We talk to one of the UK’s leading media and entertainment law firms
Reno, can you tell us a bit about your own career?
I trained at Herbert Smith and spent the first two years of my career in the corporate department there. I then moved to Olswang which is where I became immersed in the film and television industries acting principally for independent production companies, sales companies and distributors. I joined Lee & Thompson in the early 1990s which was then primarily a music firm. We built up the Film & Television practice from a near standing start to where it is today. I am really proud of the existing practice - with 22 fee earners, the group is acknowledged as being the largest team of lawyers in the UK working in the creative audio-visual sector.
What types of clients does Lee & Thompson work with and what areas of the law do you specialise in?
We are one of the UK’s leading law firms for individuals and businesses in the media, entertainment and creative industries. We represent many of the world’s most successful musicians, producers, directors and creative talent in addition to television and sports personalities. We also count rights owners, production companies, record labels and media entrepreneurs as clients and we provide them all with a full range of legal services.
You merged with Forbes Anderson Free in January. How was the process & how has the last year been?
The merger process was relatively straight forward as, from the outset, the two firms were a natural fit. If there is such a thing as the perfect match, then this merger was it! We share a very similar culture, approach and vision so it really feels like it has been 'business as usual' since the team joined in January. Clients on both sides have been delighted with the move. We believe that we have now created an even greater powerhouse in the media and entertainment world, which we have seen is already benefitting many of our clients and the firm itself.
Would you look for further mergers or acquisitions over the next few years?
If the right opportunity came along, we would consider it seriously.
What’s your vision/ strategy for the firm moving forward?
More of the same. We want to continue to offer a high quality service to high quality clients in the creative industries. We want to increase the depth of our offering and reach out more widely to the full spectrum of creative businesses and individuals out there. There are very few firms that understand and can service the media, entertainment and technology sectors the way we can and we want to ensure we remain at the top of our game.
You have a strong presence in London but would you ever look to open in another country?
If we felt it was the right thing to do then we would happily look at the opportunity.
What do you most enjoy about your role?
As managing partner of the firm, I enjoy the day to day challenges and successes of the team. It is exciting and extremely gratifying to see the firm continue to grow and flourish year on year. And as a film and TV lawyer, which is what I still spend most of my time doing, I still get a kick out of closing deals and being immersed in the industry.
How would people describe your leadership style?
I'd say I am pretty hands on and in control. I know my mind and am not afraid to speak it. I have a great team around me who I trust as colleagues and as friends and I think that this helps me to make the right decisions for us all.
What drives you personally?
Making a success of the firm and ensuring that we maintain a strong reputation for high quality legal services delivered by first rate lawyers.
Can you sum up Lee & Thompson in five words?
Market leader, industry-savvy, commercial, niche and collegiate