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Harbottle & Lewis LLP


Harbottle & Lewis LLP - London
  • Hanover House
  • 14 Hanover Square
  • London
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • W1S 1HP
  • Managing Partner Glen Atchison
  • Senior Partner Gerrard Tyrrell
  • Number of partners 35
  • Assiociates  26
  • Senior Associates 12 
  • Other fee-earners  20

The Firm Harbottle & Lewis provides pro-active legal advice to dynamic and creative clients. The firm is particularly skilled at advising those in the business of creating and exploiting intellectual property and other valuable rights, as well as those maintaining and generating active capital. The primary sectors in which the firm advises are media and entertainment; technology; advertising, marketing and sponsorship; sport; charities; retail; property; travel and leisure.

Principal Areas of Work Harbottle & Lewis provides advice to businesses on commercial, corporate, charity, employment, family, finance, intellectual property, litigation and property law. The services provided to individuals include asset freezing, employment, family, high-value residential property, mediation, personal injury, philanthropy, tax, trusts and probate.

The firm offers specialist advice to clients in all areas of the communications and creative industries including advertising, broadcasting, digital media, fashion, film, interactive entertainment, live events, media finance, music, publishing, sponsorship, sport, television and theatre. Having been at the centre of many of these industries’ largest and most high profile transactions and cases, the firm has a strong reputation for its work in these areas. It also advises on regulatory matters and the legal issues faced by organisations and individuals in the media spotlight, such as defamation, data protection, privacy and image rights.

Clients Harbottle & Lewis take a personal approach to the relationship with its clients and provides commercial advice and pragmatic solutions to its clients’ specific needs. Clients range from early stage companies to major corporations and include multinational brands and rights owners, early stage venture capital funds and investment companies, as well as entrepreneurs and leading individuals. Examples include: Ben Sherman, Chelsea FC, Comic Relief, Conor Maynard, David and Victoria Beckham, Diageo, Emirates, England Cricket Team, Hachette UK, IMO Car Wash, Jamie Cullum, Kate Moss, MAMA Group, Microsoft, Neal Street Productions, Penguin, PGA European Tour, Prescience Film Finance, PROfounders Capital, Raymond Gubbay Limited, Take 2 Interactive, The Royal Household, Universal Music Group, Universal Pictures, Virgin Group, and Wolford London.

Recent highlights include acting for Diageo on its partnership with Formula 1; advising Free The Children in relation to the We Day Event at Wembley Arena; acting for DreamWorks on films including The Hundred-Foot Journey and The Fifth Estate; advising Microsoft on its launch of Xbox One; and advising Blackwell’s on the development of its first digital reading platform.

Other recent work includes acting on the acquisition of Victoria Beckham’s first store; advising Carnival Productions on the TV production of Dracula; advising on the award winning musical The Book of Mormon; advising on the ‘Invictus Games’; as well as advising many tech industry start-ups and app developers.

The firm continues to act for high net worth individuals and public figures on all aspects of their personal and financial affairs and has a niche expertise advising clients within the LGBT community. Spears Wealth Management named the firm ‘Law Firm of the Year’ for its work involving privacy matters, defamation and reputation management in 2013. The firm has advised a number of clients on sensitive employment matters; on the sale and purchase of multi-million pound residential properties; on effective tax structuring of new and existing businesses for entrepreneurs; on the administration of significant UK trusts and estates; and immigration for Tier 1 Investors and Entrepreneurs.

Barry Mordsley, Partner Barry has a huge body of experience advising clients in a wide range of industries and sectors on both contentious and non-contentious employment issues. He specialises in senior executive severance, restrictive covenants and team moves, changes to contracts and all areas of discrimination. Barry is a former Chair of the International Bar Association’s Discrimination Law Committee, Director of the Global Employment Institute of the International Bar Association and a Founder Member of the Employment Lawyers Association, Management Committee. He sat as an Employment Judge (part-time) from 1984-2011.

