UK law firm Lee & Thompson merges with Forbes Anderson Free


London-based media and entertainment law firm Lee & Thompson LLP has merged with the specialist media and entertainment litigation business, Forbes Anderson Free.

The agreement, which will come into effect on 1 January 2016, will see Forbes Anderson Free move into Lee & Thompson’s central London offices, with the combined firm operating under the Lee & Thompson name.

The move will create the largest contentious music practice of its kind in the UK, with a total of 13 lawyers handling contentious matters for the music, entertainment and media world.

This is in addition to an existing nine-strong team of lawyers at Lee & Thompson managing commercial, non-contentious music work.

Lee & Thompson’s existing commercial/non-contentious music practice, led since 2010 by Lawrence Engel (pictured inset), represents the interests of many high profile and successful British recording artists, songwriters, producers, managers and industry executives.

This is supported by an experienced litigation team, led by Gordon Williams, which handles disputes and related contentious matters including reputation protection and brand protection for many of the firm’s clients.

Founded and led by music and entertainment litigator Andrew Forbes, the client base of Forbes Anderson Free spans talent, industry organisations, major and independent music publishers plus record labels and collection societies.

“We are delighted to come together with forbes anderson free in this way.”

Lawrence Engel, Lee & Thompson

Moving forward, Lee & Thompson’s Dispute Resolution Group will be headed by Andrew Forbes.

Gordon Williams will continue to head up the firm’s Brand Protection Group and Mike Brookes will remain as head of the Reputation Protection Group.

Lawrence Engel, Head of Music at Lee & Thompson, commented: “Andrew Forbes and I go back a long way and he and his partners at Forbes Anderson Free have done a superb job in building a firm that is truly at the top of its game.

“We are delighted to be able to come together in this way, adding further expertise and depth to our already strong contentious and non-contentious offering for the music industry.”

Andrew Forbes, Founding Partner of Forbes Anderson Free added: “We have, of course, been aware of Lee & Thompson and its first class reputation in music for many years.

“This merger feels like the perfect fit, both firms sharing a very similar culture, approach and vision.  This is a fantastic opportunity to create an even greater powerhouse in the music and wider entertainment world, which we believe will bring great benefits to our respective clients and teams.”

Gordon Williams, head of the litigation practice at Lee & Thompson said: “Bringing together two of the strongest media and entertainment litigation practices in the UK is a very exciting prospect and we look forward to welcoming the Forbes Anderson Free team and working together with them for the mutual benefit of our clients.”Music Business Worldwide

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