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Specialist Guide to the
Global Leaders in Media Law Practice
The media environment is advancing in Bahrain with a growing film industry and the adoption of a new Press and e-Media law that will be enacted before the end
Qays H. Zu’bi, founding partner of Zu’bi & Partners explained: “Bollywood is as important as Hollywood and the market in this region has a big share of Bollywood.”
He continued: “This is a growing market. There is more interesting content and with content you start to get copyright issues, distribution rights and other agreements that follow.”
Industry growth has made legislative change a significant part of market progression.
The Bahraini Minister of Information Affairs, Ali Al-Rumeihi, has highlighted the importance of preserving media freedom and criminalising the assault of journalists.
Mr Al-Rumeihi told pan-Arab daily newspaper, Asharq al-Awsat, that the new law would provide legal protection for all those who work in the media sector.
The draft law was discussed during a cabinet session held at the start of January 2017 and would replace Law 47/2002 on the Organization of the Press, Printing and Publishing.
Mr Al-Rumeihi also highlighted the ministry’s continued efforts to keep pace with technological advance. While television is the main source of news, Internet Live Stats reported almost 1.3 million internet users in Bahrain by 2016, making the proposed e-Media law a significant development for the industry.
Elham Ali Hassan & Associates focusses on internet, media and IP. The firm’s leading position is backed by an established portfolio that includes clients such as Bloomberg and Apple. Managing partner Essa Jawahery takes the lead on media and technology matters and works closely with founding partner Elham Ali Hassan.
Full-service firm Haya Rashed Al Khalifa has played a key role in the establishment of regulatory bodies and the formation of regulation. The team’s media focus is broad, ranging from advice on commercial contracts, information management compliance and data protection to e-business and IT security. Founding partner Haya Rashed Al Khalifa is widely respected by peers who note her experience as a permanent delegate to the United Nations.
Zu'bi & Partners provides ‘a high calibre technical service’, according to clients. Practitioners are also praised for being consistently comprehensive and commercially-focussed. Working with his team, senior partner Qays H. Zu’bi advised on radio and television sub-license agreements and assisted a major multi-national internet corporation on local regulatory matters. The firm also acts for an Arabic language news channel on a range of corporate matters.
Media work at ASAR - Al Ruwayeh & Partners is driven by the firm’s focus on IP. The local team has built a reputable practice known for copyright protection, licensing and brand management. Cyber crime is among core focus areas for the cross-jurisdictional practice, which operates in Bahrain and Kuwait.
Hassan Radhi & Associates lawyers have established links with clients in neighbouring countries. Founding partner Hassan Ali Radhi has strong connections with international networks allowing for a multi-dimensional service that is primarily focussed on intellectual property.
International managing partner Dominic O’Neil leads the Trowers & Hamlins Bahrain office. Based in the jurisdiction, his local knowledge is praised by peers who highlight the firm’s regional dedication. The practice is supported by an international network of lawyers and dedicated media sector divisions.
Peers describe Zeenat Al Mansoori & Associates as an influential practice with industry focus and skill. Present in the Bahraini market since 1989, the full-service firm has a multi-disciplinary approach. Founding partner Zeenat Al Mansoori manages the media and telecommunications division, which works closely with the IP, IT and e-commence practice groups.
Charles Russell Speechlys opened its Bahrain office in 2006 and has since become an established part of the country’s legal structure. Patrick Gearon manages the practice which is backed by the firm’s 30-year TMT worldwide focus. The office benefits from Mr Gearon’s specialisation in media, IP, litigation and dispute resolution.
Established in 1979, Norton Rose Fulbright has become a trusted brand say competitors. Head of the Middle East practice Patrick Bourke manages the firm’s Bahrain, Dubai and Abu Dhabi offices, specialising in dispute resolution and litigation. The firm’s full-service focus and international network make it a leading choice for clients.
Ranking and editorials
Elham Ali Hassan & Associates
Haya Rashed Al Khalifa
Zu’bi & Partners
ASAR - Al Ruwayeh & Partners
Hassan Radhi & Associates
Trowers & Hamlins
Zeenat Al Mansoori & Associates
Charles Russell Speechlys
Norton Rose Fulbright
Taqi & Moh'd Ahmed
RANKING AND EDITORIALS