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Specialist Guide to the

Global Leaders in Media Law Practice

Cross-boarder exchange of talent has spurred growth in Pakistan’s entertainment industry as television content popularity increases, say lawyers


According to market practitioners, Indian actors have been “vital in encouraging local filmmakers and artists” though television series have outperformed the film industry.


Meanwhile Pakistan’s USD 62 billion agreement with China, which creates a framework of regional connectivity, has deepened China’s footprint in

local media.


Although the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) agreement strengthens industrial and financial cooperation, it has also spurred market expansion across broadcast and print sectors.


Contributing to content expansion, Pakistan’s first-ever Chinese TV drama aired in November last year and was dubbed into Urdu.


The start of 2017 also saw the launch of the first Chinese-language weekly newspaper, Huashang.


Other developments include organisational change to media regulator PEMRA after Absar Alam stepped down as Chairman in December 2017.


Separately, media independence remains a central issue as market participants call for freedom of speech amid censorship in a country described by Freedom House as having ‘powerful military pressured media outlets’.


Seen as hampering free speech, Pakistan enforced the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill (PECB) in September 2016 which gives the authorities broad powers to censor and prosecute online speech.

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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