John Haggis is a highly-experienced lawyer specialising in commercial, intellectual property and technology law. He has over ten years’ experience advising clients operating within the advertising, creative, technology and start-up industries.


About John Haggis

John Haggis is a consultant solicitor at Keystone Law, specialising in commercial, IP, and technology law and provides legal and commercial advice for businesses and entrepreneurs in the advertising, creative, technology and start up sectors. He has over ten years’ experience advising business owners and companies on all elements of the start up, growth and exit phase of their businesses. Prior to joining Keystone Law, John was a partner at Sheridans, a leading UK media law firm, where he led the firm’s practice for digital and creative agencies.

John is recognised in The Legal 500 UK 2017 for Advertising. He is a UK legal advisor to SoDA, the global society of leading businesses in the digital and creative industries, and a member of both the British Interactive Media Association and the Society of Computers and Law.

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John’s expert industry advice helps bring value to his clients’ businesses through a robust structure of strategic services and products. He builds strong and lasting relationships with all clients, becoming a de facto general counsel for many clients.

John advises technology businesses, start ups, and creative, production and digital agencies, ranging from small UK owner managed businesses to multi- national businesses.

John’s typical clients are high growth, independently owned businesses, where the directors require experienced and trusted legal and commercial advice on their services and products. John advises clients at every stage of development; from the growth stage to acquisition and/or sale; from directors of newly established businesses, to established business with a history of winning industry recognition, through to highly regarded industry leaders. John becomes their go-to trusted, external general counsel advisor, and advises and negotiates on key issues on behalf of clients and as part of their team.

John also handles contentious matters on behalf of his clients, providing clear, commercial and strategic advice to help clients avoid, and when necessary, to prosecute disputes.

“he is able to communicate his knowledge in a clear and non-lawyer speak way, with plenty of experience to back up his arguments”.

“most importantly he totally understands the commercial reality of business. He lives in the real world of real people with pragmatic problems. He makes things happen, rather than argue about them”.

Experience & Expertise

John provides legal services to clients on a clear and predictable costs basis, including through a choice of fixed fee options and retainer packages.

Commercial agreement negotiation and advice

John advises clients across a range of their commercial contract agreements, including terms of business, supplier agreements, hosting agreements, client master service agreements, creative production and design agreements, software development agreements, platform licensing, as well as agile services agreements.

Legal services for start-ups

John’s practice envelopes the legal services required to assist new businesses establishing themselves in the UK. His work includes reviewing existing processes and implementing the appropriate structure and agreements to help build and grow businesses. John assists his clients on putting in place their own terms of business, statement of works, license agreements, employment agreements, shareholder agreements, all so as to help the lay the foundation of a successful business.

Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A)

Many of John’s clients, whether they are relatively new players or established market leaders within their own industry sectors, have reached the stage where they are ready to grow and expand further. He provides expert counsel and strategic commercial advice throughout the selling, buying or investing process.

John also has extensive experience working as the project lead to manage teams of lawyers across large scope M&A projects, and providing due diligence advice to the proposed owners of the new business.

Marketing and Advertising advice

From working with independent advertising agencies, to international production companies, John has a wealth of experience advising clients across the advertising and marketing industry. John has experience negotiating television commercial production agreements with major broadcasters, instructing global Master Services Agreement’s with household brands, and advising social media creative agencies on partnerships with third party media platforms.

John is recognised in Legal 500 (2017) for Advertising and is a UK legal advisor to SoDA, the global society of leading businesses in the digital and creative industries, and a member of the British Interactive Media Association.

IP advice

John acts for his clients by identifying the client’s Intellectual Property (IP), putting in place a strategy to protect the IP, identifying how best to commercially exploit the IP, and where necessary a strategy to enforce the client’s IP ownership rights against infringement and passing off.

He also works across further aspects of IP law, such as drafting bespoke agreements to reflect the client’s own business model to develop and commercially exploit IP.

John has experience managing large scale brand enforcement matters for high value brand IP, including contentious action against large scale infringers.

  • Appointed as UK advisor to SoDA, The Digital Society, which is a network of leading digital and creative production agencies.
  • Advising a creative agency on its TV commercial production agreement with a leading TV broadcaster
  • Advising a creative agency on its TV commercial production agreement with a well known UK brand
  • Negotiating a talent agreement between an agency and brand for a television commercial
  • Negotiating digital creative technology production agreements between production and creative agencies for the development of numerous Cannes Lions, FWA “Site of the Day”, and BIMA industry award winning works.
  • Instructed by a design agency to advise on its global Master Services Agreement with multi-national food and beverage entity
  • Advising on terms of business for SEO and affiliate marketing agencies, virtual reality agencies, production agencies, and digital agencies.
  • Advising a YouTube influencer agency in partnership with a leading children’s media platform.
  • Advising a health app developer on IP, data, medical and consumer advice relating to an industry leading pregnancy companion app.
  • Advising a Video on demand (VOD) platform developer on development and support agreements with a global sports organisation.
  • Advising a VOD platform developer on development and support agreements with a leading global tv broadcaster.
  • Advising a VOD app developer on the software development agreement for the mobile app for an entertainment company’s set top box.
  • Instructed by an agile software development agency to advise on its global Master Services Agreements with UK bank clients.
  • Advising a “push technology” cloud software platform client across multiple legal needs, including drafting and negotiating service agreements.
  • Advising and negotiating on behalf of a leading UK app developer on its software development agreement with a leading EU tech company.

Case Studies