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Specialist Guide to the

Global Leaders in Media Law Practice

Transactional activity has spurred industry development in Romania over the past year while the implementation of GDPR has had a significant effect on media business.


Vlad Cercel, Partner at Țuca Zbârcea & Asociații, said: “The hot topic of 2018 is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which had a significant impact on the media industry. There have been no other major regulatory changes in 2018 and so the market has continued to develop on almost all counts, including telecommunications, TV, digital and radio.”


The most significant transaction over the past year was Swiss media group Ringier Sportal’s acquisition of Romanian sports newspaper, Gazeta Sporturilor and its online platform. The deal was announced in May 2018.


Other deals include the acquisition by Vodafone Group Plc of Liberty Global’s operations in several European countries, including Romania, for a value of EUR18.4 billion.


Cătălin Băiculescu, Partner at Țuca Zbârcea & Asociații, commented: “Players’ appetite towards innovation is likely to increase in the upcoming years, further to various technological breakthroughs that will see a sensible shift in consumers’ preferences with respect to TV and media consumption, such as the proliferation of video-on-demand services”.


Other trends include continued investment in the expansion of infrastructure communications networks. This includes operators entering into access agreements and infrastructure sharing with other competitors.  

 

In other news, media lawyers highlight the IT sector as one of the main drivers of economic growth. Ms Băiculescu noted: “The country has become a popular tech destination, whether it comes to multinational giants present in Romania, dynamic development of clusters in ICT especially in the Western part of Romania or private equity funds investing in local start-ups.”


Lawyers also highlight the gaming sector as a growth market. Prominent animation software company Holotech Studios SRL secured an investment of USD2 million from SignalFire, a California venture capital firm.


Ms Băiculescu explained “The video games market has evolved in the past few years, with the biggest international video gaming producers having entered the market, such as Ubisoft, Electronic Arts and Gameloft, while important domestic players such as Fan Labs Romania and Holotech Studios are also to be mentioned.”

TIER 1

Muşat & Asociaţii is recognised for its transactional and regulatory advice on broadcasting and communications. Under the joint leadership of Anca Buta Musat and Iulian Popescu, the team advises on high profile cases involving television and radio operators, entertainment companies and music record labels. The firm represents private and state-owned entities and is renowned for its diverse sector coverage.


Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen has its expertise in broadcasting, content distribution, publishing and advertising. Clients praise the team for its legal insight and responsiveness. “The firm’s lawyers demonstrate a high standard of advice, with particular knowledge of the Romanian television industry”, said one client. Led by Adina Chilim-Dumitriu, the team advises on complex cases connected with broadcasting agreements, advertising and related regulation, tax and corporate matters.


Ţuca Zbârcea & Asociaţii’s leading media and advertising group attracts multiple clients from the broadcast sector. With assistance including legal and regulatory, the firm’s service areas cover a range of matters including television distribution, digital broadcasting and authorisation. Key practitioner Sorin Vlădescu has in-depth experience advising on electronic communication and audio-visual law. Cătălin Băiculescu is also highlighted for his entertainment and publishing specialisations.


TIER 2

Andra Musatescu Law has vast experience advising multinational clients on copyright, enforcement and licensing. In highlighted work the team advised a leading German media company on a case involving copyright for which the team, led by Andra Musatescu, successfully negotiated a settlement. Lawyers also have experience advising on unfair competition and contractual matters.


Bulboaca & Asociatii has notable expertise in the area of film and entertainment. TMT lawyers act for a multitude of local and international clients in cases of acquisitions and spectrum licensing. The team assists with the provision of electronic content in Romania via EU established entities in cases with cross-border components - involving data protection, e-commerce and advertising regulations.


Popovici Nitu Stoica & Asociatii covers competition and regulatory aspects of media work with a broader focus on technology and telecoms. The team assists with copyright matters, data protection and privacy. Florian Nitu and Silviu Stoica are among the firm’s key media contacts who have detailed knowledge of distribution and e-commerce regulatory compliance.


TIER 3

Biriş Goran has an impressive scope of media work. Traditionally focussed on IT, the firm is developing broader sector specialisation that includes advertising, gaming and online media. The firm is popular among the entrepreneurial community and noted for its advice to start-up businesses. Lawyers regularly advise on venture capital transactions in the gaming and new media sectors.


With a communications emphasis, Buzescu Cas core focus is on digital media. The team has in-depth knowledge of satellite communications services, local television and electronic media. Team experience includes advice on the sale of assets and subscriber lists to a leading cable television, internet and voice services companies. In other work lawyers assisted a satellite operator, which provides television, radio, data and communications solutions on various operational matters.


With presence spanning two decades, CMS has a strong position locally. Managing partner Gabriel Sidere specialises in business litigation and international arbitration matters. The team also advises producers and operators from the cinema industry on various changes in cinematographic law. Lawyers also advise on the collective management of IP rights, copyright legislation and tax matters.

 

With an established media practice Voicu & Filipescu manages a range of cases on behalf of advertisers, broadcasters and content producers. Clients described the team as a composition of “skilful lawyers, with valuable insight of the market and a very good understanding of legal matters”. Marta Popa directs the firm’s media department and advises on copyright shares, the distribution of themed channels and rating of audio-visual content.


TIER 4

D&B David and Baias (Associated with PwC) is primarily focussed on copyright, commercial and regulatory work. Lawyers regularly advise on broadcasting, information technology, internet, database and software protection. Other areas of advice include digital content, compliance and license agreements.


Drakopoulos Law Firm has rounded expertise with publishing, sports and advertising specialisations. Lawyers have detailed knowledge of broadcasting content distribution, freedom of speech and data protection laws. Clients include advertisers, entertainment companies and press publishers.


Ranking and editorials

TIER 1

Dentons

Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen

Ţuca Zbârcea & Asociaţii


TIER 2

Andra Musatescu Law   

Bulboaca & Asociatii

Cosmin Mocanu Law Office

Muşat & Asociaţii

PeliFilip

Popovici Nitu Stoica & Asociatii

Stratula & Asociatii


TIER 3

Biriş Goran

Buzescu Ca

CMS  

RTPR Allen & Overy

Voicu & Filipescu


TIER 4

Clifford Chance Badea

D&B David and Baias (PwC Affiliate)

Drakopoloulos Law Firm

Eversheds Lina & Guia

Stratulat Albulescu


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