The Legal 500 2009 says that Reed Smith's media, film and television finance practice provides a "professional, knowledgeable and effective service at a competitive price," and Chambers 2010 cites client praise for our "vastly experienced and incredibly reassuring top-notch service." In previous editions, the directories have said: "The firm continues to retain a top reputation in film finance, partly due to a cadre of lawyers who give not only the legal position but the commercial viewpoint as well. The group is seen as having an enviable following from banks" (Chambers UK), and its "financing skills are second to none, agree clients" (Chambers UK). According to Legal 500, one member of our team has been described as "about the best there is," and also noted, "The firm retains an outstanding reputation for film finance matters."
The Legal 500 places our practice in the top band and names three members of our team as leading individuals. Chambers praised our team's "A-plus" service, citing in particular our depth of expertise, judgment and commercial approach.
The firm has been a market leader in media project/asset financing work in the UK for more than 20 years.
The firm has acted for all kinds of financiers, and now advises a number of the most active banks, capital groups and public funding bodies in the film and television production finance area, including Bank of Ireland, Royal Bank of Scotland, Comerica, HSBC, Barclays, Natixis Coficiné, Grosvenor Park, Endgame Entertainment, Footprint Films, CinemaNX, Future Film, Aramid, Prescience Film Finance and UK Film Council. Although we act on all types of financing transactions, we are particularly well-known for our work in advising senior lenders on complex "gap" finance facilities, and on lending against the UK tax credit for film expenditure.
Recent films on which we have advised the financiers include "Blitz," "It's a Wonderful Afterlife," "Dolan's Cadillac," "An Education," "Betty Anne Waters," "Glorious 39," "Cheri," "Ultramarines (Warhammer 40,000)," and "Dead Man Running."
The firm also has extensive experience in handling disputes arising out of the financing and production of films, including all issues relating to the shutdown of film productions, inter-financier disputes, insolvency, and disputes arising out of tax- and insurance-based structures.
We have handled a huge volume of tax-based financings for many players in the industry, including lenders, arrangers, producers, broadcasters, guarantors and distributors of films.
We have also been involved in the structuring of finance for, and the negotiation of, the contracts for the deployment of digital cinema systems.