GUANTÁNAMO DIARY

Together with Benedict Cumberbatch and others, our film/TV joint venture is executive producing the film version of the NY Times best-selling book by current Guantánamo prisoner Mohamedou Ould Slahi

AMERICAN ANIMALS

We were production counsel for this "wildly entertaining" (Variety) scripted feature film that captivated the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.

James Bond

We've been retained as production counsel for MGM's 50th Anniversary James Bond film.

Bruno

Production and litigation counsel to Sacha Baron Cohen's award-winning film "Bruno."

THE BBC

We have been among the outside counsel for the BBC, where SmithDehn's Philip Wheeler was a senior in-house solicitor for 11 years.

THE F-WORD WITH GORDON RAMSAY

We have provided production counsel services for this TV series on Fox, featuring master chef Gordon Ramsay

Raw TV

US production counsel for Raw TV, a multi-award winning production company with a reputation for gripping narrative, visual innovation and journalistic vigour.

UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA

We are production counsel for this Primetime Emmy-Award-wining hit CNN series that follows comedian and political provocateur W. Kamau Bell as he explores communities and challenges across America.

Paper Heart

Production counsel for "Paper Heart," the award-winning documentary about love starring Charlyne Yi and Michael Cera.

MUSCLE SHOALS

Counsel to this multiple award winning feature doc, starring Aretha Franklin, Mick Jagger, Etta James, Percy Sledge, Bono, Gregg Allman, Paul McCartney, Alicia Keys, Etta James, and Kieth Richards.

SECRET LIVES OF AMERICANS

Counsel for groundbreaking documentary series by All3Media America and Participant Media.

RACE FOR THE WHITE HOUSE

We are counsel for this groundbreaking CNN series narrated by Kevin Spacey, and produced by Kevin Spacey and Raw TV.

Da Ali G Show

Production and litigation counsel to Sacha Baron Cohen's multiple-Emmy-nominated, path-breaking television series, "Da Ali G Show."

Sony

Among counsel for Sony Pictures and Sony Pictures Television, producers and/or distributors of some of the most successful motion pictures and programs in the world.

BOLSHOI BABYLON

We are counsel to this HBO Films / Altitude Films release, featuring a behind-the-scenes look at the scandal-rocked, Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow.

WHITNEY

We are production counsel for this definitive biopic of Whitney Houston, directed by Oscar-winner Kevin MacDonald and produced by double-Oscar winner Simon Chinn.

Biggie & Tupac

Production Counsel for Nick Broomfield's "no holds barred," feature-length documentary on the murders of two rap music icons, Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur.

The Dictator

We have been providing legal services in connection with Sacha Baron Cohen's "The Dictator."

Manhunt

Production counsel for the Primetime Emmy Award Winning HBO Documentary based on Bin Laden expert Peter Bergen's highly acclaimed, bestselling book.

The Imposter

Production counsel for "The Imposter," an astonishingly true story about a French man who fools everyone into believing he is a missing Texas boy, including the boy's family.

THE YES MEN ARE REVOLTING

Continuing as counsel to "The Yes Men" in their third acclaimed feature film, designed to draw awareness to the issue climate change.

THREE DAYS OF TERROR: THE CHARLIE HEBDO ATTACKS

We're production counsel for this acclaimed HBO/BBC film by Dan Reed, about the murderous assault on the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine in Paris

STARZ

Owned by Lionsgate, our client Starz is a leading global media and entertainment distributor/producer, with over 5,000 TV episodes and feature films each year on its several channels.

SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN

Production counsel for the late Malik Bendjelloul's sensational, Oscar-winning "Searching for Sugar Man," released by Sony Pictures Classics.

AXIS PRO MEDIA INSURANCE

We have been retained to provide legal advice to one of the world's leading providers of E&O and other media insurance for the film and television industry.

Stairway to Heaven

Counsel for this BBC Films documentary feature presented by Louis Theroux and produced by two-time Oscar-winner Simon Chinn.

BLAST! FILMS

We're counsel to this award-winning film and television company, which for over 20 years has developed a reputation for high-quality, distinctive and innovative content.

The Graham Norton Show

We provide production legal services to the UK's most popular television talk show, broadcast by the BBC.

