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Specialist Guide to the
Global Leaders in Media Law Practice
Morocco’s media market is characterised by growth, regulatory improvement and media ownership contention.
In January 2018 Orange Maroc announced the launch of a films and series VOD service after receiving approval from the country’s audiovisual regulator, Autorité de la Communication Audiovisuelle (HACA).
Contributing to market expansion, the service will make films and series available in Arabic, French and English. The launch is expected to take place in December 2018, with approval from the HACA for an initial period of three years.
Meanwhile legislative reform that took place in August 2016 is reshaping the legal and business environment. Media reform focussed on the establishment of freedom of information and the development of a pluralistic environment.
Lawyers say the market is adapting to the ”improved legal framework” but legislation must go further to protect press freedom. With the use of vague language, legislators provide latitude for interpretation.
The topic of media ownership was reignited after a survey by Moroccan news website Le Desk and
Reporters without Borders identified sector participates and their interests outside the media.
The joint survey, titled Media Ownership Monitor Morocco shows that nine out of 36 of Morocco’s most influential media are linked to the state, government or royal family. Findings also show that leading figures from business and financial markets invest in newspapers that do not make a profit, prompting questions about reasons for media investment.
Ali Amar, Le Desk Publisher, commented: “This study confirms that diversity and pluralism are not synonymous.For the first time, a map has been compiled of the ecosystem of Moroccan media outlets that count.”
He added: “It confirms a disturbing tendency for a cartel with common interests to form at the intersection of the political and business worlds, a cartel that is undermining pluralism and therefore media independence.”
Independent firm Bennani & Associés is well regarded by peers for its transactional and litigation specialisations. Co-founding partner Mehdi M. Bennani leads the practice which provides full-service support on sector-related cases involving advertising and unfair competition law. The team also had in-depth knowledge of copyright law.
Managed by Mustapha Mourahib, the team at Clifford Chance predominately works on cross-border cases. The multinational team of lawyers works on multi-sector deals and cases within the TMT industry. Part of an international network, the team is backed by global resources and expertise.
Gide Loyrette Nouel is well established globally and locally. Co-led by Rémy Fekete and Olivier Cousi, the team assists with a range of matters including audio-visual content, copyright law and print media. The TMT department provides multi-dimensional advice to entertainment and advertising.
Copyright specialist Cabinet Aksiman is one of the country's leading firms for intellectual property matters. Lawyers advise on copyright protection, licensing and the acquisition of rights. Founded in 1982, the firm has an extensive experience advising on a broad range of matters that, contentious and non-contentious. The team also includes experienced litigators.
Co-managed by Jose Ignacio García Muniozguren, Spanish firm Garrigues has been present in Morocco for over a decade. The firm’s international focus on media, entertainment and sports equips the local practice with a global network of industry experts. Based in Casablanca, Jaafar Laidi is one of the firm’s key practitioners whose detailed knowledge of media law makes the firm a popular choice among clients. His extensive knowledge of legislation is an asset to the team, which works closely with the firm’s office in Tangier.
Naciri & Associés Allen & Overy provides full-service advice to local and international clients. Under the leadership of Hicham Naciri the team provides cross border advice to local and multinational clients. The firm is notably active in complex transactional and corporate cases. Key practitioners include Yassir Ghorbal who is an experienced litigator.
Ranking and editorials
Bennani & Associés
Gide Loyrette Nouel
Naciri & Associés Allen & Overy
Norton Rose Fulbright
Saba & Co
Sekkat Law Firm
RANKING AND EDITORIALS