Media, Entertainment and Sports Law
Fountain Court has had a long tradition of undertaking all aspects of media and entertainment work at all levels, in both advisory and litigation contexts. Particular fields covered include the following:
- Music business work, including advice on drafting or interpretation of management, recording and production agreements, disputes between the parties to such agreements (for example, artistes and managers or record companies), and copyright disputes (for example, music and sound recording copyright and performance rights) and related issues concerning royalties and audit claims;
- Broadcasting Film, Video and Theatre, including advice and disputes over television broadcasting rights and licences, production and distribution agreements, film and television finance and insurance, and video, film and game distribution;
- Publishing, including literary copyright disputes, and those involving publishing (including internet) and serialisation agreements;
- Confidential Information, including breach of confidence issues in employment and commercial contexts.
Notable recent cases in which members of Chambers have been involved in this field, include His Excellency Sheikh Abdulla Bin Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa’s claim against Michael Jackson in relation to recording and publishing rights, Racing UK v Doncaster Council, Definitely Maybe v Lieberberg, MCA v Mushroom Records, Modena v Xtravaganza Records, Medcalf v Mardell, the Film Finance litigation, Walmsley v Acid Jazz Records and Quinta v Warrington. Clients have included well-known popular music recording and performing artistes, songwriters, leading publishers and major record, film and television companies, as well as independent labels and producers.
Fountain Court has a significant and growing body of Sports-related work. Members of Chambers have wide experience of disputes between professional sportsmen/women and their managers, promoters, clubs and professional associations, as well as disputes relating to sports coverage rights. Members of Chambers at all levels have experience of different aspects of sports law, across a variety of sports including the following:
- advising The Football Association and Wembley National Stadium Limited on a range of disputes relating to the development of the new national stadium;
- various contractual disputes surrounding the TV rights to England international matches;
- various sponsorship disputes, including FA Cup sponsorship disputes and Premiership football clubs’ kit deals.
- Members acted for the FA and other regulatory bodies in disciplinary proceedings against players and officials, including the tribunal established to inquire into the Football Association's allegations against George Graham, the prosecution of players and officials of Leicester City FC in connection with ticket allocations for a domestic cup final and in enforcing clubs’ obligations to make players available for England international duty.
- Members also acted for The FA and UEFA in litigation involving the alleged infringement of Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty of Rome by FIFA and FA regulations relating to players’ agents.
Horse-racing: notable litigation includes At the Races v British Horseracing Board, raising issues as to what the Board can properly charge broadcasters and bookmakers for use of its database and Racing UK v Doncaster Borough Council, a dispute concerning disputed broadcasting rights at the Doncaster racecourse, as well as the seminal case of R v Disciplinary Committee of the Jockey Club, ex parte the Aga Khan.
Formula One: Members of Chambers have acted on both sides in a very substantial professional negligence dispute concerning the ownership rights of teams in Formula One racing, and for individual Formula One drivers in disputes concerning royalties and profit-share due under merchandising agreements.
Cricket: acting for Cricket Sri Lanka in connection with multi-jurisdictional arbitration and litigation in London, Malaysia, Singapore, the BVI and Sri Lanka arising from a dispute concerning global TV rights for international matches.
Boxing: members have wide experience of acting for boxing promoters and acted in the trial of a contractual dispute involving the former world boxing champion Herbie Hide concerning the fight purse for a world title fight. Members appeared for the World Boxing Council in a dispute as to which of Lennox Lewis or Frank Bruno should be allowed to fight Mike Tyson.
Other work includes various issues relating to the 2012 Olympics and advising a member of the International Olympic Medical Committee in respect of his proposed appointment to a national Association for the Olympic Games.
We are members of the British Association for Sport and Law.
Our People in this Practice Area
- Michael Crane QC
- Timothy Dutton QC
- Stephen Moriarty QC
- Philip Brook Smith QC
- Bankim Thanki QC
- Timothy Howe QC
- Richard Handyside QC
- Jeffrey Chapman QC
- Akhil Shah QC
- Marcus Smith QC
- Andrew Mitchell QC
- Bridget Lucas
- Paul Gott QC
- Richard Coleman QC
- Paul Sinclair
- Deepak Nambisan
- Henry King
- Rosalind Phelps
- James Cutress
- Nik Yeo
- Adam Zellick
- Chloe Carpenter
- Tamara Oppenheimer
- David Murray
- James McClelland
- Simon Atrill
- James Duffy
- Rupert Allen
- Alexander Milner