Four Lions

Production counsel for "Four Lions," the BAFTA-award winning comedy about a group of British jihadists who push their abstract dreams of glory to the breaking point.

Project Nim

Production counsel for "Project Nim," a revealing bio doc about a chimpanzee named Nim, raised & nurtured like a human child in 1970s experiment aiming to show that apes can communicate with language.

WE ARE THE GIANT

We're counsel on this acclaimed film, inspired by the Arab Spring. It tells stories of ordinary individuals transformed by moral and personal challenges.

CONDÉ NAST ENTERTAINMENT

Condé Nast Entertainment (CNÉ) is an award-winning next generation production and distribution studio with content across film, television, social and premium digital video, and virtual reality.

The Flaw - Studio Lambert

Production counsel for Studio Lambert's "The Flaw," a telling documentary about the recent economic crisis.

Paramount Pictures

We are among the outside counsel for Paramount Pictures.

PLAN B ENTERTAINMENT

Among the counsel for Brad Pitt's production company, acclaimed for SELMA, 12 YEARS A SLAVE, THE BIG SHORT, THE DEPARTED, and other important films.

TOKIO MARINE HCC

We are among the preferred claims defense counsel for one of the world's largest media insurance companies.

BUSINESS OF FILM & TELEVISION COURSE - UNIVERSITY OF ULSTER

Together with top executives from clients HBO & Channel 4, we're teaching a graduate course in the business of film and television, at the University of Ulster, in Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland.

FIRECRACKER FILMS

We are counsel to these world-famous, award-winning creators of stylish, attention-grabbing, talked about content.

BBC AMERICA

We've been retained by the cable network with the best in British entertainment, including sci-fi, comedy, reality, drama, documentary, and movies.

Lion Television

US Counsel for Lion Television, one of the most successful independent production companies in the United Kingdom.

PASSION PICTURES

We are counsel to this multiple Oscar winning film and television company behind Searching for Sugar Man, The Imposter, and Project Nim, to name a few.

So Television

We provide legal services to this top-ranked, BAFTA-winning, UK production company founded by Graham Norton and Graham Stuart.

Channel 5

US counsel for the highly popular and diverse Channel 5, Britain's fifth and final terrestrial broadcast network, launched in 1997.

ITV

US counsel to the largest and most popular commercial television network in the United Kingdom.

UNTOUCHABLE

We are US production counsel for the BBC/Lightbox film, UNTOUCHABLE, about the rise and fall of Harvey Weinstein, premiering at Sundance 2019.

FANTASTIC LIES

We are production counsel for this acclaimed ESPN documentary for Netflix, produced by Lightbox, on the subject of the Duke Lacrosse rape scandal

PATHÉ PRODUCTIONS LIMITED

Among the counsel for this distinguished production company, acclaimed for such films as SELMA, MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, and PHILOMENA.

Death of a President - Chicago Borough Films

Production counsel for "Death of a President," the Emmy Award-winning docudrama involving the fictional assassination of President George W. Bush.

PHILIP GLASS

One of our partners, Russell Smith, has provided legal advice and related services for Philip Glass, the world's most successful living music composer.

Virunga

We are production counsel for this Oscar-Nominated 2014 documentary about the fight to save Virunga National Park, the last refuge of moutain gorillas.

ALL THREE MEDIA AMERICA

We're among the counsel for All3Media America, the LA-based, multi studio production hub for one of the world's leading creators of high-quality content.

Paranormal Witness - Raw Television

Production counsel for "Paranormal Witness," the docudrama series that brings to life true stories of people who have lived through explanation-defying paranormal experiences.

LIGHTBOX ENTERTAINMENT

US and UK counsel for this LA-and-London based production company founded by multiple Oscar and Emmy Award winning Simon Chinn and Jonathan Chinn, and funded by Channel 4.

HBO

Our attorneys have been among the production and claims counsel to Home Box Office, Inc.

WHO IS AMERICA?

We are production and claims counsel for Showtime, Sacha Baron Cohen, and their hardhitting, controversial new series, WHO IS AMERICA?, a reincarnation of DA ALI G SHOW in the Trump era.

The Green Prince

InRealLife

We're counsel on Beeban Kidron's acclaimed, absorbing feature film that addresses the relationship between teens and the Internet.

