigation and is particularly focused on dispute resolution, reputation protection and brand protection for individual 'talent' and their related commercial ventures.

Established in 2001, Forbes Anderson Free is a boutique litigation and dispute resolution firm founded and led by renowned media litigator, Andrew Forbes.  He and his fellow partners, Dominic Free, Martyn Bailey and Dominic Bray, have driven the firm to become one of the most well recognised and successful practices of its kind.   With a client base spanning the creative, media, leisure and technology industries, the Forbes Anderson Free practice perfectly complements that of Lee & Thompson's litigation offering and places the combined practice at the forefront of the UK's media litigation scene.

Moving forward, Lee & Thompson's Dispute Resolution Group will be headed by Andrew Forbes.  Gordon Williams will continue to head up the firm's Brand Protection Group and Mike Brookes will remain as head of the Reputation Management Group.

Lian Lockert runs the New York Marathon

06 November 2015

Last weekend, Lian Lockert, Associate in our Film & TV Group ran the New York Marathon to help raise awareness and funds for of Lee & Thompson's Charity of the Year, Evelina London.

 

Lian took on the 26 mile run around the big apple with friend Max, who both have personal ties to the Charity and have witnessed the results of its amazing work. So far their efforts have raised an incredible £5,600 for Evelina. If you would like to support their fundraising efforts for Evelina please click here to visit their JustGiving  page. 

British Independent Film Awards

06 November 2015

Our Film team is extremely proud that 14 of their clients' productions received a total of 26 nominations for the British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs) this year, announced last week, with Survivalist, Slow West, How To Change The World, High Rise, Macbeth, 45 Years, Nina Forever, Mr. Holmes, Sunset Song, Kajaki, Legend, The Hallow, A Royal Night Out and Danish Girl  all receiving the well-deserved nod. The winners will be announced at the BIFA ceremony on 6th December 2015.

Lee & Thompson Lawyers included in Spear's 500

02 November 2015

We are delighted that three Lee & Thompson lawyers have been recognised in the 2016 edition of Spear's 500. The Guide, which was launched last year, has quickly become Europe's definitive guide to the top wealth managers, lawyers and advisers for high net worth individuals.

Mike Brookes, Head of Reputation Protection, has been listed as one of the best lawyers in the field of reputation management. The directory praised Mike for his work in "squaring up to the press on behalf of household names."

 

Head of Family, Catherine Bedford has been named as one of the country's top family lawyers. With the Guide acknowledging the Firm's niche provision of in-house arbitration. Mark Irving, Senior Associate was also included alongside Catherine in the directory's listings of family lawyers.

 

Click here to find out more about the Lee & Thompson's Reputation Protection and Family Groups.

Lee & Thompson advises Premiership Rugby on first overseas fixture of the Aviva Premiership

29 October 2015

The Corporate & Commercial Group acted for Premiership Rugby in a recently completed deal which will see the first Aviva Premiership match to be played abroad. The fixture between London Irish and reigning Champions, Saracens will be played at the 25,000 capacity Red Bull Arena which is usually home of Major League Soccer franchise New York Red Bulls.

 

Malcolm Murray, Head of Corporate & Commercial advised longstanding client Premiership Rugby in the move which was aimed to meet the growing international interest in the most competitive league in world rugby - The Aviva Premiership.

Lee & Thompson Charity of the Year Announced

12 October 2015

Lee & Thompson is delighted to announce that Evelina London has been chosen as the firm's next Charity of the Year.

Evelina London is the second largest provider of children’s services in London, caring for more than 55,000 children each year. The hospital is located on the same site as St Thomas’ Hospital, meaning that they can treat patients throughout their whole lives, starting even before they are born!

Harriet Colley, Corporate Partnerships Fundraiser for Evelina London, says:

We are so pleased to have been chosen as Lee & Thompson’s Charity of the Year. So much of what we do to make hospital less scary for our young patients would not be possible without our supporters’ help, so we are enormously grateful to you for nominating us and are very excited about working with you over the next year

Charitable support allows the hospital to provide care and facilities that are above and beyond what the NHS is able to provide. The hospital is currently celebrating the 10th anniversary of moving into the current purpose-built Evelina London building, which was designed by patients and funded by donations.

Reno Antoniades, Managing Partner, commented:

"We are delighted to be able to do our bit to support such an amazing cause. Evelina's work struck a chord with many of our team and we look forward to finding creative ways to raise both money for and awareness of this charity's vital work."

Freelance to Business Owner: Women in Film & TV attend Lee & Thompson seminar

05 October 2015

Last week Lee & Thompson played host to members of WFTV at a seminar to provide guidance to owner-managers of creative businesses from start-ups to small and medium-sized enterprises on the sensitive and important subject of setting up your business and getting it in tip-top shape for the future – whatever that future may be.

 

Head of Corporate & Commercial Malcolm Murray outlined the process and potential issues faced when undergoing the transition from freelance to business owner and he was joined by producer Pippa Cross from Crossday Productions who highlighted her own experiences of this process, bringing to life the realities and challenges faced. 

 

For more information on the issues raised at the event, please contact malcolmmurray@leeandthompson.com

Lee Stone chairs panel at Soho House

02 October 2015

On 29th September, Lee Stone, Partner in our Film & TV Group, chaired a panel of experts at Soho House which aimed to explain the various different 'non-traditional' methods available when looking to raise finance for a film or a television production. This event was the latest in Lee &Thompson's popular 'How To' series which has been running over the past two years in partnership with Soho House.

Around 50 Soho House members working across the film and television industries listened to the advice of Dave Morrison, Film & Entertainment Partner at accountancy practice, Nyman Libson Paul, Christine Alderson of Ipso Facto Films and Miranda Fleming, former UK Head of Film at Indiegogo and founder of crowdfunding agency Fanslike. The panellists provided insight and understanding on the alternatives to traditional methods of finance for film and TV production, discussing the options of crowd-funding, EIS and SEIS tax breaks, private equity finance, social media and other potential sources of funding to help get productions off the ground.

