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Specialist Guide to the
Global Leaders in Media Law Practice
ATurquoise has an expansive portfolio that incorporates clients from the entertainment, TMT and IP sectors. Established in 2013, the firm has rapidly developed a leading presence in France and also operates out of its Miami office making it a popular choice for US entertainment clients. Founding partner Anne-Marie Pecoraro has vast experience in negotiations of authors rights, publishing contracts and copyright agreements. Broader specialist areas of practice include music, audio-visual and press law.
Bauer Bigot & Associates has expansive reach with multiple practice areas connected with media. The firm’s founders have more than 20 years of practice in communication law that is matched by a dedication to media law. Lawyers represent some of the largest international and national companies from press, radio, television and e-media segments. Founders Christophe Bigot and Camille Bauer also advise on advertising and are well regarded for their litigation experience. As noted by one competitor, Mr Bigot has “excellent expertise in press law and adverting law. He is a tough lawyer in litigation.”
De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés has a winning cross-practice approach that makes it capable of advising on a broad range of cases. The full service firm handles libel disputes opposing television broadcasters and producers, privacy cases, film distribution agreements and transactions. Lawyers are highly reputed for handling complex litigation involving IP. Representing Paramount, Charles-Edouard Renault advised on a copyright infringement case initiated by a French writer.
Competitors describe Deprez Guignot Associés as “one of the major full service firms in media law”. Internet, television and press are core focus areas of the division managed by Pierre Deprez, who specialises in copyright and economic law. Frédéric Dumont is singled out by peers and described as “a conscientious lawyer”. The firm’s work includes advice to global television broadcasting groups, press publishers and advertisers. The team also advises regulatory authorities.
The founding partner of Vercken & Gaullier is highlighted by competitors “for his curiosity and his knowledge of very complex and specific legal issues”. Gilles Vercken is highly regarded its expansive sector coverage and market visibility. The team advises on converged media and acts for clients in cases involving copyright.
Winston Maxwell represents clients including Paramount, 20th Century Fox, StudioCanal, and Pathé in production and distribution matters. Litigation expert Christine Gateau jointly manages the practice which also advices on sector regulation.
Niche firm ARTLAW is distinctly known for its litigation advice in the motion picture sector. Founding partner Anne Boissard is frequently highlighted for her extensive experience litigating on behalf of entertainment and television networks. The team includes Côme Chazal, who assists high profile clients from press, internet and music sectors.
The media and communication department at Baker McKenzie is managed by Rémy Bricard and Laurent Szuskin. The firm is involved in conducting multi-jurisdictional surveys and studies for large data privacy, e-commerce and internet projects. The team assists with content deals connected with digital media and provides regulatory advice.
Claire Bernier and Emmanuel Schulte lead the media department at Bersay & Associés, which incorporates IP, IT and telecoms. In recent work the team advised on author and translator rights, defamation and film production. The firm also specialises in sports law, regulation of radio broadcasting and electronic communication, advertising and copyright licensing.
Cabinet Boespflug Avocats has specialised in intellectual property since 1992 and works extensively on cases connected with music and media. The practice is led by Nicolas Boespflug and Elizabeth Boespflug who advise on commercial and contract law and unfair competition. The practice is widely recognised for its sector-related work and is considered a key component of the legal market by peers.
International boutique firm Crossen & Borowsky is a composition of highly experienced practitioners. Co-founder Sophie Borowsky is distinctly recognised for specialist knowledge of and expertise n the area of media and entertainment. The firm represents companies in all areas of the French, European and international motion picture, television, internet and music industries. Co-managed by Raechel Crossen the team regularly advises on cross-border transactions.
Media Lawyers at WAN Avocats are singled out for their work advising on privacy, defamation and notably e-defamation. The team acts for arts and culture stakeholders that include artists, collecting societies, audio-visual and musical productions agencies. Head of department Isabelle Wekstein represents clients in disputes and routinely advises on film television production.
