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, 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 on broadcast and online rights
  • Defending and bringing legal claims
  • Clearance of highly sensitive content

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

  • 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
  • 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
  • Agile and efficient with their time.

    Chambers & Partners, 2021

What we do

  • Talent

    We advise celebrities in the media, film, tv, music, fashion and sports industries on their commercial agreements, endorsement, 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 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 traditional and new media platforms. Recent work includes acting for major UK and overseas platforms upon channel carriage agreements, and advising leading broadcast groups upon cornerstone programme licensing arrangements.

    Clients include Virgin Media, TV3, AMC Networks International, UKTV, Econet Media (a multi-platform Pay TV service in Africa), talkSPORT and European Professional Club Rugby.

  • Art

    We represent buyers, sellers, artists, agents and galleries and help them acquire, safeguard and dispose of art and cultural property. 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 and photographers and their estates, dealers, 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 or enforcement or recovery issues related to their art and cultural property.

  • Retail, franchising and licensing

    We advise fashion personalities, designers and fashion and retail executives who are leaders in their fields.  Our advice ranges from start ups to international fashion businesses and we assist with all aspect of their needs including: licensing rights, online sales, setting up premises, advising on external investment, brand protection and enforcement both in the UK and internationally.

    Our team has specialist industry expertise, a passion for the business of fashion and we act as advisers to our clients as their businesses grow.

  • Media tech

    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, investment and sale.

    We have particular experience in working with tech entrepreneurs during phases of substantial growth, and have expert media and technical 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, joint ventures and are frequently advising on cross-border transactions.

  • Film and TV

    We are one of the leading UK specialist firms advising the film and television industries.

    We advise on all aspects of film and television production, finance, broadcasting and distribution and act for some of the UK’s best known production companies, financiers, distributors, broadcasters, and agents, and talent.  We also advise on all aspects of rights ownership, assisting with due diligence on all chain of title issues including investigations for financiers and distributors.

    Our team also provides guidance for production companies seeking investment and growth from EIS funding to investment from the UK’s leading distributors and are experts in negotiating these deals on their behalf. The team is recommended in both the Legal 500 and Chambers 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

    “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