Lee has also explored the topic of film finance in a recent feature for Soho House's, House Seven magazine. To read the article in full please click here

Click here for more information about Lee & Thompson's Film & TV Practice or contact leestone@leeandthompson.com

Catherine Bedford included in prestigious CityWealth lists

18 August 2015

We are delighted that Catherine Bedford, Head of Family at Lee & Thompson has been included in both the CityWealth Leaders List 2015 and the CityWealth Power Women list. The well-researched lists are a well-regarded collection of top individuals working in the private client and wealth management world. The Power Women List commends the most influential and successful women working in or advising this sector. 

To find out more about the CityWealth lists click here.

Film Festival Season Begins

18 August 2015

We are always delighted to see our clients' work being celebrated and we are proud that both the Toronto and Venice International Film Festivals have selected films we have worked on for this year's festival line ups.

Toronto Film Festival is playing host to 17 of our clients' productions.  Freeheld, The Man who Knew Infinity, The Danish Girl, Black Mass, Legend, Couple In A Hole, The Ones Below, Kill Your Friends, Kilo Two Bravo, London Road, Northern Soul, Urban Hymn, Miss You Already, 45 Years, Being A.P and Sunset Song all have been chosen to feature in this year's Festival. With the adaptation of Martin Amis's London Fields getting its first public screenings in the Special Presentations category. 

Black Mass and The Danish Girl also made it onto the Venice line-up along with Childhood of a Leader.

We wish our clients the best of luck at the upcoming festivals.

Dispute Resolution Group awarded top prize

17 August 2015

Lee & Thompson's Dispute Resolution team has been named Entertainment Dispute Resolution lawyers of the year in the 2015 Lawyer Monthly Legal Awards.

Voted for by over 9,000 subscribers to Lawyer Monthly, the Awards recognises the achievements of law firms, lawyers, barristers and those connected to the legal profession who have delivered exceptional results for their clients over the past 12 months.

If you want to find out more about the Group's offering please click here or contact gordonwilliams@leeandthompson.com

Lee & Thompson awarded M&A accolade

12 August 2015

Lee & Thompson is delighted to have been awarded the title of Creative Industry Law Firm of the Year UK in Acquisition International Magazine's 2015 M&A Awards which celebrate the efforts and achievements of all those involved in identifying, coordinating and seeing through to completion those deals that could make a huge difference to a business, a local economy or even an entire country.

The firm's Corporate & Commercial Group is the go-to team for much of the creative industry's corporate and commercial activity.  For example, over the last 12 months Lee & Thompson has played a big role in many of television industry's most significant deals including:

  •  Acting for Corona TV in the investment in that company by Fremantle
  • Acting for Eleven Film on the investment in that company by the Channel 4 Growth Fund
  • Acting for Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones to complete the formation of their new production company, House    of Tomorrow, within Endemol UK
  • Acting for "The Fall" producer, Artists Studio on its sale to Endemol
  • Acting for David Morrissey and Asif Kapadia, James Gay-Rees and Jolyon Symonds to set up their new indie On The Corner 

The team, led by Malcolm Murray, also has significant experience across the wider creative industries, particularly in live events, sport, marketing & brands, film, music, digital, design, fashion and theatre.

Lee & Thompson in Race for Life Triumph

06 August 2015

Last month a group of six of Lee & Thompson's finest athletes took part in Cancer Research UK's Race for Life in London's Hyde Park.  Donning pink tutus, headbands and leg warmers Lian Lockert, Andrea Ellis, Lorraine Hanson, Zoe Morris, Carolyn Edwards and Lizzie Payne-James competed in 5k and 10k runs and raised a remarkable amount for the firm's 2014-15 Charity of the Year, CRUK.

We would like to say thank you to everyone who sponsored our runners and we are delighted to have raised over £5,000 for this amazing cause.  

If you'd like to support the firm's fundraising efforts for CRUK please click here to visit our Just Giving page.

Lee & Thompson advises SME London on Countryfile Live

21 July 2015

Malcolm Murray, Head of Corporate & Commercial, has advised events company SME London on the launch of a new exhibition Countryfile Live in conjunction with BBC Worldwide. The inaugural event will be held at Blenheim Palace in 2016 and will bring to life Britain’s BBC produced factual programme Countryfile, which has a regular audience of more than six million viewers. 

SME London is a long standing client of Lee & Thompson, specialises in creating high-profile shows within the trade and consumer market sectors and stages over a dozen events around the world including Art15, London Fashion Week, Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, Conde Nast Brides Show, Doctor Who Official Convention and the British Fashion Awards.

Internationally SME stage events such as  Sydney Contemporary, Fashion Weekend Sydney, The Baby and Toddler Show (Sydney and Melbourne),Better Homes and Gardens Live (Sydney and Melbourne), and was the driving force behind the launch of ART HK, which subsequently was acquired by Art Basel.

London Indian Film Festival (16 – 23 July 2015)

20 July 2015

We are delighted, yet again, to support the fantastic London Indian Film Festival. Now in its sixth year, the festival screens the very best new Indian independent cinema in venues across London.   Lee & Thompson is proud to be the festival's legal sponsor and today, Partner, Lee Stone hosted his ever popular 'Guru Lounge' at BAFTA, giving advice to up and coming Indian producers.

