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Specialist Guide to the
Global Leaders in Media Law Practice
Media regulation compliance has been a significant focus area in Russia over the past year with the state regulator investigating alleged breaches.
Anastasia Dergacheva, Partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, said: “The Russian media regulator, Roskomnadzor, has continued its active policing of compliance with the foreign ownership restrictions imposed on mass media businesses, such as television and radio channels and newspapers, adopted in 2016.”
In December 2018, Roskomnadzor announced it would investigate whether or not the BCC’s World News channel and websites comply with the country’s media laws. The announcement came a day after the UK’s broadcast regulator, Ofcom, said it may impose sanctions of RT.
Roskomnadzor also investigated television channel France 24 earlier in the year, in June.
In a statement, the regulator announced: ‘As part of its control and supervision activity in the media, Roskomnadzor identified a violation of media law 19.1 by France 24 in Russia.’
In other developments, lawyers highlight additional restrictions on Russian media, such as the introduction of the new “foreign agent media” rule.
Ms Dergacheva explained: “The law requires certain foreign mass media organisations, including blogs and websites, to identify themselves as foreign agent mass media and maintain separate
accounting for funds and property received from foreign sources.”
Online piracy continues to be an important area of focus for media business and the authorities.
Maria Ostashenko, Partner at ALRUD, said: “In November 2018, after several months of negotiations, Russia’s largest search engines, Yandex, Rambler and Mail, signed an anti-piracy memorandum with major media rights holders and Roskomnadzor.”
The implementation of GDPR in May 2018 continues to have a significant effect on operational activities of media companies.
Natalia Gulyaeva, Partner at Hogan Lovells, explained: “Implementation of GDPR, and its extraterritorial effect, has become a hot topic for Russian businesses with an EU focus. They have carefully assessed the impact which GDPR may have over their operations in Russia and the EU.”
Highlight other developments, Ms Gulyaeva said: “In addition to effective restrictions of foreign capital in the mass media and video services, the Russian legislators are currently discussing the implementation of similar restrictions for online news aggregators.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
ALRUD Law Firm
King & Spalding
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld
Herbert Smith Freehills
MGAP Attorneys at Law
Squire Patton Boggs
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
Peterka & Partners
White & Case
RANKING AND EDITORIALS