Company Information

Johnston Advisors Limited is a limited company registered in the UK (registration number: N171642) and is not authorized or regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.  Whilst all of the team at Johnston Advisors are qualified lawyers in the UK (and in some other jurisdictions) they are not providing their services via Johnston Advisors as lawyers but rather as legal consultants.

Terms of use

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About us: Johnston Advisors Limited is a UK limited company with our registered office at 33 Maynooth Road Richhill, Co. Armagh, BT61 9RG, UK. We are not regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and whilst all of the team at Johnston Advisors are qualified lawyers in the UK (and some other jurisdictions) they are not providing their services via Johnston Advisors Limited as lawyers but rather as legal consutlants.
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Overview

Johnston Advisors was set up in 2014 by Paul Johnston. Paul is an English qualified lawyer with nearly 15 years experience advising clients ranging from start-ups to Global 100 companies in the digital, media and technology sectors. This experience has been gained in private practice at Olswang, the leading technology and media focused law firm in Europe and also in-house working in the legal departments at Microsoft, Google and a global technology and media focused private equity fund, with assets in excess of €800 million where Paul in his role as General Counsel, managed a team of lawyers across the US, Europe and Greater China and sat on the board of the fund and each of its portfolio companies.

The team at Johnston Advisors has significant experience in the digital, media and technology sectors having spent significant parts of their careers to date working in private practice or in-house with leading companies in this space. We understand well the requirements of an in-house legal team and non-lawyers managing the legal function, which in our experience center around:

  • the need for the highest level of technical and commercial advice based on a real understanding of the underlying business;
  • the need for their external advisers to be pro-active and to initiate and maintain fast turn around times without sacrificing quality;
  • the need to effectively manage their legal budget and for their external advisers to offer value for money through flexibility on billing structures.

At Johnston Advisors we aim as a minimum to meet all of these requirements.

How are we different?

  • We specialise only in the digital, media and technology sectors;
  • Our experience of working in-house in these sectors gives us a unique and deep understanding of the requirements and issues facing in-house legal teams and non-lawyers managing the legal function;
  • We operate a lean business model which allows us to offer very competitive rates (hourly, fixed retainer or project based) without having to sacrifice quality;
  • We mix our strong technical advice with a user friendly and commercial approach;
  • We put significant time into understanding our client’s business and the challenges they face. This allows us to tailor our advice, avoid wasting time and maximize the value we can add;
  • We focus continually on improving the client experience, whether it be through our turn-around times, our commercial approach or through sharing our sector specific experience.

What we do

Media

We advise creative business clients that produce, acquire and distribute audio and visual content. Our creative clients are businesses in the media and entertainment industries of broadcasting and digital media (production, commissioning, acquisition, distribution, branding, merchandising), music (recording, publishing, management, licensing, live events) and fashion (model management, image rights, branding, licensing and live events). 

Employment

We advise clients on a wide range of employment related issues with particular experience in working closely with HR professionals in global businesses to get set up in the UK and ensure continued compliance with UK employment legislation. We advise on:

  • onboarding and termination of employees;
  • set up of employee benefits;
  • the preparation of employment terms, offer letters, handbook policies, sales commission plans etc;
  • the HR implications of corporate transactions;
  • internal restructuring and re-organisations.

Data Protection / Privacy

This is an area of growing importance for most if not all companies operating in the Digital Media and Technology sectors. We advise clients on a wide range of data protection and privacy related matters, particularly in relation to their commercial use of and interaction with personal data whether as a data controller or a data processor. We advise on:

  • structuring technology platform and license agreements to ensure compliance with data protection and privacy rules and regulations (particularly in the online advertising sector);
  • preparation of relevant and up to date privacy policies, cookie policies, informed consent requirements and related terms and conditions for end user and business client use;
  • data protection implications of e-commerce transactions;
  • data protection implications of outsourcing and corporate transactions;
  • data protection and privacy implications of behavioral targeting of advertising and on-line profiling.

Corporate

We advise clients on a range of corporate matters ranging from mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, private equity, joint ventures and shareholder arrangements. We have a network of contacts across EMEA of similarly sector focused advisors who we work with closely and regularly to cover where necessary the cross border aspects of various corporate transactions.

