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Copyright © Media Law International 2017. All Rights Reserved.

Specialist Guide to the

Global Leaders in Media Law Practice

Media plurality, politics and blocked acquisitions form part of the past year’s media activity that is shaping trends and developments.    


Hungary’s most influential opposition newspaper Nepszabadsag, which is critical of President Viktor Orban's right-wing populist government, was suspended. It’s owners cited low sales while journalists attributed the publication’s halt to wider media suppression.


Mediaworks Hungary Zrt, which owns the left-wing broadsheet, Nepszabadsag, was subsequently sold to the Budapest-listed Opimus Group, according to a statement posted on the Budapest Stock Exchange website on 25 October 2016.


One media lawyer said: “It has been a  turbulent market. The Hungarian government continues its efforts to try to take over the media or control it. They are oppressing the media as much as they can under EU regulation - online and off line.”

In February 2017, the Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) blocked the proposed acquisition of online content provider and advertising business Central Digital Media by Magyar RTL Televízió, the country’s biggest commercial television broadcaster.


The proposed deal, which included a 30 per cent holding and management rights in Central Digital Media, was submitted to the NMHH in

October 2016.


The acquisition was first opposed on 24 January this year by the Hungarian Media Council (NMHH) on grounds of media plurality.

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

Led by Viktor Vasi, the TMT practice at Forgó, Damjanovic & Partners has a strong track record of working with multinational media companies including radio and television networks. In highlighted work, lawyers acted for a leading Hungarian television channel in a high value lawsuit with an external programme producer. The firm also has a niche focus on gaming and extensive experience working with online and land-based gaming clients.


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.


Morley Allen & Overy 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

Established in 2012, boutique firm Anna Beke-Martos is focussed exclusively on media, entertainment and intellectual properly. Founding partner Anna Beke-Martos has an in-depth understanding of advertising and consumer protection laws, barriers to entry to the linear and non-linear European markets and data protection. In highlighted work, the team negotiated, structured and drafted a complex television format deal.


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.

Ranking and editorials

TIER 1

CMS  

Lakatos, Köves and Partners

Oppenheim  


TIER 2

Forgó, Damjanovic & Partners

Hegymegi-Barakonyi és Tarsa Baker McKenzie

Lendvai and Partners

Morley Allen & Overy Iroda


TIER 3

bpv Jádi Németh Attorneys at Law

Horváth & Partners DLA Piper

Knight Bird & Bird Iroda

Partos & Noblet - Associated with Hogan Lovells

PRK Partners

Réti, Antall & Partners  


TIER 4

Anna Beke-Martos

Balazs & Kovatsits Legal Partnership

Dentons

Kinstellar  

VJT & Partners

Siegler Law Office/Weil, Gotshal & Manges

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