Entertainment Lawyers in London
We advise performers, screenwriters, producers, directors and all other line talent in film and television; bands, singers, composers and songwriters as well as record labels in the music industry and production companies and agents in the Entertainment Industry.
The Entertainment Industry is a vast sector which contributes a huge amount to the UK. According to a 2013 report by analysts PricewaterhouseCooper the UK’s entertainment and media market is expected to be worth £65.5 billion by 2017.
All of our clients depend in one way or another on the exploitation of IP (Intellectual Property) rights (principally copyright and performers rights) for their livelihoods. It is our job to make sure that their rights are comprehensively protected and defended.
An assignment or exclusive licence of copyright must be in writing – we can draft or review your deals and agreements to ensure that the rights end up where you would like them to be and that the chain of title is clear for future exploitation. Working relationships in the entertainment industry are often close, but without proper advice on your contracts you are parting with your precious work on trust alone.
We can also negotiate agreements on your behalf or assist with negotiations. Ultimately the decision whether or not to sign a deal lies with you alone, our aim is to ensure that you are fully informed and aware of the terms and conditions and get the best deal that you possibly can.
Our areas of expertise include:
- Television, Film and Theatre Production Contracts
- Rights Acquisition and Clearance
- Dispute Resolution
- Finance and Tax
Television, Film and Theatre Production Contracts
We provide full service drafting and advice in this area, including Investment Agreements, Production and Distribution Agreements, Agreements with Above the Line Talent and Crew Agreements. We understand budgeting constraints and are usually able to accept instructions on the basis of an agreed capped fee or percentage of Production Budget in this area. We are also happy to advise individual producers, directors, screenwriters, performers, composers and other creative on the terms of their deals and negotiate better terms on their behalf.
Rights Acquisition and Clearance
The duration of copyright protection has increased dramatically in the last 100 years. At the same time potential markets have expanded due to the development of new technologies and trends for adaptations into new genres and re-makes. Clearing Rights is now more onerous than ever before. We frequently obtain the clearance of rights for clients and have particular expertise in the negotiating quit claims, licenses and other rights acquisition deals.
We represent and defend the interests of performing artistes, content owners and talent management across the whole spectrum of the UK music industry including record labels, publishers, promoters and live events organizations of all kinds. Although many of our clients are established and well-known names within the business, we are always happy to hear from emerging talent and entrepreneurs alike seeking specialist advice in relation to the new opportunities emerging in the digital sector. Our media department prides itself in particular on its extensive expertise on the UK and EU copyright regimes and their practical application in commercial situations.
If you believe that your work has been stolen or used without your permission or if you are being accused of copyright infringement we can give expert advice on your legal position. More to the point we can give clear sighted and sensible advice on what you should do about it. The rights granted by copyright are extensive. However, copyright will not protect you in situations where someone else comes up with the same idea as you completely independently. An initial meeting with us can often be enough to clarify your position. Often a ‘Cease and desist’ letter drafted by us and sent to the other party will lead the way to a successful resolution.
Finance and Tax
We can advise UK Film Production Companies (FPCs) on tax relief and all Companies on investments made through the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS).
Outsourced In-house Counsel
If your business has grown to the level where you frequently need legal advice but find the conventional retainer arrangements with your current law firm unhelpful and expensive, talk to us about our outsourced general counsel service. We can supply experienced staff at your location or working remotely for a fixed monthly fee.