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Media
We cover all the major industry sectors, including advertising, digital media, film, television, music, publishing, sport and theatre.

We advise a wide range of clients from large multinational corporations to private individuals, from owner-managed businesses to cultural institutions. The main focus of our work includes the drafting and negotiation of commercial contracts, commercial and intellectual property advisory work, and dispute resolution. Whoever our client is, our approach is founded on a profound understanding of their business. This, together with our network and close professional relationships in the media, enables us to give our clients real, valuable advice that shapes and informs their commercial decisions.

OUR AREAS OF EXPERTISE

  • Advice on content creation and exploitation
  • Advice on the financing of media projects
  • Stand-alone due diligence
  • Outsourced or overflow business affairs
  • Litigation and dispute resolution.
  • Advice on catalogue and product
    acquisitions and disposals
  • Specialist advice in areas such as
  • copyright, trademarks, insolvency,
  • broadcast regulation and data protection.
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    "Simkins' industry knowledge is very good - there's no scenario we've had that they haven't dealt with before. They also have quick turnaround."
    Chambers & Partners, 2020
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    "Excellent at providing commercial legal advice across all areas of the entertainment industry"'.
    Legal 500, 2019
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    "Very partner-led service for the clients which ensures a really high standard of work across the board."
    Chambers & Partners, 2019
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    "Knowledgeable" and "highly responsive" team, which has expertise across music, TV, film, theatre, digital media, publishing, advertising and marketing.
    Legal 500, 2018
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    “Cost-effective, commercial and responsive.”
    Legal 500, 2018
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    Renowned media boutique firm, providing transactional advice and dispute resolution services to clients across the creative industries.
    Chambers & Partners, 2017
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    A client praises his "major commercial expertise and wide knowledge of music rights and the industry."
    Chambers & Partners, 2020
  • Simkins Logo
    "His practical approach and calm, thoughtful nature makes working with him enjoyable."
    Chambers & Partners, 2019
  • Simkins Logo
    "He has an unbelievable wealth of experience operating in the industry and he can therefore navigate pretty much any matter."
    Chambers & Partners, 2018
  • Simkins Logo
    "Very smart and very commercial in his approach.”
    Chambers & Partners, 2017
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    A venerated market leader in the music industry, highlighted by peers as "absolutely superb." Clients note that he is "very efficient and very calm," and value his "wide commercial expertise."
    Chambers & Partners, 2015
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Advertising
Advertising has been called an art form – but it is also a business. And it is constantly evolving.

Members of our advertising group have a thorough grasp of the advertising business and its regulatory and technical environment.

Whether in copy clearance or contractual negotiations, we balance the legal and commercial aspects of the advice we give and demonstrate real sensitivity to the often contrasting business and creative needs of agencies and their advertiser clients.

Our experience in providing advice on traditional and digital campaigns has a reach far beyond the UK. We have contacts with the best independent specialist advertising lawyers worldwide and we can draw upon the expertise of some of the country’s foremost entertainment, music and digital rights lawyers from our colleagues within the firm.

OUR AREAS OF EXPERTISE

  • Copy clearance
  • Complaints handling
  • Prize promotions
  • User generated content
  • Advertiser funded online content
  • Advertiser funded programming
  • Pharmaceutical advertising
  • Viral and buzz marketing
  • Defamation
  • Client/agency agreements
  • Media-buying agreements
  • Talent agreements
  • Production agreements
  • Mobile media partnerships
  • Creative commons licensing
  • EU e-commerce regulation
  • Blogs, wikis and social media
  • Work permits
  • Comparative advertising.
  • Simkins Logo
    "Cost-effective, commercial and responsive."
    Legal 500, 2018
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    "Excellent commercial lawyers and great team players."
    Legal 500, 2017
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    Caroline is "a pleasure to work with". ​
    Legal 500, 2016
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    Caroline Copeland is "recommended for commercial matters."
    Legal 500, 2018
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Digital Media
The digital revolution has radically changed our lives and our businesses. And the pace of technological change continues.

We hear constantly about new platforms, alternative delivery methods and disruptive business models.  All businesses, old and new, need to adapt to this rapidly changing environment.

Our digital media group is steeped in all things digital and assists both new and existing businesses navigate its challenges. We are on top of all relevant regulatory developments, including in data protection, e-commerce, IP and privacy, and our deep and wide-ranging experience means we can offer practical, useful advice.  We help clients manage their compliance risk and take full advantage of all the new business opportunities presented by our digital world.