For many clients we provide an “in-house counsel” service to manage corporate transactions that have a cross border element to ensure external lawyers and other professionals are working in a coherent, efficient and cost effective manner with the aim of ensuring the deal gets done on time and on budget.

Digital Media

We advise clients in the Digital Media sector with a strong focus on working with technology providers in the online advertising industry. We have particular experience in working with US digital medial companies in helping them to get set up and scale their business across EMEA. Our experience includes advising on the structuring, drafting, and negotiation of a range of online and mobile related advertising agreements including:

  • ad serving platform agreements;
  • ad-exhange agreements;
  • supply side platform agreements;
  • demand side platform agreements;
  • mobile and online real time bidding arrangements.

As part of this offering we advise on the regulatory issues, particularly in respect of data transfer, user consent, behavioral targeting etc., which intersect with these types of agreement.

Commercial Technology

We advise clients on a wide range of local and cross border commercial transactions in the technology sector. Our extensive experience in these sectors include structuring, drafting and negotiating the following types of agreement:

  • technology joint ventures (development and exploitation);
  • software license, development, reseller, OEM, and subscription agreements;
  • platform hosting and access agreements;
  • open source licensing arrangements;

We also advise on:

  • issues relating to the intellectual property rights in software and data and the implications for their exploitation;
  • the setting up of technology sales and distribution models;
  • the technology and intellectual property issues arising from corporate transactions;
  • use of open source software and open source licensing models.

We advise clients in the Digital, Media and Technology sectors on a range of UK and cross border matters in the following areas:

Commercial Technology

Corporate

Data Protection / Privacy

Digital Media

Employment

Intellectual Property

We have particular experience and expertise in working with US technology and digital media companies to help them establish and scale their business across EMEA.

 

Our Clients

Belowis a selection of some of our clients…

  • zapp-logo
  • unnamed
  • media
  • exelate
  • falk
  • strike
  • adapt
  • sizmek
  • sharewall
  • statiq
  • revelpartners
  • nimblecommerce
  • evalue
  • smartclip
  • collective

And what they have to say about us...

“We have used Johnston Advisors on a number of projects and the level of service provided by Paul and the team is consistently high. They have a unique understanding of the digital and mobile advertising industry and therefore, have delivered a huge amount of incremental value, in addition to responding quickly and within budget.”

Jamie Estrin, Co-Founder Zapp360

“Paul has been a trusted advisor to Sizmek and previously MediaMind for a number of years.  He has a deep knowledge of the digital advertising sector and the regulatory framework in which it operates and he manages to combine this knowledge with a pro-active and commercial approach to the advice he provides.”

Sean Markowitz, General Counsel Sizmek Technologies

“I have worked with Paul for many years and have had no hesitation in recommending his skills and services to many other companies in the digital media and technology industry. His knowledge of this industry and his specific understanding of how on-line advertising works, both commercially and even technically, means his advice is always highly relevant and adds value to our business..”

Erwin Plomp, CEO, Falk Technologies GmbH

“Johnston Advisors have advised eValue on over a dozen investments in the digital media and technology sectors over the last couple of years. Paul's technical ability, industry knowledge and can do attitude make him an integral part of our team of external advisors.”

Thomas Falk, CEO and Founder, eValue AG

“Johnston Advisors were integral in the setting up and scaling out of the Collective business in the UK and since then they have continued to be an excellent resource for legal advice and assistance to our UK operations”

Matt Kaminer, General Counsel, Collective Inc.

Get in Touch

We’d be delighted to catch up by phone or in person to discuss how Johnston Advisors can help your business.

You can reach us by phone at +44 (0)20 7183 1499 or by email at

Working with us…

Johnston Advisors are looking for passionate and ambitious legal professionals with a proven track record of working with clients in the digital, media and technology sectors gained either at a top law firm or in-house at a leading player in one of these sectors. We are particularly interested in speaking to individuals with corporate, commercial or employment experience

Our sector specific approach allows us to win and retain clients leading the way in the digital, media and technology industries. If you are ambitious, passionate about what you do and at the stage in your career where you want to have more control over your own destiny then we’d love to speak to you. We can provide you with the support and connections you need to build a compelling practice whilst at the same time giving you the opportunity to be at the heart of an exciting and dynamic business at the forefront of the changing legal services market.

You can reach us at or on +44 (0) 20 7183 1499 for an informal chat about the possibility of working with us.