Music Law

Counterculture's services to the music sector

“The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.”

Hunter S. Thompson

What we do

We enable musicians and music organisations to focus on what they do best – creating and performing music – while we watch their back. Our services help you to protect your rights, revenue and reputation in an industry renowned for sharp practice (as well as fame, fortune and good times).

We work across the UK with everyone from bands just starting out to established artists, producers, managers and record labels – including some of the biggest names in the business. We also act for festivals, promoters, venues and booking agents. And we help groups and organisations from abroad who want to perform or record here.

In every client relationship we aim to be:

  • Clear – so you understand the issues, the thinking behind our advice and the costs involved
  • Simple – so you can concentrate on making the right decisions and not waste time on complicated paperwork
  • Swift – so you don’t miss an opportunity or allow an issue to grow
  • Smart – so you get a canny, professionally rigorous solution not a standard, off-the-shelf answer
  • Affordable – so you can properly protect yourself from day one.

How we can help you

Our team has experience across all areas of music law including the latest technologies and business models. That includes:

  • Contracts – including recording, publishing and management contracts
  • Commercial agreements – including events, sponsorship, merchandising and brand partnerships
  • Artist agreements – including musician, band, song writing and producer agreements
  • Rights – including publishing, copyright, trade mark, licensing, assignments and moral rights
  • Revenue – ensuring you’re getting paid what you’re owed
  • Negotiation – from contract negotiations to settling disputes (we’re nice people but we have sharp teeth when necessary)

We often help clients who are looking to innovate or expand into new areas – like merchandising or digital distribution. And we can help you with any aspect of your finance, accountancy and tax issues too.

Put simply, we cover pretty much every area of music-related law that’s likely to affect you. You’re welcome to surprise us with something new.

Who are we?

Mark Roberts

Mark is a partner at Counterculture. He advises on entertainment, technology and media law matters. His clients have been nominated for everything from the Mercury Prize and the MOBOs to the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. He also acts for BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists and for finalists in ITV’s X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent. Mark is on the panel of PRS for Music and BASCA (British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors) approved industry lawyers.

mark@counterculturellp.com

Laura Marsden

Laura is a solicitor, musician and music producer. She was in a band signed to a major label (ask her nicely and she might tell you more). Worked in the music department at ITV. And now helps a range of music and entertainment clients with contracts, disputes and copyright. She also supports clients on issues related to internet, data, governance and charity law.  Laura is a member of the Music Managers' Forum (MMF) and also on the panel of PRS for Music and BASCA (British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors) approved industry lawyers.

laura@counterculturellp.com

Keith Arrowsmith

Keith is a partner at Counterculture. He qualified as a solicitor in 1995 and has worked in law firms in London, Manchester and Sheffield. He works across the arts, heritage, digital and media sectors. His specialist areas include contract, intellectual property, data protection, business and internet law. Keith has advised orchestras, classical musicians, choirs and composers.

keith@counterculturellp.com

Tom Wilcox

Tom is one of the founders and senior partners of Counterculture. He advises a wide range of musicians, artists and cultural organisations. He’s also a songwriter, musician, music curator and producer; most recently working on a live tour with Mike Garson, Steve Harley and Steve Norman. Before joining Counterculture Tom was managing director at the Whitechapel Gallery and previously worked at Arts Council England, The Poetry Society and PricewaterhouseCoopers. He’s also the only Chartered Company Secretary and qualified accountant we know who’s had a ‘Single of the Week’ in Kerrang!

tom@counterculturellp.com

How to contact us

If you need help fast – or you’d just like to find out more – call us or email. We’re a friendly bunch, we love our job and we love good music.

Manchester office: 0161 826 1266

London office: 020 3388 9901