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Specialist Guide to the

Global Leaders in Media Law Practice

Data protection will be a high-priority topic for media businesses in Bahrain this year as the country prepares for a new law that takes effect in August 2019.


The country’s Law on the Protection of Personal Data was published in July 2018 and includes criminal charges and fines for violations of certain provisions. Charges include imprisonment of up to one year.


Fines are applicable to corporate entities and range from BHD1,000-BHD20,000, equivalent to around USD2,600-USD53,000.


Nick O’Connell, Head of TMT at Al Tamimi, commented on the legislative development in an article published on the firm’s website.


He stated: ‘While the publication of the new Law provides a considerable lead-in period within which entities subject to the Law will need to comply,

the fact that the Law creates criminal offences means that compliance is all the more important and should be treated as a high priority.’

In other news, the spread of false information has been a core area of concern for the Interior Ministry over the past year.


In June 2018, local media reported that the

ministry identified fake accounts had been circulating false information.


The Ministry of Interior issued a statement in July 2018 calling on the public ‘to be cautious and avoid recirculating false reports’.  


The report goes on to state: ‘The Ministry of Interior clarifies that such accounts tend to instigate disturbances and sedition and incite hatred, in an attempt to tear into Bahrain’s social fabric and jeopardize the upcoming parliamentary elections.’

TIER 1

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.


TIER 2

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.


TIER 3

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.


BAHRAIN

Ranking and editorials

TIER 1

Elham Ali Hassan & Associates

Haya Rashed Al Khalifa  

Zu’bi & Partners


TIER 2

ASAR - Al Ruwayeh & Partners

Hassan Radhi & Associates

Trowers & Hamlins

Zeenat Al Mansoori & Associates


TIER 3

Baker & McKenzie

Charles Russell Speechlys

Norton Rose Fulbright

Taqi & Moh'd Ahmed



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