Lawyers and Advisors for Musicians

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.

We work across the UK with everyone from bands just starting out to established artists, producers, managers and record labels. 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?

Laura Marsden

Laura is a partner at Counterculture and is a music law specialist. Prior to qualifying as a solicitor in 2017, she worked in the Music Department of ITV, and prior to that she played in a band signed to Fiction/ Polydor Records. Laura has appeared as a guest lecturer at BIMM Manchester, she is a member of PRSforMusic and part of their legal referral service. She is also one of the Music Venue Trust’s panel of experts, helping grassroots music venues in need.

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.

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!

Peter Pegasiou

Peter assists the legal team across a range of practice areas including intellectual property, commercial and corporate law, charity law and data protection. Peter has a particular interest in entertainment law, stemming from his extensive experience in the music industry. Before joining Counterculture in 2021, Peter was the singer, songwriter and guitarist in a variety of pop outfits. His most successful group, VYNCE, achieved over a million online streams, and toured and performed with renowned acts such as Noel Gallagher, Blossoms, McFly and the Lightning Seeds.

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