Daniel Tozer, Partner
Dan has joined the firm with extensive experience in the online and mobile communications industries. Originally in private practice, Dan joined Vodafone in 2004 and spent nine years there in a variety of senior legal roles supporting business units dealing with content acquisition (from movie studios, TV companies, music labels and games developers), research and development worldwide, technology infrastructure projects, global mobile handset supplier relationships and global consumer service propositions.

Areas of Practice

  • Commercial Litigation  18%
  • Corporate 20%
  • Private Client 28%
  • Property 7%
  • Other 27%
  • Advertising & Marketing Andy Millmore
  • Broadcasting & Space Law Tony Ballard
  • Charity & Philanthropy David Scott
  • Commercial Property Leo Marino, Robert Reilly
  • Corporate & Commercial Colin Howes
  • Corporate Finance Tim Parker
  • Corporate Recovery & Insolvency Rhys Llewellyn
  • Data Protection Daniel Tozer
  • Employment Marian Derham, Howard Hymanson
  • Family Tom Farley-Hills
  • Fashion Sandi Simons
  • Film Jonathan Berger
  • Intellectual Property Andy Millmore
  • Interactive Entertainment Alan Moss, Mark Phillips
  • LGBT Linzi Bull
  • Litigation Andy Millmore
  • Media Finance Alan Moss, Abigail Payne
  • Music Chloe Forsyth
  • Personal Injury Daniel Marks
  • Private Wealth Glen Atchison
  • Publishing Shireen Peermohamed
  • Reputation Management Gerrard Tyrrell
  • Residential Property Mel Benson
  • Retail Mel Benson
  • Sponsorship Bob Mitchell
  • Sport Bob Mitchell
  • Tax Glen Atchison
  • Technology Tony Ballard, Daniel Tozer
  • Theatre & Performing Arts Neil Adleman
  • Television Jonathan Berger
  • Venture Capital Tony Littner


  • Hanover House,
  • 14 Hanover Square,
  • London,
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • W1S 1HP
  • Tel (020) 7667 5000
  • Fax (020) 7667 5100
  • DX 44617 Mayfair
  • Email : info@harbottle.com
  • Website : www.harbottle.com

Corporate/M&A - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Known as a leading firm in its specialisms of media, entertainment and technology. Mostly undertakes transactions in the lower mid-market area, and has a solid bench of experienced solicitors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"From top to bottom, it's the quality of the work. Around the negotiating table, I'd much rather have them on my side."

"We've got a good relationship - they understand our business. They're proactive, responsive and helpful."

Work highlights Advised Forward Internet Group on the sale of its majority stake in uSwitch.com to an LDC SPV.

Assisted Mint Digital with various aspects of its disposal of Stickygram to Photobox.

Notable practitioners  

Colin Howes is described as an "extremely capable, thoughtful and pragmatic lawyer" who is well respected by peers in the media and entertainment sector. He is highly experienced, with 33 years as a solicitor.

Significant clients Atomico Investments, New Sparta, Omnifone, Penguin Books, Mama & Company.

Employment - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Advises employers and senior employees in the creative industries. The team's work covers all areas of employment law on both sides of the divide and it is equally able to handle contentious and non-contentious matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They develop a thorough understanding of the issues in a very short time and they have the ability to understand their client's best interests." 

Notable practitioners  

Clients say Howard Hymanson "delivers a gold standard service" and is "a powerhouse of good counsel and advice." He has recent experience advising on significant pieces of litigation, and sources note: "He is very creative, the fact that something has not been tried before does not stop Howard."

Significant clients Tripadvisor, National Theatre, Comic Relief, Wolford London, Society of London Theatre.

Family/Matrimonial - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Represents high-profile clients in high-value matrimonial finance cases and challenging private law children proceedings.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They do their work with a lot of dignity and a quiet confidence. They are extremely efficient and constructive in their approach. They are a great firm and they do phenomenal work." 

Notable practitioners  

Tom Farley-Hills is a key contact at the practice.

