Simon Leaf, Managing Associate, Dispute Resolution

Simon Leaf

Managing Associate

Personal Profile

Simon is a Managing Associate in the Commercial team – specialising in advising clients (ranging from fast-growth start-ups to FTSE100 and internationally listed companies) on IP, GDPR, technology and sports-related legal issues.

Simon has a breadth of experience across a number of key sectors including working on a number of high profile global proptech, adtech, retail, leisure, esports and betting & gaming deals.

Recent highlights include advising a fast-growth Swedish technology SAAS company on a number of its most important global deals, assisting a number of proptech companies on IP licensing and GDPR issues, and a number of FTSE 100 companies on their global networks and data centre contracts. Simon regularly acts on both the 'customer' and 'supplier'-side of major technology, outsourcing and licensing matters – and is therefore able to use this experience to his clients' advantage.

Simon has acted for a number of top domestic and international clubs, governing bodies, promoters, sponsors, agents and players across a number of sports on major broadcasting matters, image/digital rights agreements, sponsorship arrangements and international transfers. Recent experience includes advising on what has been reported as boxing's first ever billion dollar deal, negotiating a major Premier League sponsorship contract for a fast growing African country and assisting on a F1 naming rights deal.

He has featured in the national press, commenting on topics ranging from the key legal issues to consider in relation to driverless cars and drone delivery to the interpretation of commercial contracts – as well as commenting on sports-related legal matters for Sky News, the Guardian and City AM, among others.

Simon completed secondments with Dell and Tesco whilst at his previous firm.

Simon is a mentor for the start ups taking part in MDR LAB.

Key Experience

TMT/IP Experience

  • Lead Associate on the drafting and negotiating of a number of major network service integrator and provider contracts for several FTSE 100 clients.
  • Advised a global multi-channel retailer on a number of its most important commercial and technology contracts – including its media buying/creative agency agreements, check-out software/hardware/maintenance agreements and distribution contracts.
  • Worked with a NASDAQ-listed technology supplier on an applications development agreement opposite a major international bank.
  •  Acted for a listed vehicle retail and logistics provider on an exclusive outsourcing and commercial agreement opposite a FTSE 100 international bank.
  •  Supported one of the world’s largest media, digital and creative communications agencies, a FTSE250 events company and a major internationally listed services and distribution company on a number of high profile commercial technology deals involving the purchase of data centre and cloud services opposite a number of different suppliers.

Sports Experience

  • Negotiated international football transfers opposite a number of Europe and South America's largest clubs.
  • Advised a large blue chip client on a major Premier League shirt sponsorship deal and have advised clubs on their template commercial partner agreements.
  • Represented a number of international footballers on their image rights, sponsorship and employment-related issues.

Career History

Managing Associate, Mishcon de Reya LLP
Associate, Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP
Trainee, Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP
University of Cambridge, Management Studies

Articles and Publications


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