Studio Lambert

We're among the counsel to this award-winning, fast-growing independent production company based in Soho, London.

ERIC CLAPTON: LIFE IN 12 BARS

We were production counsel for this feature-length Showtime Documentary about the life of legendary guitarist Eric Clapton, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.

SACHA BARON COHEN

We are production and claims counsel for Sacha Baron Cohen. We have been his counsel on DA ALI G SHOW, BORAT, BRUNO, THE DICTATOR, THE BROTHERS GRIMSBY, and his new Showtime series, WHO IS AMERICA?.

BOARDWALK PICTURES

Boardwalk Pictures is an award winning multimedia production company that develops and produces content for a variety of partners and distribution platforms, including most major networks.

Channel 4

U.S. counsel to Channel 4, Britain's second largest broadcast network and one of the world's most challenging and creative producers of television programs and films.

BAFTA

Handling contract drafting and negotiations for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts

TRUMP: AN AMERICAN DREAM

We're production counsel on this hard-hitting Netflix documentary series

THE BENGALI DETECTIVE - NATIVE VOICE FILMS

US Production counsel for "The Bengali Detective," feature documentary about an overweight dance obsessed intrepid detective, providing unprecedented look at modern India through the prism of crime.

DANGEROUS PERSUASIONS

We're production counsel for this gripping Discovery series that follows extraordinary, true accounts of psychological manipulation of everyday people.

OCTOBER FILMS

Based in London and New York, our client October Films is one of the UK's most respected and longest established factual television production companies. They have won over 100 international awards.

ENDEMOL SHINE GROUP

We are among the outside counsel for Endemol Shine Group, a global production powerhouse. Endemol Shine has 120 companies across all the world’s major markets.

Locked Up Abroad

We are production counsel for "Locked Up Abroad," the National Geographic Channel's series that features inside accounts of capture, imprisonment, and pure terror, far from home.

LISTEN TO ME MARLON

We are production counsel to this 2015 Sundance-selected, 2016 Oscar-Short-Listed, Marlon Brando biopic released by Universal Studios and Showtime.

Nutopia

We are among the counsel for this award-winning TV production company created by former Discovery Channel US President Jane Root.

Media Rights Capital

Among counsel to MRC, the industry’s largest independent film, TV and digital studio.

FREMANTLE MEDIA

We are among the outside counsel to one of the world's largest and most successful creators, producers and distributors of outstanding entertainment brands.

BRITDOC

We are counsel to this non-profit foundation, supported by Channel 4, which empowers independent documentary filmmaking.

Fear Thy Neighbor

Production counsel to this Investigation Discovery series about what happens when a homeowner unwittingly takes up residence next to psycho or when evil minds decide to lay down roots right next door.

LOVE PRODUCTIONS

We are among the counsel to this award-winning independent production company, specializing in thought-provoking, entertaining television.

SELMA

Honored to be representing the director and producers of this important, Academy-Award-winning film.

Gold Rush: Alaska - Raw Television

Production counsel for the hit observational documentary television series, "Gold Rush: Alaska," about a group of men who risk everything in search of gold.

NATIONAL BIRD

We are honored to be production counsel for this scathing, "bird's eye" documentary, directed by Sonia Kennebeck and exec produced by Wim Wenders and Errol Morris, about the US military drone program.

THE STORY OF GOD

We are production counsel for this six-part series on the National Geographic Channel, starring Morgan Freeman, and produced by Revelations Entertainment.

Hillsborough

We're counsel for this compelling ESPN/BBC feature film by producer/director Daniel Gordon, who takes on one of the darkest days in European football.

IS O.J. INNOCENT? THE MISSING EVIDENCE

We are production counsel for this investigatory series by All3Media America, narrated by Martin Sheen for Investigation Discovery

SHOWTIME NETWORKS, INC.

We are among the outside counsel to Showtime Networks, Inc. At the moment, we are production and claims counsel for their hardhitting, controversial new Sacha Baron Cohen series, WHO IS AMERICA?.

LA 92

We were production counsel for this Primetime-Emmy-Award-winning feature, looking back at the protests and violence after the verdict in the Rodney King trial, through rarely seen archival footage.

