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Iain McDonald

Iain McDonaldManaging Associate

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I am a dual qualified lawyer in England & Wales and Ireland. I am heavily involved in setting up our new Irish office in Dublin. My core practice focuses on commercial, data and IP rich issues across the creative industries including tech, media and entertainment and sport.

I work with a diverse range of clients in these sectors such as: mobile apps; ecommerce platforms; sports clubs; governing bodies; record companies; talent; advertising agencies; film production companies; and financiers.

My current focus is growing our Irish client base for commercial, data and IP work. I spent four years qualifying and practicing in Ireland before joining Lewis Silkin in 2012. My Irish work has included commercial contract and data protection advice for some of Ireland’s largest indigenous companies as well as for multi-nationals doing business in Ireland.

Brands & Intellectual Property

I advise agencies, brands and content owners on the legal complexities and opportunities associated with the creative process and the commercialisation of a broad range of creative content. My particular focus and expertise includes:

  • regulatory advice on adverts and social media campaigns
  • negotiating agreements to exploit content and promote brands
  • drafting and negotiating high profile sponsorship and endorsement contracts
  • assisting clients to create proprietary media platforms, helping them fence their own assets while working with third party platforms such as broadcasters and social media
  • the collection and use of personal data and data analytics as part promotional campaigns and sponsorship deals.


My work involves predominately advising clients in tech, media and entertainment, advertising, and sports sectors on commercial agreements including supply of goods and/or services agreements, distribution and agency agreements, sponsorship agreements, franchising arrangements, and other day to day agreements that make their businesses tick.

I also provide advice relating to the protection/ transfer of intellectual property which has involves drafting and negotiating complex intellectual property assignments and licences.

Media & Entertainment

Creative content is a valuable commodity and thankfully one that is not in short supply (although the quality of that content is sometimes questionable). I enjoy helping clients manage content in many different ways across a host of different formats. I advise on issues from music licensing to trademark protection, advertiser funded programming to website creation; and format development to film financing.

I also advise on talent contracts both for artists and production companies, as well as on management structures, company formations and revenue share structures for talent agencies and record companies.

Sport Business

In a sports specific context I advise clients on commercial issues including: content creation and commercialisation across multimedia platforms; broadcast rights; branding; image rights; and sponsorship. I also assist our sports employment group with sports governance, compliance and the commercial aspects of player transfer.

I have a passion for sport and am fortunate enough to focus that passion in my work. My clients consist of a variety of sports organisations including governing bodies, top flight football and rugby clubs, individual sports people, promoters, agents, sponsors and sports venues. Given the scope of legal issues that sport touches I have advised on a broad spectrum of issues including: governance structures; government funding; sponsorship of events and individuals; venue hire; ticketing; merchandising; commercial contracts; and broadcasting.

I am committed to providing commercially driven advice and have been conferred with a Masters in Sports Management from IE Business School, Madrid. I have also published articles and spoken at industry events on a range of topics with a particular focus on how digital content distribution is disrupting traditional sports broadcast business models.

Awards and Recognition

  • Legal 500 2018 - Iain McDonald is recommended [Media & Entertainment].
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