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Specialist Guide to the
Global Leaders in Media Law Practice
A new data law for Bahrain is expected to enhance privacy and protection for individuals on digital publishing, and data-related issues.
The regulatory framework is also part of plans to boost the technology sector by bringing companies and customers to Bahrain.
Khalid Al Rumaihi, CEO of Bahrain’s inward investment agency, Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), said: “We, together with the government, are working on increasing the legislation around data privacy and data sovereignty.
“There are examples of where this regulation has been introduced in other parts of the world, but we think this will be the first in the region.”
He continued: “Of course we want to work with other bodies – Ministry of Justice and other government departments – and we also want to consult with the private sector.
“We have already got a draft piece of this legislation and it is a matter of months before the government can present it to parliament and discuss it shortly. For us, this is all part of our commitment to the industry.”
Other developments include plans by Amazon Web Services (AWS) to build at least three large data centres in Bahrain by 2019. The data centres will be AWS’ first in the Middle East.
In a statement issued in September 2017, AWS commented: ‘These announcements add to our continued investment in the Middle East. Earlier this year, we opened the doors to our first offices in Bahrain and Dubai to empower organizations of all sizes, from startups to governments, as they make the transition to the AWS Cloud.’
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
Baker & McKenzie
Charles Russell Speechlys
Norton Rose Fulbright
Taqi & Moh'd Ahmed
RANKING AND EDITORIALS