The Yes Men Fix the World

Production Counsel for "The Yes Men Fix the World," the award-winning documentary film using alter-egos to expose large corporations and government agencies.

Royal Opera House

Providing U.S. legal assistance regarding the acclaimed, controversial opera, "Anna Nicole," about the life and death of Anna Nicole Smith.

THE BROTHERS GRIMSBY

Among the counsel for Sacha Baron Cohen on the Sony Pictures blockbuster action comedy, THE BROTHERS GRIMSBY

SKY UK

We are among the counsel to the production and distribution arm of Sky UK, which is the UK's largest pay-TV company, and which in turn is owned by Sky plc, Europe's leading and largest media company.

THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS

We are production counsel to this most successful documentary film since Fahrenheit 9/11

Stones In Exile

Production counsel for" Stones In Exile," a documentary film about the 1972 Rolling Stones album "Exile on Main St.," widely regarded as one of the greatest albums of all time.

Dirty Wars

We served as production counsel for this award-winning, widely acclaimed investigative documentary about U.S. covert operations across the globe.

Borat

Production and claims counsel for the multi-Oscar nominated comedy, "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan."

20th Century Fox

Our attorneys have served as counsel for 20th Century Fox Film Corporation and the Fox Entertainment Group.

Real Detective

Every detective has one. The case that takes him or her to the brink. The one that takes hold and won't let go. From investigation Discovery and WAM Group (Toronto). We’re production counsel.

BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB: ADIOS

This "NY Times Critics Pick," directed by two-time Oscar Nominee Lucy Walker and theatrically released worldwide, was produced by our joint venture, Convergent Media. We also served as counsel.

INDEPENDENT TELEVISION NEWS

We are among the outside counsel for Independent Television News, one of Britain's leading television news sources.

THE FINAL YEAR

An insiders' account of President Barack Obama's foreign policy team during their final year, as they set out to define their legacy, promote diplomacy - and react to the rise of Donald Trump.

My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding

Production counsel for the hit series exploring the secret world of American Gypsies, produced by Firecracker Films and broadcast by TLC.

CITIZENFOUR

We're among the counsel for this Oscar-winning (Best Feature Documentary) about Edward Snowden and national security in post 9/11 America.

Web of Lies

We are production counsel for this compelling Discovery series that reveals stories of deception and homicide triggered by online interactions.

The War On Democracy

Production Counsel for "The War on Democracy," John Pilger's award-winning, Lions Gate documentary about the U.S. role in Latin America.

HOMEGROWN

We're production counsel to this HBO Film by Emmy-winning director Greg Barker, which offers a gripping, insider’s account of America’s counter-terrorism machine.

TV/Film Production, Legal Jobs, Both on Rise in Northern Ireland

back to list

Formerly battle-weary Northern Ireland, and Belfast in particular, are showing signs of an economic resurgence, now that the Peace Process there seems to have succeeded and taken root. Two Northern Ireland developments in particular have been making headlines in the media and legal worlds: (1) a dramatic rise in television and film production work, and (2) the decision of two of London's biggest law firms to set up legal outsourcing operations there.

Jake Bickerton of Televisual reports on a positive "sea change in outlook" for independent television and film production companies in Ireland's North:

"As recently as 18 months ago you could have counted the number of network commissions coming out of Northern Ireland on one hand and still had a few fingers left over. Now it’s an entirely different landscape, with the majority of indies looking outside the local market and landing network shows...."

Much of this growth comes from "a concerted effort" by the BBC to engage with the region and boost the numbers of network commissions in Belfast to 3% by 2016. But our clients HBO, Channel Four, and Waddell Media are also having a big impact there.

For example, HBO's "Game of Thrones," recently shot and edited in Northern Ireland, is the biggest TV production ever made in the UK. Reports Bickerton in the Televisual article:

“'Sector wide, Game of Thrones has been a huge deal – it brought in a lot of money and puts to rest any issues as to whether Northern Ireland can deliver big drama,' says Wild Rover’s [Managing Director Phil] Morrow."

"'It’s a most amazing thing Richard Williams [CEO of Northern Ireland Screen] has done, and has proven to London there’s no reason Northern Ireland can’t do a big production,' agrees Below The Radar’s [Managing Director Trevor] Birney...."

