I have been continuously involved in this dynamic and challenging sector since 1979, acting as adviser to top management in relation to all aspects of their businesses. In doing so, I have had to understand widely differing aspects of the sector, from head-hunting to market research on the one hand to digital media to copyright on the other. The sector is diverse, requiring knowledge of publishing, moral rights, merchandising and many other disparate activities. I have, for instance, acted for merchandising agents in relation to cartoon characters and celebrities as well as the more usual sort of brand owner (such as breweries which led to me being responsible for the contract relating to the distillation of a new brand of Gin).
This sector can cover a multitude of activities, most of which I would characterise and being either people businesses or businesses which exploit intellectual property rights (often both), and this is a sector I have been active in since I started to practice law. I have been extensively involved in capital raising for acquisitions of rights and in the investigation of businesses in this sector as a precursor to M&A transactions both a private and public company level. I have been involved in disputes arising in relation to marketing contracts and all aspects of legal counselling to marketing and communications businesses in relation to their commercial activities. I act for music publishers and businesses that exploit digital technologies and platforms and, increasingly, the Cloud.
My first involvement with advertising agencies and the law relating to advertising was in 1979 when, as a very young solicitor, I started to advise Grey Advertising Inc and the wider group in relation to its UK affairs. This involvement grew to what was essentially an external UK GC role which lasted until Grey ceased to be independent in 2004. I soon started acting for a many other ad agencies (in sectors as diverse as FMCG, healthcare, financial and recruitment), both above and below the line, media buyers and the occasional advertiser as well. Nowadays, I continue my involvement acting for the leading independent groups such as Mother. I have over 30 years experience of buying and selling companies in this sector, as well as advising on corporate, regulatory, copyright, clearance, disputes and high-level hiring and firing issues. I work closely with our Media, Brands and Technology group and act as the main bridge between them and our corporate practice.
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