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Brinsley Dresden

Brinsley DresdenPartner

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I am a specialist in advertising and marketing law and regulation, representing both brand owners and marketing services agencies across a broad spectrum of legal and regulatory issues.

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I have been at Lewis Silkin since 1996, and have over 20 years of experience in the sector, having previously been in-house counsel at British Telecom. As Bob Hoskins nearly said, “it’s good to talk – but only after you’ve taken legal advice on the script.”

I am fortunate that my practice has introduced me to many big personalities in the advertising industry, including some of the leading “Mad Men” (and Mad Women) of today. On the brand owner side, I’ve helped clients find creative solutions across many sectors, including health and beauty, cosmetics, automotive, alcohol, aviation, electronics, financial services and FMCG.

As well as being Co-Head of our Advertising & Marketing Sector Focus Group, I am also on the Executive Committee of the Global Advertising Lawyers Alliance (“GALA”), and the sole UK member. Through GALA, I can access the best advertising lawyers worldwide, from colleagues I’ve worked with for up to 20 years.

The Legal 500, Chambers and the Campaign A-List seem to like what I do.

You can read some of my Adlaw blog posts below

Brands & Intellectual Property

My legal practice covers four main areas:

  • Regulatory: Dealing with the Advertising Standards Authority, Clearcast, the RACC, Ofcom, the CMA and local trading standards authorities
  • Contractual drafting and negotiation: Client/agency contracts; talent contracts with celebrities and social media influencers; production contracts, and any of the other contracts that arise from the business of advertising
  • Dispute resolution: Third party allegations of IP infringement whether in copyright, trade marks or passing off, including comparative advertising; and commercial disputes between brands, agencies and production companies
  • Clearance: Pre-publication advice about the legal and regulatory issues that arise from advertising and sales promotion campaigns in both the UK and around the world, including advertising regulation, intellectual property, consumer and gambling laws.

Defending ASA Complaints

I am particularly interested in making and defending complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority. We help advertisers to stop advertising by competitors that is misleading, but not comparative, and therefore not capable of challenge though trademark law. Equally, we’ve helped numerous brands and agencies to defend investigations successfully, even where there have been hundreds of complaints. We have a deep understanding of the ASA procedures and rules, such as the workings of the Executive, the Industry Advisory Panel, the Independent Reviewer and the Council. The ASA’s primary sanction of negative publicity can provoke complacency, but with class action lawyers watching from the USA and consumer rights developing in the UK, brands increasingly rely on us to get the right result.

Advertising & Marketing

I’ve been an advertising law specialist for over 20 years, first as in-house counsel at one of the UK’s leading advertisers, British Telecom, and as a lawyer with Lewis Silkin since 1996. During this time I have advised many of the world’s major advertisers, as well as the major global agencies and the leading American, British and European independent agencies. I also drafted and negotiated the original suggested terms for client/agency contracts on behalf of the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA) and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) and continue to work with both bodies on a regular basis, providing legal training to their respective members. I am Co-Head of the firm’s Advertising & Marketing Sector Focus Group, helping lawyers from across all the firm’s practice areas to understand the industry and the particular legal and commercial issues faced on both Client and Agency side.


Awards and Recognition

  • Chambers 2024 (Media & Entertainment: Advertising & Marketing (UK-wide)) - "He is an absolute go-to person (lawyer or otherwise!) if you have an advertising issue." "Brinsley's deep knowledge goes hand in hand with his sound, pragmatic advice."
  • Legal 500 2024 (Media – Advertising & Marketing) - ‘I have worked with Brinsley Dresden for around 10 years and he is my go to person. He is very knowledgeable and we value his opinion.’ ‘Brinsley is a thought leader in advertising law. A terrific mentor, terrific lawyer, and terrific person.’
  • Chambers 2023 (Media & Entertainment: Advertising & Marketing – UK–wide) "I am very impressed with the breadth of Brinsley's knowledge and the service provided." "He has been brilliant for years." "Brinsley Dresden has a very good reputation."
  • Chambers 2022 (Media & Entertainment) - ‘Brinsley has an excellent business mind and is always providing a useful recommendation on how to move forward. He is also always is one step ahead informing on the latest legal news on the market'
  • Chambers 2022 (Media & Entertainment) - ‘He argues his client's corner well'
  • Legal 500 2022 (Media and entertainment (including media finance)) - ‘Brinsley is strategic, sharp and always sees the bigger picture. He doesn’t get bogged down in theory or detail and is a fantastic problem solver.’
  • Listed in Best Lawyers 2020 edition
  • Campaign Magazine A List 2019 - The only lawyer to feature in Campaign magazine’s A list for 2019
  • Chambers 2019 Ranked 1 - Media & Entertainment: Advertising & Marketing - UK-wide
  • Chambers 2019 - He is regarded as "a statesman of advertising law".
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