Entertainment law firm SmithDehn looks at Derry base

Sasha Baron Cohen as Ali G Sasha Baron Cohen is among SmithDehn's clients

A top entertainment law firm that defended Ali G star Sasha Baron Cohen in a high-profile libel case could be setting up an office in Londonderry.

New York-based SmithDehn could employ 75 staff within five years, according to legal industry magazine The Lawyer.

The firm took part in the Northern Ireland investment conference in October.

At that time, it expressed an interest in developing a presence in Northern Ireland.

Founding partner Russell Smith first revealed his plans to the Irish News during his visit, and now more details have emerged.


The Lawyer reports that the firm is in negotiations with Invest NI about potential financial support.

Invest NI said it could not comment at this time.

SmithDehn has already teamed up with the University of Ulster and one of its clients, HBO, to launch a media law course for legal graduates.

The Lawyer said the aim of that course could be to train recruits for the possible new office.

It has also reported that the firm's founding partner Russell Smith will relocate to Northern Ireland for a year if the project goes ahead.

Mr Smith has handled a number of cases arising from controversial films and television shows involving Sasha Baron Cohen, including Borat, Bruno and Da Ali G Show.

He also worked on the Bloody Sunday Inquiry.

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Northern Ireland stories


Features & Analysis

  • Ben BradleeMan of steel

    Remembering the swashbuckling Watergate editor Ben Bradlee

  • Tupperware boxes in fridgePast its prime

    How safe is it to eat food when it starts to go mouldy?

  • Championship banners for the town high school American football team hang from a wall in Sayreville, NJ'It's rape'

    High school football hazing charges stun small town

  • Muscat (1811)1,001 knights

    Tales from the days when British diplomats ran the Gulf

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • FutureThe future is now

    Get the latest updates and biggest ideas from BBC Future’s World-Changing Ideas Summit


  • St John's, CanadaThe Travel Show Watch

    It’s a ships’ symphony – listen to these freighters in Canada play music with their horns

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.