To find out more about the festival click onto http://londonindianfilmfestival.co.uk/

Lee & Thompson advises Mainstreet Pictures as part of ITV acquisition of Twofour Group

25 May 2015

Richard Lever, Head of Television at Lee & Thompson is delighted to have acted for Laura Mackie and Sally Haynes of drama production company, Mainstreet Pictures on all of the company's distribution arrangements in conjunction with ITV’s acquisition of the Twofour Group

Toasting our partnership with the NFTS

24 June 2015

Last night we were delighted to host the launch of the National Film and Television School's 2016 creative Industries business training programme (CBEE) which Lee & Thompson has proudly co-sponsored since its inception in 2012 together with Ingenious and Saffery Champness.

The programme was established to provide cutting-edge, practically applied, 360-degree business training for entrepreneurs across seven key creative domains (Theatre, Publishing, Film, Television, Games, Music, and Digital Entertainment).  It gives selected participants a detailed understanding of business practice and business models in each domain, and powerful insights into cross-sector business opportunities.  

Next year’s iteration of the course will also be open to corporate executives in the creative industries and the drinks reception last night was an opportunity for course contributors, sponsors, participants and alumni to meet with prospective participants and corporate supporters.

To find out more click onto www.nfts.co.uk/our-courses/diploma/creative-business-entrepreneurs-executives

Film & TV Group News

23 June 2015

It has been non-stop for our film and television lawyers over the last couple of months. 

The team descended upon Cannes and were proud to have worked on Macbeth starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, the only British film featured in this year's festival. 

We are currently in the midst of the Edinburgh International Film Festival where Lee Stone will be addressing the EIFF Animation Lab and also hosting a surgery for up and coming producers.  We are delighted that Sigma Films' The Legend of Barney Thomson directed by Robert Carlyle opened the festival earlier this month and that so many other films that we worked on have been chosen to feature – 45 Years, Sunshine Superman, Iona, Desert Dancer, North v South, The Incident, The Sisterhood of Night and Scottish Mussel

And released on the big screen in the UK this month are client's films Mr Holmes (Sir Ian McKellan), Slow West (Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee), Gascoigne and London Road (Olivia Colman, Tom Hardy).

On the TV side, there have been rave reviews for many of the productions currently airing that we have worked including series three of The Syndicate (BBC One), series two of Doll & Em (Sky Atlantic), the Chapman brothers' first TV drama, The Marriage of Reason & Squalor (Sky Arts) and Suntrap (BBC One).  

Media Law Firm of the Year

22 June 2015

We are delighted to have been named 'Media Law Firm of the Year' in the 2015 Corporate Livewire M&A Awards. 

The M&A Awards celebrates the achievements of dealmakers, management teams, financiers and professional advisors who, over the past 12 months, have demonstrated excellence in their deal making.

Click here to find out more about Lee & Thompson's Corporate & Commercial team.

Inside Pictures: Module 1 wraps

19 June 2015

The first module of Inside Pictures wrapped today after an intensive week of training and networking which was hosted here at Lee & Thompson HQ.  The firm is a long term supporter of the illustrious programme and is proud to play its part in the careers of the course's impressive participants and alumni.

Now in its 12th year, Inside Pictures is an intensive film business training and leadership skills development programme presented by the National Film & Television School (originally created by Qwerty Films). The programme is for film industry executives from all disciplines (development, production, post-production, special effects, sales, distribution, marketing, finance, legal and business affairs) and is designed to develop the practical knowledge, skills and high-level contacts needed to lead successful businesses.

Module 1 speakers in 2015 included Tim Bevan (Working Title films), Chris Bird (Amazon), Katherine Bridle (See-Saw Films), Andrew Cripps (IMAX Corporation), David Garrett (Mr Smith Entertainment), Wayne Marc Godfrey (The Fyzz Group) , Malte Grunert (Amusement Park Films), Daniel Heale (Way To Blue), Pim Hermeling (September Film Distribution), Simon Hewlett (Universal Pictures International), Billy Hinshelwood, Lilla Hurst (DRIVE), Brandon DiMassa and Zachary Slatter (Universal), Ildiko Kemeny (Pioneer Pictures), Steve Knibbs (Vue Entertainment), Mark Lane (The Tea Shop & Film Company), Graeme Law (eOne Features), Al Munteanu (SquareOne Entertainment), Rebecca O’Flanagan (Treasure Entertainment), Joe Oppenheimer (BBC Films), Dr Andreas Pense (UNVERZAGT VON HAVE), Nik Powell (National Film & Television School), James Shirras (Film Finances), Robert Walak (The Weinstein Company), Fabien Westerhoff (WestEnd Films), Mark Woolley (Ecosse Films) as well as our very own Christos Michaels, Partner in Film & Television Group among others.

To find out more about Inside Pictures check out http://www.inside-pictures.com/

Gordon Williams speaks at MIDEM 2015

06 June 2015

Gordon Williams, Head of Dispute Resolution today addressed the International Association of Entertainment Lawyers at MIDEM in Cannes. 

Tasked with updating the gathering of his peers from around the globe with an update from the UK, Gordon spoke about some of the legislative changes and significant judgments that have impacted the UK entertainment industry over the past year.  This included the two significant amends to the Copyright Act together with a detailed account of the impact of the ongoing phone hacking litigation, in which Lee & Thompson continues to be involved.

Click here to read Gordon's address in full. 

One Great Day

04 June 2015

Lee & Thompson is proud to have again taken part in One Great Day – an extremely worthwhile day of fundraising in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children.

The firm joined fellow businesses and residents of St Christopher's Place to take part in a variety of fundraising activities including a gruelling cycling challenge.  The sun shone down on the nine Lee & Thompson cyclists who raced static bikes to compete in a tough timed contest to find the fastest team and fastest individual cyclists.

The St Christopher's Place activities were just part of a series of One Great Day events that took place all over the country raising money and awareness for Great Ormond Street and other children's' charities.