OUR AREAS OF EXPERTISE

  • Website development agreements
  • IPTV production
  • Mobile/online games and television
  • Copyright infringement
  • Ad-funded and branded content
  • Software agreements
  • Supplier contracts
  • Domain name transfers and disputes
  • User generated content
  • CGI production agreements
  • Creative commons
  • DRM technology
  • Music licensing
  • Website terms & conditions
  • Data protection & privacy
  • website development agreements
  • Digital distribution agreements
  • Online computer games.
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    "Recommended for commercial matters."
    Legal 500, 2018
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Film
We were one of the first UK law firms to specialise in the film business and our advice draws on many years of experience.

We advise on all the legal and related issues involved in the development, production and exploitation of feature films and we pride ourselves on always giving comprehensive, practical and relevant advice that meets our clients’ commercial needs.

Our clients range from individual producers to financiers, distributors and exhibitors, and we are happy working across all genres and at all budget levels.

Specific areas of work include: drafting and advising on option agreements, writers agreements and first overhead deals; advising on structuring coproductions, shareholder agreements, joint ventures and EIS, equity finance and bank financing (both pre-sales and debt); drafting and negotiating all talent agreements, including director, producer, artist and composer agreements; chain of title and clearance reports; advising on sales agency agreements and distribution deals.

OUR AREAS OF EXPERTISE

  • Drafting and advising on option agreements
  • Writers agreements and first overhead deals
  • Advising on structuring co-productions
  • Shareholder agreements
  • Joint ventures and EIS
  • Equity finance and bank financing (both pre-sales and debt)
  • Drafting and negotiating all talent agreements, including director, producer, artist and composer agreements
  • Chain of title and clearance reports
  • Advising on sales agency agreements and distribution deals.
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    "Astute, commercial and practical."
    Chambers & Partners, 2020
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    Jonathan is an "incredibly skilled lawyer and business affairs adviser."
    Chambers & Partners, 2016
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    Clients appreciate Jonathan's ability to "cut through really complex commercial agreements."
    Chambers & Partners, 2016
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    Jonathan Blair is a "commercial thinking lawyer with excellent skills in coproduction financing" ​
    Legal 500, 2015
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    Jonathan Blair is "intuitive, strategic and emotionally intelligent - he thinks in 360 degrees."
    Chambers & Partners, 2015
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Music
Our music practice is in fact one of the UK’s strongest and its reach is international.

We have unparalleled knowledge and a great depth of experience that we can draw upon in offering strategic and commercial advice on a wide range of activities, from contract drafting and negotiation services to undertaking advisory work and dispute resolution across the whole music industry.

Our client base is wide-ranging. It includes major record companies, international publishers, artists, composers, managers, producers, merchandisers, collecting societies, trade associations, digital businesses, agents and studios. We advise new artists and entrepreneurs as well as playing a part in some of the most sophisticated transactions and complex disputes in the business.

The experience of our music lawyers and the availability of other specialists within the firm gives us the unique ability to assemble at short notice dedicated multidisciplinary teams for each specific job.

OUR AREAS OF EXPERTISE

  • Recorded music
  • Publishing
  • Management
  • Agency
  • Touring and live
  • Merchandising and licensing
  • Band relations
  • Digital
  • Simkins Logo
    A client praises his "major commercial expertise and wide knowledge of music rights and the industry."
    Chambers & Partners, 2020
  • Simkins Logo
    "His practical approach and calm, thoughtful nature makes working with him enjoyable."
    Chambers & Partners, 2019
  • Simkins Logo
    "He has an unbelievable wealth of experience operating in the industry and he can therefore navigate pretty much any matter."
    Chambers & Partners, 2018
  • Simkins Logo
    "Very smart and very commercial in his approach.”
    Chambers & Partners, 2017
  • Simkins Logo
    A venerated market leader in the music industry, highlighted by peers as "absolutely superb." Clients note that he is "very efficient and very calm," and value his "wide commercial expertise."
    Chambers & Partners, 2015
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Publishing
The publishing industry has undergone a seismic change in the last decade.

Traditional publishing business has faced, and continues to face, huge challenges, whilst the advent of the digital world has provided many new opportunities.

Our publishing lawyers have a successful track record in helping clients explore the challenges and opportunities within the industry. We are able to advise on traditional publishing contracts, put together robust commercial deals for the digital environment and resolve disputes over matters as diverse as defamation and distribution.

Our client list is an eclectic mix of authors, libraries, magazine groups, literary agencies, book publishers and trade organisations.

