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The IPA Legal Department deals with a variety of member enquiries on the law and regulation of marketing communications and employment law in the UK (English Law and UK regulation). It also represents members and lobbies Government on related issues.

We aim to deal with basic enquiries within 24 hours. More complex enquiries and contract work will take longer and we will give you an indication of our likely turnaround time. Please bear in mind that, since all IPA members (approximately 300 agencies) are entitled to send us enquiries, we cannot prioritise your enquiry before another member’s and would appreciate you not suggesting your enquiry is urgent if it genuinely isn’t. Thank you for your patience.

Who we are

The IPA Legal & Public Affairs service is used by over 85% of IPA members. The team is led by Legal & Public Affairs Director Richard Lindsay and includes Associate Director (Employment) Juliet Bawtree and Senior Legal Counsel Helen Bowyer.

For enquiries on marketing communications issues, email

For enquiries on agency employment legal issues, email

You can also follow us on Twitter.

The IPA legal department fulfils 5 main functions:

  • It promotes and supports the effective and flexible self-regulation of the industry.
  • It provides quick, commercial legal advice to members on the law and regulation of marketing communications and on employment law in the UK, including on line guidance notes and alerts.
  • It advises and assists the IPA on all legal issues.
  • It aims to protect the marketing communications industry as a whole and in particular IPA members from harmful national and European legislation.
  • The Legal Director is invited to advise various IPA Committees and Groups, such as the Broadcast Production Policy Group, IPA Digital and the Sponsorship group, on legal issues.

Access to Materials - Members also have access to


Employment/HR Guidance:

New Business:

Here's a short film about us:

Free Member Legal Advisory Service
Only IPA member agencies can make use of the IPA's free legal advisory service. Advice is not provided for the benefit of clients. IPA takes no liability for advice relied upon by agency clients. Employment legal advice is not provided for individual agency staff; all advice is for the agency as the employer.

How we can help

Members can receive free advice on English law and UK regulation on a wide range of subjects including:

Marketing Communications
Copyright and other intellectual property rights
The interpretation of the CAP and BCAP Codes
The law relating to gambling, competitions and prize promotions
Contractual issues including advice on the interpretation and use of the industry precedent client/agency contracts and TV Production contracts
Data protection
Television and radio clearance
Complaints to the ASA

Dispute resolution - Preliminary advice can be provided in relation to disputes and the team can also advise on suitable law firms to represent members if formal proceedings are issued against them or if they wish to issue proceedings.

Conflicts of interests - The IPA legal team are all qualified solicitors of the Senior Courts of England & Wales. They are governed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and its Code of Conduct.

There are various situations in which solicitors cannot advise their clients because of a conflict of interests.

The SRA Code of Conduct limits solicitors’ ability to advise two or more clients (in the IPA’s case, member agencies) if a there is a client conflict of legal interests where member agencies are competing for the same objective. This type of situation can occur, for example, where a client invites several agencies to pitch for a piece of business, and those agencies each asks the IPA legal team to advise on the client’s standard contractual terms.

More obviously, a conflict would also arise where one IPA member is in dispute with another, for example, over allegations that they have poached a key member of the agency’s staff or in a TUPE scenario where there is a disagreement about whether or not TUPE should apply.

If a conflict does arise, the relevant member of the legal team will discuss it with you and explain whether or not it may still be possible for them to advise.

Limitation of liability The IPA's total maximum liability in respect of any legal advice provided by its legal department will in no circumstances exceed £1 million. The IPA will not be liable for any loss of actual or anticipated income or profits, loss of contracts or any special, indirect or consequential loss or damage of any kind howsoever arising, whether or not such loss or damage is foreseeable, foreseen or unknown.

In addition please note that because claims in the US and other jurisdictions apply different legal concepts about how damages awards are calculated, the IPA professional indemnity cover only applies to claims brought under the laws of, and in the courts of England and Wales.

LegRegs Certificate - While we are here to help, we also need to make sure that everyone working on an agency account management team has a good grounding in the legal basics so they avoid making what could turn out to be an expensive mistake. We do this through an online learning programme called LegRegs which covers basic intellectual property law and the self-regulatory codes. This programme is a mandatory IPA CPD requirement for Account Directors.

Last updated 01/08/2018

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