Follow us

James is a Senior Associate whose practice focuses primarily on media and entertainment, consumer and digital regulatory matters across a range of sectors.

James has a wide range of media and entertainment experience, including advising on content acquisition and distribution, production agreements, sports rights and sponsorship deals, advertising and marketing arrangements, gambling and gaming arrangements and digital and e-commerce arrangements.

In addition to advising on key contractual relationships in these areas, James regularly advises on associated regulatory compliance, including in the context of:

  • new and emerging legislation and regulations (such as the Omnibus Directive and the Online Safety Bill); and
  • new product launches, innovative marketing campaigns and alternative routes to market and how these interact with existing legislative and regulatory frameworks (including broadcast, gambling, advertising and consumer/digital regulatory regimes).

James also co-authors the PLC note "Overview of Broadcast Content Regulation".

James has spent time on secondment at a number of clients operating in the TMT sector, including:

  • Sky (in their content distribution team, business development and distribution and partnerships teams); and
  • Dentsu (in their global clients media buying team)
  • Wayra (Telefónica's corporate venturing and start-up accelerator arm); and
  • British American Tobacco (in their commercial operations legal team).

Experience & expertise

Selected matters

Content acquisition and distribution

  • Sky on:
    • the renewal of its strategic partnership with Virgin Media for carriage of Sky channels and content on Virgin Media's cable platforms
    • the renewal of its partnership with BT in relation to the distribution of BT Sport via Sky platforms and the distribution of NOW on BT TV, and the subsequent renewal of such arrangements as part of the premium sports joint venture created between BT Group and Warner Bros. Discovery in 2022
    • its strategic commercial partnerships to make third party content and applications available across its flagship platforms (including Sky Glass and Sky Q) as well as NOW
    • distribution of the NOW app on third party devices including smart TVs
    • its £6.8 billion acquisition of Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland from Twenty-First Century Fox to create "Sky Europe"
    • its acquisition of Love Productions
    • the negotiation of content distribution agreements with distributors worldwide
  • STV on its networking arrangements with ITV and a range of other matters
  • a major Middle Eastern client on its production incentive arrangements in relation to a range of fashion photography, feature film and TV productions
  • FilmFlex Movies on the launch of its movie-on-demand service (known as "EE Film") on the new Everything Everywhere 4G network (this is the first movie-on-demand service launched on the UK's 4G network) and all aspects of its new white label partnerships with Eircom and TalkTalk; on movie output licence agreements with the major Hollywood studios and independent licensors for exhibition of movies on all of FilmFlex's on-demand services and on FilmFlex's technical platform operation arrangements
  • Moby Group on an exciting new partnership with VICE Media to bring innovative digital news, culture and lifestyle programming to youth across the Middle East and North Africa region
  • Al Arab Channel on all aspects of the launch of a news channel (ranging from production, acquisition and distribution to technical arrangements), launched in 2014
  • Khazanah on its investment to acquire a 26% stake in the Imaginarium Studios. The Imaginarium operates the leading performance capture studios in Europe and was founded by Andy Serkis and Jonathan Cavendish in 2011

Advertising and sponsorship

  • Dentsu on:
    • its global media buying arrangements with existing and prospective global clients across a range of sectors
    • the impact on its global creative services agreements of the consolidation of its creative agency brands into one global creative network called Dentsu Creative
  • Bauer and News UK's Wireless on their joint venture to create Octave Audio (a new digital audio company for the UK advertising market)
  • a major consumer sector client on its re-procurement of global media buying services
  • KFC on its strategic marketing campaigns
  • British American Tobacco on:
    • its Formula 1 partnership with McLaren
    • its global agency advertising arrangements with WPP
    • various collaboration and activation arrangements with festival and event organisers as well as influencers
  • Gousto in relation to various consumer promotions and marketing campaigns
  • STV on its advertising sales arrangements with ITV
  • a major Olympic Games sponsor on the renewal of its sponsorship arrangements with the IOC

Gaming and gambling

  • MGM on its bid for Entain, in particular on gambling regulatory aspects and coordinating this across many jurisdictions
  • a Chinese gaming company on its investment in a UK gaming studio as part of a Series C funding round, which involved conducting due diligence on target company assets including review of the gaming company's core gaming arrangements relating to provision of the software engine and associated systems
  • Kambi on gambling regulatory advice in respect of its B2B products and services in relation to numerous markets
  • Tabcorp on its white label partnership with News to launch an online wagering and gaming business in the UK and Irish markets, to be known as "Sun Bets"; Tabcorp is a leading Australian gambling entertainment company and one of the world’s largest publicly listed gambling companies and wagering operators by revenue
  • DeNA Co. Ltd on the Pokémon Masters mobile game that it developed in conjunction with Nintendo including conducting a global survey of regulations applicable mobile gaming across 12 jurisdictions

Digital and e-commerce

  • A major global consumer goods manufacturer and retailer on its reseller arrangements (including in relation to non-new products) in light of new platform regulations including the Omnibus Directive
  • Uber on a range of matters including product expansion and launches (e.g. its arrangement with Hopper)
  • Diageo on the creation of a new suite of global e-commerce