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Specialist Guide to the

Global Leaders in Media Law Practice

While the market grapples with the consequences of media concentration, wider industry growth in television has increased the level of competition.


Content being crucial, lawyers say fierce competition is expected in the streaming market with HBO GO among those with increased VOD subscription, and plans to grow in Hungary through to 2024.


Vodafone plans to launch its OTT service this year after completing its acquisition of UPC Hungary in August last year. From April 2020, UPC Hungary will operate under the Vodafone brand.


Other developments include plans to boost the film and television industries through content expansion. Hungarian Film Commissioner, Csaba Káel, aims to integrate these industries while boosting the capacity of what is already Europe’s second-biggest production hub, after the UK.


Mr Káel assumed the role of Film Commissioner in September last year. He revealed plans to expand the Mafilm Studio complex near Budapest, to open within three years.

He said: “We need more studio space. These [studios] are booked by the big international productions and there are not enough studios for the Hungarian productions.”


Wider industry concerns about media ownership and independance have escalated during the rule of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who owns around 85 per cent of the media.


Reporters Without Borders found “a degree of media control unprecedented in an EU Union member state”.


Reporters Without Borders published the conclusions of joint research with press freedom organisations in December 2019, calling on EU authorities to take action.


TIER 1

CMS houses one of the largest TMT groups in the country. Working with its UK office, the local team assisted a Polish telecommunications operator with the launch of its satellite-based television platform. The team, managed by Dóra Petrányi, works on wider sector-related matters such as advertising tax, regulatory compliance and disputes.


Media lawyers at Lakatos, Köves and Partners provide "timely and pro-active responses”. The team is also described by clients as proactive and reliable. Péter Lakatos manages the TMT group working on transactional cases connected with cable television, radio, print and online media.

 

Oppenheim’s industry commitment is evidenced by its media, publishing and entertainment practice group. Covering contentious and non-contentious work, the team advises on contract negotiations, licensing and disputes. Attila Terényi is among key contacts for media, with knowledge of data protection, copyright and commercial transactions.


TIER 2

Intellectual property is the primary focus of Hegymegi-Barakonyi és Tarsa Baker McKenzie. The team advises a range of clients including games and software producers, television production companies and publishers. Managed by Zoltán Hegymegi-Barakonyi, lawyers regularly assist clients from the audio-visual sector on matters ranging from license agreements to litigation.


Lendvai and Partners is one of Hungary’s leading media specialists focussed on corporate transactions. Founding partner András Lendvai takes the lead on high profile cases including the cross-border acquisition of a Czech newspaper distributor by the Hungarian subsidiary of a global media company. The team also assisted a London-based television broadcaster on infringement of a television series title.


Lengyel Allen & Overy Ügyvédi Iroda works with audio-visual sector clients, advising on cross-border transactions. The Budapest team is backed by the firm’s global network of lawyers and works closely with neighbouring CEE regions. Key practitioner Hugh Owen represents international clients and has particular experience advising on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and takeovers.


TIER 3

bpv Jádi Németh Attorneys at Law specialises in info communications and media. The firm advises on wide-ranging issues from sector-related transactions and licensing activities to marketing and regulatory matters. Krisztina Ivanics manages the media pracftice, which works closely with the copyright and data privacy department that is led by Andrea Jádi Németh. Other areas of advice include data processing, digital software and e-commerce.


Focussing on corporate, regulatory and anti-trust matters, PRK Partners’ media and telecommunications division is notably active in all three areas of work. The firm served as counsel to a regional television broadcaster in proceedings involving an intellectual property dispute against a telecommunications operator. The team also advised Ringier Axel Springer on the acquisition of a majority stake in Azet.sk, the most visited internet portal in Slovak.


TIER 4

Balazs & Kovatsits Legal Partnership has a good track record advising on copyright matters connected with software, literary works and compositions. The team has extensive experience drafting license contracts and advising on e-commerce, data protection and competition law.  


Copyright and data protection are among core focus areas at VJT & Partners. The team advises global media and entertainment companies on local data protection policy, advertising and marketing. Key practitioners János Tamás and Varga Gábor Hacsi also have extensive experience advising on the transfer and assignment of copyright.

TIER 1

CMS  

Lakatos, Köves and Partners

Oppenheim  


TIER 2

Dentons

Hegymegi-Barakonyi és Tarsa Baker McKenzie

Horváth & Partners DLA Piper

Lendvai and Partners

Lengyel Allen & Overy Ügyvédi Iroda


TIER 3

bpv Jádi Németh Attorneys at Law

Knight Bird & Bird Iroda

Partos & Noblet - Associated with Hogan Lovells

PRK Partners


TIER 4

Balazs & Kovatsits Legal Partnership

Kinstellar  

VJT & Partners

Réti, Antall & Partners  

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