About Us

The Team

The team at Manleys have gained a wealth of experience at some of the UK’s leading law firms and came together to create a niche legal practice dedicated to giving first class service, building rapport with clients and focusing on achieving results.

Manleys lawyers feature as UK leaders in their fields of law in Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 directories.

Mark Manley

Mark Manley

Managing Director

Mark has more than 30 years’ experience obtaining outstanding results in disputes and litigation for clients.

He is highly regarded for his work in reputation management, including defamation, brand protection and privacy matters, on behalf of high profile individuals and corporates.

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Mark was appointed to sit as a Deputy District Judge on the Northern Circuit in 2004. Mark became an accredited mediator in 1999 and has since successfully mediated over 300 disputes including many sports-related cases, contract/commercial cases, libel actions, professional negligence claims, intellectual property issues, and substantial shareholder disputes.

Mark is a member of CEDR Chambers (the set of the UK’s leading Mediators) and is also a mediator and arbitrator on the Sports Resolutions Panels. He has arbitrated several cases including an Olympic Games selection dispute and a large case between the FA and a football Club.

Mark has successfully taken cases to the House of Lords (now Supreme Court) and Court of Appeal including the landmark confidentiality/injunction case of Cream Holdings Ltd v Banerjee and Liverpool Daily Post & Echo Ltd [2004] HL.

Clients

Mark’s clients include national and regional newspapers, TV companies, magazines, radio stations, Football Clubs, managers and players, boxers, musicians and many other clients from the general business, entertainment, music and sports sectors.

He has represented a large number of high profile personalities, including members of the Royal family, Kylie Minogue, Tyson Fury, Amir Khan,  Steven Gerrard, Trent Alexander Arnold, Simon Mignolet, Jaime and Rebeckah Vardy,, Vicky Pattison, Megan McKenna, Dawn Ward,  Ricky Whittle, Kerry Katona, Robbie Kean, Ricky Tomlinson, Stan Boardman, Claire Sweeney, Micah Richards, Marouanne Fellaini, Joe Hart, Juan Mata, Marcos Rojo, Carlos Tevez, Dimitar Berbatov, Gary Neville, Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Ji Sung Park, Edwin Van der Saar, Joey Barton, Sven Goran Eriksson, Thaksin Shinawatra, Jamie Carragher, Michael Owen, Simon Webbe and many others.

He has also handled a variety of cases for various media and sports organisations including Trinity Mirror, Bauer Media, Insider Media, Lime Pictures Ltd, ITV, Sunday Sport, Baron Publications and football clubs and players from the English Premiership and other Leagues.

Mark has also chaired or served on several footballer testimonial committees including Leon Osman’s Testimonial Committee (Everton), Jamie Carragher and Ronnie Moran.

Recognition

Mark continues to be recognised in Chambers & Partners UK and The Legal 500, where he is described as “media savvy” and a “great litigator”.

Client testimonials

We will continue to use Mark because he is consistently the best at what he does.
Marlen Roberts, MD, Insider Media Ltd

Very professional and thorough, with great attention to detail. He’s also got a sense of humour which helps!
Jamie Carragher, Sky Sports

Mark and his team provide a first class service around the clock – 7 days a week.
Steve King, Group Programme Director, Bauer Media

Mark Manley was recommended to me by a celebrity who guaranteed that a personal issue would be resolved if I instructed Mark. In a very short time the issue was dealt with brilliantly by Mark. He’s the best!
Claire Sweeney, Actress

Legal 500
Leanne Wheeler

Leanne Wheeler

Partner

Leanne qualified as a solicitor in 2000 and is now a Partner at Manleys.

With two decades of experience, she deals with a range of commercial and personal disputes including breach of contract, professional negligence, contentious trusts and probate cases, fraud, copyright and trade mark infringement claims, and injunction proceedings (including freezing injunctions and disclosure orders).

Leanne also regularly handles reputation protection issues for companies and individuals, including pre-publication injunctions and defamation actions.

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Partner Leanne is a highly experienced defamation lawyer. She acted in the Bode v Mundell ([2016] EWHC 2533 (QB) – one of the leading UK libel cases in 2016. Leanne led the successful defence which saw the claim struck out.

Leanne regularly advises medical practitioners on reputation related issues and removal of defamatory online content for CEOs, business personnel, high net worth individuals and other professionals. She has also delivered training on reputation and other media issues.

Clients

Leanne is experienced in providing pre-publication/broadcast advice to magazines and radio stations.

She also represents media companies on wider legal issues, for example, Leanne advised ITV and Lime Pictures Ltd in its defence of a TV format/intellectual property rights dispute.

In addition, Leanne has developed a strong client base within private healthcare, supporting medical practitioners with all forms of commercial legal disputes including insurance coverage.

Recognition

In the Legal 500, Leanne has been described:

Leanne Wheeler is ‘tough and tenacious in fighting for clients’ (2018).

Leanne Wheeler ‘deals with difficult cases very effectively’ (2018).

