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Specialist Guide to the

Global Leaders in Media Law Practice

Data breaches, a surge in mobile internet penetration and television expansion are among core market developments in Hong Kong over the past year.


High-profile data breaches in the region led to the long-anticipated data privacy law reform. This has made enforcement a priority for Hong Kong’s regulator, according to a report issued in April 2020 by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data.


Hong Kong’s Cable Television expanded its i-Cable mobile OTT services in June 2020. This introduced an enhanced version of its mobile application, by adding two free television channels, Hong Kong Open TV and Hong Kong International Business Channel.


Lawyers say broadcasters are recognising the systemic change in consumer behaviour from DTH

to OTT, which has led to expansive viewing capabilities across multiple devices, and consequential business opportunities.


Other developments include the rebranding of

DDMC Fortis, the agency with the exclusive mandate to market Asian Football Confederation commercial rights between 2021 to 2028. DDMC Fortis rebranded as Football Marketing Asia in

June last year.


Football Marketing Asia rights begin in March 2021, after matches were postponed due to Covid-19.


TIER 1

Baker McKenzie has in-depth knowledge of the entertainment, communications and e-commerce industries. The team has exceptional experience advising on legal and commercial matters, including complex technology licensing and regulatory issues, cross-border mergers and acquisitions and outsourcing. Practice leader Milton W. M. Cheng manages the team, working across a range of industry cases, with global and domestic clients.


Bird & Birds media group includes sports and digital business as core focus areas. The TMT practice also works with multiple mobile game publishers. Head of division Justin Walkey, who has been based in Hong Kong since 2012, works closely with Michelle Chan on local and regional cases with commercial, regulatory and intellectual property aspects. The team also advises on corporate and transactional matters.


Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison is “able to deliver reliable, punchy and responsive advice and execute our deals within deadlines” noted one client. The firm is highlighted favourably by clients who also describe the team as responsive and knowledgeable. Department head Jeanette Chan is praised for “going the extra mile to make deals happen”.


TIER 2

Working with clients from the creative industries, Deacons has particular experience advising on recording and publishing arrangements, agency and management contracts, distribution and co-production. Led by Charmaine Koo, the team also advises on the purchase, financing and restructuring of media companies.


The intellectual property and commercial practice of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer works across a range of commercial and transactional projects. Head of the firm’s Asia practice Richard Bird advises on contentious intellectual property matters, e-commerce and internet-related cases. The team also assists with privacy matters, advertising and regulation.  


Haldanes acts for overseas record companies, television and film production companies, event promoters and artists. Under the leadership of John McLellan, who manages the commercial, media and entertainment practice, the team assists with financing, licensing and distribution and artist and talent agreements. Other areas of emphasis include sports and theatrical productions, advertising and copyright.


Hogan Lovells acts for entertainment companies, broadcasters and investors. The team is known for its exceptional knowledge of media regulation and copyright licensing. Lawyers also provide telecommunications regulatory advice in cases involving acquisitions in China and Hong Kong. Managing partner Owen Chan leads the TMT practice, which also represents gaming and e-commerce companies.   


Morrison & Foerster primarily advises on business transactions and disputes involving copyrightable materials. Lawyers regularly work with clients from the entertainment industry on all aspects of copyright protection and management. While advising on multimedia products, the team also works closely with clients from the film, theatre, music and publishing segments.  


Data privacy and cyber security specialist Squire Patton Boggs advises on commercial agreements, international data protection and litigation. Led by James S. Tsang the team assists local and regional clients with international business. Lawyers also advise on regulatory policy and legislative issues affecting public and private sector clients.


TIER 3

King & Wood Mallesons focusses on the sports and TMT sectors. The multidisciplinary team routinely advises on commercial, regulatory and outsourcing transactions. The team assists clients with joint ventures, private equity investments and handles dispute resolution.


TIER 4

The media team at Stephenson Harwood advises on regulatory and outsourcing transactions. Led by managing partner Voon Keat Lai, the team advises on corporate matters including IPOs and work closely with the firm’s commercial practice group, providing cross-practice advice. The team also assists with intellectual property licensing.

TIER 1

Baker McKenzie

Bird & Bird

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison


TIER 2

Deacons

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Haldanes

Hogan Lovells

Morrison & Foerster

Squire Patton Boggs  


TIER 3

King & Wood Mallesons

Norton Rose Fulbright

Pinsent Masons

Reed Smith Richards Butler

Vivien Chan & Co.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges


TIER 4

Herbert Smith Freehills

Liu, Shen & Associates

Mayer Brown

Simmons & Simmons

Stephenson Harwood


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