BBC lawyer joins SmithDehn team

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International media and entertainment law firm SmithDehn LLP has added senior BBC NI lawyer and ‘Spotlight’ adviser Philip Wheeler to its international team.

The company, which opened a base in Derry recently and has a client roster that includes Sacha Baron Cohen, HBO, Paramount Pictures, Channel 4, 20th Century Fox and over 300 other media companies and high-profile individuals, said the addition of Mr Wheeler “amounts to yet another expansion into the UK by US-based SmithDehn”.

Philip Wheeler served as the go-to legal content/compliance adviser for countless award-winning and other major TV/ film projects.

For most of his time at the BBC, Wheeler served as the pre-publication adviser for BBC Northern Ireland, including its multi-award winning TV current affairs strand, Spotlight.

Mr Wheeler said of his appointment: “I’m eager to increase my direct involvement with film-makers, production companies and content developers and provide them with the benefit of the wide range of experience I’ve gained over the years. I am also looking forward to further training and fully utilising SmithDehn’s amazing teams in Derry/Londonderry and throughout the world.”

SmithDehn LLP senior partner Russell Smith added: “The addition of Philip Wheeler to our team is a perfect match. He combines vast experience and skill with a strong ‘can-do’ attitude and motivation to help clients.”

SmithDehn has facilitated the production and distribution of projects such as Searching for Sugar Man, CitizenFour, Borat, and the Ali G show. This year, two of their clients have been nominated for Academy Awards, and four others recently premiered their films at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.