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.

Web of Lies

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

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.

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.

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.

PASSION PICTURES

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

TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY FOX

We have been among the outside counsel to Twenty-First Century Fox.

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.

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.

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.

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."

LIGHTBOX ENTERTAINMENT

We are 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.

UNTOUCHABLE

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

CITIZENFOUR

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

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.

Media Rights Capital

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

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?.

SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN

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

KNOCK DOWN THE HOUSE

We are counsel for KNOCK DOWN THE HOUSE, the acclaimed documentary by Rachel Lears, which was purchased by Netflix at Sundance for a record $10 million.

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 released Guantánamo prisoner Mohamedou Ould Slahi.

LAST CHANCE U

We're counsel for this award-winning, very popular Netflix series that goes behind the scenes at the top junior college football programs in the US.

FORMULA 1: DRIVE TO SURVIVE

We're counsel for this Netflix documentary series.

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.

Da Ali G Show

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

SELMA

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

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.

THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS

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

LEAVING NEVERLAND

We are counsel for this explosive two-part film about Michael Jackson, by Dan Reed for HBO Documentary Films.

ITV

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

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?.

Paramount Pictures

We are among the outside counsel for Paramount Pictures.

BAFTA

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

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

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.

AMERICAN ANIMALS

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

CBS CORPORATION

We are among the outside counsel for the CBS television network.

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.

Gold Rush - Raw Television

Production counsel for all nine seasons of Discovery's popular observational documentary television series, "Gold Rush."

PARTICIPANT MEDIA

We are among the outside counsel to Participant Media, whose projects have one multiple Academy Awards and have been nominated for over 50.

KNOCK DOWN THE HOUSE

We are counsel for KNOCK DOWN THE HOUSE, the acclaimed documentary by Rachel Lears, which was purchased by Netflix at Sundance for a record $10 million.

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.

HBO

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

OCTOBER FILMS

We are US and UK counsel to October Films, one of the world's most respected and longest established factual television production companies. They have won over 100 international awards.

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.

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.

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.

MURDER MOUNTAIN

We're counsel for this acclaimed and popular documentary series.

ALL THREE MEDIA AMERICA

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

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.

Bruno

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

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.

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

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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.