 

Text GREAT to 70300 to donate £3

SohoCreate Festival 3 - 7 June

03 June 2015

We are proud to support SohoCreate, London's new festival of creativity which kicks off this week in venues all over Soho. Featuring over 80 speakers in 50 events between 3 and 7June, the festival celebrates and champions the most creative square mile in the world.

 We wish the team at SohoCreate all the best with this year's outstanding festival.

 To see what’s on and book tickets go to http://sohocreate.co.uk/schedule/

Lee & Thompson continues successful 'How To' partnership with Soho House

30 April 2015

On Tuesday 28th April, Malcolm Murray, Head of the Corporate & Commercial Group chaired a panel of experts at Soho House to explore the different ways to structure and grow creative businesses. This was the sixth in a series of successful 'How To' sessions that Lee & Thompson has hosted in collaboration with Soho House, aiming to provide advice on a variety of topics related to the creative industries.

Attended by over forty owners/managers of new businesses, the panel consisted of  Barry Dudley, Partner at media specialist corporate financier, Green Square, Paul Byrom,MD of Upper Street Events, Bradley Keenan, founder of a market-leading web technology company E – Tale and renowned British entrepreneur, Will King, founder of King of Shaves.

The group offered advice on how to prepare your company for investment, growth and eventual sale with practical tips, real life lessons and guidance on how to avoid the most common pitfalls.

Click here to find out more about Lee & Thompson's Corporate & Commercial practice or contact malcolmmurray@leeandthompson.com if you have any queries.

Lee & Thompson hosts Women in Film & Television Legal Breakfast

21 April 2015

Reputation Protection duo, Mike Brookes and Leo Dawkins, welcomed members of WFTV for a legal breakfast on the topic of 'Libel Reviewing for Film and Television.' Concerns about libel are an everyday fact of life for all television and film producers. If you fail to ensure that there is nothing libellous in your production, then not only are you unlikely to have effective E&O insurance, but you also run the risk of a claim being made against you and any other party distributing or financing your production.

Mike and Leo offered attendees an introduction to the world of libel law and its relevance and application in the world of film and TV. Women in Film & TV is the leading membership organisation for women working in creative media in the UK and part of an international network of over 10,000 women worldwide. Lee & Thompson is a long term member and supporter of WFTV and its work.

Click here to find out more about Lee & Thompson's Reputation Protection Group or contact Mikebrookes@leeandthompson.com

Malcolm Murray speaks at seminar for entrepreneurs

14 April 2015

Yesterday, Head of Corporate & Commercial, Malcolm Murray joined a panel of esteemed entrepreneurs to discuss the ins and outs of preparing a company for investment, growth and sale. Hosted by the Headspace Group, Malcom led the first in a series of their #talkingheads seminars together with Brynne Herbert, CEO of Move Guides and well-known British entrepreneur, Will King, founder of King of Shaves.

Attended by owners and FDs of digital and creative businesses, the panel discussed the challenges faced by start-ups, how to remain protected throughout the life of the company and how to effectively plan for the future – whatever that future might be. Click here to find out more about Lee & Thompson’s Corporate & Commercial practice or contact malcolmmurray@leeandthompson.com if you have any queries.

Oli Shipton joins as Partner

01 April 2015

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Oli Shipton as a Partner. Oli joins the firm today (1 April 2015) from Round World Entertainment (RWE), where he held the position of Group General Counsel. At RWE his role involved advising across the group's varied business interests including 1966 Entertainment, 10Ten Talent and Iconic Images.

1966 Entertainment have managed the commercial rights of the England Men's National Football Team's since 2006, sports agency 10Ten Talent represent the likes of Pelé, Jack Wilshere, Glenn Hoddle and Christian Wade and Iconic Images Limited owns and represents the works of renowned photographers including Terry O'Neill, Douglas Kirkland, Baron Wolman and Gered Mankowitz

Oli will continue as principal counsel for the RWE businesses.

Prior to joining RWE in 2012, Oli worked at Lee & Thompson during which time Terry Byrne, (Chairman of RWE) was a client of the firm. Oli originally joined Lee & Thompson in 2009 having practiced as a corporate lawyer at US practice, McDermott Will & Emery.

Oli joins the firm as a member of the thriving Corporate & Commercial Group and will also become a Head of the Sport Group which will benefit enormously from Oli's expertise. His experience lies in advising on commercial and regulatory matters such as sponsorship, endorsements, image rights, player contracts and transfers, representation and management, interpretation of governing body regulations, events, ownership and exploitation of intellectual property rights, and commercial contracts within the sporting and creative fields generally.

While much of his practice will be sport related, Oli also advises clients from the wider creative industries including fashion, photography and digital media with clients ranging from start-ups to global brands, entrepreneurs, sportsmen, agencies and rights holders.

Easter Charity Fayre Frenzy

31 March 2015

It was an afternoon of sugar highs today as we hosted our first ever Easter Fayre, raising money for the firm’s Charity of the Year, Cancer Research UK (CRUK). From personalised Easter cupcakes and hot cross buns to Easter Egg games, we raised around £250 for the charity bringing our total to over £2,000. CRUK was voted by the firm as this year’s Charity of the Year in September 2014 and the Fayre is one of a series of fundraising initiatives that the firm has undertaken for the charity since.

If you’d like to donate to CRUK through Lee & Thompson please do so through www.justgiving.com/landt4CRUK

Richard Lever speaks at Broadcast event

26 March 2015

Head of Television, Richard Lever was invited by Broadcast to join an illustrious panel at the launch of the much-anticipated Broadcast Indie Survey. On Wednesday 25 March at the Hospital Club Richard spoke about the state of the independent television market alongside Emma Barker from Screenchannel Television, James Baker from Red Arrow Entertainment, Nick Bullen from Spun Gold and Camilla Lewis from Curve Media. Chaired by Broadcast News Editor, Jake Kanter, the group discussed the challenges facing the independent sector including proposed amends to terms of trade, the state of the UK commissioning market, accessing the US market and the continued growth of digital.

