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Specialist Guide to the

Global Leaders in Media Law Practice


Legislative developments in Italy over the past year include audiovisual media services (AVMS) reform and GDPR implementation, which will be important sources of work for the legal market in 2019, say lawyers.

Ernesto Apa, Partner at Portolano Cavallo Studio Legale, said: “The so called “Franceschini Decree” has introduced measures concerning promotion of European audiovisual works that have anticipated amendments to the AVMS Directive recently approved at EU level.”

Mr Apa added: “The proper implementation of these changes does now require the Italian Communication Authority and the government to approve a set of measures that will fine-tune or regulate specific aspects.”

Audiovisual services have been central to media market growth in Italy, with online TV leading industry developments. ITMedia Consulting predicts that the Italian TV market will reach EUR8.8 billion in value by 2020.

In September 2018, Italy’s biggest private broadcaster, Mediaset, announced plans for a merger or acquisition in Europe’s TV sector.

In the same month, Huawwei launched OTT services in Italy and Spain, which focus on users of its mobile devices in both countries.

Italian sports media business Deltatre also contributed to transactional activity with its acquisition of streaming group,Massive Interactive, in a GBP97 million deal.

London-based Massive Interactive provides streaming platform technology to companies including the BBC and Sony Pictures and is subject to 100 per cent ownership under terms of the deal, which completed in November 2018.

Commenting on other state initiatives, Mr Apa said: “The government is taking steps to elaborate National Strategy on distributed ledger technologies and blockchain Artificial Intelligence and IoT.”


DLA Piper is exceptionally popular among media clients as one explains, “We have selected this firm for its outstanding media expertise. It is the firm to go to particularly for convergence and new media issues.” Head of division Giangiacomo Olivi is recognised internationally for his extensive knowledge and experience. Another client noted: “The reputation and expertise of DLA Piper and their partner Giangiacomo Olivi in the media and broadcasting field played a large part in the selection of DLA Piper.” The team advises extensively on mergers and acquisitions, licensing agreements, on-demand content transmission deals and audio-visual production.  

Media work at Hogan Lovells is handled by head of division Giovanni Ghirardi, whose specialisation includes litigation. Sabrina Borocci also advises on TMT matters with a focus on antitrust matters at a compliance and litigation level. The team represents press publishers and broadcasters on regulation, distribution, franchising, unfair competition and copyright matters. The firm’s international focus on media and entertainment makes it a popular choice among local and global clients.  

Portolano Cavallo Studio Legale is appointed by clients on the basis of its “professional skills, deep knowledge of legal matters, commitment and strong relationship within the media industry and local authorities”. The firm represents television networks and assist with complex regulatory and privacy issues. Lawyers also advise on film, technology and advertising in contentious and non-contentious cases.


Bird & Bird specialises in TMT and IP matters. Co-managed by Massimiliano Mostardini and Giovanni Galimberti, the practice is recognised for its historic strength in technology and communications. Lawyers provide transactional support in the exploitation of rights, advice on data and privacy issues, content distribution and regulation. Other areas of expertise include sector-related tax, acquisitions and competition.

Media lawyers at Carnelutti Studio Legale Associato handle cases “with great professional attention and proactively,” say clients. The firm represents leading local broadcasters including Discovery Italia, Telelombardia and Rock TV. Working with Roberta Mollica, head of the media department Luca Arnaboldi advises on broadcasting and programming regulatory frameworks, convergence of media and network technologies and commercial contracts.

Chiomenti Studio Legale has exceptional transactional experience acting for media clients including some of the largest commercial broadcasters. Gilberto Nava manages the TMT practice which represents operators in the administrative and judicial courts, assists with regulatory matters and advises on the structuring of products and services. One broadcast clients commented: “Both senior and junior associates proved to have the required expertise. They are very strong in corporate law, M&A and antitrust.”

With an international focus on media and advertising, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is recognised as a leading firm for all matters connected with television, radio and publishing sectors. The

practice is distinguished for its expertise in antitrust, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and sales of programming distribution rights.

Cugia Cuomo & Associati is well regarded by its clients who say, “Work was conducted against very challenging time scales. The firm produced detailed and clearly considered results to meet the deadlines set.” Fabrizio Cugia di Sant’Orsola manages the TMT group which is active in regulatory matters, data protection and entertainment. Another client highlighted: “The complexity and innovative features of the issues under review meant it would have been very difficult for a general commercial law firm to have supported this work. We felt confident from the written advice provided and related discussions that the lawyers advising had a strong underlying knowledge of and experience”.


