Alice Budge

helping celebrities protect themselves

In the spring of 2022, Ed Sheeran was accused of copying another artist’s track for his hit single “Shape of you” – the most streamed song in Spotify’s history. He spent 11 days in court defending himself at considerable expense. Alice works to ensure that artists of all sorts can afford the legal advice they need to protect themselves if they get sued.

Having left Leeds University where she studied Geography and German, Alice has worked for various broking firms in her career in insurance and now leads a team at Specialty Risk International. Her specialism is explaining to celebrities the risks they face in the digital age and how much it might cost them to defend themselves in court.

“This type of insurance has been available to companies for decades, but in today’s fast moving digital world, artists are increasingly finding they can be accused of misusing other people’s work” says Alice, “and because artists share their work so widely with producers and promoters it is hard to know what has ended up where. And honestly there are a finite number of ways you can compose a tune, so things can sound similar”.

And it is not just traditional artists that face legal issues. Social media influencers need to ensure that they are not going too far in their postings if they criticise others, and celebrities that post memes or any other digital assets can also get into trouble if it looks too much like someone else’s. “The more digital you go, the more complex it gets” continued Alice, “recently a model got sued for posting a picture of herself because the photographer who took the picture had already created an NFT of it.”

This continual evolution, and the ability to think about how the changing world alters the risks we face is one of the reason that Alice loves working in the London insurance market. “You can be incredibly entrepreneurial, thinking about how to adapt existing products so that you can help different groups of people. I started working with financial institutions and have expanded that into a completely different world”.