Lee & Thompson hosts Inside Pictures Alumni Event

25 March 2015

Last night, Lee & Thompson was delighted to host a drinks party for past participants of the unparalleled film business training programme, Inside Pictures. Now in its 12th year, Inside Pictures is an intensive film business training and leadership skills development programme presented by the National Film & Television School. Participants include the great and good from all disciplines of the film industry. Lee & Thompson is a long term and committed supporter of Inside Pictures and is extremely proud to be involved in the programme.

UK Parody Exception: Finding a sense of humour 12 March 2015

12 March 2015

In the second of a series of briefings for International Law Office (ILO), Gordon Williams and Leo Dawkins explore the impact of the newly introduced and much-anticipated legislation which allows for fair dealing with a copyright work for the purposes of caricature, parody or pastiche. Click here to view the PDF.

To speak to someone about the issues raised in this article, contact Leo Dawkins.

Three New Joiners at Lee & Thompson

15 February 2015

We are delighted to announce that three new Associates have joined the firm. Their appointment into the Film & TV, Family and Dispute Resolution Groups will enable the firm to support the growing demands of its existing and anticipated client base.

The new joiners are:

Alex Ward

Alex joined the Family Group from Mishcon de Reya, having also previously worked at Leveson Metzer Piggot and Penningtons (now Pennington Manches), where he trained. Alex brings his invaluable experience of high net worth matrimonial litigation and adds further depth to the now 8-strong Family practice led by Catherine Bedford.

Deirdre McMahon

Deirdre joined the Film & Television Group where she will primarily focus on television related matters. Prior to joining the firm, Deirdre worked for over four years as a solicitor at Matheson, Ireland’s longest established media and entertainment practice. During her time at Matheson, Deirdre acted for many of country’s leading independent television and film production companies.

Zoe Morris

Zoe joined the Dispute Resolution Group from Carter-Ruck’s Media/Commercial Litigation team where she had practised since training at DLA Piper. Zoe’s experience at Carter-Ruck will support the firm’s thriving Reputation Protection team which is busier than ever and she will also assist in the Group’s brand protection and media/entertainment litigation work.

Corporate Advises on Corona TV deal with FremantleMedia

18 February 2015

The Corporate & Commercial Group acted for TV production company, Corona TV in a recently completed deal with FremantleMedia. The deal, in which FremantleMedia has taken a 25% stake in Corona TV, gives Fremantle a first look option on all Corona TV output and is an exciting move for Corona founders, renowned filmmaking duo Richard Johns and Rupert Jermyn.

Corona TV is a sister company of Corona Pictures, which was founded by Johns and Jermyn in London in 2009. The company develops, produces and markets feature films and television programs to every country in the world, including the major established markets, and key emerging markets such as China. FremantleMedia previously worked with Johns and Jermyn on the development of Birds of Prey, a TV adaptation of the first three novels of Wilbur Smith’s Courtney series, penned by Layer Cake scriptwriter J.J. Connolly.

Malcolm Murray, Head of Corporate & Commercial, advised Richard Johns and Rupert Jermyn of Corona TV in the deal supported by Corporate Associate, Lucy Strauss. Reno Antoniades, Head of Film, advised Corona on development and distribution arrangements.

Best of British

15 January 2015

2014 was an excellent year for many of the Music Group’s clients and the 2015 Brit Award nominations, announced last week, reflect this success. FKA Twigs and Lily Allen are both nominated for Best Female Solo Artist; Paolo Nutini for Best Male Solo Artist; One Direction for Best British Group; 5 Seconds of Summer for Best International Group and Sigma and Jess Glynne (with Clean Bandit and with Route 94) nominated on the Best British Single category.

Award Winning

15 January 2015

It's awards season for the film and television industries, which gives us an opportunity to look back at the films and TV productions on which we worked in 2014 and commend our clients for their nominations and awards. Between The Theory of Everything, Mr Turner, Under the Skin, Pride, The Honourable Woman, Calvary, Catch Me Daddy, Belle, The Goob and 20,000 Days on Earth, the productions that we worked on have racked up 66 nominations and have so far won 13 awards in the BIFAs, BAFTAs, Golden Globes and the Oscars. We wish our clients the best of luck at the forthcoming BAFTA and Academy Award ceremonies.

Success for Stormzy

08 January 2015

It's always great to see our music clients recognised for their success and potential by the industry. Which is why we are thrilled that new client, Stormzy has been ranked third in the well-respected BBC Music Sound of 2015 poll. The first unsigned rapper to play the Jools Holland show, Stormzy had a great 2014, highlighted by winning a MOBO award on the strength of a solitary EP – The Dreamer’s Disease. The BBC Music Sound list is selected by a panel of impartial experts and showcases the best and brightest rising stars. It has gained a reputation as a "survey that gives a glimpse into the future of music" so Stormzy’s inclusion in the list signals great things for the year to come.

Lee & Thompson acts for Upper Street Events in MBO

05 December 2014

The Corporate & Commercial Group at Lee & Thompson LLP has acted for the shareholders of long standing client, Upper Street Events as well as for the continuing management team on its management buyout. Private equity company, Living Bridge has supported the company's management in purchasing the majority shareholding from its current owners, including majority shareholders the Morris family, for an undisclosed sum.

Based in Islington, London, Upper Street Events is one of the UK's leading B2C events businesses, owning a portfolio of market leading shows including The Gadget Show Live, The Cycle Show, London Art Fair and Country Living Fairs. The investment by Living Bridge will support Upper Street Events' management team, Paul Byrom (Managing Director), Isobel Dennis and Dan Holmes in continuing to develop existing and new concepts, delivering creative and relevant content that engages audiences, exhibitors and brands.

