Mark Stafford - Partner, Dispute Resolution
Mark is a partner in the firm’s Dispute Resolution, Brand Protection and Digital & Technology Groups. He joined Lee & Thompson in 2006 and handles all types of contentious work across the creative industries, for both individuals and corporate clients.
Mark advises on the full spectrum of music industry disputes, from copyright infringement matters to breach of contract claims, acting for artists, labels, publishers, management companies and agents, and has been involved in several high-profile Court actions. He was instructed by The Wailers in their well-publicised litigation against Island Records, acted for Lily Allen in a contractual claim brought by her former agent and has represented the members of One Direction in copyright infringement proceedings.
The UK edition of Chambers and Partners ranks Mark as a leader in his field, recommending him as a copyright and music litigator who “acts for giants of rock history in contract disputes of all kinds“. He has been described in the directory by clients as being “both professional and personable, and is really wonderful to deal with“. In the UK edition of Legal 500, Mark is commended for “always being the right mix of creative and pragmatic”.
Mark also represents several film and television clients, advising producers, distributors, financiers and agents on all types of contentious issues. Recent highlights include acting for a French film production company in a claim concerning Terry Gilliam’s ‘The Man Who Killed Don Quixote’ (which reached a successful conclusion in the Court of Appeal) and acting for the producers of feature documentary ‘Billion Dollar Game’ in their defence of High Court proceedings brought by the owners of the video game franchise ‘Grand Theft Auto’.
Mark has a particularly strong reputation for pre-broadcast copyright and libel clearance work, which he regularly undertakes for the producers of high-profile feature films and television series. Recent highlights include ‘Killing Eve’, ‘War Of The Worlds’, ‘People Just Do Nothing’, the Judy Garland biopic ‘Judy’ and Idris Elba’s ‘In The Long Run’.
A member of the firm’s dedicated Digital & Technology Group, Mark provides advice on disputes arising from internet activity, including online infringement, digital piracy and social media issues. He also advises clients such as Stormzy, Little Mix and Love Productions (makers of ‘The Great British Bake Off’) on brand protection and enforcement, including digital asset protection, trade mark registration and domain name acquisition.
+44 (0)20 3073 7638