The owners of a business being forced to change its name by lawyers for the Lord of the Rings franchise hope Gandalf will be able to save their company.

Nick Lockwood and Dan Walker were issued with a letter from lawyers demanding they stop using their business name Lord of the Bins, along with their slogan - One Ring to Remove It All, to avoid formal action being taken against them.

The letter, seen by The Argus, said: “Your activity amount to an infringement of our client’s trademark rights and is also likely to mislead the public into believing that your services are Middle-earth Enterprises’s or that they have endorsed your activity - none of which is the case.”

Lawyers also threatened to take formal legal action against the small business “in order to bring an end to your unlawful activity”.

The pair have sought legal advice but have been told they would be unlikely to win a court battle against the rights owners, and could face extortionate legal costs if they lost.

Nick said: “We’re a super small business - it’s just me and Dan picking up rubbish in Brighton.

“The Tolkien estate isn’t going to suddenly decide they want to pick up rubbish - it is completely different to what their business model is.”

The pair are hoping their attempt to try and keep the name of their business will attract the attention of Sir Ian McKellan, who played the wizard Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy, and hope he would step in to stop the prospect of legal action.

“Our best hope is that our story gets to Sir Ian McKellan and we’re actually saved by Gandalf,” Nick said.

The Argus: Dan and Nick are hoping Gandalf will come and save the business from being forced to rebrandDan and Nick are hoping Gandalf will come and save the business from being forced to rebrand (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

Should Gandalf not save the day for the company, Nick and Dan estimated that the cost of rebranding their business would surpass £5,000.

“We will be able to survive, but it would be such a huge impact and it would scupper our growth plans for the foreseeable future,” Nick said.

Ian McKellan and Middle-earth Enterprises have been contacted for comment.