Leanne is ‘very thorough and insightful’ and is particularly noted for her healthcare sector experience. (2017)

Leanne was ranked in Chambers & Partners as a leader in her field and an associate to watch, and stated that she "is developing a strong reputation in the market, known for her forceful and committed approach to disputes such as professional negligence claims. Her caseload varies widely, and one source rates her as a "well-organised and efficient litigator."”

The Chambers Legal Directory 2014 described her as "prompt and efficient" and praised for her "constructive advice and very good client skills."(2014)

“I would like to thank my legal team at Manleys for their outstanding analysis, advice and advocacy and support throughout.... Leanne Wheeler has been a star throughout.” Professor Carol Mundell, Chief Scientific Adviser at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Professor of Extragalactic Astronomy at Bath University.

“I have worked with Leanne on a variety of cases over the last decade. Most of these have been commercial litigation of complexity or high value. She has never failed to demonstrate a quick and clear analysis of the issues. Her combination of enthusiasm and diligence makes Leanne both an excellent solicitor and a tenacious representative for her clients. I would have no hesitation in recommending her.”
Andrew Vinson , Barrister, Exchange Chambers

“Leanne is considerate, professional and understanding and excellent to work with.
Leanne acted for me on a very challenging case which was both a difficult dispute as well as sensitive. We are grateful for her understanding, compassion, knowledge and clear and strong advice which we needed at the time. She has been excellent, supremely professional and we would have no hesitation in recommending her and using her again in the future if needed.”
John and Elaine Brown 

"Leanne Wheeler and Manleys were highly professional and their understanding of our situation and concerns went above and beyond my expectation. Leanne worked tirelessly to achieve a result."
Nicolette Perry

Legal 500
Katie Mickleburgh

Katie Mickleburgh

Senior Associate Solicitor

Katie joined Manleys in October 2015 from Hill Dickinson LLP.

Katie specialises in defamation, privacy, harassment and commercial litigation. Katie is a “Next Generation Lawyer” in Legal 500 for Media and Entertainment and Commercial Litigation.

Her clients include private individuals, corporations, NHS bodies and charities involved in media and commercial litigation disputes.

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Katie has experience of advising publishers and providing pre-publication advice to minimise the risk of a potential defamation complaint. She is regularly instructed to prevent the publication or seek the removal of defamatory publications both online and in the traditional press. In particular, she is very effective in obtaining the removal of defamatory reviews.

Katie is regularly instructed in breach of privacy claims and has a specialism in phone-hacking claims. She has extensive experience in bringing claims on behalf of individuals against both Mirror Group and News Group Newspapers.

Katie acted for a globally renowned rock star in a derivative claim and shareholder dispute, and concurrent intellectual property dispute, against the other members.

Legal 500
Jessica Baker

Jessica Baker

Solicitor

Jessica is a Solicitor at our Chester office.

Part of Jessica’s role is to carry out various tasks to assist with the progression of client matters. These tasks include preparing legal documents, carrying out legal research, organising data and filing.

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Jessica also supports other members of the team by undertaking administrative tasks and dealing with accounts.

Prior to joining Manleys, Jessica worked as a Paralegal at a local Law Firm in Chester. She has experience in both Residential Property and Bodily Injury departments.

Jessica has a First Class Honours Degree in English and History, a Graduate Diploma in Law and is now studying towards an LPC MSc in Law and Business Management at weekends at the University of Law.

Eleni Iles

Eleni Iles

Senior Consultant

Eleni joined Manleys in 2012, having spent the previous 3 years working as a professional support lawyer dealing with regulatory/quality compliance at a North West firm. At Manleys, she is a consultant specialising in advising the practice on its compliance, risk and quality issues.

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Eleni qualified as a solicitor in 2001 and spent the first 8 years of her legal career as a property solicitor at a law firm in the North West, dealing with all aspects of commercial and residential property. She focused on commercial freehold and leasehold, commercial lending, business sales/purchases linked to property, and all types of residential property work.

Eleni gained an MA in modern history from Corpus Christi, Oxford before undertaking a Post Graduate Diploma in Law at the College of Law, Chester.

Rebekah Duke

Rebekah Duke

Practice Manager

Rebekah started at Manleys in September 2018. Along with her degree in business, she brings a wealth of management, finance and administration experience, from a variety of business sectors including; luxury travel, recruitment, hospitality and most recently law.

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As Practice Manager, Rebekah works predominantly behind the scenes at Manleys supporting all areas of the business to ensure that our Solicitors are free to offer you the best possible service in managing your case. Some of the areas covered include finance, HR, compliance and providing full PA support to Managing Director, Mark Manley.

Stephen Lea

Stephen Lea

Consultant

Stephen qualified as a Solicitor in 1979 and started representing musicians the following year. The clients he has represented are some of the music greats from the past 25 years and include Take That, New Order, The Charlatans, Tears For Fears, Teenage Fanclub, Russell Watson and James.

