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Specialist Guide to the

Global Leaders in Media Law Practice

Scotland shows continued expansion in the VOD market with the UK-wide launch of STV’s free VOD services, as well as growth in the sports industry.

Scottish broadcaster STV launched in August on TV platform Freeview Play, making it available to an additional nine million devices.

Richard Williams, STV’s Managing Director, Digital, said: “The reach of the STV Player is constantly growing and joining the UK’s fastest-growing TV platform, Freeview Play, this week is a fantastic development in our growth story.”

Owen Jenkinson, Marketing Director at Freeview, commented: “The launch of STV Player nationwide means Freeview Play is now home to eight on demand players, giving viewers all the most watched shows, all for free.”

In October, the Scottish Professional Football League launched an exclusive online streaming platform, operated by StreamAMG, broadcasting all Scottish championship matches.

Scottish Championship clubs will use the platform for broadcasting matches to home fans, while Covid-19 restrictions remain in place.

Neil Doncaster, Chief Executive at Scottish Professional Football League, said: “This long-term partnership represents an innovative new way to allow supporters outside of the UK to watch live action from their club and stay more closely connected with the team they support.”

Wider trends include an overall increase in TV-set viewing in the past year. Viewers in Scotland watched the most broadcast TV of any UK nation, according to Ofcom’s Media Nations 2020 Scotland Report.


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, led by Colin Hulme and David Goodbrand, 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 offices in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow and provides broader 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. Managed by Yvonne Dunn, 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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