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Harbottle & Lewis advises Emma Frost and Matthew Graham’s new indie on partnership with Legendary Entertainment

16 December 2020

Harbottle & Lewis has advised writers and showrunners Emma Frost and Matthew Graham on their launch of a new UK TV production company, Watford & Essex, with backing from ‘Carnival Row’ producer Legendary Entertainment.

Emma and Matthew’s previous credits include ‘Life on Mars,’ ‘Ashes to Ashes,’ ‘The Spanish Princess,’ ‘Doctor Who’ and ‘The Man In The High Castle.’

Harbottle & Lewis advised on the corporate, commercial and employment aspects of the transaction and Simon Vyvyan of TVA advised on the content-related aspects of the deal.

Watford & Essex, based in Bristol, will develop, produce and deficit finance high-end scripted programming for the international market and already has a slate of 10 projects.

Harbottle & Lewis Corporate partner Colin Howes commented: “We are thrilled to have advised Emma and Matthew on this exciting new venture, which will bring some exciting new projects to our screens and entrench the showrunner concept in the UK market.

“Our extensive experience of TV investment deals, alongside Simon Vyvyan’s expertise of production and production finance issues in the TV drama indie sector, meant we were well placed to advise on all aspects of the transaction. We look forward to seeing the impact of Emma and Matthew’s new approach to TV drama.”

Emma and Matthew said: “Setting up a joint venture with a major Hollywood studio is as daunting as it is exciting. We were always confident that Colin and his team at Harbottle & Lewis were working towards an agreement that took into account the breadth and variation of the deal and delivered the maximum benefit for Watford & Essex without compromising our good relationship with Legendary Global.”

Colin Howes led the team that advised on the transaction with support from Corporate senior associate Kat Hardy-King and Corporate associate Katerina Capras.

Simon Vyvyan of TVA advised on all content-related aspects of the transaction and continues to advise Watford & Essex on its business and commercial affairs requirements as they continue to grow their development slate.

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