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Specialist Guide to the

Global Leaders in Media Law Practice

CANADA

Privacy concerns amid Covid-19 have led to legal changes intended to ‘ensure that Canadians are protected by a modern and responsive law.’


In November, the government introduced the Digital Charter Implementation Act 2020, which modernises the country’s framework for the protection of personal information in the private sector.


Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science,

and Industry, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation which is changing how Canadians work, access information, access services, and connect with their loved ones.


“This transformation is making concerns about privacy, and how companies handle Canadians’ data, more important than ever.”


He added: “For Canada to succeed, and for our companies to be able to innovate in this new reality,

we need a system founded on trust with clear rules and enforcement. This legislation represents an important step towards achieving this goal.”


The Broadcasting Act has also been subject to change, with updates to account for online broadcasting services.


Theses changes, also introduced in November last year, will ensure the country’s regulator has a modern and flexible framework for broadcasting.


The update is intended to support greater diversity and inclusion within the sector, as well as promote a broad range of talent.  

TIER 1

Cassels Brock & Blackwell is one of the most established entertainment and copyright law practices in Canada. The firm is appointed by publishers, producers, broadcasters, animators and concert promoters. Among work, the team assisted Canadian Football League with Grey Cup performance agreements for the Black Eyed Peas and Shania Twain. Other focus areas include gaming and sports law.


Gowling WLG is an established leader in the area of media law. The firm works across several service areas that include entertainment, defamation, gaming, advertising and social media. Each division is managed by a dedicated partner, which means in-depth industry knowledge and broad expertise. The firm’s size and scale amplified after Gowlings merged with UK firm Wragge Lawrence Grahman & Co in January 2016, creating double the capacity nationally and abroad.


The Stikeman Elliott media team specialises in entertainment and sports law and has extensive experience in the financing of films and television programs. Other focus areas include licensing of intellectual property including publicity rights and rights of personality. The team also advised on competition issues arising from the purchase of a newspaper chain and advise on the sale of sports franchises.


TIER 2

Dentons advises several Hollywood studios, US-based independent production companies and television networks on communications and entertainment law. Vancouver-based Gordon W. Esau manages a practice that is visible across a range of cases that include mergers and acquisition. The team also assists US-based animation and visual effects companies on establishing Canadian studios. Well positioned nationally, the firm has offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.


Goodmans has a high profile portfolio of clients from the entertainment sector. The practice specialises in film, television, digital media and book publishing. The entertainment law group is managed by David Zitzerman who has practiced entertainment law exclusively for 25 years. Working with his team, Mr Zitzerman represents American and Canadian studios, broadcasters, independent producers, game companies and talent agencies.


Lawyers at McCarthy Tétrault have in-depth knowledge of cyber security, privacy, data protection and copyright. Montréal-based Véronique Wattiez Larose is one of the firm’s key contacts with experience advising clients from the video game and music industries.


With a cross-border focus, Torys regularly advises international clients in a range of service areas, from traditional media and corporate transactions to commercial exploitation. In representative work, the team acted for Canada Pension Plan Investment Board in its USD 142.4 million acquisition of a 17.9 per cent stake in Entertainment One from Marwyn Value Investors.


TIER 3

DLA Piper has seven offices across Canada with diverse market coverage. The firm’s capacity was expanded in March 2015 after the firm merged with Vancouver-based law firm Davis. Leading practitioner Chris Bennett works with regional partners representing the sports and entertainment industries. The firm represents local and international clients on finance, corporate issues, production and rights acquisition and competition law.


McMillan’s media work ranges from financing, syndication and sponsorship through to securing international production and distribution rights. The media, communications and entertainment team, managed by Desmond Balakrishnan, advises recording artists, gaming companies, film and television producers and multimedia companies.


Toronto-based Stohn Hay Cafazzo Dembroski Richmond specialises in entertainment, marketing and copyright. Diana Cafazzo and Ron Hay are highlighted by peers who say both partners “are active in media and entertainment law and have been opposite us on numerous transactions in recent years.”  The firm acts for clients in the film, music, broadcasting, publishing and sports industries.

TIER 1

Cassels Brock  

Gowling WLG  

Stikeman Elliott


TIER 2

Baker McKenzie   

Dentons

Goodmans

McCarthy Tétrault   

Torys


TIER 3

Blake, Cassels & Graydon

DLA Piper

McMillan  

Norton Rose Fulbright  

Stohn Hay Cafazzo Dembroski Richmond


TIER 4

Bennett Jones

Fasken  

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt

Smart & Biggar


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