Hot 100: John Banister, Wiggin

For Wiggin’s CEO John Banister (scroll down for video interview), the recession has served up an opportunity.


In the past 12 months Banister and his team have opened an office in Brussels, acted as executive producers for TV and film clients, drafted plans to launch a London-based technology incubator, launched a content protection partnership and advised around half of the UK producers who were awarded YouTube channels.

The firm also advised on the production-related matters for television series Game of Thrones, sold and purchased various independent production companies and remained the only UK law firm to advise all six major US films studios.

Providing a service outside media law – be it acting as executive producers, launching a content protection service or opening a business incubator, shows that Banister’s strategy goes beyond that of a pure law firm. “We realised the recession could create opportunities for innovative law firms about two years ago,” he said in this year’s UK 200 feature. “If we wanted to react to that opportunity we had to change the way we wanted to reach our goals, so the idea has been to move away from being a pure media law firm to being a media business. To provide services that are complementary to what we do as lawyers.”

It’s a strategy that seems to have created a lasting buzz at the firm – a buzz that Banister seems most proud of. “Despite the recession, there’s just a really good feel about the firm,” he says. “People want to get out of bed and come to work, and there’s a lot to be said for that.”