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Specialist Guide to the
Global Leaders in Media Law Practice
The past year has been eventful for Greece, from plans for television license tenders and changing advertising tax structures to fiscal austerity measures that impact the wider economy.
The government also aims to generate revenue through the issuance of 4G and 5G licenses. But while fiscal austerity measures affect economic growth, the financial sustainability of media outlets has become questionable - as has media pluralism and independence after a fall in newspaper circulation and increased reliance on advertising.
Lawyers say the market is adjusting to structural changes caused by the advertising regime, which became effective in July 2015 and restricted advertising agencies from claiming a 10 per cent rebate from their annual advertising revenue.
Mr Metaxopoulos explained: “I don’t think in the long term the volume of advertising will change, what will change is the structure of the market.”
He added: “It will limit, to an extent, the interaction and integration between media and advertising companies which is very important because one of the problems that existed is exactly that very grey area between these two levels of the market.”
As the market debates capital control, many believe restrictions for moving money outside of the country will remain until the second half of 2016, according to Bloomberg research published in October 2015.
Other important developments over the past year include the reinstatement of ERT, the country’s state broadcaster, which closed in June 2013 and was later replaced by NERIT the following year in May.
According to Media Policy and Independent Journalism in Greece, a report published in May 2015 by the Open Society Foundations, ERT’s closure left the audio-visual market with a pluralism deficit as it was the only broadcaster with a legal obligation to provide objective and unbiased news coverage.
The Syriza party made the reinstatement of ERT a pledge in last year’s election, which it won.
A & K Metaxopoulos & Partners has a high profile reputation and corresponding client base. The media team is described by clients as “extremely professional and always delivers on objectives without exception”. The firm has strengthened its position with clients Thomson Reuters, Fromageries Bel, Hospira and Conde Nast and acquired new domestic clients including Mad Melody and 14 Music Co. Working with Irini Daroussou, managing partner Kriton Metaxopoulos advised a music content provider on agreements with licensors, musical authors and artists. Other work handled by the firm includes rights disputes and television advertising restrictions.
Media law specialist Dimitris Emvalomenos manages the commercial practice at Bahas, Gramatidis & Partners. Its primary focus is on intellectual property, data protection, licensing and e-commerce. Lawyers also have significant experience working on distribution and franchise agreements. The firm has a long-standing presence, dating back to 1970 and is recognised for providing high quality advice to local and global clients.
Active in the electronics sector, Cocalis & Psarras is a leading choice for digital media matters. The firm’s members served on the Board of Directors of the first pay television platform and have advised on matters ranging from broadcasting licensing to competition law. Head of department Alkiviades C. Psarras and his team have extensive experience advising on business and regulatory matters.
M & P Bernitsas Law Offices is held in high regard by its competitors. The firm’s leading position is attributed to its diverse sector coverage. Lawyers have extensive experience assisting with media sector commercial agreements, including production, transmission and advertising agreements. The team also advises on media sponsorship contracts and advertising restrictions.
Libel and privacy specialist Tsoukala & Partners is described by clients as “prompt and efficient”. Head of the TMT division Eleni Tsoukala is “extremely capable of handling complex, multi-jurisdictional transactions”. The full-service firm represents clients in libel cases, assists with corporate transactions and advices on regulatory matters.
Ballas, Pelecanos & Associates focusses on media, advertising and data protection. The firm combines intellectual property and communications providing multidisciplinary advice. Managed by George Ballas, the team advises on contentious and non-contentious matters locally and abroad.
Calavros and Partners routinely assists clients with all legal aspects of copyright development, acquisition and protection. Lawyers work with broadcasting companies and telecommunications corporations. Co-founding partner Artemis Tsilika is the firm’s key contact specialising in intellectual property law at consultation and litigation level.
Lawyers at Drakopoulos Law Firm have significant experience assisting with licensing and technology transfer agreements. The team advises clients from the entertainment and publishing sectors on advertising, unfair competition and new media. With offices in Greece, Romania and Albania, the firm has an established presence locally and in Southeast Europe.
The media and entertainment department at Avramopoulos & Partners handles litigation and content-related disputes on behalf of newspapers, magazines, film and television production companies and advertising agencies. Lawyers advise international studios and domestic production companies on matters ranging from film financing, tax planning and copyright.
Mourgelas & Associates specialises in the media and advertising sectors. Lawyers assist with marketing and communication matters including regulation and policy. The firm also has a separate sports practice representing Greek and international athletes and agents on legislative, regulatory and contractual matters. Other areas of work include extrajudicial settlement of claims.
Sarantitis Law Firm acts for television and satellite broadcasters, radio stations, newspapers and magazines. Also handling corporate transactions, the group advises on the acquisition of media corporations and compliance with local regulation. Lawyers represent clients before the Radio-TV National Council, the Ministry of Press and Media and Administrative Authorities.
A & K Metaxopoulos & Partners
Bahas, Gramatidis & Partners
Cocalis & Psarras
Tsoukala & Partners Law Firm
Ballas, Pelecanos & Associates
Calavros and Partners
Drakopoulos Law Firm
Dryllerakis & Associates
Nikolinakos, Lardas & Associates
Zepos & Yannopoulos
Avramopoulos & Partners
Elias Paraskevas Attorneys
Karatzas & Partners
Koutalidis Law Firm
Mourgelas & Associates
Politis & Partners
Sarantitis Law Firm
Pistiolis - Triantafyllos & Associates
Vainanidis, Economou & Associates
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