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Specialist Guide to the

Global Leaders in Media Law Practice


A pledge from  Ireland’s Justice Minster to reform  defamation law could mean significant  legislative changes before the end of 2020.

Charlie Flanagan announced plans for a reform this year, given the “clear demand for review” of the existing laws implemented more than a decade ago.

David Phelan, Partner at Hayes Solicitors, said: “Ireland remains a very active jurisdiction for defamation claims, given the plaintiff-friendly regime which still pertains here.”

Mr Phelan continued: “A review of the Defamation Act 2009 has been carried out by the Government this year, and may perhaps lead to some much needed change.”  

Commenting on other significant developments, Mr Phelan said: “Ongoing transactional activity during the year has meant a significant amount of copyright and other IP work.”

He added: “While our work spans a broad range of sectors, we have been particularly active in media, advertising, sports and entertainment.”

Lawyers say GDPR continues to be high on client agendas. A new survey shows that only 8 per cent of Irish organisations believe they are fully compliant with EU regulations.

Findings of the GDPR Survey 2020, jointly published by McCann FitzGerald and Mazars, show that organisations are struggling to comply with regulations.

Around 62 per cent of respondents say that the regulations place excessive administrative burden on them.


McCann FitzGeralds internal collaborative approach creates broad sector and service focus. The firm’s specialisation in media defence, commercial litigation, privacy and internet liability is driven by department head Karyn Harty. The team works on numerous defamation actions on behalf of a range of clients, UK- and US-based. Over the past year, the firm has advised on contractual disputes and regulatory challenges, and has worked with clients including Buzzfeed, ITN and Twitter.

Ronan Daly Jermyns areas of expertise include defamation, privacy and contempt of law. Lawyers acts for print, broadcast and digital media clients on media mergers, advertising, copyright and regulation.

The firm advises print, online and radio entities within the Landmark Media Group and several regional newspaper titles.

William Fry has a “strong reputation in the area of defamation”. Clients highlight the firm as one of Ireland’s leading media law practices. Head of defamation and privacy Fiona Barry is described by clients as “thoughtful, responsive and provides pragmatic advice”. Head of media Ken Casey advises on a range of issues including entertainment, social media and data protection. The firm acts for clients including UTV, BBC, Daily Mail Group and Sky.


Arthur Cox has an established media practice with cross-border capability. Working from its Belfast and London offices, the firm advises on music, film, television and advertising. Under the leadership of Colin Kavanagh the team advised Savage Productions on the financing and production of various film and television projects. The team also assisted RTÉ Networks with regulatory aspects of third party broadcasting.

A&L Goodbody’s media team operates under the management of the firm’s IP and technology division. Areas of specialisation include broadcast, entertainment, publishing and online media. Lawyers advise on regulation, content licensing and copyright disputes.

With a dedicated sports law division, Mason Hayes & Curran lawyers regularly advise broadcasters, sponsors, sports-governing bodies, investors and athletes. Related focus areas include reputation management, personality and image rights along with dispute resolution.  Working from a separate TMT division, media lawyers work with leading social media and search organisations on matters ranging from first round funding and strategic outsourcing partnerships to intellectual property management.

The media and entertainment division at Philip Lee specialises in film and television. Lawyers assist with feature films, animation series and television drama produced in Ireland. The team also advises on Ireland’s tax incentive for film and online distributed productions. Led by Jonathan Kelly, the practice is recognised among peers for its high visibility in sector-related cases.

Primarily a defence practice, Simon McAleese is among the country’s leading libel specialists. The media team acts for newspapers, magazine and book publishers, radio stations and independent television production companies. The firm is also known for its work in the area of data protection, copyright and reputation management.    


Rachel Shanley manages the media division at Eugene F. Collins, which is known for its focus on traditional media content providers such as radio and television broadcasters. The team also provides pre-publication advice and litigates on behalf of clients in cases of defamation and privacy.

Johnsons is gaining recognition among peers, who highlight the firm for its increased visibility in media cases. Under the management of Paul Tweed, the team achieved record damages for plaintiff clients while representing national newspapers and publishers. The firm also works with clients from the music, sports and entertainment industries.

LK Shields lawyers have extensive experience advising on corporate transactions. The firm acted for Communicorp Group Limited, the largest radio operator in Ireland, in its acquisitions of foreign radio stations. In a separate case lawyers advised Alpha Newspaper Group with its acquisition of various newspapers. Other focus areas include film financing and production, music rights and defamation.

Lawyers at Matheson have in-depth experience advising on libel, contempt of court, freedom of expression and privacy laws. With a dedicated entertainment and media group, the firm is widely involved in contractual and financing arrangements for feature films and television programming. Head of division Ruth Hunter also advises on sector-related equity and tax-based arrangements.


Beauchamps Solicitors specialises in advertising, digital media and sponsorship. The team provides advice on content, online marketing, copyright protection as well as clearance advice on advertising copy. The practice is known for transactional work, sports law and product law.


The media division at DFMG Solicitors works within the firm’s intellectual property department, focussing on film finance, privacy and sponsorship and advertising agreements. Lawyers also advise on data protection and copyright.


McCann FitzGerald

Ronan Daly Jermyn

William Fry


Arthur Cox

A&L Goodbody

Hayes Solicitors

Mason Hayes & Curran

Philip Lee

Simon McAleese  



Eugene F. Collins

Dillon Eustace


LK Shields





DFMG Solicitors

Eversheds Sutherland

Gleeson McGrath Baldwin


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