As noted by one client, “Gallavotti Bernardini & Partners has prominent experience in the audio-visual and theatrical industries”. Clients also praise the firm’s co-heads of practice, highlighting: “Mario Gallavotti has a long-standing industry experience and Antonio Bernardinihas has a deep understanding and practice of international acquisitions and rights exploitation.” In representative work the firm acted for Turner’s group companies, part of Time Warner Group, on mergers and acquisitions, business development transactions, contractual and regulatory matters.  

Mondini Rusconi Studio Legale’s involvement in media sector work has heightened as has its position in the legal market. Peers point to increased activity and visibility as the firm handles a greater portion of media and entertainment work. Led by founding partner Giorgio Mondini, the team assists clients from the music, cinema, home video and publishing industries in litigation and non-judicial matters. Giacomo Bonelli, who also specialises in IP, is among the firm’s key practitioners.

Nctm Studio Legale Associato is well regarded in the legal market and notably active in the broadcast and entertainment sectors. Local film production and distribution companies form part of the firm’s client base as do music companies and advertising agencies. Vittorio Noseda’s TMT practice also works with producers of video games and advises on corporate transactions that include joint ventures.  

International firm Ponti - De Sanctis & Partners is highlighted by competitors as a “super leader for cinema.” The firm acts for entertainment and new technologies companies on film and television financing,

production and distribution, multimedia, music recording and publishing. The team also specialises in copyright, assisting with rights management, stage rights licensing and talent representation.


Media lawyers at BonelliErede have rigorous experience drafting contracts for convergence projects with

mobile networks for digital television, outsourcing digital broadcasting networks and advising on the creation and operation of national digital broadcasting networks. The firm’s key practitioners Eliana Catalano and Tommaso Faelli also advise film, music and print companies.

Legance provides specialist advice on competition matters connected with traditional media and the

internet, before national and EU regulators. TMT lawyers, including Gilberto Nava and Valerio Mosca, advise on contractual matters, data protection and regulation. The team also drafts and negotiates agreements for the supply and management of communications services. Other areas of focus include corporate transactions that include mergers, acquisitions, spin-offs and capital increase.

Data protection, IT and IP segments drive media activity at Macchi di Cellere Gangemi. Work involves all aspects of privacy and data protection connected with the establishment and operation of websites in Italy. Lawyers also draft privacy policies and advise on data acquisition. The team, which includes Stefano Bartoli and Simone Gumbuto, works with entertainment sector clients on copyright matters and neighbouring rights.

Tonucci & Partners focusses on the broadcasting sector and has notable expertise in this area. The

firm’s work ranges from advice on film and television production and distribution to stage productions and

publishing. Managed by Mauro Baldissoni and Alessandro Vasta, the TMT group also assists with the exploitation of all types of IP rights, online gaming and e-commerce.

Valli Mancuso & Associati acts for several foreign and local broadcasters. Lawyers assist free-to-air and pay-television companies with content acquisitions through purchase and license agreements. Led by joint founders Andrea Valli and Marcello Mancuso, the team also represents sports clients on FIFA and the Italian football league on their trading of television, internet and radio rights.


Pirola Pennuto Zei & Associatis work involves assistance with applications for licenses and

authorisations for television broadcasting. With notable expertise in audio-visual law, the team’s work is wide-ranging and includes advice on contracts relating to financing, production, distribution of films and television programmes - and related tax incentives. Lawyers also advise on compliance and regulation.

Studio Legale Sutti focusses on advertising, copyright and competition. Head of department Simona Cazzaniga leads the team in its handling of contentious and non-contentious cases. Lawyers advise on licensing, unfair competition, antitrust, distribution and franchising. Litigation and arbitration are also among the firm’s key areas of practice.

Boutique firm Studio Ubertazzi focusses on IP and advertising. Co-founder Luigi Carlo Ubertazzi leads the firm with a specialisation in related laws and unfair competition. The practice is described as active in the local legal market with a respectable portfolio that includes clients from the entertainment industry - domestic and foreign.


DLA Piper

Hogan Lovells

Portolano Cavallo Studio Legale


Baker McKenzie

Bird & Bird

Carnelutti Studio Legale Associato

Chiomenti Studio Legale

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Cugia Cuomo & Associati


Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Gallavotti Bernardini & Partners

Maschietto Maggiore Bessenghini

Mondini Rusconi Studio Legale

Nctm Studio Legale

Orsingher Ortu - Avvocati Associati

Ponti - De Sanctis & Partners  





Macchi di Cellere Gangemi

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius

Tonucci & Partners

Valli Mancuso & Associati


Gianni, Origoni, Grippo, Cappeli & Partners

Libertini Mario Studio Legale

Monaco Studio Legale

Pirola Pennuto Zei & Associati

Studio Legale Sutti

Studio Ubertazzi


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