Harbottles has the time of its life with Dirty Dancing

Media firm Harbottle & Lewis has advised the producers of West End musical Dirty Dancing on all rights matters, waltzing through a competitive tender for the work.

Neil Adleman, head of the firm’s theatre practice said: “Jacobsen Entertainment asked a couple of firms to pitch for the work, which we won off the back of experience on musicals like We Will Rock You.”

The theatre group is riding high on a West End musical revival, advising on Wicked, Sinatra and Spamalot.

The success of Dirty Dancing, which raked in more than £11m before its first performance, meant that licensing arrangements with film and record companies had to be renegotiated.

“No-one knew quite how big the show was going to be,” said Adleman. “The new rights structure had to reflect the fact that the musical was becoming a global phenomenon.”

Adleman said that the musical is an attempt to recreate the film on stage, complicating negotiations with record companies with rights to the songs.

LionsGate owns the film rights, instructing US firm Loeb & Loeb. Record company Sony BMG owns the music rights and used its in-house legal team. Entertainment specialists Clintons advised the production investors.