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Specialist Guide to the

Global Leaders in Media Law Practice

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      I N T E R N A T I O N A L   ®


Copyright © Media Law International 2022. All Rights Reserved.                                                                                                              

Scotland’s media industry is among the most diverse globally, with more than 160 newspapers, 40 radio stations and an estimated 700 magazines published, as well as a high-value screen sector.

“This is the first true benchmark of the value of Scotland’s screen sector and it’s far larger than has been captured by previous studies,” explained Isabel Davis, Screen Scotland’s Executive Director.

Ms Davis continued: “Better still, we see the potential to double GVA by 2030, if investment in local content, production skills and infrastructure continues.”

In other developments, UK news agency PA Media Group acquired Hydrogen, Scotland’s largest social media agency. Hydrogen is the second agency acquired by 154-year-old PA Media Group as it expands beyond media and content services.

Under the terms of the deal, announced in November, Hydrogen will continue to operate under its current leadership, and as a stand-alone agency within PA Media Group’s portfolio.

Commenting on the acquisition, PA Media Group CEO, Clive Marshall, said: “Social media and social commerce are the fastest growing areas of digital marketing in the UK. Hydrogen CEO, Mike Scott, said: “A growth mindset has always been at the heart of everything we do at Hydrogen. It’s allowed us to quickly become the largest social media agency in Scotland.”


Bannatyne Kirkwood France & Co specialises in media law and intellectual property. The firm has a particular emphasis on defamation and is known for its in-depth pre and post publication advice. Lawyers represent clients including Associated Newspapers, The Scotsman Publications and Scottish & Universal Newspapers. The practice is also appointed by political figures.

Brodies is regularly instructed by publishers for pre-publication advice and pre-broadcast content review. With a client base that includes BBC Scotland and Channel 4, the firm’s core competence areas include defamation, contempt, privacy and data protection. Lawyers also work with clients from the video games and new media sectors.

Levy & McRae has established a leading media law department that is the firm’s strongest area of business. The boutique firm is a litigation-only practice known for its expertise in defamation law, commercial litigation and regulatory issues. With two decades of experience, the firm has represented some of the largest print publishers and broadcast networks.

Mellicks Solicitors media law is a market leader in the field. The firm has over three decades of experience acting for some of the largest print and online publications in the country. Lawyers offer pre and post publication advice to those clients on all matters which may arise including contempt of court, defamation, privacy, data protection, copyright and regulatory compliance. Lawyers also represent private clients in defamation and privacy claims and provide advice on reputation management issues, including complaints to IPSO.

TIER 2  

Burness Paulls media emphasis is driven by intellectual property litigators with particular expertise in sports-related matters. The team advises clients including Scottish Football Association, the Scottish Rugby Union and Celtic FC. Lawyers also work on outsourcing and overseas data transfer, data sharing, use of personal data online and data breach management.

CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang assists broadcasters, publishers and gambling operators with matters ranging from defamation, advertising and marketing. The firm has extensive experience advising a vast range of industry cases, working from its offices in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Lawyers are singled out for their sector advice on copyright, data protection and privacy.

DLA Piper focusses on several segments including film, audio-visual privacy, digital media and games. With cross-practice and cross-border experience, lawyers assist with production and rights acquisitions, staging and exploiting live sports events and advise on competition law.

Pinsent Masons lawyers advise on film and television investments, the procurement of new programmes, acquisition of broadcasting rights and multi-platform works including online games. The TMT group advises Creative Scotland on a range of matters which include developing the potential of film makers in Scotland.

Thorntons Solicitors focuses on publishing, social media, television and music sectors. Clients include individual music artists and international corporations. Lawyers advise on advertising, marketing and convergence between traditional media and online. In highlighted work the team advised on the acquisition of online streaming rights of funded television content and sponsored television programmes.


Shepherd and Wedderburn acts for global TMT organisations, regulators and industry associations. The team advises on regulatory issues related to market entry, product launch assessments and is routinely involved in matters connected with cloud computing, data protection and data retention.


Bannatyne Kirkwood France & Co   


Levy & McRae

Mellicks Solicitors


Burness Paull

CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang

DLA Piper

Pinsent Masons

Thorntons Solicitors


Addleshaw Goddard

Harper Macleod  

Shepherd and Wedderburn


Anderson Strathern  

BTO Solicitors





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