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Specialist Guide to the

Global Leaders in Media Law Practice

Legislative changes and media acquisitions are among the most significant industry developments over the past year in the Netherlands.


Changes to the EU’s revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive in November 2018 include reinforced independence of regulators and increased flexibility in television advertising.


The directive also includes provisions for the increased obligations to promote European works for on-demand services.


Bas Le Poole, Co-Founding Partner at Le Poole Bekema, said: “Future legislation is also a hot

topic in The Netherlands. First of all, a renewed version of the Directive Audiovisual Media Services has been accepted by the EU.”


Mr Le Poole added: “Another piece of future legislation is the European proposal for a new copyright Directive, the Digital Single Market Directive. This legislation will introduce a neighbouring right for press publishers, a solution

for the value-gap problem between online platforms and right holders, and possibly a neighbouring

right for organisers of sports events.”


In other news, Dutch TV and video is part of substantial growth as networks expand into OTT services. In June 2018, Sony Pictures launched Film1 as a direct-to-customer subscription service.


In May 2018, RTL Nederland announced plans to increase its investment in VOD services after launching three new VOD platforms in the first  

quarter of the year. Bert Habets, CEO of RTL Group said the company’s investment will have a “clear focus on local, exclusive content”.


In transactional activity, Talpa Network agreed to purchase news agency ANP.


Talpa Network owner John De Mol announced the agreement in a statement in March 2018. Mr De Mol commented: ‘Talpa Network is becoming the large, modern cross-media company on the Dutch market. With the acquisition of ANP we are adding another important link. And ANP is the strongest brand when it comes to speed and accuracy.’


In other news, lawyers say there is great emphasis on fake news in the Netherlands, as is the case in other parts of the world.


Mr Le Poole explained: “In the Netherlands, we see that a lot of media businesses, and natural persons, focus on fake news and the ways in which they can combat this, which includes initiating legal proceedings.”


He added: “We also noted that the main focus of all media businesses has been content. Media businesses are investing more and more in creating good and unique content that is distributed through cross-media platforms.”

NETHERLANDS

TIER 1

Brinkhof Advocaten’s leading position is derived from its comprehensive coverage of media law, from press law and sports to advertising and entertainment. Remy Chavannes and Pepijn van Ginneken are among experts handling national and international cases that involve strategic commercial and contractual aspects. The team also advices on production and distribution matters and handles litigation.


Kennedy Van der Laan is a distinguished name in the legal market, noted for its specialist advice on IP and media law. Freedom of speech and copyright law are among core focus areas of the firm. Jens van den Brink manages the division and is recognised for his extensive experience acting for national and international broadcasters, newspaper and book publishers, television producers as well as technology companies and network operators.


The media team at Le Poole Bekema has experience spanning decades. The boutique practice represents clients including Telegraaf Media, RTL Nederland and NOS. Joint founders Bas Le Poole and Anne Bekema also advice on intellectual property rights and work closely with law firm Houthoff Buruma on Supreme Court litigation.  


A composition of highly experience lawyers, Visser Schaap & Kreijger is a leading firm for media, competition and IP legal advice. Jacqueline Schaap is the firm’s freedom of speech expert who has been involved in pioneering cases regarding the use of hidden cameras and programme listings. Working with Dirk Visser, Ms Schaap advises on film contracts and handles disputes relating to television broadcasting. Joint founder Paul Kreijger advises on regulation, data protection and electronic media.


TIER 2

Bird & Bird’s strength in media is rarely disputed. The practice handles high profile defamation cases involving public figures, assists international entertainment networks with acquisitions of multiple television channels and represents public broadcasters in injunction proceedings. Olaf Trojan co-manages the media division and handles a range of cases involving his core areas of specialisation - misleading advertising and freedom of expression.


Media and intellectual property boutique firm Boekx Advocaten has significant experience litigation on behalf of celebrities and private individuals in cases of defamation, libel and image rights. Established in 2005, the practice has a strong client base that includes newspaper and magazine publishers, internet companies, television networks and advertisers. Founding partners Marc de Boer and Matthijs Kaaks have extensive experience with corporate and commercial transactions in the publishing segment and multimedia organisations involved in cable television.


Hans Bousie and Christiaan Alberdingk Thijm lead the media division at bureau Brandeis. The team is well known for handling complex litigation - local and international. The lawyers of bureau Brandeis have thorough knowledge of media & entertainment law. Hans Bousie is often consulted in complex cases for his outstanding knowledge of the music industry. Christiaan Alberdingk Thijm is both a trusted advisor of major media clients as well as an experienced litigator. The lawyers of bureau Brandeis primarily focus on technology, publishing, music and film - and have notable experience in all fields.


