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Specialist Guide to the

Global Leaders in Media Law Practice

      M E D I A   L A W   

      I N T E R N A T I O N A L   ®

      

Media regulation has been a core focus area for New Zealand over the past year, and the subject of review after the government announced reform plans.


In June 2021, Minister of Internal Affairs Jan Tinetti announced plans to create a flexible and coherent framework that would better protect against harmful or illegal content.


After more than a decade of indecision, government officials have renewed calls for regulatory changes to the Broadcasting Standards Act to bring social media platforms under the same regulation.


In business trends, the past year has included a rise in OTT subscriptions. OTT and pay TV segments have struggled to gain traction in the

region but are expected to overtake DTH by 2026, according to Dataxis research findings.


Lawyers say other developments include a number of mandates from the sports segment as well as various international media and entertainment companies.


Areas of advice have included the acquisition of rights, licensing and copyright, as well as on litigious matters.   

TIER 1

Media law specialist Bell Gully represents clients across print and broadcast sectors advising on defamation, intellectual property and mergers and acquisitions. The media and entertainment practice advises on film and television, representing international film production companies on a full range of legal issues arising from their New Zealand-based productions, including tax and fiscal incentives. The firm specialises in defamation law, commercial litigation and dispute resolution.  


Buddle Findlay’s team works with private and public sectors clients on television and film production, radio and print media. Lawyers regularly advise on licensing, format, distribution, and output deals for programmes. Representative work includes assistance to Sky on programming deals for pay television including significant deals with ESPN, Fox Studios, Disney and MGM.


Chapman Tripp is visible across a range of cases, working with publishers and broadcasters on advertising and audio-visual matters. In highlighted work the TMT group assisted Spark with the establishment of its video-on-demand initiatives. Lawyers also represented ACP Media Limited in High Court defamation proceedings brought against its North & South publication. Other work involves assistance with co-production funding and production agreements.


Boutique firm Hudson Gavin Martin specialises in corporate and commercial aspects of media, intellectual property and technology. Simon Martin works with the team on cases of joint ventures, technology licensing and acquisitions. Lawyers have extensive experience in negotiating media contracts for franchising, sponsorship, licensing of content and the appearance of celebrities in videos and films


TIER 2

Focussed on entertainment, Dominion Law acts for clients ranging from internationally successful artists in the music industry and film studios to first-time film producers. The team includes commercial lawyers who have particular expertise in the creative industries and handle contract negotiations and advise on all areas of rights exploitation.


Minter Ellison Rudd Watts focusses on film and entertainment. Lawyers advise on financing productions, content distribution and regulatory challenges. Working with domestic and international clients, the team assists with various stages of business from negotiation and implementation to operational issues and exits.


Simpson Grierson regularly advises on copyright licensing within the music and technology sectors. Lawyers have extensive experience assisting with lobbying and the implementation of digital copyright amendments. In highlighted work, the firm represented Seven Network on contract disputes relating to images in magazines imported into New Zealand. In other work the practice assisted Sony Music with enforcement and licensing of music repertoire.


TIER 3

Izard Weston’s media and entertainment practice is appointed by private and public sector media organisations and public figures. Lawyers represent clients in defamation disputes involving injunctions, suppression orders and breaches of privacy. On behalf of publishers and broadcasters, the team reviews newspaper and magazine articles, advertisements, manuscripts and television and film productions prior to publication or broadcast.


Top

TIER 1

Bell Gully

Buddle Findlay

Chapman Tripp

Hudson Gavin Martin


TIER 2

Dominion Law

Minter Ellison Rudd Watts

Simpson Grierson

Webb Henderson

 

TIER 3

AJ Park

Izard Weston

Russell McVeagh

Wilson Harle


TIER 4

Anthony Harper

Dentons Kensington Swan

James & Wells

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