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Specialist Guide to the
Global Leaders in Media Law Practice
Belgium has had a mixed year with legislative changes and EU scrutiny over the national privacy regulator.
In September 2021, Belgium’s Constitutional Court confirmed the annulment of the country’s 1999 Gambling Act. The court ruled that operators are not permitted to offer different types of games on the same website - such as sports betting and casino gaming.
Earlier last year in March, the government approved a preliminary draft decree transposing the Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS) Directive.
Parliament of the German-speaking community adopted a decree on media services and film screenings (Dekret über die mediendienste und die kinovorstellungen) as part of the transposition of the Directive.
The bill introduces new provisions that are applicable to linear and on-demand AVMS providers. These provisions include political independence of AVMS providers whose services are distributed via a closed distribution platform.
Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for the Internal Market, commented on the importance of
a new framework. Mr Breton said: “With the Audiovisual Services Directive, we are taking a new step to creating a 21st century European media framework to allow for new innovative services, to promote European culture in on-demand catalogues and to protect our children from illicit and harmful content online.
“We are working closely with EU member states to ensure that the directive is transposed completely and efficiently.”
Other developments last year include the European Commission’s legal action against Belgium following concerns that its data protection regulator is not operating independently as required by GDPR.
The infringement proceedings follow anonymous complaints that the national regulator’s ability to act independently is questionable as several of its officials are affiliated with the government.
Altius combines media and intellectual property with its emphasis on entertainment segments. The team advises on television and filmed entertainment, games and music. The team works on wide-ranging cases involving pre-publication advice and clearance, licensing agreements and rights disputes.
Crowell & Moring is highly reputed for its leading focus on an extensive range of segments across media and technology. In addition to traditional areas of advice, the team works on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and financing transactions. The litigation team advises on antitrust regulation, privacy and data collection rights.
Focussed on copyright and media, Hoyng Rokh Monegier lawyers litigate on behalf of rights holders in high profile cases. Working with publishers, broadcasters, artists and producers the team advises on local and cross-border issues and negotiates complex agreements.The team also regularly advises on regulatory frameworks.
Clients appoint Koan Law Firm on account of its “quality, efficiency and correct remuneration”. The team is “always on track and always on time”. The firm’s emphasis on media is matched by a specialisation in advertising and copyright law. The team advises clients from the media, technology and IP segments. Partners are credited with having exceptional experience working with clients from the press, cinema and audio-visual production sectors. Other areas of focus include film financing and product placement.
Although FENCER was only founded in July 2020, its team, led by Paul Maeyaert, is anything but new to the market. FENCER has assisted famous right owners, artists, art galleries, online and offline publishers, producers and broadcasting companies on copyright and other Intellectual Property related issues. Paul Maeyaert, together with his team-member Caro Van Wichelen, has also frequently litigated high-profile cases on freedom of speech, the right to reply, defamation claims and image rights.
Fieldfisher acts for independent film producers and distributors in copyright disputes and negotiates media-related agreements. The practice advises providers of audio-visual content, advertisers and communications agencies. The team has extensive experience advising on film and sports law.
With combined focus on media, IP and IT Marx Van Ranst Vermeersch & Partners adopts a multidisciplinary approach to sector-related work. Core areas of competence include television, motion pictures, music, advertising and sports. The team includes litigation and arbitration specialists who routinely advise on the protection of creative works, licensing of technology, computer software, multimedia and telecommunications.
The media team at & De Bandt advises on television formats, privacy, freedom of the press and liability for publication. Lawyers negotiate international entertainment contracts, assist with litigation before the courts and advise on competition law. The firm also handles commercial matters, working on national and international business litigation. The practice has two decades of experience representing television stations, musicians, publishers and artists.
CMS’ work includes commercial and corporate matters connected with media sector activity. The intellectual property team advises on privacy, distribution law and commercial litigation. Lawyers also assist broadcasters and satellite operators with regulatory and licensing matters. Other clients include e-commerce companies and international football organisations.
NautaDutilh works on industry-related commercial and regulatory matters. The team has significant experience advising on copyright and IT matters. Other areas of focus include litigation and arbitration. The firm’s clients include Warner Bros., Coca Cola and NOS.
Sports and entertainment work dominate activity at Hunton Andrews Kurth. The media team advises on sport-related joint venture arrangements, intellectual property filings and sanctioning body regulations. The media practice group is recognised for its cross-sector focus.
Crowell & Moring
Hoyng Rokh Monegier
Koan Law Firm
Allen & Overy
Bird & Bird
Marx Van Ranst Vermeersch & Partners
& De Bandt
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
Hunton Andrews Kurth
Van Innis & Delarue
RANKING AND EDITORIALS
REGIONS WE COVER
Middle East and North Africa
Central and Eastern Europe