De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek has a distinguished reputation for its sector dedication. Highly regarded by peers, the practice provides advice on a full range of media and entertainment matters. The team, managed by Tobias Cohen Jehoram, has extensive litigation experience nationally and globally. In highlighted work the lawyers assisted Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) with a broad range of sports law matters including image rights, television rights and transfer issues.


Lawyers at Hoogenraad & Haak have in-depth knowledge of digital media, film, television, music and social media. The team advises on content-driven collaborations and proceedings for publishers, artists and producers of music.


Van Kaam’s media division is managed by Bertil van Kaam and Remco Klöters, who have a distinguished reputation for successful defence in cases of defamation. As noted by one client, “They are thorough negotiators, very knowledgeable in the field of civil defamation cases and have an excellent track record in these matters.” The firm also successfully represented RTL Nederland in summary injunction proceedings related to a television production.


TIER 3

Baker McKenzie’s assistance in the area of media law includes advertising, market regulation, defamation and unfair competition. Ischa Gobius du Sart works on cases handled by the IP and media practice group, which include multi-jurisdictional transactions.  


Entertainment, advertising and copyright feature as core practice areas at De Vos & Partners. The mid-sized practice is involved in test cases involving copyright protection of digital products and the portrait rights of paid footballers in connection with broadcasting images of football matches on television.


Houthoff maintains a strong local position with cable and telecommunications at the core of its focus. With experience advising on regulatory matters, lawyers supervise projects involving The Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM). Thomas de Weerd manages the TMT division which is appointed by national and international publishers, film and television production companies.


Hoyng Rokh Monégier covers new media, entertainment and advertising. Joris Van Manen manages the firm’s media and IP practice in Amsterdam and advises on matters including copyright and regulation. Mr Van Manen leads the team in significant cases connected with television formats, database rights, online betting and unfair competition.


TIER 4

Alvin Khodabaks manages the Amsterdam TMT division of Clifford Chance, which provides transactional and regulatory advice on mergers and acquisitions, compliance, antitrust and competition. The firm focusses on cross-border work connected with sports, intellectual property, public policy and regulation.


Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer specialises in all aspects of media, IP and IT. The Amsterdam office, which is managed by Harald Spruit, has a primary focus on corporate and transactional matters. Working on multi-jurisdictional cases, the team assists media clients on issues including regulation, data protection and advertising law.  


International media work at Greenberg Traurig includes entertainment, gaming, sports and marketing. The firm’s local emphasis on media incorporates copyright law, contractual aspects and litigation. Radboud Ribbert leads the IP and entertainment group. He specialises in copyright law and is known for his litigation experience. Peter van Langeveld is also highlighted for his work with gaming industry clients.


International firm NautaDutilh has a long-standing presence in the market with offices in neighbouring jurisdictions. Piet Sippens Groenewegen leads the firm’s TMT practice group, providing clients with over two decades of experience of advising and litigating in commercial and regulatory matters.


TIER 5

CMS focusses on sports and data protection, with a separate division for each. Sports is among the firm’s core areas of expertise. Lawyers assist with sponsoring, portrait rights or transfers. Michiel van Dijk and Robert Jan Dil work on a range of sector-related cases that include privacy and copyright elements.


Stibbe’s TMT group is organised through the firm’s three Benlux offices, providing cross-border coordinated advice. Lawyers include key practitioners Judica Krikke and Erik Valgaeren who advise on matters ranging from broadcasting rights and sector-related tax to regulation and commercial contracting.


Top

Ranking and editorials

TIER 1

Brinkhof Advocaten

Kennedy Van der Laan

Le Poole Bekema

Visser Schaap & Kreijger


TIER 2

Bird & Bird

Boekx Advocaten

bureau Brandeis

De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek

Hoogenraad & Haak  

Van Kaam


TIER 3  

Allen & Overy

Baker McKenzie

De Vos & Partners  

Höcker Advocaten

Houthoff

Hoyng Rokh Monégier


TIER 4

Clifford Chance

Dikhoff Van Dongen

DLA Piper

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Greenberg Traurig

Leeway

NautaDutilh  


TIER 5

CMS

Hofhuis Alkema Groen

SOLV

Simmons & Simmons

Stibbe

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