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Copyright © Media Law International 2017. All Rights Reserved.

Specialist Guide to the

Global Leaders in Media Law Practice

BELGIUM

Copyright and territoriality will be important topics during 2017 as the European commission introduces

Digital Single Market reforms that will enable cross-border access to content throughout Europe.


The government’s local approach to a global initiative has led to the introduction of a Digital Belgium strategy, a 2016-2020 action plan that will support and strengthen growth by enhancing infrastructure, digital security and digitalise communication with the government.  


Media lawyer Christine De Keersmaeker, a partner at Koan Law Firm, said: “There are a couple of issues that will certainly bring along a serious debate and probably the most important one is going to be on copyright and territoriality. This is a difficult issue if we have to consider the world in which businesses need to work.”


The digital agenda will unlock territorial copyright protection for television, film and music at a time when spending on digital entertainment will reach


double digit growth - predicted at a rate of 12 per cent over the next five years.


While the country’s media market has consolidated its operation, business trends show that consolidation is not over yet. Ms De Keersmaeker noted: “Consolidation continues in the northern part of the country and this trend has been going on a coup for a year now, and was confirmed in 2015.”


Significant transactions include Telenet’s acquisition of local mobile network operator Base from Dutch group KPN.


Announced in April last year, the EUR 1.32 billion deal will strengthen the market and, according to Telenet’s CEO John Porter, will ensure Telenet is “well positioned to effectively compete for the

future growth opportunity of mobile data.”


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. Litigation specialist Flip Petillion leads the team in its work 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.


TIER 2

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.  


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.  


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.


Ranking and editorials

TIER 1

Altius

Crowell & Moring

Hoyng Rokh Monegier


TIER 2

Allen & Overy

Bird & Bird

Koan Law Firm

Marx Van Ranst Vermeersch & Partners


TIER 3

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

CMS

DLA Piper

& De Bandt

Fieldfisher


TIER 4

Hunton & Williams

NautaDutilh

time.lex

Verbist & Vanlerberghe Omega Law



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