Malcolm Murray, Head of Corporate, acted for the shareholders and ongoing management team of Upper Street Events in this deal.

Upper Street Events was set up in 1987 as a division of the Business Design Centre Ltd, until it became independent in 2009. Upper Street's 17 events cater for nearly 400,000 visitors and work with nearly 3,500 exhibitors at venues including Alexandra Palace, The Business Design Centre, Olympia, The NEC, Harrogate International Centre, The RDS Dublin and the SECC Glasgow.

Lee & Thompson Libel Win for Tom Ellis

24 November 2014

Our Reputation Protection team secured a significant win for actor Tom Ellis against The Sunday Mirror earlier this month. The paper was required to apologise and pay substantial damages to our client after it wrongly claimed that he had been in a "bitter battle" with his ex-wife over child support payments.

Associate Leo Dawkins read a Statement in Open Court on 6th November which stated that the 13 July story claimed that Mr Ellis had "deliberately sought to shirk his responsibility to pay child maintenance for his two daughters" with his former wife, actress Tamzin Outhwaite, The article claimed he was "too cash strapped to do so, and that this had forced his ex-wife to threaten him with lawyers to ensure that he met his obligations as a father".

The statement continued:

"To have such defamatory allegations published in a national newspaper was deeply upsetting for my client. His distress was compounded by the fact that, as is obvious, the financial arrangements regarding his children are private.

As the Defendant has now admitted, there was also no truth in the story. There had been no such row between my client and his ex-wife, bitter or otherwise. Whilst details of the childcare arrangements are, as I say, private, Mr Ellis has in fact never failed to pay his share of child maintenance, nor has he ever claimed that he could not afford to do so.

It is for that reason that he instructed me to commence this action against the Defendant and I am pleased to be able to confirm that MGN Limited now accepts that the allegations it made were false.

It has agreed to join in the reading of this statement in an effort to set the record straight. It has also agreed not to repeat the allegations complained of, and has also agreed to pay him substantial damages as well as legal costs.

We have also won apologies and substantial damages from the Mail Online and Daily Express for our client after they ran similar stories."

Channel 4 investment deal secured for Eleven Film

21 November 2014

We are delighted to have acted for Eleven Film in its recent investment deal with Channel 4 Growth Fund.

Eleven Film – producer of E4's highly successful show, Glue – has become the first drama indie to win investment from Channel 4 which is part of the broadcaster's £20m Growth Fund.

Co-founded by Jamie Campbell and Joel Wilson, Eleven Film has also produced series including C4's Bafta nominated Cast Offs and Playhouse Presents: Mr Understood for Sky Arts. It has recently finished filming on its forthcoming drama Enfield Haunting starring Timothy Spall.

Richard Lever, Head of Television and Malcolm Murray, Head of Corporate acted for Eleven Film in this deal.

Lee & Thompson wins The Voice UK 2015

06 November 2014

We are delighted to confirm that our Music Group has been selected to advise the contestants on the next series of BBC One's The Voice UK.

After a competitive pitch, partner Will Everitt has been instructed to represent the interests of all 48 contestants for the upcoming fourth series of the popular BBC One show.

Lee & Thompson is well placed to handle this work, not only because of its highly regarded music practice and its unparalleled TV practice but also because the firm handled similar negotiations for the contestants for series 2 and 3.

The Voice UK will start on BBC One in January.

Aston Merrygold Domain Name Success is 10,000th case for Nominet

06 November 2014

Mark Stafford, Partner in our Dispute Resolution Group, has successfully acted for Aston Merrygold, former member of JLS, to recover the domain name www.astonmerrygold.co.uk from a domain squatter. As luck would have it, the decision marks the 10,000th domain dispute to pass through Nominet's Dispute Resolution Service since it was established over 12 years ago.

The original registrant of the domain first registered it the day after JLS' appearance in the X Factor final in December 2008, along with similar domain names for the other members of the group. Despite the original registrant never using the domain to host any content, Nominet ruled that the registration was made in order to take unfair advantage of Mr. Merrygold's rights.

Nominet is the .uk domain name registry for the United Kingdom.  It is a not-for-profit business responsible for the smooth and secure running of the .uk internet infrastructure.

Latest from the Film & TV Group

30 October 2014

It's been yet another busy couple of months for our film and television lawyers and their clients.  Following a big line up of our clients' productions at the Toronto International Film Festival, we were extremely proud that 14 films that we had worked on were chosen to feature in the BFI London Film Festival. A Little Chaos, Mr Turner, Robot Overlords, The Face of an Angel, The Dead Lands, X + Y, The Face of an Angel, The Duke of Burgundy, Bypass, Snow in Paradise, Testament of Youth, Honeytrap, Catch Me Daddy, Hockney and Electricity all made the cut and fared excellently.

Pride and Mr Turner were both released nationally to rave reviews and in the next couple of months we are looking forward to Hockney, Electricity, Get Santa and The Theory of Everything hitting the big screen.

And on slightly smaller screens across the country, E4's newest show Glue (produced by Eleven Film), described as 'Broadchurch meets Skins', is currently impressing audiences and critics alike. Over on BBC One and ITV1 respectively, our long standing client Red Production Company has served up two shows in the last few weeks with David Morrissey starring in The Driver and the ever-popular Scott & Bailey returning for a fourth series. And everyone is on the edge of their seats waiting for the much anticipated second series of The Fall (Artists Studio) which is back on BBC Two on 13th November starring Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan.

Catherine Bedford included in prestigious guide

28 October 2014

We are delighted that the Head of our Family Group, Catherine Bedford has been included in the inaugural edition of Spear's 500 which was launched on 27th October. Published by Spear's WMS, the publication is the first-ever comprehensive guide to every field which matters to high net worth individuals covering professionals from the best private bankers, wealth managers, family lawyers and property consultants to the top art, philanthropy, wine and security advisers.