OUR AREAS OF EXPERTISE

  • Copyright litigation
  • Literary agents’ agreements
  • E-books
  • Online publishing regulation
  • Commissioning agreements
  • Merchandising agreements
  • Contract publishing agreements
  • Supplier contracts
  • Libel reading
  • Defamation & privacy disputes
  • PCC complaints
  • Literary estates
  • Licensing arrangements
  • Illustration commissions
  • Data protection and privacy
  • Digital distribution agreements.
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    "Seasoned, solid and someone you can rely on."
    Chambers & Partners, 2020
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    "Incredible attention to detail and completely unflappable."
    Chambers & Partners, 2019
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    "Very analytical and brings confidence."
    Chambers & Partners, 2018
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    "An expert in his field … professional and courteous at all times."
    Chambers & Partners, 2017
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    "Great negotiator."
    Chambers & Partners, 2015
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    Considered an "absolute legend" by peers.
    Chambers & Partners, 2014
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Sport
Members of our sports group have a genuine understanding of the commercial reality of the sporting world.

They combine their specialist legal skills with an active involvement in the business side of sport.

We advise players and agents, sporting clubs and associations, sponsors, broadcasters and venues on the most significant contractual and regulatory issues that face the world of sport today. In addition, the sports group often works alongside our corporate group to advise on joint ventures, acquisitions and corporate finance in a sports context.

 

OUR AREAS OF EXPERTISE

  • Player and manager contracts
  • Transfer agreements
  • Image rights
  • Tax planning
  • Agency agreements
  • Immigration
  • Development and protection of brands
  • Broadcasting rights
  • Event staging
  • Constitutional issues
  • Governing bodies
  • Cross-border competition structures
  • Sponsorship and endorsement
  • Merchandising
  • Sports-related mediation and litigation.
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    "Ed's fantastic - super intelligent and one of the most committed lawyers I have ever come across."
    Chambers & Partners, 2020
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    "He works extremely hard and is very dedicated to providing excellent client service."
    Chambers & Partners, 2019
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    "He is able to add real value through his legal advice, which is pragmatic and technically sound."
    Chambers & Partners, 2018
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    Ed is "exceptionally smart, detail-orientated and incomparably committed to clients."
    Legal 500, 2018
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    "Extremely intelligent and very astute."
    Chambers & Partners 2017
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Television
We have worked in the TV business for many years. Many of our lawyers have in-house experience and really understand the pressure on production companies, producers, executives and in-house lawyers.

We advise on all legal and related issues involved in the development, production and exploitation of television programmes, and the carriage of content through both traditional forms of television and newer methods of distribution. We pride ourselves on always giving commercial, practical and relevant advice that is steeped in our knowledge of the industry.

Our clients include TV production companies, broadcasters, distributors, talent and banks and other financiers. We have experience in all genres including animation, factual and drama. We understand and advise on all forms of carriage and Ofcom regulations.

OUR AREAS OF EXPERTISE

  • Advising on development deals
  • First look deals and co-productions (including treaty co-productions such as CAVCO)
  • Drafting and negotiating all talent agreements, including writer, director, producer, presenter, artist and composer agreements
  • Drafting E & O and clearance reports; advising on distribution deals
  • Advising on all aspects of carriage and regulations including Ofcom channel applications, VOD notifications, content and Ofcom codes
  • Carriage deals for cable, satellite, IPTV and mobile.
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    Lisa Logan recently joined the firm from Gateley, and has years of film and television industry experience behind her, most recently acting for the The Elf Factory, creators of Peppa Pig, while at her previous firm. ​
    CHAMBERS & PARTNERS, 2016
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    Years of film and television industry experience behind her… “very straightforward” and “very collaborative." ​
    CHAMBERS & PARTNERS, 2015
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    Lisa Logan is recommended for her media practice. She is calm and knowledgeable”
    LEGAL 500, 2014
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Theatre
We advise on all issues including the funding, production and licensing of plays, both in the UK and overseas, the acquisition of rights, advice on copyright and the negotiation of contracts.

We act for producers, investors and theatre owners as well as creative team members.

Our expertise in both the commercial and subsidised parts of the industry is of particular importance and puts us at the forefront of negotiations for the increasing number of transfers and co-productions between the two sectors. We also have strong expertise surrounding the productions of large-scale musicals in the West End, on Broadway and in other major cities around the world.

Alongside our specialist theatre group, other areas of the firm advise on wider theatre related work. For instance, our Property practice is able to advise on the acquisition, development and disposal of theatres and our Corporate group offers advice on investing in and the raising of investment for theatrical productions.

  • Simkins Logo
    Lisa Logan recently joined the firm from Gateley, and has years of film and television industry experience behind her, most recently acting for the The Elf Factory, creators of Peppa Pig, while at her previous firm. ​
    CHAMBERS & PARTNERS, 2016
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    Years of film and television industry experience behind her… “very straightforward” and “very collaborative." ​
    CHAMBERS & PARTNERS, 2015
  • Simkins Logo
    Lisa Logan is recommended for her media practice. She is calm and knowledgeable”
    LEGAL 500, 2014