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Like magic – Napthens advises on tricky deal

A web designer who works as a professional magician is celebrating after selling a magic trick to one of the world’s largest magic supply companies.
Guy Haslam, who runs Haslam Design from his home in Stalmine, Wyre, has had a passion for magic since the age of ten.

When not designing websites for his clients, he has worked as a professional magician for four years, and is currently magician in residence at Singleton Lodge country house hotel.

Guy, married with two children, Ava and Cooper – named after the entertainer Tommy – also works as a magician for hire, performing at events around the North West.

Now Guy, 40, has sold the intellectual property rights to a self-designed trick – known as ‘effects’ within the industry – to Murphy’s Magic Supplies Inc of California, the world’s largest magic product wholesaler.

Guy’s effect is a bespoke method of performing many types of magic.

Murphy’s, based in Sacramento, distributes more than 10,000 different products through a global network of magic dealers. The company boasts products from world famous magicians including David Blaine and Criss Angel, and sells only to magicians rather than to the general public.

Before he could sell his effect to Murphy’s, Guy performed it via Skype to a number of buyers from the magic company, including renowned US magician Eric Jones.

The effect so impressed the experts that they agreed to buy it from him. Guy reports that Eric Jones said his effect is ‘the nearest to real magic anyone will have ever seen’ and that ‘nobody will be able to match this.’

Guy, a former Rossall School pupil, has now sold the intellectual property rights to the effect and retained a 50 year royalties deal. He was advised on the sale and intellectual property issues by James Allison, partner in the Corporate team at Napthens solicitors.

James assisted Guy in negotiating payment for the effect, and worked with specialist US law firm Knobbe Martens to secure the deal in America.

James said: “This is one of the most unusual transactions I have advised on, but a magic effect is a valuable piece of intellectual property like any other.

“Guy is a talented magician who has worked very hard over the years to develop his own original magic effects so it’s great news that his talent has been spotted by a company like Murphy’s Magic. I’m sure this will mark the beginning of an exciting new chapter in his career.”

Guy Haslam, also a member of Blackpool Magician’s Club – due to hold its 2014 convention in the town later this month – added: “This is a major contract for me and I do have other concepts up my sleeve that I’m hoping to develop.

“It’s so exciting to have the largest magic wholesaler passionate about a trick you have developed, and to see their staff’s jaws drop as I performed it online for them.

“James Allison of Napthens has been a great help, taking control of the financial negotiations for me and making sure everything went smoothly for everyone involved.”