Stephen Bristow

Partner, London

Stephen Bristow

Stephen is a Partner in the Film & Television Unit at media accountants Saffery. He specialises in providing strategic policy advice to global media companies and its leaders. He has been deeply involved in the policy development of independent British film and television for the last 15 years.

Stephen co-authored the case for a tax relief for high end television and initiated the lobbying process that resulted in the High-end TV Tax Relief, which came into effect on 1 April 2013.

Stephen also represented the British Film Institute (BFI) and the UK in the recent successful negotiations with the European Commission on the Cinema Communication. A key debate that determines whether the UK can have tax reliefs for film and television.

Working with the UK’s visual effects sector, Stephen successfully made the case for changes to the Film Tax Relief that were introduced in 2014.

Stephen is also a board member of the Production Guild of Great Britain and the trustee of MediCinema, a small charity that installs, manages and builds state-of-the-art cinemas for patients in hospitals and healthcare facilities.

Prior to his current role, Stephen worked at the UK Film Council where he had responsibility for the UKFC international film co-production, including the negotiation of treaties and advising filmmakers. He also supervised UKFC’s Certification Unit, responsible for certify films as British in accordance with the 1985 Film Act.

Key experience

  • Winner of the Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden Contribution to the Industry Award for his outstanding contribution to the development and sustainability of the UK film and TV industry,
  • Co-authoring the case for a tax relief for high end television that has been taken up by the UK Government, implemented in April 2013,
  • Advising the TV Coalition, a group of key industry organisations with an interest in ensuring that a sustainable and effective tax relief is put in place for high end television production. The coalition includes production companies, trade bodies, inward investors and national film and TV bodies,
  • Advising the UK’s visual effects sector to convince the government to amend the Film Tax Relief to make it easier and more lucrative to make films in the UK.


Stephen enjoys reading, going to the cinema and is a long suffering fan of Queens Park Rangers FC.