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Specialist Guide to the
Global Leaders in Media Law Practice
Switzerland has a new data protection law, effective September 2023, with a far-reaching scope of application, and a new streaming funding law to support the local content industry.
In August last year, the Swiss Federal Council announced that the enforcement date of the revised Data Protection Act intentionally allows enough time for organisations to take necessary steps to implement compliance measures.
The law applies to all processing of personal data that "has an effect" nationally, even if it occurred abroad. The law also enforces principles of privacy by design and privacy by default.
Over the past year, Switzerland became the latest country to introduce measures to support local television and film production. In May, 58 per cent
of voters backed proposals to make global television streaming services invest revenue generated nationally into domestic film-making.
Dubbed the “Lex Netflix”, the law introduces investment requirements in the form of streaming services buying locally made shows or making content themselves.
In related legal work, lawyers say they have seen cases involving TV rights agreements as well as disputes connected with such agreements. Lawyers have also advised multimedia operators in the entertainment and sports industries.
Bär & Karrer works extensively with operators of satellite and cable television services on regulatory and contractual issues. The highly regarded practice focusses on media and sports law, and is appointed by publishers, composers, musicians, authors, and other artists. The media team negotiates television rights agreements, handles related complex disputes and advises on regulatory matters connected with online streaming.
Homburger is a well regarded practice for its work on media and intellectual property. The media team advises on sports marketing law, broadcasting rights and online content. The practice is known for its focus on unfair competition, regulation and compliance. Lawyers also represent clients in state court litigation and arbitration. Other areas of focus for the firm include licensing, technology transfer, distribution and franchising agreements.
The media team at Pestalozzi Attorneys at Law is highly regarded for its extensive experience advising on multiple segments of media including publishing and broadcast. Clients and competitors praise the firm for its high visibility and quality of advice. One client said: “We have always been very pleased with the service provided by Pestalozzi. This refers to deadline adherence, short notice requests and additional services.” The IP and TMT group frequently advises on cases relating to social media, advertising, unfair competition and data protection.
Media specialist Vischer is among national leaders for digital media matters. According to one client “The firm does excellent work. Not only in the core areas of media law but also in other practice areas where we need support, for example tax law and labour law.” With an entertainment specialisation, the practice group advises on television broadcast, film, music and gaming. The group collaborates with the information and communication, intellectual property and competition departments.
One of the country’s leading commercial law firms, Walder Wyss provides a multidisciplinary service. The media and communications team acts for advertisers, PR agencies and press publishers on regulatory cases, data protection and pre-publication matters. Lawyers also advise on art and sports law. Other focus areas include anti-trust and competition, data protection and intellectual property.
id est avocats handles publicity rights, unfair competition and IP licensing matters across several industries including entertainment and online media. The team acts for clients from entrepreneurs to global industry leaders. The Lausanne-based firm also represents a range of clients from the advertising, technology and IT sectors.
Full-service firm Lenz & Staehelin is known for its transactional and regulatory work. The team acts for broadcasters, content providers and cinema operators. Work ranges from advice on day-to-day contracting and regulatory matters to licensing, advertising and sponsorship matters. Lawyers at the firm work collaboratively out of the firm’s Geneva and Zurich offices respectively.
Schellenberg Wittmer combines media, art and entertainment under one practice area. The Zurich-based firm is recognised for its industry expertise and highlighted by peers for its work on sports and intellectual property. The firm is appointed by art institutions, collectors, artists, art dealers, sports organisations and entertainment businesses.
Zulauf Partner is well regarded by peers and highlighted for its visibility in cases involving media and communications. Lawyers act for clients in cases of libel, slander and privacy protection, on radio and television regulation and on advertising law. The team specialises in broadcast law, new media, entertainment and advertising. The team also advises on copyright and data protection.
Focussed on media and sports, Kellerhals Attorneys at Law assists clients including national and international federations, athletes and sponsors. Lawyers negotiate and draft sponsoring and license agreements and handle all aspects involving broadcasting rights. The team also represents sports clients before the Court of Arbitration for Sport in disciplinary proceedings, cases involving player transfers and commercial transactions.
Nater Dallafior is well established in the legal market and recognised for its handling of media law cases nationally. Acting for broadcasters, the media team provides ongoing advice on regulatory matters to a privately owned local television station. Lawyers also negotiate agreements between broadcasters and programme providers, assist film producers on antitrust issues and provide advice on compliance and copyright matters.
Thouvenin’s media work is driven by its intellectual property and technology division. In addition to contentious work, the team advises on commercial transactions such as licensing and joint ventures. Co-head of the practice group Patrick Rohn is an experienced litigator, handling domestic and international commercial cases. The firm also advises on distribution, licensing and competition.
Wenger Plattner’s art and entertainment focus makes it a popular choice among artists, art companies, sponsors, and cultural associations. The practice is known for its experience litigating before the courts in cases connected with musicals, theatre, visual arts, and literature.
Badertscher Attorneys at Law is well regarded by competitors for its work in the publishing sphere. The practice works with media companies operating, in Switzerland and internationally, on matters including libel, slander and unfair competition. The firm is appointed for media-related work, including advise on licensing of content, publishing rights and financial joint ventures.
MME specialises in gaming and live entertainment. The team acts for online service providers, domestic casinos and foreign online gaming operators. Working with clients from the entertainment sector, lawyers advise ticketing companies, promoters, artists and venue managers.
BianchiSchwald works on cases involving privacy, media and technology. The firm’s core areas of focus include data protection, distribution, licensing and the transfer and protection of technology. Lawyers at the firm are highlighted for thier detailed knowledge of broadcast regulations and the broadcasting of sporting and cultural events. Other focus areas include corporate transactions.
Prager Dreifuss is driven by the firm’s IP and IT focus, which includes advice on sports rights. The media team in its work on licensing of rights to films and sporting events, data protection, computer software and information technology. The firm is also appointed by domestic and international entrepreneurs in commercial and corporate matters.
Python lawyers have extensive knowledge of copyright and entertainment law. The team regularly advises on contracts and license agreements, advertising and privacy. Other areas of expertise include press and television advertising in cases involving representation before the Commission.
Bär & Karrer
Pestalozzi Attorneys at Law
id est avocats
Lenz & Staehelin
Niederer Kraft & Frey
Badertscher Attorneys at Law
CMS von Erlach Partners
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REGIONS WE COVER
Middle East and North Africa
Central and Eastern Europe