Jonathan has over 25 years’ experience of legalling out TV programmes, films, books, magazines, newsprint, NGO reports, press releases and other risk-carrying content; which has included legal editing where that was necessary. This work is usually undertaken on a fixed-fee basis.
Exceptionally, he has done this work while not only defending content claims in the courts or via regulatory complaints; but also gaining a reputation as a robust and effective reputation management lawyer with a wide range of high-profile corporate and individual clients. This allows him to assess/manage content risk with the benefit of expertise both as a poacher and gamekeeper.
Jonathan has undertaken clearance and/or contentious content work for clients such as ITV, Sky, Huffington Post, MTV, The Comedy Channel, September Films, Haymarket Media Group, The Voice Newspaper, Nugus Martin, Silvertail Books, Newsweek, Amnesty International, Melanie Phillips’ Embooks, and Oxford Analytica.
This work has frequently required him to draft revised versions of literature, print copy, scripts etc. He has legalled out current affairs broadcast material which has been transmitted live, recorded as live, hard-hitting documentaries and controversial satire such as South Park; literature in the form of non-fiction, fiction, celebrity autobiographies and a major NGO report about pollution. He has also trained numerous journalists on risk management, and has extensive experience of dealing with high profile individuals and corporations.
Jonathan also advises on and conducts IP disputes. He successfully defended the first major C21 format rights claim (a combined copyright and passing off claim), as brought in the UK and US by Castaway Productions/CBS against ITV/ABC. This led to his setting up the International Format Lawyers Association, and not only providing copyright/breach of confidence/passing off advice in this field for paper formats through to transmission, but also conducting numerous claimant and defendant format rights disputes as well as acting as an expert witness in international format rights claims.
His clients in this field have included Channel 4, Love Productions, Endemol, Virgin Media, MTV, Nippon TV, A&E Television, Sony/Syco, Fremantle Media, and Betty TV.