August Debouzy advises on policymaking and copyright legislation at European levels and nationally. The team assists with all matters related to the acquisition of content including imagery, music and multimedia. In related work, lawyers handled the negotiation of a worldwide brand partnership and product placement with the music artist Lykke Li, Warner Music and Sony ATV. Under the joint leadership of Mahasti Razavi and Florence Chafiol, the team litigates on matters relating to press, freedom of information and cybercrime.
The Paris and Lyon offices of Bird & Bird are led by managing partner . The firm’s media focus includes communications, data protection and copyright. The firm acts for entertainment companies and broadcasters including NBCUniversal and Global Networks.
De Baecque Avocats provides counsel and litigation services in the areas of television, cinema, music, advertising and communications law. Practitioners advise production companies and broadcasters on development and distribution of audio-visual works in French and English. Under the leadership of Olivier De Baecque, the team also advises on the creation of film soundtracks and their subsequent exploitation.
Business law firm Hugo is frequently praised by competitors for its work on free speech, publishing, broadcasting and music. The team also has exceptional experience advising on financing, advertising and programme formats. Founders Jean-Philippe Hugot and Olivier Hugot also advise on protection and exploitation of rights and internet regulation.
Intervista is building a respected practice distinctly recognised for its media practice dedicated to cinema and entertainment. The practice group is led by Marc-Emmanuel Vuaillat, Cedric Monnerie and Hubert Caillard who jointly advise on feature length films, live and animated films, single television works and documentary series. The team also advises on development and exploitation.
PRD Avocats is recognised by competitors for its sector dedication and expertise. The firm covers multiple segments of media, from print, broadcasting and internet to gaming and music. Lawyers advise on freedom of expression, defamation, e-commerce and music. Other areas of work include data protection, unfair competition, copyright and marketing. Dufau Pierre-Randolph is the firm’s primary contact for media-related work.
President Emmanuel Macron prompted parliamentary debate, and contention, over a new law that addresses the manipulation of information during elections.
The French National Assembly passed two bills in
November 2018 that were heavily criticised by
the Senate and rejected at their first and second reading, making media law the most controversial topic for the industry over the past year.
The country’s centrist president announced the
draft law in January last year but it became the subject of controversy after parliamentary debates began in June.
Right and left wing opponents argued that the proposed law amounted to “thought police” while
the government insisted it would stop the spread
the false information ahead of election campaigns.
Bruno Studer, a politician from Mr Macron’s La République En Marche party drafted the bill. He explained that the government wanted to distance itself from the term “fake news” as used by US president Donald Trump as a means by which to attack the media or describe negative coverage.
Françoise Nyssen, Culture Secretary, told
parliament that the spread of false news was “polluting” the online environment and is akin to
“slow poison that destroys our credibility”.
Other significant developments over the past year include expansion in OTT services and possible consolidation in the mobile sector as the country’s
regulator confirms he “would welcome a consolidation project”.
Sébastien Soriano, the French regulator, told Le Monde newspaper that the market is ready for consolidation given record investment in infrastructure over the past year.
In January 2019, Altice France entered exclusive negotiations to acquire OTT platform Molotov. The deal is expected to give the French platform “the means to become a major player in OTT in France and abroad”.
In a joint statement, the companies confirmed: ‘The discussions concern a majority stake for Altice France in Molotov alongside its founders and historical shareholders.’
In other developments, lawyers highlight Brexit as a key issue for broadcast clients as they identify rules that are applicable to UK companies and broadcasters in the EU.
The implementation of GDPR continues to be a “hot issue” in France and has been notably important for advertising law, say lawyers.
MEDIA BOUTIQUE FIRMS
Bauer Bigot & Associates
Carreras, Barsikian, Robertson & Associés
Vercken & Gaullier
Cabinet Boespflug Avocats
Crossen & Borowsky
Wilhelm & Associés
Chemouli Dauzier & Associés
De Baecque& Associés
Pechenard & Associés
Pierrat & de Seze
Watrin Brault Associés
Pech de Laclause, Bathmanabane & Associés
RANKING AND EDITORIALS
FULL SERVICE FIRMS
De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés
Deprez Guignot Associés
Bersay & Associés
Laude Esquier Champey
Bird & Bird
Carbonnier Lamaze Rasle
Reinhart Marville Torre
Herbert Smith Freehills