In the 5th edition of the Board Minute, we catch up with Nick Taylor, Partner and Head of Media & Entertainment. Nick combines great expertise with sound commercial and strategic advice, earning himself a fantastic reputation among professionals, media bodies and public figures.Nick represents businesses and individuals across a broad range of commercial and media related work, as well as a large number of high profile international and celebrity clients.
- How did your legal career begin and how long have you specialised in Media Law? Technically it began after I left school when I did some work experience for a solicitors firm in Worthing during the summer holiday before starting college. I ended up spending several weeks in the Old Bailey in what was the biggest murder trial in the country that year. The Court experience left me certain I wanted to pursue a career in law.
- What interested you in this area of law? I have always been interested in how the law can be used positively to ensure that someone is fairly represented in the media and that the press reports the story in a way that is then accurate. The best result is in helping a client avoid any inaccuracies being reported in the first place rather than having to seek redress after something appears in the media that is inaccurate.
- What do you enjoy most about working in Media & Entertainment Law? Working with creative clients across film, TV, music, sport and politics.
- Has the pandemic had an impact on your work or changed the support your clients require? Everyone has had to adapt to changing working practices in order to meet clients' needs during the pandemic. The advantage of technology has helped here with platforms such as Zoom allowing clients to keep in touch face to face remotely during lockdown. One lockdown success story that I have worked with is an online digital chat show called Wonderbirds Show, hosted by Sherrie Hewson, Debbie Arnold, Dee Anderson and Harriet Thorpe. Created at the start of lockdown, it continues to be published on Facebook and YouTube and has had over 14 million hits over the last 15 months.
- You do a lot work for charities and the community. What charities are close to your heart and why? I am involved with a lot of local charities and work very closely as an ambassador with The Starr Trust Charity, based in Brighton, who support young people both financially and in mentoring them across their chosen fields in education, sport and the arts. I have more recently become an ambassador for International Aid for the Protection & Welfare of Animals (IAPWA), a UK registered charity dedicated to creating a better future for animals around the world. As an animal lover with three dogs, two of which were rescued in Serbia, I have always since a boy been passionate about animal welfare. I organised and took part in a celebrity zip challenge in September for IAPWA at Brighton Zip through which we raised some much needed funds for them; and it was great to be able to hold a fundraising event after the previous social distancing restrictions. I am also an avid supporter of the fantastic work done by the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity and have with my wife for many years taken part with Richard & Fred Fairbrass of Right Said Fred in the annual fundraiser the Marsden March, where the participants walk from their Chelsea Hospital to their Sutton Hospital to help raise funds.
- Would you have any advice for individuals considering a career in media law? The best advice for someone considering a career in media law is you will need to have good "communication" skills. Demonstrating your commitment to this niche area of law is very important. Get some work experience either at a newspaper, broadcaster or production company as it will broaden your perspective before embarking on your legal career.
- What is your greatest achievement in your career? They say never meet your heroes. I disagree. I am a keen tennis player and as a boy loved watching the iconic Wimbledon Tennis Finals particularly between Connors and McEnroe. During my career I had the pleasure of then acting for Jimmy Connors and ended up travelling around the world with him on a number of media projects. During those trips we discussed the idea of him publishing an autobiography of his life and career. This later came to fruition in 2013 with his autobiography entitled "The Outsider" on which I was his legal advisor.
- Do you have any New Year's resolutions for 2022? No. I always break them!