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Specialist Guide to the

Global Leaders in Media Law Practice

Russia’s video streaming market is expanding as platforms gain speed and revenue rises to USD340 million in 2020, according to Statista.


In February this year, local media reported on the country’s largest video streaming platform, ivi.ru, considering an IPO on Nasdaq by the end of this year, with JP Morgan Chase underwriting the floatation.


The move would make ivi.ru the country’s first online video service to go public.  


Other significant developments over the past year include legislative changes bringing controversial internet security bills into law.


In December 2019, President Vladimir Putin signed a law requiring anyone distributing information and paid from abroad to register as a foreign agent.


In June last year, Russia introduced a law prohibiting the production and distribution of foreign print media without permits.

The legal change is intended to improve regulation of foreign media outlets that have contracts with local distributors, and ensure that such contracts are brought under the review of the state.


The President’s Executive Office published an update on its website, stating ‘The production or distribution of unregistered media products, including the unauthorised distribution of foreign print media products in the Russian Federation, is now an administrative offence.’


The law states that the publication or distribution of foreign media publications, without a permit, will be subject to fines.


The new rules apply to individuals as well as media outlets, with fines up to RUB30,000 (USD470) for media corporations.

TIER 1
Dentons’ international reputation for having a high level of media law expertise is upheld in Russia, where the firm advises on multiple cases. Led by Victor Naumov, the team advises broadcasters, entertainments companies, conglomerates and online media businesses. In representative work lawyers assisted with the launch of a television channel, distribution of advertising and related regulations. The team also advised on privacy regulation.  


Hogan Lovells is a leading choice among media clients. The firm’s areas of practice cover all aspects of media, with a particular emphasis on television, radio broadcasting, social network operators and gaming. Natalia Gulyaeva manages the firm’s media activity and advises on restructuring, regulation licensing and data protection. The firm acts for high profile clients, local and international.


Morgan, Lewis & Bockius has rapidly established a position among Russia’s leading firms. Led by Brian L. Zimbler the team acts for print publishers, entertainment companies and film studios. The firm has notable experience advising on television and video-on-demand services. Lawyers regularly advise on new technologies for the distribution of television programming.


TIER 2

ALRUD Law Firm’s focus is on media and advertising. The team advises on all aspects of publishing, broadcasting and filming. Well regarded by peers, the practice is described as a leading choice for media law. Practitioners have in-depth knowledge of the television, radio and internet sectors. The team regularly advises on advertising, regulation, individual rights issues related to film, interviewing and photography.


Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners is highly regarded for its defamation dispute resolution. In highlighted work the team acted for a publishing house, part of Gazprom Media Holding, in a landmark defamation dispute which led to a reversal of the Moscow Arbitrazh Court award on appeal. Key practitioners include Alina Kudriavtseva and Dennis Turovets who are well regarded by peers.


King & Spalding has a global focus on sports and entertainment. The practice acts on multiple corporate and regulatory cases focussed on mass media and broadcasting matters. The division is managed by Sergey B. Komolov who works with media specialist Xenia A. Melkova. Advising foreign television channels, Ms Melkova is well regarded for her knowledge of film production, distribution, licensing and data protection.


Pepeliaev Group is known for its sector-related tax advice and telecommunications specialisation. Led by Natalya Ivashchenko the team acts for clients on corporate and commercial cases, data protection and copyright. Other highlighted practitioners include Rustem Ahmetshin.


TIER 3

Herbert Smith Freehills has an international focus on transactional work, regulation and disputes. The firm’s media and technology specialisation attracts high profile clients. Leading lawyer Justin Vaughan advises on joint ventures, restructurings and mergers. In highlighted work Mr Vaughan acted for Interros on its disposal of 100 per cent of shares in ProfMedia, a leading Russian media holding company with television, radio and film distribution assets, to Gazprom-Media Holding.


Squire Patton Boggs works on a range of high profile industry cases. Under the leadership of Sergey Treshchev the team advises on marketing, advertising, publishing, content and licensing matters. Other areas of focus include cyber security, intellectual property and data protection.


TIER 4

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton works on industry-specific corporate transactions, including acquisitions and restructurings in the pay-television market. With a media and advertising emphasis, the practice attracts broadcasters, print publishers, radio networks and marketing businesses.

 

CMS handles cross-border TMT matters ranging from licensing, outsourcing and mergers. Managed by Maxim Boulba, head of the TMT and competition practice, the team advises on regulation and compliance and has a highlighted emphasis on technology development system integration. The firm also specialise in sports law and intellectual property.


Data privacy and cyber security specialist Dechert advises local and European clients on compliance and regulation. The team works with telecommunications and technology companies on intellectual property, licensing and dispute resolution. Practice leader Laura M. Brank manages the TMT group, which assists with broadcasting agreements and corporate transactions including joint ventures.  


Established in 2009, Peterka & Partners’ Moscow office is an expansion of the firm’s CEE presence. Lawyers act for clients in a range of advertising cases with aspects of commercial agreements and competition law. The firm’s broader focus areas include sports and entertainment. Country practice leader Vlad Rudnitsky is highlighted for his litigation and copyright experience.


TIER 1

Dentons

Hogan Lovells

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius


TIER 2

ALRUD Law Firm

Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners

King & Spalding

MGAP Attorneys at Law

Pepeliaev Group


TIER 3

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld  

Baker McKenzie

Herbert Smith Freehills

Squire Patton Boggs


TIER 4

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

CMS

Dechert

Peterka & Partners

White & Case

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