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Copyright © Media Law International 2019. All Rights Reserved.                                                                                                              

Specialist Guide to the

Global Leaders in Media Law Practice

Pakistan will have a new regulatory authority to govern all forms of media, according to the country’s Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry.


In January 2019, the minister announced that plans to establish the Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority (PMRA) have been finalised.


The new governing body will replace Pakistan Electronic Media and Regulatory Authority, and

will become operational “after due deliberation

by Parliament”.


PMRA will have oversight of print and digital media, with a particular emphasis on social media given the ‘recent surge in the #FakeNews’.


Mr Chaudhry said that under PMRA’s supervision, “No one will be able to defame anyone under the new law.The minister spoke about the necessity of change during a conference in November 2019. He commented: “In Pakistan, media enjoys freedom and is effective too as it can be compared with that of any developed country.”


He continued: “Under the current media regulatory regime, there is a lot of pressure on the


Pakistani media and it is possible that in the coming years the media might have to face even bigger challenges.”


Mr Chaudhry added: “With the arrival of globalisation and artificial intelligence, along with various industries the media industry will also

be affected.”


Speaking of other significant developments, lawyers say high frequency work over the past year includes copyright violations on social media and claims against music infringement.

Daniya Ali Channa, Partner, Ali & Associates: “There were frequent requests from a diverse

range of clients for advice on compliance with broadcasting regulations as well as rules in deceptive marketing practices, comparative advertisement, as well as competition law relating to the marketing of products and services.”


TIER 1

Ali & Associates has leading industry expertise with a high portfolio client base. The firm acts for Disney, TV One, music channel 9XM and Independent Media Corp. In highlighted work the team acted for a subsidiary of Sony Television on the bidding process for exclusive global television rights for Pakistan’s cricket matches, auctioned for the first time for a period of five years. Lawyers have in-depth knowledge of media law and work on cross-sector deals and cases.


RIAA Barker Gillette has two decades of experience in the local legal market, with offices in Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar and Kabul. The firm’s media law focus attracts clients such as Pak Media Communications and Merchant Holdings. Lawyers handle a range of matters involving online media and the music sector, from advisory and transactional to contractual and litigation.


Mandviwalla & Zafar acts for leading broadcasting companies and satellite operators. The team advises on agreements for satellite channels and distribution platforms. Lawyers also advise on regulatory frameworks for establishing television channels.


TIER 2

HaidermotaBNR & Co works closely with its affiliated firm in Dubai, Anjarwala, Collins & Haidermota. The firm’s TMT lawyers work on multiple cases involving corporate and commercial transactions and have significant experience acting for clients in the Middle East, Pakistan, UK and Canada.


Meer & Hasan is one of the region’s most established firms specialising in media law. The firm’s experience includes acting for the BBC in a case of unauthorised representation by a local radio station. In a separate case, lawyers advised on the use of insignias of Pakistan Armed Forces in the popular US television series Homeland, aired by US channel Showtime.


Media sector work at Vellani & Vellani is closely connected with the firm’s intellectual property specialisation. Advising local and international clients, lawyers advise on licensing requirements, the protection of intellectual property rights, investments, regulations and tax.


TIER 3

Founded in 1983, Irfan & Irfan is an established name in the legal market. The firm’s core competence areas are intellectual property, cyber law and e-commerce. Lawyers advise on data protection, online content and copyright. Members of the firm have served on government panels and committees focussed on national laws relating to e-commerce and digital information.


Khursheed Khan’s areas of practice include entertainment, advertising, gaming, theatre and film. With a broad industry focus, the firm’s lawyers advise on television and motion pictures, sports law and joint ventures. The team has in-depth knowledge of digital media, copyright and data protection.  


Top

TIER 1

Ali & Associates

RIAA Barker Gillette

Mandviwalla & Zafar


TIER 2

Ahmed & Qazi

HaidermotaBNR  

LMA Ebrahim Hosain

Meer & Hasan

Vellani & Vellani   


TIER 3

Abraham & Sarwana

Bharucha & Co.

Irfan & Irfan  

Khursheed Khan  


TIER 4

Azam & Rai  

Daudpota International  

Jamil & Jamil  

Qazi Law Offices  


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