Nigel Abbas

Founder, Barrister
+44 207 316 3046
+44 7831 311 080

Nigel is a leading media lawyer who specialises in advising the television, film, advertising and publishing industries.

After pupillage at 5RB (a pre-eminent set of media and entertainment barristers) and six years working in-house within Channel 4’s legal & compliance department, Nigel decided to go back into private practice, setting up his own legal consultancy in 2002.  Nigel quickly established himself as the ‘go-to’ legal and compliance adviser for a large number of companies and individuals working in the creative industries.

Nigel is one of the most experienced content advisers in the country.  He advises a number of UK broadcasters, many leading independent production companies, of varying sizes, as well as other content producers, on all aspects of the law and regulation affecting their activities.

Nigel is the primary author of Channel 4’s Producers’ Handbook, a comprehensive guide to television law and regulation as they apply to the making and broadcasting of television programmes in the UK.   Equal in scale and ambition to the “BBC Guidelines”, it is now the benchmark for best-practice training and procedures in the UK independent television sector. The Handbook was originally published in 2008, is updated regularly, and is made available online at

Nigel also has many years’ experience dealing with high-profile, post-broadcast complaints to the media regulators Ofcom and the ASA.  Nigel remains a member of 5RB and, in addition to his advisory practice, is regularly involved in media-related litigation.  This includes recently acting for defendants in a number of libel claims, acting for an indie being sued for copyright infringement, and acting as junior counsel in a number of judicial review claims challenging the decisions of Ofcom and the Advertising Standards Authority.

Nigel has been at the ‘coalface’ of developments in television law and regulation for almost 20 years and has advised on some of the most cutting-edge content in that time, across all genres.  For a description of some of the content and programmes Nigel has advised on and the services he offers see the WHAT WE DO section of this website.  Nigel is eminently qualified to offer both expert pre and post-publication/broadcast advice to broadcasters, independent production companies, publishers, new media organisations, individual writers, producers and directors.

Nigel often delivers seminars and writes regularly on media law and regulatory issues.  As well as the primary author of Channel 4’s Independent Producers’ Handbook, he is a co-author of Tugendhat & Christie: The Law of Privacy and the Media (3rd edition, OUP, 2016) and Blackstone’s Guide to The Defamation Act (OUP, 2013).


“Nigel is one of the finest media lawyers around … few can match his expertise in pre-publication legal advice.  Nigel’s commitment and diligence are beyond question.  His attention to detail and excellent drafting skills ensure he is a ‘safe pair of hands’ when dealing with high-profile programmes and complaints.  His client care skills are also outstanding.  He is always attentive and a pleasure to deal with”.  

Prash Naik, General Counsel, Channel 4


“Imaginative, creative, utterly reliable, legally rigorous and terrific fun, if there’s a better media lawyer, I haven’t yet met him or her”.

Richard McKerrow, Creative Director, Love Productions