BBC lawyer joins SmithDehn team


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.