Copyright © Media Law International 2017. All Rights Reserved.
Specialist Guide to the
Global Leaders in Media Law Practice
Controversy over media freedom and ownership has been self-imposing as the industry collides with the government.
Anti-concentration plans are among changes to the country’s media landscape as Poland seeks to limit media ownership, a move that would most impact German and US investors.
Polish Deputy Culture Minister Jarosław Sellin said a bill on private media ownership will be ready by Q3 2017.
The proposed bill adds to controversy that was sparked at the beginning of year, when the ruling Law & Justice party enforced legislation that puts the country’s public broadcaster under direct government control.
Other significant developments in the past year include advertising sector growth. This segment is expected to rise in value by 70 per cent to reach USD 1.2 billion, according to a report by PwC. Findings also highlight progress in the video games industry, which is predicted to grow by 35 per cent in three years.
Speaking about wider market trends, Krzysztof Pluta, a partner at Jakubowski Pluta said:
“Generally the media market is developing rapidly and strongly in Poland. This is, of course, connected with the technology revolution giving rise to new publishers on the internet.”
He added: “The market is now divided, no longer dominated like it was in previous years. It is now a market of many different participants.”
The continued importance of copyright, and its impact on the media sector, is also highlighted by industry practitioners.
Karol Kuch, a partner at GWW, explained: “The market connected with mass exploitation is a mess. There are a lot of disputes between users and there is a lot of money changing hands because of the procedure.”
He aded: “Perhaps in two or three years from now we will have the answer [to copyright disputes].”
Baker McKenzie Krzyzowski i Wspólnicy has a strong position nationally and is regularly praised by competitors. manages the Warsaw practice which focusses on copyright and technology. The firm’s multidisciplinary approach brings together a range of sector-related service areas that include commercial law, litigation and unfair competition.
Krzysztof Czyzewski’s leadership drives media activity at . The boutique firm’s sector coverage is admirable. The practice specialises in book publishing, press, entertainment, film and advertising. Lawyers have extensive experience advising on film productions, television formats, protection of journalistic confidentiality and personal data protection.
GWW is widely acknowledged to be one of Poland’s leading advisory practices. The firm acts for clients from film and broadcasting sectors and is praised by peers for its work in these fields. Lawyers include Wojciech Krupa, Wacław Knopkiewicz and Michał Sękowski who are among the firm’s media law specialists. The team advises on the film production and trading in television and marketing rights.
Xawery Konarski earns a place among Poland's most highly regarded individuals. He frequently advises the Polish government on legal issues involving legislative reform.” Co-founder and media law specialist Elżbieta Traple advises multiple Polish and foreign entities operating in the industry.
Domanski Zakrzewski Palinka handles work to “the highest quality and full respect of deadlines.” The firm has a market leading practice that is noted for the quality of its advice. Leading industry figure Aleksandra Auleytner manages the firm’s TMT division and assists with acquisitions in the broadcast sector. The team also advises on games, publishing, television and copyright.
Driven by a focus on sports and intellectual property, Wardyński & Partners is prime choice for sports companies. The practice covers commercial and corporate areas of work on behalf of television and radio broadcasters, operators of digital platforms, advertising agencies and producers of audio-visual recordings. The team includes key practitioners and Paweł Mazut and is renowned for its primary specialisation in copyright law.
lawyers are “extremely knowledgeable, professional and understand business needs,” said one client who added: “We have had nothing but positive outcomes from them.” The team advises television broadcasters on acquisition deals, spin-offs and divestments. In a highlighted case lawyers advised MediaTel on a transaction which involved divesting a non-core asset managed by one of the company's subsidiaries.
With a primarily focus on telecommunications, Chajec, Don-Siemion & Żyto’s work within the TMT sector also includes ongoing advice to one of Poland’s largest private television stations and satellite television platforms. Led by Andrzej Chajec, the team has wide ranging experience including transactional, advisory and regulatory.
The Dentons media group is led by Igor Ostrowski who “has excellent client managing skills“ according to one client while another commented, “I find the performance of Dentons’ office very professional. Memorandums were prepared thoroughly, even if on short notice. The evaluation of time spent on particular works was also satisfactory.” Karol Laskowski is singled out for his advice on intellectual property law. Working with HBO, lawyers advised on its launch of HBO Nordic, a new platform in Scandinavia. The team assisted with licensing and litigation across Poland, Romania, Russia and the UK.
As highlighted by its clients, has “very good knowledge of law and the regulatory environment”. Clients also note the firm’s litigation experience and highlight Cezary Wiśniewski for his skill and adeptness. In representative work, the team advised Bonnier Business Polska on all IP aspects of its acquisition of media company Grupa Bankier from the Dutch Naspers Group. The firm regularly handles cross-broader cases involving broadcasting, data protection and technology contracts.
office is based on attorneys who bring unique insight to the complex transactional matters they handle.” The team’s expansive sector coverage is highlighted by another client who noted: “Weil advised us in the area of broadcasting law, trademarks and copyrights matters. Their media and IP practice was engaged in highly sophisticated due diligence projects, connected with IPO, high yield bond offering, M&A and others.” Head of department Pawel Rymarz manages a range of cases including the sale of a controlling stake in one of Poland’s leading television broadcasters.
leads with TMT/ IP practice group at CMS The firm is known for its advice on user generated content, e-commerce issues and infringement on the internet. Lawyers advise on all aspects of contentious and non-contentious cases.
Led by Ewa Kurowska-Tober, the media division at DLA Piper Water combines commercial and regulatory aspects in cases involving internet law, cloud computing, e-commerce, broadcasting, distribution contracts and licensing agreements. The firm’s global competence and cross-border expertise makes it a relevant component of the legal market and a trusted brand say peers.
Jakubowski & Pluta’s press law focus is matched by its advertising and copyright specialisation. The team works with publishers and radio broadcasters on freedom of expression, publishing corrections and advises on the use of artistic works. The practice is under the leadership of its founders Janusz Jakubowski and Krzysztof Pluta.
Allen & Overy is praised by peers for its IP focus. Key practitioner Magdalena Bartosik is singled out for her expertise with one competitor stating: “Magdalena is experienced IP/ TMT lawyer advising on various aspects connected with media and technology law. She is business oriented and has a good theoretical background”.
The TMT group at Chadbourne & Parke is formed of experienced lawyers who have a thorough understanding of regulatory and transactional matters. Other core areas of focus include copyright and other intellectual property-related matters.
With a focus on new technology and intellectual property, FKA Furtek Komosa Aleksandrowicz’s sector-related work is derived from converged areas of media. Lawyers have in-depth knowledge of electronic market regulation and regularly advise on financing and distribution agreements.
Stolarek & Grabalski is appointed by television and radio broadcasters in cases involving corporate transactions such as mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures. The firm’s sector involvement is derived from its multidisciplinary approach that brings together various cases connected with media industry investment, start-up ventures and contractual work.
Ranking and editorials
Baker McKenzie Krzyzowski i Wspólnicy
Bird & Bird
Domanski Zakrzewski Palinka
Wardyński & Partners
Chajec, Don-Siemion & Żyto
LSW Leśnodorski Ślusarek and Partners
APLaw Artur Piechocki
DLA Piper Wiater
Jakubowski Pluta and Partners
Greenberg Traurig Grzesiak
SK&S - Sołtysiński Kawecki & Szlęzak
Allen & Overy
Chadbourne & Parke
FKA Furtek Komosa Aleksandrowicz
Kochański Zięba & Partners
Stolarek & Grabalski
RANKING AND EDITORIALS