Catherine has been selected as one of the country's Best Divorce Lawyers. www.spearswms.com/indices/best-divorce-lawyers/#.VFDzPmdyaUk

Click here for more information about Lee & Thompson's Family practice.

The Internet: Still the 'Wild West' of publication?

09 October 2014

In the first of a series of briefings for International Law Office (ILO), Gordon Williams and Michael Yates explore the complex area of defamation and the internet and look at the new defence under Section 5 of the Defamation Act 2013 which came into force on January 1 2014. This defence tries to strike a balance by redistributing the responsibility for defamation between the anonymous defamer, the publisher and the defamed.  But does it help anyone at all? Click here to read more.

To speak to someone about the issues raised in this article or any other areas of defamation/privacy law or any reputation protection matters, contact Michael Yates.

On Your Marks, Get Set, Bake

08 October 2014

The bakers among us donned their aprons, set their over timers and filled their piping bags to compete in Lee & Thompson's very own Bake Off extravaganza. In preparation for the hotly anticipated final of The Great British Bake Off, we chose to line up our baked goods and sell them to colleagues and clients alike to raise money for our newly chosen Charity of the Year, Cancer Research UK.

Never has so much cake been eaten in such a short space of time causing a sugar high only rivalled by a 3 year old's birthday party. But it was all for an amazing cause and we managed to raise £190.28 which the firm matched to make a grand total of £380.56 for CRUK.

CRUK was voted by the firm as this year's Charity of the Year and The Lee & Thompson Bake Off was the first in a series of fundraising initiatives that the firm will be undertaking for the charity in the coming year.

Reno Antoniades, Managing Partner said:

"I'd imagine that everyone at this firm has been affected by cancer in one way or another and I am delighted that Lee & Thompson can play a small part in helping this amazing charity to save lives through the incredible research that it funds and awareness that it raises. We will continue to hold fundraising events like today's Bake Off throughout the year in a bid to raise as much as we can for such an important cause. Well done to all our bakers and eaters. Great effort!"

If you'd like to donate to CRUK through Lee & Thompson please do so through www.justgiving.com/landt4CRUK

Award Win for Lee & Thompson

01 October 2014

We are thrilled to announce that Lee & Thompson has been recognised as 'Media & Entertainment Lawyer of the Year: UK' in The Lawyer Monthly Legal Awards 2014.

The Awards recognise the achievements of lawyers, law firms and associated legal professionals whose knowledge and expertise continue to influence the wider profession. They also celebrate firms that have achieved success in commercial terms.

'How to' with Lee & Thompson and Soho House

23 September 2014

In the latest from Lee & Thompson's popular 'How To' partnership with Soho House, Head of Digital, Mark Ashelford chaired a panel of experts focused on the burning question of 'How to make the most of your content through online platforms'. Attended by over 60 budding content creators and owners, the panel consisted of Matt Rook, Commercial Director at ChannelFlip, one of the UK's foremost channel management companies, Gideon Mountford, Head of Video at independent digital distributor, Believe Digital and Ed East from multi-channel YouTube network, Billion Dollar Boy. The group reviewed the current market and its challenges, the elusive magic formula of what makes good content, the continuing evolution of YouTube, how to be strategic in managing content and brand partnerships as well as their predictions for the future. With YouTube dominating the market with over 1 billion unique users per month and continuing to grow in strength and reach, the panellists agreed that the future for any brand was their strategy for YouTube, and by extension the future for multi-channel networks and similar providers was how quickly they adapted to trends and differentiated themselves from the pack.

Click here to find out more about Lee & Thompson's Digital Practice or contact markashelford@leeandthompson.com

Music Group Monthly Round Up

02 September 2014

August was a whopping month for our Music Group clients with successful releases, astounding festival performances and sell-out tours hitting the headlines.

Not only did the brilliant FKA Twigs reach No. 1 in the Independent Singles Chart but she was also nominated in the AIM Independent Music Award along with London Grammar (signed to Ministry of Sound). And One Direction has become the first act to break through the $200m mark for concert ticket sales this year following the band's 10-week trek around Europe and North America which is set to finish in Miami in October.

Meanwhile the line-up for September's hugely popular iTunes Festival has been announced and will include performances from 5 Seconds of Summer, Luke Sital Singh, Paolo Nutini, Jess Glynne, Jessie J and MNEK. And if their performances at the Video Music Awards were anything to go by, Jessie J and 5 Seconds of Summer are set to impress the iTunes crowd. The VMAs were the culmination of an amazing few months for the 5 Seconds of Summer boys who secured the coveted number 1 album spot in the US (Billboard 200) and achieved the biggest debut album of the year.

In other news, Queen's 'Once in a Lifetime' tour is heading to Australia and New Zealand following a summer touring the US and Asia and Lily Allen has announced her UK Headline Tour dates for November and December.  And on the classical music front, we have recently taken on the great Alfie Boe while long standing client Katherine Jenkins has announced that her 10th solo album 'Home Sweet Home' will be released in November.

Click here to find out more about Lee & Thompson's Music Group.

Film & TV Group Monthly Round Up

28 August 2014

For our film and TV lawyers there is nothing more gratifying than seeing the release of productions they worked on and witnessing response to them. And when international festivals recognise these productions, we are always so incredibly pleased for everyone involved.

August has been a big month for our clients.

The Toronto International Film Festival confirmed much of its impressive line-up including seven films that the firm worked on – Mr Turner, Sunshine Superman, The Face of an Angel, Big Game, Cake, Hector & The Search for Happiness and A Little Chaos, which is set to close the festival.

