Copyright © Media Law International 2019. All Rights Reserved.
Specialist Guide to the
Global Leaders in Media Law Practice
Media consolidation and streaming-service expansion are among the most notable developments in Lithuania over the past year.
In January 2019, Havas Group finalised its acquisition of a 51 per cent share in the Lithuanian-owned Publicum Group and Estonian-owned Idea Group. Both companies merged in December 2018 to create the largest integrated communications group in the Baltic States.
The merged entity will operate under the brand name of Havas Baltics and will represent the
Havas Group in Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia.
Publicum’s founder Ricardas Jarmalavicius and Idea Group owner Mark Eikner retain their positions and have become Partners at Havas Baltics.
Mr Eikner, said: “Havas’ readiness to integrate
fully into the Baltic market is a great compliment
to our entire team. It means that our long-term work has attracted the attention and trust of a strong global player.”
Lawyers say industry developments mean media lawyers are focussing more on internet and communications laws, and intellectual property.
Liudas Karnickas, Partner at Venckute & Karnickas Law Firm, highlighted broader trends. He said: “From a business perspective we see an ever stronger stance on live streaming news, influencer content and demand for open data.”
In August 2018, HBO launched its services on Telia, Lithuania’s only telecoms company, in a deal that brings exclusive HBO content to the Baltics.
Birjo Kiik, Telia’s Multimedia Content Manager, said: “HBO will enrich Telia’s TV service with its premium original shows. Our customers will be able to enjoy numerous world class TV series, movies and documentaries.”
Sorainen handles a full spectrum of matters connected with media sector cases, inducing tax and IT services, project financing and employment matters. Head of division Stasys Drazdauskas has more than a decade of experience that includes media-related dispute resolution, arbitration and advice on data protection. The firm is appointed by leading media companies including Google, Skype, Modern Times Group and Nordic Gaming.
TGS Baltic has high market visibility, matched by its extensive experience. Managed by Gediminas Lisauskas, the team advises on licensing, regulation, advertising and intellectual property related to broadcasting. In representative work, the firm assisted a leading international entertainment broadcasting group with one of the biggest disputes over the alleged infringement of authors’ rights in Lithuania. In other work the team advised the BBC on a multi-million film finance project.
Ellex Valiunas has a long-standing focus on the media and entertainment industries. Known for its high profile client base, the firm handles complex commercial disputes, advises on non-competition agreements and assists with the sale of television and radio stations. Key partners include Vytautas Mizaras and Jaunius Gumbis whose work involve IP and IT law. In highlighted work the team represented leading Lithuanian basketball players in a complex multi-jurisdictional dispute.
Cobalt has vast involvement in regulatory aspects of media sector cases. The team advises on regulatory frameworks of electronic communications and broadcasting. Lawyers also assist with copyright, privacy, licensing and data protection. Irmantas Norkus, who manages the practice, has 15 years of experience advising high-profile clients. The firm’s clients include radio, television and print media companies.
Glimstedt assists media and telecoms operators with online defamation, advertising and e-commerce. The team drafts privacy policies, internal corporate documentation relation to technology, data protection and planning strategies. Other areas of work include advice on juridical and extra-judicial settlements of disputes. Led by litigation specialist Egidijus BernotasEgidijus Bernotas, the team handles cross-border regulatory issues and acts for institutional investors.
Primus is active in multiple cases relating to broadcasting. The firm is appointed by a number of Estonian radio and television broadcasting companies in relation to licensing, operation of stations, IP matters and dispute resolution. Led by Gediminas Pranevičius, the team acted for Estonian cable operator Starman in negotiations with television network operator Levira. The case involved the establishment of a digital terrestrial television network.
AAA Law’s media work stems from its focus on intellectual property and technology. Managing partner Otilija Klimaitienė leads the team in its work on intellectual property management and protection, advice on author’s rights and defense of breached rights. The team also handles online disputes, data protection and the regulation of e-commerce and electronic advertising.
The media and communications team at Eversheds Saladžius advises on national and EU regulatory compliance and notably on convergence in telecommunications, broadcasting and online segments. Clients include a US-based data communications distributor and a British television quiz producer.
Ranking and editorials
Leadell Balčiūnas & Grajauskas
Venckutė & Karnickas
RANKING AND EDITORIALS