Senior associate, London

Chris Allen

Who? Christopher Allen is a senior associate at Rosenblatt, London.

Why is he in the news? The firm acted for TV presenter Simon Cowell (pictured below) in buying out Sony Music Entertainment’s 75% stake in Syco Holdings Ltd, bringing to an end a longstanding joint venture. Syco Holdings, which will be renamed Syco Entertainment, owns TV formats Got Talent and The X Factor, which were created by Cowell. 

Simon Cowell

Simon Cowell

Source: Fs/Zuma Press/PA Images

Thoughts on the case: ‘Given that we are unwinding a longstanding joint venture, this transaction was both complicated and rewarding. Complicated for a range of reasons, including the high-profile nature of the parties, the nature of the entertainment industry, the multiple steps required to achieve the unwinding (one of which entails an asset carve-out) and the requirements of the business after the unwinding. Rewarding because it meant working for a high-profile client in connection with an amazing global business – both in terms of its TV formats (Got Talent is the world’s most successful reality TV format) and the stars that they have unearthed to the delight of the public (Susan Boyle, One Direction, Leona Lewis and Kodi Lee). Plus we successfully managed to negotiate and sign this deal remotely during Covid-19. It has certainly been a privilege for both our team and myself.’

Dealing with the media: ‘We did not need to deal with the media – Simon Cowell generates his own media and publicity! Of course, it has been interesting to read the media stories generated after the public announcement for this transaction. Personally, it has been both gratifying and humbling for me and our team to be publicly associated with this transaction. With justification, I think we can say we worked on a “cool” deal.’

Why become a lawyer? ‘My grandfather: he used to be part of the legal community in the City of London and he encouraged and inspired me to pursue a legal career.’

Career high: ‘While there have been many highs over the last 11 years of my career, including qualifying as a solicitor, and working and making friends with great colleagues, I would have to say that this transaction is probably the most satisfying high so far (for all the obvious reasons).’

Career low: ‘Being admonished in a written appraisal for not being available at short notice to fly out to a board meeting overseas. It was news to me.’