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Copyright © Media Law International 2017. All Rights Reserved.

Specialist Guide to the

Global Leaders in Media Law Practice


The transformation of digital operations has led to the rapid growth of OTT video services in Hong Kong, one of Asia’s leading broadcasting markets.  

Growth is well represented by market predictions, made by Pyramid Research, that SVoD services such as Netflix in emerging markets will increase drastically, with revenue reaching USD 18.8 billion by 2019.

Such growth is demonstrated by PCCW Media’s Viu OTT service, which achieved four million unique users by the end of October 2016, just one year after its launch.

Janice Lee, Managing Director of PCCW Media Group, commented: “As OTT takes root and continues to develop rapidly in Asia.”

Meanwhile digital advertising spend in 2017 is expected to surpass traditional media for the first time. The AdSpend Projection survey, conducted by research firm Nielsen in partnership with the Hong

Kong Advertisers Association, shows advertisers plan to spend about 51 per cent of their budgets on digital advertising.

Cherry Lau, Senior Director at Media, Nielsen Hong Kong, commented: "Amidst the rapidly evolving media landscape, online advertising channels will soon overtake and share centre stage with offline media as key marketing channels for business operators."  

Other developments this year include the closure of TVB, which ceased operation of its pay-television service after losses amounting to HKD 2.2 billion. Local reports attribute the closure of TVB to the rising threat from internet-based alternatives.  


Baker McKenzie has in-depth knowledge of the entertainment, communications and e-commerce industries. The team has exceptional experience advising on legal and commercial matters, including complex technology licensing and regulatory issues, cross-border mergers and acquisitions and outsourcing. Practice leader Milton W. M. Cheng works closely with key practitioner Anna L. Gamvros who is well regarded nationally.

Bird & Birds media group includes sports and digital business as core focus areas. The TMT practice also works with multiple mobile game publishers. Head of division Justin Walkey, who has been based in Hong Kong since 2012, works closely with Michelle Chan on local and regional cases with commercial, regulatory and intellectual property aspects. The team also advises on corporate and transactional matters.

The intellectual property and commercial practice of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer works across a range of commercial and transactional projects. Head of the firm’s Asia practice Richard Bird advises on contentious intellectual property matters, e-commerce and internet-related cases. The team also assists with privacy matters, advertising and regulation.  

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison is “able to deliver reliable, punchy and responsive advice and execute our deals within deadlines” noted one client. The firm is highlighted favourably by clients who also describe the team as responsive and knowledgeable. Department head Jeanette Chan is praised for “going the extra mile to make deals happen”.


Working with clients from the creative industries, Deacons has particular experience advising on recording and publishing arrangements, agency and management contracts, distribution and co-production. Led by Charmaine Koo, the team also advises on the purchase, financing and restructuring of media companies.

Haldanes acts for overseas record companies, television and film production companies, event promoters and artists. Under the leadership of John McLellan, who manages the commercial, media and entertainment practice, the team assists with financing, licensing and distribution and artist and talent agreements. Other areas of emphasis include sports and theatrical productions, advertising and copyright.

Hogan Lovells acts for entertainment companies, broadcasters and investors. The team is known for its exceptional knowledge of media regulation and copyright licensing. Lawyers also provide telecommunications regulatory advice in cases involving acquisitions in China and Hong Kong. Managing partner Owen Chan leads the TMT practice, which also represents gaming and e-commerce companies.   

Morrison & Foerster primarily advises on business transactions and disputes involving copyrightable materials. Lawyers regularly work with clients from the entertainment industry on all aspects of copyright protection and management. While advising on multimedia products, the team also works closely with clients from the film, theatre, music and publishing segments.  

Data privacy and cyber security specialist Squire Patton Boggs advises on commercial agreements, international data protection and litigation. Led by James S. Tsang the team assists local and regional clients with international business. Lawyers also advise on regulatory policy and legislative issues affecting public and private sector clients.


King & Wood Mallesons focusses on the sports and TMT sectors. The multidisciplinary team routinely advises on commercial, regulatory and outsourcing transactions. The team assists clients with joint ventures, private equity investments and handles dispute resolution.

The media team at Stephenson Harwood advises on regulatory and outsourcing transactions. Led by managing partner Voon Keat Lai, the team advises on corporate matters including IPOs and work closely with the firm’s commercial practice group, providing cross-practice advice. The team also assists with intellectual property licensing.


Ranking and editorials


Baker McKenzie

Bird & Bird

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison




Hogan Lovells

Morrison & Foerster

Squire Patton Boggs  


King & Wood Mallesons

Norton Rose Fulbright

Pinsent Masons

Stephenson Harwood

Weil, Gotshal & Manges


Herbert Smith Freehills

Mayer Brown JSM

Reed Smith Richards Butler

Simmons & Simmons


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