Information Technology - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Wide-ranging experience in the technology sphere, including open source software, cloud computing and data protection. Further noted for its technology start-up support, with expertise in venture capital funding and enterprise schemes.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They have a good client base and their instructions show a high level of knowledge." 

What's new? New client wins include LLE Ventures, The Learning Clinic and Open Table.

Work highlights Advised Norwegian pay-TV company Canal Digital on the creation of a contract for operator-shared satellite transmissions.

Provided counsel to Ingenious Ventures on numerous investments in technology start-ups.

Notable practitioners  

Daniel Tozer heads the technology practice.

Significant clients Omnifone, Helveta, Decoded, Brandwatch, Mint Digital.

Intellectual Property - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 15 partners
- 12 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Although best known for media and entertainment copyright work, the firm has a substantial brands practice and advises technology start-ups and established players on patent strategy.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Excellent - they work closely with us to understand what we're trying to achieve."

"Extremely good on IP law and very clear." 

Notable practitioners  

Shireen Peermohamed is a widely admired soft IP expert with an enviable client following in fashion, FMCG, media, publishing and TMT. "She really is great," says one highly impressed source.

Significant clients Egmont UK, Oxford University Press, Orange, The Royal National Theatre, Sony Pictures.

Real Estate - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 3 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Acts for developers, retailers and corporate occupiers on a range of property matters. Also noted for its strong base of high net worth individual clients. Often instructed by clients in the media and entertainment sector.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Very quick response time and good commercial advice coupled with sound legal advice."

What's new? uSwitch is a new client.

Work highlights Acted for Growth Asset Management on the £2.6 million acquisition of the Coronation Shopping Centre, Cheltenham.

Advised Imperial Works Developments on its £4.4 million purchase of an office property in North West London.

Notable practitioners

Robert Reilly is a key contact.

Significant clients Ben Sherman Group, Cross Stone Properties, IMO Car Wash, London Irish Holdings, National Theatre.

Charities - UK-wide

This firm is classed as a "Other Noted Firm".

Other Noted Firms are firms that are active in this practice area but have not yet been ranked.

Defamation/Reputation Management - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Renowned for its representation of high-profile individuals including royalty, the practice continues to excel in claimant work. Handles privacy and defamation matters, often with international elements, and has growing prominence acting for corporate brands in reputational protection concerns. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"A very, very good firm overall with exceptional individuals."

"They're more than rock-solid. They're an effective and not too huge media-specialised practice and know their way around the people and the deals."

Work highlights Continues to act for HRH the Duchess of Cambridge on privacy concerns, notably with regard to ongoing proceedings in France after Closer magazine published private photos.

Represented Russell Brand in libel proceedings against The Sun after it published allegations about his private life.

Notable practitioners  

The "very accomplished" Gerrard Tyrrell is widely revered for his depth of experience, extolled as a litigator who is "a force to be reckoned with." Peers note that "his reputation is second to none." He secured substantial damages and a widely reported apology for Kevin Pieterson after Specsavers published an advert falsely suggesting he was responsible for bat tampering during the 2013 Ashes series.

The "unsinkable" John Kelly acts for corporate clients as well as celebrities, high net worth individuals and chief executives. Market observers highlight Kelly as "an aggressive litigator who will go all out for a client to achieve the objectives."

The "brilliant, very, very smart and conscientious" Jo Sanders is a well-regarded reputation management specialist with "the care, diligence, attention to detail and determination to reach the right objective." Sanders advised Alan Davies in relation to his re-Tweet of a statement containing allegations against Lord McAlpine of West Green.

Significant clients David and Victoria Beckham, Kate Moss, Sir Roger Moore, Lord Ashcroft, David Ross. 

Media & Entertainment - UK-wide

What the team is known for Acclaimed media industry experts with esteemed experience across the sector. Celebrated for work relating to theatre, games, publishing, advertising, and film and television. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Absolutely top-quality  - they know everything that you'd need and are very personable, friendly and supportive."

