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Specialist Guide to the

Global Leaders in Media Law Practice

SINGAPORE

“The expected revamp of Singapore's Copyright Act remains a significant development in this space, although in light of the various Covid-19 bills that currently have higher legislative priority, it remains to be seen when these will come into effect in 2020 as originally intended.” Commented Jeremy Tan, Partner at Bird & Bird.


Lawyers say changes to author and performer attribution will be critical in the age of viral videos and other internet content. Meanwhile, piracy continues to be a priority given the surge in popularity of streaming services amid Covid-19.  


Mr Tan explained: “Illegal streaming remains rampant in Singapore and many parts of Asia, and these changes would greatly help media owners and platforms in combating this.”


Other areas of development in the past year include active eports and gaming markets with platforms

seeking related content either through online streaming video or through traditional subscription TV programming.


Mr Tan noted, “Sponsorships and content partnerships between traditional players such as Telcos and eSports/gaming brands are also increasingly common, accelerating the trends that were already gaining team since 2019.”


In October, the country’s Personal Data Protection Bill was introduced and read in parliament for the first time.  


Proposed changes are intended to keep the country’s law up to date with evolving technology developments, and global regulatory trends.   


TIER 1

Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow is known for its focus on media and advertising law. The firm advises extensively on a range of intellectual property matters, domestic and cross-border. With two decades of experience, Andy Leck leads the team in contentious and non-contentious matters. Lawyers advise on commercial exploitation of intellectual property in the media and technology industries.


Working closely with its regional offices in Hong Kong and China, Bird & Bird ATMD focusses on commercial services. Core competence areas are sports law, data protection and sector-related tax advice. The practice is well regarded for expertise in intellectual property law, domestic and cross-border transactions. Lawyers also regularly advise government agencies, regulatory bodies and public institutions. 


Drew & Napier “provides a professional service on a consistent basis” say clients. The practice is distinguished for its media law specialisation and case handling that clients describe as “above expectation”. The firm works closely with media regulator MDA and industry leaders including Spotify, Scripps and Discovery Communications. Department head Chong Kin Lim, who is described by clients as “pragmatic, thorough and responsive”, is recognised for his in-depth knowledge of the pay-television sector.


TIER 2

Joyce A. Tan & Partners has a strong focus on media. The firm is gaining recognition for its specialisations across media sub-sectors, from online and print to entertainment and advertising. Lawyers assist with film production, sports and cases of defamation. Areas of focus include regulatory and transactional work.   


Pinsent Masons MPillay has an international focus on cross-border transactions. The practice, co-managed by Jon Howes and Mohan Pillay, is among the local leaders for entertainment and technology matters. Lawyers advise on licensing agreements, copyright and data protection. Clients include social media companies and film studios.


Rajah & Tann is well established in the legal market for its broad coverage of media cases.  The firm integrates media and entertainment, intellectual property, technology and telecommunications. With a full-service approach, the team works across a range of cases, from advisory to corporate and commercial.  


WongPartnership works with media regulatory bodies and some of the world’s best known content producers in the motion picture and music industries. The practice is widely respected for its sector specialisation, attracting television networks and other creative industry clients that include filmmakers, song writers, producers and production houses. Lawyers also advise on sector-related investment, securitisation, distribution and exploitation projects.


TIER 3

CMS is instructed by leading media organisations, local and international. The firm’s work includes, corporate, commercial and dispute resolution. Andrew Stott manages the corporate and media division while Matt Pollins is head of digital media. Acting for A+E Networks, the team assisted with the production, sponsorship and distribution of a new series of MasterChef Asia. The firm also advised on the launch of HOOQ, a regional internet television service, a joint venture between Sony, Singtel and Warner Bros.   


Dentons Rodyk is noted by peers for its focus on multiple areas of media, from entertainment law and gaming to publishing and broadcast. The practice is popular among clients including joint venture parties, content creators, start-ups and individual talent. The team works on digital distribution agreements, mobile media arrangements, merchandising and sponsorship deals.


TIER 4

CNPLaw has its primary emphasis on copyright matters connected with media and entertainment. Department head Stephen Soh advises on contentious and non-contentious cases in segments that include film and music. The practice is known for its advice on commercial exploitation of intellectual property rights, sponsorship and brand management, film-making and broadcasting. The team also drafts licensing, distribution and financing agreements.


Sports and media firm Harry Elias Partnership is one of the few firms that focus on all aspects of sports. Lawyers have extensive experience establishing and reorganising sports associations. The team also advises on international regulations and requirements for various sports. Key practitioners include Andy Lem and Koh Tien Hua who also act for publishing clients in cases of defamation.


Lee & Lee media lawyers are skilled at developing new licensing and transactional frameworks and strategies. With in-depth experience, the team regularly drafts and reviews media, software and related technology agreements. The full-service firm is appointed by entertainment sector clients in cases involving intellectual property and regulatory matters.  


TIER 1

Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow

Bird & Bird ATMD

Drew & Napier


TIER 2

Allen & Gledhill

Joyce A. Tan & Partners

Pinsent Masons MPillay

Rajah & Tann

WongPartnership


TIER 3

CMS

Dentons Rodyk  

OrionW

Shook Lin & Bok  

Taylor Vinters


TIER 4

CNPLaw

Harry Elias Partnership

Lee & Lee

Withers KhattarWong


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