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As well as musicians, Stephen has also represented actors, TV presenters, songwriters, record and production companies, publishers and promoters and he is recognised as one of the leading Solicitors in the music industry.

Henna Riaz

Henna Riaz

Consultant

Henna has more than 10 years' experience working with entertainment brands and has developed an enviable reputation particularly in the field of music industry contracts.

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After graduating in law from the London School of Economics in 2001, Henna trained at a national law firm before working for Mercury Records and Universal Studios in Los Angeles, USA. She returned to the UK as a senior media lawyer at DLA Piper and later Hill Dickinson before demonstrating her entrepreneurial expertise in establishing 360Royalty Audit, which ensures that licensors and intellectual property owners are getting paid accurately under their commercial agreements.

Henna's prestigious client base includes the BBC, Liverpool FC, and Entertainment 1, which produces the hugely popular Twilight films and owns the Peppa Pig franchise and reported over £200m UK retail sales in 2010. Henna also acts for Hit Entertainment, which owns Bob the Builder, Barney and Thomas & Friends.

Henna's services sectors including music, entertainment, technology, sports, pharmaceutical and bio-technology.

Laura Olson

Laura Olson

Senior Consultant

Laura qualified as a solicitor in 2001. Laura specialises in all aspects of relationship breakdown and in particular divorce and financial settlement upon divorce.

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She is experienced in dealing with high net worth individuals and high value divorce cases including business assets, trusts, shareholdings and pensions. Laura is also experienced in advising on and preparing pre-nuptial agreements. She also advises in relation to private child law disputes including contact and residence issues.

She also deals with cohabitation agreements and advises unmarried parties upon relationship breakdown including dealing with property disputes and financial provisions for children.

Laura has a firm and pragmatic approach and is extremely aware of her client's needs.

Laura has acted in several high-profile divorces and financial relief applications since working with Manleys. These have included cases involving one of the world's leading golfers, a multi-national entrepreneur and several household name celebrities.  

Mike Hall

Mike Hall

Senior Consultant

As a consultant solicitor at Manleys, Mike works on commercial and contractual matters in all areas of Media & Entertainment.

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Mike began his career at a leading Media & Entertainment law firm in London where he qualified as a solicitor in 2002 and continued to work until 2007. During his time in London Mike worked with an enviable client base of international artists, A-List celebrities and multinational companies, and he gained knowledge, skills and experience in many areas of Media & Entertainment including music, TV, film, theatre and gaming.

Since returning to the North of England Mike has worked extensively in sport, and primarily in football. Mike has lectured on the The FIFA Master - International Master in Management, Law and Humanities of Sport at the International Centre for Sport Studies (CIES) in Neuchatel, Switzerland.

Sarah Bridge

Sarah Bridge

Consultant

Sarah qualified as a solicitor in 2001 and has specialised in private client law ever since. Her expertise covers all aspects of private client work from wills, lasting powers of attorney, trusts and probate to estate and inheritance tax planning, capital gains tax planning and trust planning for both UK and non UK domiciliaries.

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Sarah was formerly head of private client at west end media and entertainment law firm, Harbottle & Lewis LLP. She acts for a broad spectrum of clients including high net worth individuals and entrepreneurs, families, landed estates and trusts. The discrete nature of her work means that her clients would prefer not to be listed but these have included high profile musicians, sportsmen, models and actors, ultra high net worth owner-managers, offshore trustees and trust corporations.

Sarah is a real ‘people person’ and is praised for her down to earth, pragmatic and personal approach and her ability to solve clients’ problems without boring them with legal jargon.

Alex Harrison

Alex Harrison

Solicitor

Alex is a Solicitor at our Chester office advising upon intellectual property disputes, defamation, privacy and breach of confidence claims. Alex is a commercial lawyer with 7 years of experience working in legal practice and expertise covering a range of legal issues; during his training in London & Bath he gained experience in corporate law, commercial disputes and commercial property. He studied Law at the University of Sheffield and went on to complete his Legal Practice Course at the University of Law in Christleton.

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His clients include, private individuals, corporate entities, multinational companies and businesses of all shapes and sizes. Additionally over a decade of total experience in the commercial sector has equipped him with a plethora of skills and qualities enabling him to work collaboratively, flexibly and effectively with multidisciplinary teams across organisations.

Olivia Reilly

Olivia Reilly

Paralegal

Liv joined Manleys in November 2020 after obtaining her Law degree from the University of Exeter.

Her work primarily involves assisting the team on matters of intellectual property, with a specific focus on copyright and digital image rights infringement.

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From the offset, the team has been supportive of her goal to pursue a long-term career in music law, inviting her to work on cases of this nature as they arise. The experience Liv gained alongside her degree, including an in-house placement at a major record label, helped form a solid foundation for the work she does at Manleys.

Prior to joining Manleys and in her spare time, Liv is a passionate advocate for increasing LGBTQIA+ representation in law and co-directs a large-scale network to this effect.

For all enquiries, please call 01244 230000 and a member of our team will be happy to help. Alternatively, you can fill out a quick form on our contact page.

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