LLB (Auck) LLM (Lon)
With over 30 years in the entertainment industry, Mick is one of New Zealand’s most experienced entertainment law specialists. As the original founder of Sinclair Black in 1989, he has unrivalled experience in negotiating and drafting agreements in the entertainment, media and sports industries; and in providing legal advice and opinions on the commercial and intellectual property issues that are unique to these fields. Prior to founding Sinclair Black, Mick worked primarily in civil litigation, and has continued in specialist areas of litigation such as intellectual property, defamation and privacy. As a result, he is well skilled in assisting clients to resolve disputes by alternative means to litigation.
As an active member of New Zealand’s arts and entertainment scene, Mick is on the Board of SPADA (screen producers association), He was previously on the boards of The International Comedy Festival and the Going West Literary Festival. He has also advised the governing bodies of the Film Technicians, Cinematographers and Directors Guilds, and leading Arts, Dance and Recreational Sports organisations.
BA/LLB Hons (Vic)
Melanie completed a Bachelor of Arts (English literature) and a law degree with honours at Victoria University, Wellington in 2004. She began her legal career practicing at the commercial law firm DLA Piper in Wellington, with a focus on public and environmental law. While still in Wellington, Mel moved in-house and worked in legal and business affairs for the broadcasting funding agency, NZ On Air – furthering her interest in the business side of film and television production. She then moved to London where she worked in legal affairs for a large TV production, distribution and talent management company, and later for Paramount Pictures International’s theatrical and home video acquisition and distribution business.
Mel's in-house background and her breadth of experience means she is particularly well-placed to advise clients on all matters from development and funding of their projects, through to production and distribution as well as general intellectual property law.
After completing an LLB / BA at Auckland University, Christy went on to work as a solicitor at Russell McVeagh before moving to sports law firm CottSport and joining Sinclair Black at the end of 2011. Christy initially brought with him a strong background in commercial, sports and media law (having represented a range of large corporate clients, including the NZRU and NZ Cricket). However, since then it has been in the local music industry where he has been particularly active: providing both legal and practical commercial advice to a wide range of clients (including, major labels, promoters, festivals, and individual song writers and musicians); sitting as Chairman of Independent Music New Zealand (IMNZ); running his own record label (Kingsford Road Records); and continuing his passion for playing music as a songwriter and performing musician.
Christy’s experience, enthusiasm and approachable style enables him to deal efficiently and effectively with a wide range of clients and their legal and commercial issues.
Christy is currently working in London, but can be contacted at the email below.