With a shelf full of champagne from people wishing them luck, ACK Media Law’s founders are still celebrating their split from Howard Kennedy this summer. The firm set up shop in July this year after Susan Aslan (pictured top left), Sue Charles (top right) and Hakan Kousetta (above) left the media and entertainment practice at Howard Kennedy, taking two associates with them.
Aslan, a lawyer with more than 20 years’ experience in media law, and her experienced long-term colleague Charles both previously worked together at Olswang and DJ Freeman. At ACK they are joined by Kousetta, who calls himself a “rabbit’s foot” in the film and TV industry because of his habit of working on films that achieve critical acclaim, counting various Baftas and even an Oscar among the gongs picked up by his clients.
Going it alone may seem like a big step, but Charles does not see it that way. “We look like a start-up, but we’re not really – it’s a diversion into bespoke practices,” she said. “The most obvious benefit is from other firms giving us work, which of course is a two-way street, and we’re happy to refer back.”
The trio said it was the recognition that boutique firms “are the future” in the media market that spurred them on. “Media firms don’t need to be big,” added Charles. “We work for several large studios and our size is never called into question. We’re very excited by our first Q1 [first quarter].”
Firm: ACK Media Law
Managing partner: Shared
Turnover: n/a (opened July 2008)
Number of partners: Three
Number of equity partners: Three
Number of lawyers: Five
Number of fee earners: Nine
Number of offices: One
Main practice areas: Media, IP, reputation management
Clients: Working Title Films, Casarotto Ramsey Associates, Channel 4