Davenport Lyons

July 19, 2018

Davenport Lyons was a law firm specialised in copyright and mediaand JWS partner, James Ware, was part of the firm for some time. Spot him in the picture below taken 1975 while Hawkwind were signing a contract (Image courtesy of James Ware). 

This is what Intellectual Property Oral Histories has to say about Davenport Lyons: It was founded by Walter Frederick (“Sam”) Lyons (1910-1978), a solicitor who made his name in the West End. By the end of the 1950s, he devoted himself almost exclusively to popular music and show business enterprises and although his law firm, Davenport Lyons, eventually moved offices, it remained loyal to the same neighbourhood for more than three decades. From the 1960s onwards, the firm participated in the most important music copyright infringement litigation in Britain, from the case involving ‘Telstar’ to the controversy surrounding a song called “In a Little Spanish Town”. In fact, the firm showed a particular remarkable fluency in the courtroom, always securing the presence of the musician Geoffrey Bush as an expert witness when litigating music copyright. In the 1980s Davenport Lyons continued its reputation in the music industry but also expanded its services to television and film industries.

References:
Jose Bellido "Popular Music and Copyright in the Sixties" 40 (4) Journal of Law and Society, 2013, pp. 570–595
Geoffrey Bush, Left, Right and Centre: Reflections on Composers and Composing (Thames Publishing, 1983)
John Repsch, The Legendary Joe Meek (Cherry Red Books, 2001)

www.iporalhistory.co.uk