Wiggin responds to UK film and TV production boom with two Partner appointments

Media, Technology and Brands law firm Wiggin has bolstered its Film & TV practice with two key Partner appointments: Chris Hanson, previously London Head of IPT at DLA Piper, and Gráinne McKenna, previously Head of Legal & Business Affairs at NBC Universal International TV Production.

Wiggin Film & TV Partner Charles Moore commented: “The expansion of the team is a reflection of the unprecedented activity seen in the film and TV production sectors over the last few years and of the UK Government’s continued investment in the creative industries. ”  In addition to the appointment of Hanson and McKenna, Wiggin’s film and TV group has recently hired Melissa Frost, a film lawyer previously at Lionsgate, and James Peel, who came to the firm from NBC Universal TV.

Wiggin’s Film & TV group has a longstanding international reputation in the film industry, representing most of the US studios and mini-majors, as well as many of the leading producers and financiers in the independent film sector.  Recently the group has also seen enormous growth in the volume of TV work which has arisen as a result of the introduction of the UK high-end TV tax credit, which the firm initiated.  Wiggin now represents most of the US broadcasters and many leading UK TV production companies as well as the two leading digital platforms operating across both sectors of the industry.

Hanson’s appointment will further raise Wiggin’s existing high profile in the film and TV finance sector, with his track record of advising US studios and bank clients. He has worked in the media and entertainment sector for over 20 years, focusing on the film, television and video-game industries, where he has considerable experience in the financing, production, licensing and exploitation of audio-visual content. Hanson represents US studios, producers, financiers, distributors, government bodies, corporate and high net worth investors across the US, Europe, Asia and the Far East.

McKenna’s experience brings a unique skillset across the film and TV production sectors to Wiggin. Prior to her role at NBC Universal TV, McKenna was at Working Title for many years, first as VP, Legal & Business Affairs at Working Title Films and subsequently as Head of Legal & Business Affairs at Working Title Television. McKenna joined Wiggin in November 2015 and joined the partnership in December 2016.

Wiggin Film & TV Partner David Quli commented: “One of the key priorities for our media finance practice is to expand our international client base into the US studios and Asia. Chris’s profile and reputation among this client base is second to none. We very much look forward to working together to build the practice further, and to capitalise on the current unsurpassed levels of UK film and TV production.”

Wiggin Film & TV Partner Charles Moore commented: “Gráinne has a fantastic reputation as a lawyer and business affairs executive across the film and TV industry, with great commercial acumen. Our TV production practice, where we already represent many of the leading US broadcasters and UK production companies, is a major focus for growth and we see Gráinne playing a pivotal role in the continued expansion of our TV business.”