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Specialist Guide to the

Global Leaders in Media Law Practice

New Zealand’s interactive media industry is worth NZD1 billion and is one of the fastest growing segments of the country’s digital economy.


A report was published in August last year showing accelerated growth.  The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and NZTech supported the New Zealand Game Developers Association in developing the report, Interactive Aotearoa: Driving growth and wellbeing through interactive media.


Findings show that the sector has grown by 39% annually over the past six years, creating a USD143 million industry.


Phil Twyford, Economic Development Minister, said: “The opportunities in interactive media are significant and our Government wants to see the sector continue to strengthen and grow. “Whether it’s through game development, digital story-telling, augmented reality, education technology or health

applications, interactive media is one of the fastest growing parts of the digital economy both here and around the world.”


Cassandra Gray, Chairperson of the New Zealand Game Developers Association, explained that interactive media combines the technology sector and creative industries, which are two of the countries strengths.


She commented: “Our aspirational, yet achievable, goal is to see New Zealand become a billion-dollar exporter of interactive media, sitting alongside our successful film and software sectors. We’ve made a strong start, but our sector is still young and growing.”

TIER 1

Media law specialist Bell Gully represents clients across print and broadcast sectors advising on defamation, intellectual property and mergers and acquisitions. The media and entertainment practice advises on film and television, representing international film production companies on a full range of legal issues arising from their New Zealand-based productions, including tax and fiscal incentives. Alan Ringwood is the firm’s leading lawyer specialising in defamation law, commercial litigation and dispute resolution.  


Buddle Findlay’s team works with private and public sectors clients on television and film production, radio and print media. Lawyers regularly advise on licensing, format, distribution, and output deals for programmes. Representative work includes assistance to Sky on programming deals for pay television including significant deals with ESPN, Fox Studios, Disney and MGM.


Chapman Tripp is visible across a range of cases, working with publishers and broadcasters on advertising and audio-visual matters. In highlighted work the TMT group assisted Spark with the establishment of its video-on-demand initiatives. Lawyers also represented ACP Media Limited in High Court defamation proceedings brought against its North & South publication. Other work involves assistance with co-production funding and production agreements.


Boutique firm Hudson Gavin Martin specialises in corporate and commercial aspects of media, intellectual property and technology. Simon Martin works with the team on cases of joint ventures, technology licensing and acquisitions. Lawyers have extensive experience in negotiating media contracts for franchising, sponsorship, licensing of content and the appearance of celebrities in videos, films and events.


TIER 2

Focussed on entertainment, Dominion Law acts for clients ranging from internationally successful artists in the music industry and film studios to first-time film producers. The team includes commercial lawyers who have particular expertise in the creative industries and handle contract negotiations and advise on all areas of rights exploitation.


Minter Ellison Rudd Watts focusses on film and entertainment. Lawyers advise on financing productions, content distribution and regulatory challenges. Working with domestic and international clients, the team assists with various stages of business from negotiation and implementation to operational issues and exits.


Simpson Grierson regularly advises on copyright licensing within the music and technology sectors. Lawyers have extensive experience assisting with lobbying and the implementation of digital copyright amendments. In highlighted work, the firm represented Seven Network on contract disputes relating to images in magazines imported into New Zealand. In other work the practice assisted Sony Music with enforcement and licensing of music repertoire.


TIER 3

Izard Weston’s media and entertainment practice is appointed by private and public sector media organisations and public figures. Lawyers represent clients in defamation disputes involving injunctions, suppression orders and breaches of privacy. On behalf of publishers and broadcasters, the team reviews newspaper and magazine articles, advertisements, manuscripts and television and film productions prior to publication or broadcast.


Top

TIER 1

Bell Gully

Buddle Findlay

Chapman Tripp

Hudson Gavin Martin


TIER 2

Dominion Law

Minter Ellison Rudd Watts

Simpson Grierson


TIER 3

Izard Weston

Russell McVeagh

Wilson Harle


TIER 4

AJ Park

Anthony Harper

Baldwins

Dentons Kensington Swan

James & Wells

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