US Media Law Firm Chooses Londonderry for New Company Base


Thanks to support from Invest Northern Ireland, American company SmithDehn LLP has set up a new legal firm in Londonderry creating six high quality jobs.

SmithDehn NI is already up and running, with highly trained legal professionals providing increased capacity for its American counterpart to provide specialist legal services to media and entertainment companies based in the UK and the USA.

The company provides the full range of legal services required for the media and entertainment industry, including legal compliance review and advice for TV and film projects, drafting and negotiating contracts, trademark and copyright work.

It has several high profile, international film and television companies on its client base. Four of the six jobs are already in place.

Russell Smith, SmithDehn NI Director and partner in SmithDehn LLP, said: “We believe that we’ve created a law firm that is different from conventional law firms because we offer more responsive, higher quality legal services at comparatively lower rates.

“Our new Derry-based company will enable us to target more UK clients who need USA litigation and legal services.  In Derry we have found amazingly talented young lawyers who can service our clients around the world expertly and efficiently.

“We’re also delighted that we’ve had the opportunity to work with the University of Ulster on the new Media Law module as that will ensure a pipeline of graduates with the skills needed to service the niche media and entertainment sector.”

Invest NI has offered an employment grant of £42,000 and almost £8,000 of marketing assistance.

Welcoming the investment, Des Gartland, Invest NI’s North West Regional Office Manager, said: “We’re very pleased to have secured SmithDehn for Derry as it was not the only location being considered by the company. However, Invest NI’s support, coupled with the availability of high quality law graduates and the opportunity for SmithDehn to work with the University of Ulster to develop a media law module, convinced the firm that this was the best location for it.

“Invest NI is keen to support this type of export-focused, knowledge-based company, which delivers real benefits to the economy.”

SmithDehn NI is located in Northwest Regional Science Park. Two of the directors of SmithDehn NI Ltd, Russell Smith and Michael Cleaver, are also partners in New York based SmithDehn LLP. The third director, Andrew Baker, heads SmithDehn LLP's London operations.

Listen to Patricia MacBride speak about how the business is benefiting from Invest NI support