"The series was edited at Belfast’s Yellow Moon, which spent £200k gearing up for it. 'We supplied the cutting rooms and did the dailies and offline,' says md Greg Darby. 'If it comes back for another five years, which is possible, we can hire sound people and colourists and really bolster up our facilities.'”

Channel 4 and Waddell Media are also getting into the act:

"C4 is now also showing signs of wanting to do more with Belfast’s indies, through its Creative Diversity department, headed up by Stuart Cosgrove, which is making a concerted effort to reach out to the Northern Ireland production community."

"Long-standing indie Waddell Media now makes C4’s well-respected 4thought.tv strand that follows the C4 news every weeknight, and many of Belfast’s production outfits are broadly optimistic about their chances of soon also securing C4 commissions."

"'Landing a network commission for C4 has been our main focus and we’re getting very close,' says Brendan Hughes, who heads up Tern TV’s Belfast office. 'I’ve been surprised by how C4 engages with Belfast and think they are doing a terrific job. They are beginning to put a lot of effort in but none of us deserve to get a commission, you need a very good idea.'"

As Televisual also reports, Waddell and other independents in Northern Ireland are having additional success securing commissions for the U.S. market:

"The other big market for Belfast’s indies is America, with Waddell Media leading the way with series for Discovery and other key broadcasters, and the likes of Wild Rover and Below The Radar amongst the other production outfits finding success in the States."

"'We met the Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney [who directed Taxi To the Dark Side and Enron: the Smartest Guys in the Room] in Galway and set up a partnership programme with him,' says Below The Radar md Trevor Birney. 'Gibney makes four or five docs a year and it’s a huge learning process for us to discover how he funds them. We’re launching an online news and current affairs platform called The Detail and are discussing doing a documentary about Northern Ireland with Gibney as exec producer. The doc would talk about Northern Ireland here and now, in a similar way to how Gibney approached his doc about Enron.'”

"The Belfast trailblazers in the US, Waddell Media, set up a New York office three years ago, headed up by Jon-Barrie Waddell. 'We’ve really expanded into the US market and have now completed productions for Nat Geo, Discovery, A&E, The History Channel and G4,' he explains. “It’s a good market and around 40% of our work is now for the US.'”

"Waddell’s success is being mirrored by Wild Rover, which is making major inroads with its recently developed LE game show formats. Both Secret Fortune and another Wild Rover show, Take The Money and Run, are being remade for the US market, the latter having been picked up by ABC with Jerry Bruckheimer exec producing. 'We’ve very, very big international ambitions for doing very big primetime projects,' says Morrow."

As mentioned above, Northern Ireland's recent success also has extended to the legal outsourcing arena, where extremely generous government subsidies have enticed major UK law firms to set up shop there. The Law Without Borders blog covers this as follows:

"A flurry of reports indicate that UK mega law firms Allen & Overy and Herbert Smith both are setting up legal support offices in formerly war-torn Belfast in the coming months. The outsourced jobs will include not only hundreds of back-office clerical positions, but also over 75 fee-earning legal jobs."


"Despite an old reputation for 'their tanks and their bombs, and their bombs and their guns' ('Zombie'), the North of Ireland is a beautiful part of the world, with a youthful, highly educated, English speaking population, eager for knowledge-based jobs. A double-whammy of globalization and open street warfare practically ended the manufacturing sector that was once the heart of Belfast's economy, leaving massive unemployment. But while Belfast, Derry, and the rest of Northern Ireland are among the most economically depressed areas of Europe, payscales and operating costs are still many times higher than those of India. So how did Belfast win the competition?"

"Well, it didn't hurt that 'Invest Northern Ireland,' the government's development agency, made an offer the London firms could not refuse. It agreed to pay Allen & Overy 2.5 million Pounds to set up its new 'Support and Legal Services Centre,' and to pay 208,000 Pounds to Herbert Smith to launch its document review/due diligence operation. Given that these two 'magic circle' law firms collectively brought in over 3 billion Pounds last year in fees, the Belfast location incentives make these firms among the wealthiest government aid recipients in the world. The government hand-outs amount to about 8-10,000 Pounds for each job created."

In any event, the resurgence of this northeast corner of Ireland cannot be denied. And the rest of the world is starting to take notice.