"Excellent - they work closely with us to understand what we're trying to achieve."

What's new? New clients include Iceland Foods, Soundhalo, Intercontinental Literary Agency and Punchdrunk.

Work highlights Advised Microsoft on the expansion of its Xbox Games content offering and the launch of the Xbox One console.

Acted for the producers of the Broadway hit 'The Book of Mormon' on its transfer to the West End, advising on issues ranging from structuring and financing to marketing and promotions.

Notable practitioners  

Pre-eminent theatre specialist Neil Adleman continues to work primarily for producers, offering them the benefit of his extensive West End and Broadway experience. Marketplace observers note his breadth of expertise in the field, calling him "superb" and adept at "picking out the nitty gritty bits of contracts."

The "phenomenal" Abigail Payne continues to be a leader in film and television work, who "knows the business inside out." Clients value her "first-rate advice," while commentators observe that she "is really very tough and does a really good job for her clients."

Highly regarded advertising specialist Andy Millmore is praised as "a pleasure to work with and exceptionally bright." Clients highlight his "practical and absolutely in-depth knowledge of the industry."

The "focused and driven" Mark Phillips acts for a range of video game and interactive entertainment clients, recently acting for Geomerics on licensing agreements for its imaging software. He is lauded by interviewees for being "intensely passionate about the clients he acts for."

Shireen Peermohamed continues to impress with her "considerable expertise" pertaining to publishing, with one source noting that she "knows the industry inside out." Clients include Hachette and Oxford University Press.

Chloe Forsyth heads up the firm's music offering, and is highlighted as being "creative in thinking around particular issues that come up in deals." She acts for labels, brands and artists, and is praised by clients as "a great source of knowledge on how the music industry works."

Clients say film and television practitioner Jonathan Berger is "very responsive, with a good commercial view." He specialises in digital cinema deployment and digital distribution of content.

Significant clients MWO, Universal Pictures, Take-Two Interactive, Universal, Penguin Books, National Theatre.

Private Equity - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 7 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Concentrates on its specialist areas of technology and media, acting for investors and start-ups on private equity investments. Puts its strong IP and technology teams to good use in venture capital work.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They were very reactive and adaptable and had ways of creatively arriving at the answer."

"The reason they're good for us is that they get the commercial side. They understand we want things quickly. They're very focused and very commercial."

Work highlights Assisted Ingenious Ventures with a series of investments in start-ups in the UK.

Advised Brandwatch on a £1.5 million venture debt investment by Silicon Valley Bank.

Notable practitioners  

According to sources, Anthony Littner "seems to genuinely enjoy coming up with a creative solution and helping clients come up with the right answer." He advised Ingenious Ventures on various investments it made into UK media and creative start-ups.

Significant clients Atomico Ventures, Forward Ventures, PROfounders Capital, InSkin Media, Skyscape Cloud Services.

Sports Law - UK-wide

What the team is known for Handles a wide range of contentious and non-contentious commercial and regulatory matters, such as contracts, image rights and disciplinary matters, for clubs, players and player organisations. The firm also has extensive experience in a wide range of sponsorship matters in sports such as football and Formula 1.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They provide user-friendly, timely and relevant advice across the issues we instruct them on."

"We have easily established a relationship with them, leading to personal service and a very fast turnaround time."  

Work highlights Advised Nissan on its negotiation and agreements to become the title sponsor for the Red Bull Racing Formula 1 team under Nissan's automotive brand, Infiniti.

Advised the England Cricket Team on negotiations for the legal and commercial terms of new five-year central contracts.

Notable practitioners 

Clients say Bob Mitchell is "highly personable, flexible, fast on his feet and meticulous in getting the detail right." He has significant experience in advising on sponsorship agreements, and advised members of Chelsea Football Club's first team on image rights.

Significant clients PGA European Tour, Kevin Pietersen, London Irish Football Club, The League Managers' Association, Chelsea Football Club.