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Specialist Guide to the

Global Leaders in Media Law Practice

BELGIUM

Data and privacy are among the most significant topics this year, say lawyers, as GDPR compliance issues continue to lead to fines.


The Belgian Data Protection Authority imposed a EUR15,000 fine, its first for unlawful use of cookies, in December 2019.


Commenting on data privacy, Agnès Maqua, Partner at Koan Law Firm, said: “E-privacy regulation is being drafted and negotiated at EU level. This creates concern for clients because they are unclear if they can still use cookies and how they should use the cookie banner.”


Lawyers say that Articles 17 and 22 contain provisions that could “provoke uncertainty” for producers, among others. Ms Maqua commented: ”Those are the key issues that we are focussed on in the transposition.”

In other developments, Belgium will have a new streaming market entrant as Disney announced its launch of Disney+ to take place in the summer. The US streaming service joins already present Netflix and Apple TV.


Lawyers say the increased competition will present a challenge to national streaming platforms, who may need to produce more content locally as a counteractive measure.


The lucrative streaming industry amounts to USD64 million in 2020. Revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate of 7.1%, to reach USD84 million by 2024, according to Statista.


TIER 1

Altius combines media and intellectual property with its emphasis on entertainment segments. The team advises on television and filmed entertainment, games and music. Team leader Paul Maeyaert manages the group, which works on wide-ranging cases involving pre-publication advice and clearance, licensing agreements and rights disputes.  


Crowell & Moring is highly reputed for its leading focus on all segments of media and technology. In addition to traditional areas of advice, the team works on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and financing transactions. The litigation team advises on antitrust regulation, privacy and data collection rights.


Focussed on copyright and media, Hoyng Rokh Monegier lawyers litigate on behalf of rights holders in high profile cases. Working with publishers, broadcasters, artists and producers the team advises on local and cross-border issues and negotiates complex agreements. Fabienne Brison manages the team that also advises on regulatory frameworks.


Clients appoint Koan Law Firm on account of its “quality, efficiency and correct remuneration”. The team is “always on track and always on time”. The firm’s emphasis on media is matched by a specialisation in advertising and copyright law. Department leaders Christine De Keersmaeker and Agnès Maqua manage the media, technology and IP team. Both partners are credited with having exceptional experience working with clients from the press, cinema and audio-visual production sectors. Other areas of focus include film financing and product placement.  


TIER 2

Fieldfisher acts for independent film producers and distributors in copyright disputes and negotiates media-related agreements. The practice advises providers of audio-visual content, advertisers and communications agencies. Head of division Stijn Debaene works closely with Pierre-Philippe Hendrickx, who has extensive experience advising on film and sports law.


With combined focus on media, IP and IT Marx Van Ranst Vermeersch & Partners adopts a multidisciplinary approach to sector-related work. Core areas of competence include television, motion pictures, music, advertising and sports. The team includes litigation and arbitration specialist Eric Laevens and routinely advises on the protection of creative works, licensing of technology, computer software, multimedia and telecommunications.


The media team at & De Bandt advises on television formats, privacy, freedom of the press and liability for publication. Lawyers negotiate international entertainment contracts, assist with litigation before the courts and advise on competition law. Key practitioner Jeff Keustermans leads the firm’s commercial focus and handles national and international business litigation. The practice has two decades of experience representing television stations, musicians, publishers and artists.


TIER 3

CMS’ work includes commercial and corporate matters connected with media sector activity. Managing partner Tom Heremans leads the intellectual property team advising on privacy, distribution law and commercial litigation. Lawyers also assist broadcasters and satellite operators with regulatory and licensing matters. Other clients include e-commerce companies and international football organisations.


NautaDutilh works on industry-related commercial and regulatory matters. Media specialist Philippe Péters has significant experience advising on copyright and IT matters. Other areas of focus include litigation and arbitration. The firm’s clients include Warner Bros., Coca Cola and NOS.


TIER 4

Sports and entertainment work dominate activity at Hunton & Williams. The media team advises on sport-related joint venture arrangements, intellectual property filings and sanctioning body regulations. The media practice group is managed by Melanie Fitzgerald, who is recognised for her cross-sector focus.  



TIER 1

Altius

Crowell & Moring

Hoyng Rokh Monegier

Koan Law Firm


TIER 2

Allen & Overy

Bird & Bird

Fieldfisher

Marx Van Ranst Vermeersch & Partners

& De Bandt

 

TIER 3

CMS

DLA Piper

Petillion

NautaDutilh


TIER 4

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Hunton Andrews Kurth

Monard Law

Timelex

Van Innis & Delarue

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 REGIONS WE COVER

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