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Specialist Guide to the

Global Leaders in Media Law Practice

Tension and controversy over digital terrestrial television (DTT) licensing has had a lasting impact on the media market in Greece.


After more than two decades of private television stations operating under provisional licenses, four 10-year licenses have been awarded in a government-led auction.


The first in 27 years, the auction held in September last year cut the number of national channels from eight, awarding only four licenses despite protests. The government netted almost EUR 250 million from the controversial license auction.


Eleni Tsoukala, a partner at Tsoukala & Partners, said: “The benchmark of what has happened over the last year is the public tender process that took place with the award of only four TV licenses that signified a major development in the market.”


She added: “Some channels resorted to legal action stating prejudice, so legal action is emerging from this whole process.”


Lawyers say the broadcast market will move in the direction of specialisation. Ms Tsoukala explained: “There are these ideas going around about

specialisation. What we can anticipate is some of these players potentially specialising and broadcasting in certain areas.”


Television advertising, worth EUR 200 million a year, became a topical area after the government announced plans to establish a new state-owned television advertising agency.


The bill was announced in July last year by Minister of State Nikos Pappas and is strongly opposed by broadcasters who say the law would grant greater state control over the media.


The new electronic agency would have a monopoly on selling advertising on behalf of commercial broadcasters.


Commenting on wider media activity, Kriton Metaxopoulos, founding partner of A & K Metaxopoulos, said: “2016 has been a year of stabilisation and relative growth but starting from a completly different starting point, from the drop.”


TIER 1

A & K Metaxopoulos & Partners has a high profile reputation and corresponding client base. The media team is described by clients as “extremely professional and always delivers on objectives without exception”. The firm has strengthened its position with clients Thomson Reuters, Fromageries Bel, Hospira and Conde Nast and acquired new domestic clients including Mad Melody and 14 Music Co. Working with Irini Daroussou, managing partner Kriton Metaxopoulos advised a music content provider on agreements with licensors, musical authors and artists. Other work handled by the firm includes rights disputes and television advertising restrictions.


Media law specialist Dimitris Emvalomenos manages the commercial practice at Bahas, Gramatidis & Partners. Its primary focus is on intellectual property, data protection, licensing and e-commerce. Lawyers also have significant experience working on distribution and franchise agreements. The firm has a long-standing presence, dating back to 1970 and is recognised for providing high quality advice to local and global clients.


Active in the electronics sector, Cocalis & Psarras is a leading choice for digital media matters. The firm’s members served on the Board of Directors of the first pay television platform and have advised on matters ranging from broadcasting licensing to competition law. Head of department Alkiviades C. Psarras and his team have extensive experience advising on business and regulatory matters.   


Bernitsas Law is held in high regard by its competitors. The firm’s leading position is attributed to its diverse sector coverage. Lawyers have extensive experience assisting with media sector commercial agreements, including production, transmission and advertising agreements. The team also advises on media sponsorship contracts and advertising restrictions.


Libel and privacy specialist Tsoukala & Partners is described by clients as “prompt and efficient”. Head of the TMT division Eleni Tsoukala is “extremely capable of handling complex, multi-jurisdictional transactions”. The full-service firm represents clients in libel cases, assists with corporate transactions and advices on regulatory matters.


TIER 2

Ballas, Pelecanos & Associates focusses on media, advertising and data protection. The firm combines intellectual property and communications providing multidisciplinary advice. Managed by George Ballas, the team advises on contentious and non-contentious matters locally and abroad.


Calavros and Partners routinely assists clients with all legal aspects of copyright development, acquisition and protection. Lawyers work with broadcasting companies and telecommunications corporations. Co-founding partner Artemis Tsilika is the firm’s key contact specialising in intellectual property law at consultation and litigation level.


Lawyers at Drakopoulos Law Firm have significant experience assisting with licensing and technology transfer agreements. The team advises clients from the entertainment and publishing sectors on advertising, unfair competition and new media. With offices in Greece, Romania and Albania, the firm has an established presence locally and in Southeast Europe.

  

TIER 3

The media and entertainment department at Avramopoulos & Partners handles litigation and content-related disputes on behalf of newspapers, magazines, film and television production companies and advertising agencies. Lawyers advise international studios and domestic production companies on matters ranging from film financing, tax planning and copyright.         


Mourgelas & Associates specialises in the media and advertising sectors. Lawyers assist with marketing and communication matters including regulation and policy. The firm also has a separate sports practice representing Greek and international athletes and agents on legislative, regulatory and contractual matters. Other areas of work include extrajudicial settlement of claims.


Sarantitis Law Firm acts for television and satellite broadcasters, radio stations, newspapers and magazines. Also handling corporate transactions, the group advises on the acquisition of media corporations and compliance with local regulation. Lawyers represent clients before the Radio-TV National Council, the Ministry of Press and Media and Administrative Authorities.    


TIER 1

A & K Metaxopoulos & Partners   

Bahas, Gramatidis & Partners

Cocalis & Psarras

Bernitsas Law                 

Tsoukala & Partners Law Firm     


TIER 2

Ballas, Pelecanos & Associates       

Calavros and Partners

Drakopoulos Law Firm

Dryllerakis & Associates                                       

Kyriakides Georgopoulos

Nikolinakos, Lardas & Associates                     

Zepos & Yannopoulos          


TIER 3

Avramopoulos & Partners          

Karatzas & Partners                               

Koutalidis Law Firm      

Lambadarios

Mourgelas & Associates

Politis & Partners

Sarantitis Law Firm

V & P Law Firm


TIER 4

Elias Paraskevas Attorneys  

Fortsakis, Diakopoulos, Mylonogiannis & Associates  

PotamitisVekris           

Pistiolis - Triantafyllos & Associates  

Reed Smith     

Vainanidis, Economou & Associates

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