Richard Williams, CEO Northern Ireland Screen said: “We are delighted that Millar McCall Wylie has officially retained the legal services contract for Northern Ireland Screen. We look forward to expanding upon the successes of the past 18 years working with the firm’s dedicated media and entertainment team.
“In the face of increasing global competition, Northern Ireland Screen has continued to both attract film and television projects to Northern Ireland and support the growth of local screen production companies. As we build a sustainable and dynamic film and television industry in Northern Ireland, we look forward to continuing our work with Millar McCall Wylie.”
Millar McCall Wylie, which has two offices in Belfast, has served as legal advisors on over 1,200 television, film and new media productions produced by independent filmmakers and major studios, networks and content providers with total budgets in excess of £2 billion. This includes acting in relation to the financing of the global TV series Game of Thrones and Line of Duty together with film and TV projects for Netflix, HBO, ESPN, Microsoft/Xbox Studios and BBC amongst many others.
The firm also acts on behalf of a growing range of local production houses including Fine Point Films, Double Band Films, Erica Starling Productions, Paper Owl Films, Nice One Productions, Causeway Pictures and Wee Buns.
The practice has created a dedicated media and entertainment team designed to drive continued expansion, led by Partners Damian McParland and Abbie Long. Damian said: “We have been growing our services in the film, TV and media industry for nearly two decades alongside the growth of the film and television industry in Northern Ireland, which continues to go from strength to strength. Many call it the most successful screen industry in the UK and Ireland outside London. With the calibre of experience in our team alongside our growing reputation, this is a sector with tremendous potential.
“As this expansion continues, companies from the very largest studios to local creative partnerships are turning to us for specialist expertise through all stages of the production process. From low-budget to multi-million-pound productions, we can advise at every step, from film and television production financing, development, production to rights acquisition. The magic of our creative industries is grounded on sound professional advice in what can be a complex and fast-moving area of law. We also work for the burgeoning music, theatre, and games development sectors in Northern Ireland, including protecting intellectual property.”
Millar McCall Wylie’s most recent TV and film expertise includes work on the eighth and final Game of Thrones series, the new series of BBC’s critically successful Line of Duty series, Marcella starring actress Anna Friel, the internationally acclaimed Derry Girls, Krypton and Zoo, a film set in 1940s wartime Belfast.
McParland added: “The entertainment, media and digital landscape is changing at a rapid pace with increasing investment in original content. This is an exciting time for Northern Ireland and we really enjoy helping creators, producers, musicians, artists, financiers and distributors bring their projects to life and to new audiences.”
Millar McCall Wylie was recently crowned Northern Ireland Law Firm of the Year at the prestigious Legal 500 awards ceremony in the Guildhall, London. Continued growth has enabled the firm to build its reputation both nationally and internationally, delivering legal services across an extensive range of practice areas. The company is also a member of one of the world’s leading global legal networks, Multilaw.
Additionally, Millar McCall Wylie has been recognised as a leading firm by legal directory Chambers UK in Media & Entertainment as well as in other key areas such as Corporate/M&A, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Real Estate, Employment, Family & Matrimonial and Private Client. The firm is consistently ranked in the top five NI corporate law firms in the Experian Rankings.
The homegrown law firm’s growth over the last two decades has been driven by its firm focus on people and is currently recruiting to fuel its continued development in 2019.
Richard Williams, Chief Executive Northern Ireland Screen, is pictured with Millar McCall Wylie Partner, Damian McParland, in Belfast.