Media

Overview

We provide a full range of services to media and creative clients ranging from traditional and online newspapers and publishers, to the film and TV industries, to art, theatre, music, new technology and live events businesses. We advise on all aspects of media related matters, including:

  • supporting film and TV production, finance and distribution
  • advising broadcasters and online platforms
  • helping talent with their deals and brands
  • advising on media contracts of all kinds
  • clearing highly sensitive content; and
  • defending and bringing legal claims

We are a highly ranked firm, rated both for our performance as a team and as individuals.

What we do

  • Talent

    We advise celebrities in the media, film, tv, music, fashion and sports industries on their commercial agreements, endorsements, sponsorship terms, and negotiation with agents, brands and productions in the UK and internationally.

    We also assist with all aspects of their brand protection including use of their names and images internationally across all forms of media, and we work with them on joint ventures and establishing their own business ventures.

  • Broadcasting and content distribution

    We are experts in advising on all aspects of broadcasting and content distribution.

    We advise media platforms, broadcasters and rights holders across all traditional and new media. Recent work includes acting for major UK and overseas platforms on channel carriage agreements, and advising leading broadcast groups on cornerstone programme licensing arrangements.

    Clients include ITV, Channel 4, Virgin Media, AMC Networks International, talkSPORT and European Professional Club Rugby.

  • Art

    We are experienced in advising on the sale, purchase, loan, commissioning, consignment and financing of artworks and the exploitation, protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights.

    Our clients include international collectors, artists, photographers and their estates as well as dealers, agents, art foundations and galleries both in the UK and overseas. We also act for exhibitors and provide both real estate and commercial advice on their key events.

    We are also well placed to advise our clients on any licensing, rights, enforcement or recovery issues related to their art and cultural property.

  • Media technology

    We advise a wide variety of media technology companies from tech start-ups to digital agencies and virtual reality businesses. We help them ensure the legal compliance of their online content, advise them on data protection and aggregation, and negotiate the terms of their joint ventures, investments and sales.

    We have particular experience in working with tech entrepreneurs during phases of substantial growth, and have expert media and tech industry expertise to assist them with all aspects of their businesses. We often negotiate global deals on behalf of our clients with investors, purchasers and sellers in the US, Europe and Asia.

  • Publishing: online and print

    We are one of the leading UK law firms advising both traditional and online publishers in all aspects of their businesses, from rights ownership and approval of content, to negotiating publishing, distribution and licensing agreements.

    Our clients include some of the leading international publishers, literary estates, writers and literary agents – all of whom rely on our expertise, our industry knowledge and our skills in negotiating on their behalf. We assist them with acquisitions and joint ventures and we frequently advise on cross-border transactions.

  • Film and TV

    Our team, co-headed by Razwana Akram and Simon Goldberg  are leading UK specialist lawyers advising the film and television industries.

    We advise on all aspects of film and television development, production, finance, broadcasting and distribution and we represent some of the UK’s best known companies and talent in these areas.

    Because we regularly work with most of the major players both in the UK and internationally, we can really add value by advising clients how the transactions work, how to put deals together and what commercial terms to get. As examples, the firm has recently worked on productions involving Netflix, Sky, Studio Canal, Universal, Focus Features, Ingenious, Great Point Media and Universal Music among others as well as the main UK broadcasters.

    The team is highly recommended in both the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners UK.

  • Testimonials

    “They cut to the heart of the commercial essence of the deal and are creative in their structuring, problem-solving and deal-making” Chambers & Partners, 2021

    “They’re a very good media law firm. I’m very confident in their advice and really happy with the service they provide.” Chambers & Partners, 2021

    “Agile and efficient with their time.” Chambers & Partners, 2021

    “SMB acted very quickly and was enormously flexible as to working hours reflecting different time zones. Their team consisted of well-seasoned lawyers like Simon Goldberg, but also included dynamic associates. A very convincing mixture of great experience and enthusiasm.” Legal 500, 2022

    “Commercially-minded, detail-oriented, good humoured and caring people.” Legal 500, 2022

    “The team has genuine experience of the film industry and the practical issues that face film makers.” Legal 500, 2022

    “Having worked with the team for a long time, we feel that they know and understand our business and our audience, which allows them to offer helpful advice, appropriate to our publications.” Legal 500, 2021

    “Having worked successfully and happily with Simons Muirhead Burton for a number of years without any undue concerns, they have always delivered and I would have no problem in recommending them.” Legal 500, 2021

    “We use SMB for editorial advice and assessing any publication risk. We have always found them to be very swift, practical and commercial in their advice.” Legal 500, 2021

  • “They are commercially minded, genuinely care about their clients and protect their interests for the long term.”

    Chambers & Partners, 2022
  • “Extremely efficient in every aspect and always looks at the matter from every angle.”

    Chambers & Partners, 2022
  • “The team at Simons Muirhead have a good knowledge of the film industry as well as the law, and they are very responsive and client-friendly.”

    Chambers & Partners, 2022