Alex Hardy is a partner in the firm’s Technology, Media & Entertainment Group. Alex’s work sits at the intersection of traditional media and digital technology, where she advises clients across the TME sector, with a particular focus on the publishing industry. Her work involves advising on a broad range of intellectual property and commercial matters, including data protection and e-commerce.
Alex’s background as a former editor and in-house lawyer means she is highly regarded in the publishing industry for her sound commercial approach. She advises the full breadth of clients across the industry including authors, publishers (trade, academic and independent), agents, literary estates, media platforms and providers, distributors, e-book aggregators, retailers, and online writing communities.
- Publishing contracts – drafting and advising on all types of author, illustrator, ghost writer, translator, editor and project manager contracts for print and digital media
- Data protection – advice on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), particularly in the publishing and content sectors
- Commercial agreements in the Technology, Media & Entertainment sector, including distribution, outsourcing and non-disclosure agreements
- Clearance and acquisition of content and rights
- Advising on royalty and payment structures, interpretation of rights and key performance terms
- Advising on Open Access publishing arrangements
- Electronic publishing – advising on new media and digital exploitation of content including via digital subscription services, cloud based services, virtual learning environments and apps
- Brand licensing – advising on licensing and use of brands, including advice to brand owners and licensees on their brand portfolios and merchandising opportunities
- Working with major UK publishers including Hachette, Bloomsbury and Egmont on a variety of intellectual property, commercial and data privacy matters
- Assisting journal publishers and societies on publishing agreements, sales agent terms and data protection matters, including The Editorial Society of Bone & Joint Surgery and the Federation of European Biochemical Societies
- Advising up-and-coming and established authors, high-profile individuals, household brands and literary estates (including the Estate of Terry Pratchett) on a range of publishing deals and copyright issues
- Advising literary agencies on talent agreements, corporate arrangements, and employment issues
- Advising publishing start-ups, including the award winning Edtech platform BibliU, on commercial and data protection issues
- Developing an online data protection toolkit for the Publishers Association to help publishers get GDPR-ready
Alex is the editor of the Publishing Industry section of Copinger & Skone James on Copyright, 17th edition and she is also a judge at the British Book Awards.
Alex has been recognised as a Next Generation Lawyer for Publishing by Legal 500 in 2017 and she has also been listed as a Star Associate (TME – Publishing) in Chambers and Partners in 2016 and 2017.
In addition to this Legal 500 recognised her as a Recommended Lawyer in 2012 and 2016, and she was named as a Bookseller Rising Star in 2013.
Alex is involved in the publishing industry through her membership and support of:
- The Society of Authors
- The Publishers Association
- The Association of Authors Agents
- The Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers
- Book Industry Communication
- The Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers
- Byte the book
- Alex Hardy recently explored the issues around the use of AI in the creative industries with a panel of other experts at Byte the Book’s “Machine Thinking: How is AI Impacting the Creative Industries” event.
- In a piece for the Publishers Weekly/BookBrunch Frankfurt Book Fair Show Daily, Alex Hardy and associate Zoey Forbes reported on the three new rights that have the potential to significantly affect author contracts in the publishing industry if the new EU Copyright Directive is implemented in the UK.
- Alex Hardy is a judge at the British Book Awards, which Harbottle & Lewis sponsor.