Our advice is always this: never leave things to trust. Always formalise every agreement to remove uncertainty and avoid the risk of a dispute (and all that entails).
We are experts in advising clients that are entering into commercial contracts in the media and the entertainment industries. Let us help and protect you.
If you are offering terms it’s essential to structure the deal correctly. The key is getting the right balance between making sure it’s beneficial for you, whilst still being attractive to the other party (or parties). Historically, deal structures in this area have been dictated by what is customary. That is not now always the case. We can clearly explain all the different deal options available to you and offer advice on deal structures, both industry-typical models and also the new business models that are revolutionising the rapidly-developing digital entertainment industry.
Our ethos is, wherever possible, to draft concise contracts, free of legal jargon. Also, we prefer to present fair (not one-sided) terms, to avoid the expense and delay of protracted negotiations. If you intend to make a deal and are planning on proposing deal terms to another party, we can help you create a best-possible deal proposal.
We are expert negotiators and will invariably obtain improvements in the commercial terms on offer to you. Depending on the circumstances and your budget, we can lead the negotiation process or, if you prefer, advise you “from the side-lines”, enabling you to effectively negotiate for yourself.
In general, we are willing to provide a preliminary review of a contract free of charge and point out any glaring issues. We will then be able to give a fee quote should you instruct us to advise you further, to respond to a proposal or amend the draft and to negotiate the deal on your behalf.
If the deal is no longer beneficial, viable, or fair, we can help you re-structure, extend, improve or terminate.
If you want to get out of a deal, we can help you. We can advise if it’s legally unenforceable on a point or law, or it may be possible to terminate for breach. Alternatively, there may be scope for an amicable termination by mutual agreement.
Business start up advice
Setting up a company or LLP, formalising the agreement between the founding parties (e.g. a partnership agreement or shareholders agreement)
Contracting with customers /clients
We can prepare for you a set of template T&Cs of business, contracts for services and framework agreements which you can utilise to make sure your business dealings are conducted in a professional and clear way, with IP considerations at their heart
We advise on corporate law matters, investment deals, share issues, acquisitions, share and asset sales, mergers, joint ventures, and directors’ service agreements
We can provide you with employment contracts (with enforceable non-compete provisions) and employment manuals. We also assist clients with termination of employment contracts.
We can help you prepare a professional and robust business plan and our accounting expert associates can help you prepare financial projections and valuations
Licensing, assignment, joint ownership and infringement, moral rights and performers’ rights
Preparation and / or review of NDAs
We offer a fixed fee to apply on clients’ behalf for Trade Mark registration, both in the UK and internationally and can assist with any Trade Mark Oppositions
We offer a fixed fee to advise on design rights and to apply for Registered Designs
We have huge experience in this area and can advise both clients making claims and those threatened with claims
Through our Patent Attorney associates we can assist in any Patent applications
We can provide initial advice on any possible claims you might have, their merits, likely damages and the availability of injunctive relief.
Letters before action
We can prepare cease and desist and take down notices and detailed letters in relation to breach of contract, infringement of copyright etc.
Claims against you
We are adept at defusing threatened claims and establishing potential counter-claims.
We have had notable success in settling complex and volatile cases using Alternative Dispute Resolution processes.
Settlements & Agreements
Once settled, we draw up concise agreements that put settlements to bed on water-tight and confidential terms.
We are not litigators, preferring instead to focus on prep-action settlements. But if litigation is inevitable or necessary, we have teams of experienced and effective litigators that we can bring on board to ensure a satisfactory resolution.
We prefer to work in a symbiotic way with our clients. We always try and help their careers and businesses because, by doing so, will generate more work for us!
If required and feasible, and as a matter of course, we look to “hook up” clients with other clients (or our contacts) if we believe it would be mutually beneficial for all parties
If you need investment, we may be able to help. We can help smaller higher-risk trading companies establish an EIS or SEIS company and offer investment tax-efficient advice for high net worth individuals.
We can help you structure offerings to crowd funding platforms or patrons.
We have close connections with the Arts Council, UKTI, and PRS Foundation and other grant-awarding bodies.
We work closely with a number of media accountants who can provide financial and accounting support services, preparation of management accounts and cash flow projections. We can therefore offer a “full service” when it comes to selling your business or catalogue.
Our fees are always reasonable. Our lower overheads mean our fees should be especially competitive. Particularly through:-
Free Initial Consultation
We offer new clients an introductory meeting, or call, free of charge to understand your needs and to provide preliminary advice as well as supply you with a fixed fee quote for any additional work required or recommended
We can invariably agree fees in advance with you for commercial work
If you are on a specific budget we will try and work within it. If you have a very limited budget we can provide a “quick and dirty” solution to point out any glaring issues without the cost of a full review.
Payment of your Fees by someone else
If you are an artist entering into to a record, publishing or management agreement in the music business, we may be able to procure our fees via the party you are contracting with
“On the clock” Work
In the unusual situation that we are not able to agree a fee (if, for example, it is not possible to accurately gauge how much work is required), then we shall charge for the amount of work carried out based on hourly rates (and as set out in our T&Cs of business. Please click here for more info). We will, of course, be able to provide estimates of likely fees for each stage of any piece of work.
If we agree to look to procure a deal for you on a ‘no deal no fee’ basis, then we will charge you a reward fee typically 5% of your actual net receipts under any deal we procure for you (in addition to our costs).
Typically, new clients pay 50% of agreed fees in advance with the balance payable when the work is completed. Otherwise the fee is payable as set out in our T&Cs (please click here for more info).
Our aim is to provide the widest possible range of business-critical services to our clients, but we will not deal with matters we consider to be outside of our areas of expertise or experience. However, we are affiliated worldwide with very experienced and capable law firms and service providers who can provide our clients with expert support in the areas of:-
Conveyancing; commercial property; commercial litigation; immigration; matrimonial; family law; wills and probate; competition law; litigation; reputation protection; debt collection; crime; personal injury; motoring offences; general civil litigation; administering of oaths; foreign law; notary public services; cyber crime and cyber security; defamation & privacy; financial services. accountancy services
Running a small indie label Dean's knowledge and experience has been invaluable to Blah Blah Blah Records. As a label we needed his expertise writing our artist contracts and negotiating a licensing deal with one of the majors. Dean is highly knowledgable, approachable and not out to just make a quick buck; understanding our philosophy and budget as a small independent.