Copyright © Media Law International 2017. All Rights Reserved.
Specialist Guide to the
Global Leaders in Media Law Practice
Trends in the past year include the increased importance of self regulation, the establishment of different boundaries for different services and new rules for advertising, say lawyers.
Talking about market developments, Catarina Matias Mascarenhas, managing associate at Vieira de Almeida & Associados, highlighted the importance of “the role of the internet and new media, especially for digital platforms and the increased use of technology for media.”
In March 2017, Portugesese cable operator Nowo, formerly known as Cabovisão, launched an OTT multiscreen service using Broadpeak CNN solutions.
Commenting on the launch, Ana Maria Teixeira, CTO at Nowo, said: “Television viewers want options, and thanks to Broadpeak we’re able to satisfy the demand for high-quality anywhere, anytime, any device viewing experience.”
In other developments, Portugal ended 2016 with 3.6 million pay-television subscriptions, representing growth of 4.1 per cent compared with the previous year.
According to data from the National Communications Authority, fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) technology has contributed to the increase
and accounts for 28.8 per cent of total pay-television subscribers.
While Bill Gates highlighted ‘Content is King’ in his 1996 article, lawyer Fernando Resina da Silva, Vieira de Almeida & Associados, commented on the changing role of content and its delivery.
He said: “Content used to be king but this has changed as everyone is more focussed on platform and what kind of platform is being used. We have a huge amount of content available to consumers so now the focus has changed.”
He added: “The challenge is to transfer data into useful content. We are using new tools like artificial intelligence so there is a change from content to platform.”
Other significant changes include the 2017 amendment to rules governing advertising of medicines and medical devises.
The enactment of Decree-Law 5/2017 in January 2017 aims to strength transparency and the promotion of good governance practices.
With two decades of TMT focus, SRS Advogados has built a leading practice that is popular among broadcast and sports clients. According to one client “The firm and its partners have the ability to set a profound link between the legal framework and its practical application, mainly in an extremely competitive business environment.” Head of division Octávio Castelo Paulo has extensive experience working with clients that include NOS, Kantar Group and Sportfive.
Lawyers at Vieira de Almeida & Associados are well regarded for their knowledge of regulation and digital media. The practice has a combined focus on entertainment, advertising, technology and social media. In highlighted work lawyers assisted clients with media regulatory issues connected with the production of television shows in Portugal, licensing agreements and copyright. Joint heads Margarida Couto, Fernando Resina da Silva and Magda Cocco also advise on image rights and privacy.
CCA Ontier represents leading press groups, television cable networks and advertising agencies. The practice is widely recognised as a specialist in the area of media law with experience advising on compliance, regulation and corporate transactions. Led by Martim Menezes, lawyers litigate in multiple cases of freedom of speech and freedom of information. The team acts for clients including Cofina, Netflix and Havas.
The media team at Cuatrecasas acts for entertainment companies, television networks and music recording studios. Clients describe the team as “very professional, efficient and with in-depth knowledge of the law and the industry”. Head of the IP, media and data protection division, Leonor Chastre, is a leading industry figure, locally and internationally. Clients refer to her “professional expertise and strategic view”.
Pbbr has a solid position in the market and is praised by clients and peers alike. According to one client, “The firm is extremely cooperative and responsive. Lawyers provide excellent and competent advice”. Clients highlight Ricardo Henriques for providing “practical advice with excellent quality.” Led by César Bessa Monteiro, the team advised on the launch of local streaming businesses, on digital media regulation and on advertising campaigns. The practice also has a particular focus on IT and IP with wider emphasis on franchising, distribution and unfair competition.
PLMJ acts for investors and operators active in the media and technology sectors. Advice covers regulation of electronic communication, television and social media and software acquisition and licensing. Other areas of expertise include intellectual property and sports law. The team’s work includes arbitration of sports disputes, drafting of institutional regulations and contractual work.
Sports law expert Abreu Advogados is a popular choice among local and international clients. The team has broad-ranging experience advising on sports corporate law, labour law, intellectual property and tax law. Fernando Veiga Gomes and Ana Flor are the firm’s key lawyers for sports law and intellectual property matters respectively.
CMS acts for broadcast clients on communication agreements, data protection and copyright. Other areas of focus include advertising, marketing and sponsorships. Managing partner leads the team advising on regulation and competition, technological development and licensing.
Macedo Vitorino & Associados is known for its regulatory, competition and merger and acquisition advice. The firm’s traditional focus on the telecommunications sector makes it a popular choice for clients offering converged services. The team advises on corporate finance deals and multi-jurisdictional asset deals within the TMT sector.
Uría Menéndez - Proença de Carvalho specialises in broadcast regulation and transactional advice. The firm acts for television, radio and press clients on the sale and purchase of media companies, public tenders and the transfer of radio and television licenses and concessions. Teresa Paz-Ares and Pablo González-Espejo are among the firm’s key practitioners - also advising on sports law, sponsorships and events.
DLA Piper ABBC combines media with marketing and intellectual property. The team focusses on copyright and licensing, advertising and marketing and on image rights, freedom of press and respective limitations and boundaries. Head of department João Costa Quinta leads the team on media-related matters. The firm also specialises in sports law representing athletes, associations of sports agents, federations and promoters of sports events.
Alves Pereira & Teixeira de Sousa’s media and advertising specialisation has existed almost as long as the firm, which was established in 1990. The team acts for production companies, advertisers and media purchase agencies on contractual matters, statutory and regulatory requirements and intellectual property. Lawyers also represent clients in administrative proceedings.
Caiado Guerreiro advises several national and international television networks and telecommunications operators. The firm’s work includes advice on licensing and start-up operations. Managed by Ricardo Rodrigues Lopes, the media team also assists with contractual matters and negotiations with the authorities.
Sérvulo & Associados specialises in litigation and arbitration, regulatory compliance and sector-related corporate work. José Lobo Moutinho leads the practice in work on a broad range of issues connected with the audio-visual and advertising sectors. Lawyers advise on freedom of expression, defamation, confidentiality violation and cases of false and comparative advertising.
Albuquerque & Associados specialises in copyright law, telecommunications and IT. The IP team, led by Francisco Colaço, advises on commercial matters, international contracts, in and out of court cases of unfair competition. Lawyers also assist with joint ventures and strategic cooperation agreements within the TMT sector.
With a sports and entertainment focus, Miranda is appointed by related clients in a range of broad cases. The team advises on competition issues resulting from regulatory and commercial restrictions, transfer systems and sports regulations, image rights and broadcasting rights.
Ranking and editorials
Vieira de Almeida & Associados
FCB Sociedade de Advogados
Macedo Vitorino & Associados
Uría Menéndez - Proença de Carvalho
DLA Piper ABBC
Alves Pereira & Teixeira de Sousa
Anselmo Vaz, Afra & Associados - Sociedade de Advogados
Sérvulo & Associados
Albuquerque & Associados
Coelho Ribeiro & Associados
MGRA Law Firm
RANKING AND EDITORIALS