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The Business Magazine July 2024
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Clarke Willmott advise US music agency in UK acquisition

The Business Magazine article image for: Clarke Willmott advise US music agency in UK acquisition

Bristol-based lawyers at Clarke Willmott LLP have advised US-based music agency Wasserman Music LLC on its acquisition of a controlling stake in Paradigm UK’s live music business. 

The deal expands the agency’s global client roster and its European footprint and follows its purchase of Paradigm’s North American live music division last year. 

The business has 24 agents and a total of 72 staff, representing some of the world’s leading pop, rock, electronic and hip hop artists. 

Wasserman Music’s roster now includes globally represented artists Baby Keem, Bastille, Billie Eilish, Brent Faiyaz, Disclosure, Drake, Frank Ocean, Fred again..., Imagine Dragons, Kacey Musgraves, Kenny Chesney, Liam Gallagher, Louis Tomlinson, Normani, ODESZA, Old Dominion, Pharrell, Sia, Skrillex, Sturgill Simpson, SZA, Turnstile, Wet Leg and Zedd, among many others. 

With the UK client roster merging into Wasserman Music, the agency has added international representation outside North America for artists including Bon Iver, FKA twigs, Lewis Capaldi, Liam Payne, Mark Ronson, My Chemical Romance, PinkPantheress, Rag'n'Bone Man, Rita Ora, Robyn, Sean Paul, Shawn Mendes, Take That and X Ambassadors. 

Paradigm will continue its collaboration with Wasserman Music through the shared representation of music clients in film, television, theatre and publishing. 

As part of the deal UK partners Dave Hallybone, Alex Hardee, Tom Schroeder and James Whiting have joined the Wasserman Music managing executive team. The London partners founded what was the CODA Agency in 2002 before partnering with Paradigm in 2014 and fully coming under the Paradigm name five years later. 

Clarke Willmott represented Wasserman in the UK during the transaction, working closely with Wasserman’s US representation, McGuire Woods. Venable represented the sellers in the US, with Osborne Clarke acting as UK counsel. 

Bristol-based corporate partner Rob Ridd led on the deal for Clarke Willmott alongside Tim Copplestone, an employment lawyer in the firm, supported by Cormac Hayes and a full team of other specialist lawyers.  

Rob Ridd said: “This was not only a high-profile deal but international and involving multiple stakeholders, with consequent negotiating and logistical challenges to overcome.  

“We are pleased to have assisted Wasserman in another major transaction. This deal creates a truly global live music organisation, representing some of the leading stars in the business, and we look forward to seeing the expanded group go from strength to strength.” 

“I am incredibly proud to reunite Alex, Dave, James, Tom and their team with the full force of our Wasserman Music group,” added Casey Wasserman, chairman and CEO of Wasserman.  

“They not only persevered through a once in a lifetime pandemic, but prioritised their clients and partnerships in a way that is consistent with our values and commitment to talent. With this group now under one banner, we now have a truly scalable and serviceable global music practice and look forward to strengthening our platform together.”   


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Nicky Godding is editor of The Business Magazine. Before her journalism career, she worked mainly in public relations moving into writing when she was invited to launch Retail Watch, a publication covering retail and real estate across Europe.

After some years of constant travelling, she tucked away her passport and concentrated on business writing, co-founding a successful regional business magazine. She has interviewed some of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs who have built multi-million-pound businesses and reported on many science and technology firsts.

She reports on the region’s thriving business economy from start-ups, family businesses and multi-million-pound corporations, to the professionals that support their growth and the institutions that educate the next generation of business leaders.

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