There have also been rave reviews for both The Honourable Woman (BBC2) and In the Club (BBC1). And on the big screens, Sin City 2 and Hector and the Search for Happiness were both released this month to big audiences.

Lee & Thompson acts for Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones in Endemol deal

28 July 2014

We are delighted to have worked with award winning writer, producer and broadcaster Charlie Brooker and former Zeppotron Managing Director, Annabel Jones to complete the formation of their new production house within leading entertainment group, Endemol UK.

Richard Lever, Head of TV and Malcolm Murray, Head of Corporate acted for the pair to set up 'House of Tomorrow' which will produce dramas, comedy series and feature films for the UK and international markets.

With Charlie Brooker as Creative Director and Annabel Jones as Managing Director, the new company will build on the success of numerous award-winning productions at Zeppotron. These include Black Mirror, A Touch of Cloth and "Wipe".

In March Lee & Thompson also acted for international drama producer Artists Studio (The Fall) in its sale to Endemol UK.

Big budget Bollywood Film Opens

25 July 2014

Today (25th July 2014) saw the UK release of the large budget Bollywood film Kick.  An action-romance about a man who lives for the thrill of the adrenaline rush, the film stars Bollywood superstar Salman Kham in this remake of the Telugu hit of the same name.  Partly shot on location in Glasgow, the film was produced and financed by Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment.  Lee Stone, Partner in the Film & TV Group at Lee & Thompson acted for them on the production.

Lee & Thompson is one of the leading UK law firms advising the Indian film industry and Lee Stone is widely recognised as the go-to-lawyer for Indian film producers, financiers and distributors wanting to do business in the UK.  He is regularly instructed by British companies wanting to collaborate with entities from within the Indian film industry.

Lee & Thompson supports the London Indian Film Festival

14 July 2014

Today Film & TV Partner, Lee Stone is hosting a series of surgeries at BAFTA as part of the London Indian Film Festival. The 'Guru Lounge' Legal Eagle session is open to anyone looking to make a film with an Indian angle, offering each a chance to run ideas and queries past Lee, who is widely recognised as the go-to lawyer for Indian film producers, financiers and distributors wanting to do business in the UK.

Lee & Thompson is a long term and proud partner of the London Indian Film Festival which is running in various venues across London until 17th July. For more information about the festival see www.londonindianfilmfestival.co.uk

Keshet International Partners with Universal Music Group in Multi-Territory Deal to represent artists emerging from Rising Star

01 July 2014

Lee & Thompson's Music Group is delighted to have acted for the firm's client, Keshet International, on its partnership agreement announced on 1 July 2014 that will see Universal Music Group acquire exclusive options to sign artist agreements with any of all contestants participating in Keshet's trailblazing interactive TV series, Rising Star.

Lawrence Engel, Head of Music at Lee & Thompson, led the deal supported by Head of TV, Richard Lever who acts for Keshet on TV related matters.

The Israeli version of Rising Star marked a record-breaking debut on Keshet's Channel 2 from September to December 2013, peaking with an audience share of 58% and tallying more than 10 million votes through its real-time voting app, developed by Keshet and digital partner Screenz. The show has gone on to sell to more than 25 territories internationally in six months becoming the fastest-selling talent show on record (source: The WIT).

Rising Star is a trailblazing interactive talent format which hails a new era in home entertainment. It enables the first real-time voting by viewers via an innovative free app ‘TV app to you' which is fully integrated into the show. Making their debut on stage alone, behind a giant wall of TV screens, a performer can only make his or her entry to the studio by securing more than 70% of the viewers', judges' and live audiences' vote. If the bar is met, the screen (which lights up with the face of each voting viewer in real-time) will slowly rise to expose the hopeful to their new fans and the expert panel. From the very first minute of the very first episode, viewers play an integral role in every decision made on the show and continue to do so throughout the entire season.

Family Group Launches In-House Arbitration Service

26 June 2014

On 26th June, Lee & Thompson's Family Group hosted an arbitration in-house at our Gee's Court offices.  Presided over by highly respected, retired High Court judge Sir Hugh Bennett and attended by both parties and their barristers from QEB and 1 Hare Court, the arbitration was part of the firm's effort to ease the cost, relieve the strain and speed up the resolution of matters for clients and their families.

Catherine Bedford, Head of Family said: "We know that family matters are often extremely difficult and emotionally draining for the parties involved. Therefore, we make every effort to reduce this strain for our clients and to get as quick a resolution for them as possible so that they can move on to the next chapter of their lives.

Hosting arbitrations at our offices works extremely well.  It is completely private, our clients are in familiar surroundings which are far less daunting than the Family Courts, we can organise the proceedings according to our clients' timetables and we can also work with the other side to choose a judge that we all believe is most experienced in the matter at hand unlike relying on the inherent lottery draw regarding judge allocation in the Family Court."

Lee & Thompson is M&A Awards Winner

12 June 2014

Lee & Thompson has been named 'Media Law Firm of the Year' in Acquisition International's 2014 M&A Awards.

Voted for by a global network of expert M&A professionals, advisers, clients, peers and industry insiders, the M&A Awards celebrate excellence in all areas of M&A, recognising not only individual deal success but also the firms and individuals behind the scenes whose tireless efforts and unrivalled expertise have contributed to the dramatic increase in global M&A activity over the past year.

Malcolm Murray, Head of Corporate at Lee & Thompson said of the win, 'We are absolutely thrilled that our corporate work in the creative industry sector has been recognised in such a prestigious way. Lee & Thompson has a strong and well-deserved heritage and reputation in advising on all types of corporate deals across the creative industries and this year has been an especially busy and rewarding year for us. We look forward to another successful year ahead.'

For more information about the awards visit www.acquisition-intl.com where you can access the winner's supplement.