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Specialist Guide to the
Global Leaders in Media Law Practice
Al Tamimi & Company has a prominent position nationally and regionally, with emphasis on multiple media segments. The firm’s TMT group acts for film studios, advertisers and television companies. In work led by Fiona Robertson the team advised on a US motion picture production filmed nationally, negotiated production services agreements and local contracts for the production team. Lawyers also advised on campaign developments and television content production.
At Charles Russell Speechlys, lawyers have a unique service offering with specialised expertise and industry focussed experience in the media, entertainment and events industries. The Media, Entertainment and Events team based in the Middle East has over 20 years of of experience in the region and has a broad understanding of these industries both locally and internationally. The firm provides specialised legal advice to a broad range of clients including media companies, broadcasters, publishers, newspapers, producers, rights holders, platforms, writers, actors and performers as well as celebrities.
Bird & Bird is widely respected by peers and noted for its TMT commitment. The firm’s practitioners have extensive media sector experience that includes regulatory and commercial advice. Well regarded by peers, the firm is notably recognised for its work on motion picture production, distribution, online media regulation and video games.
Clyde & Co provides commercial media and broader TMT advice to a broad client base, global and national. With a high profile client list, the firm’s experience includes complex transactions. Head of division Joycia Young leads on media cases that include defamation, online media and regulatory matters.
DLA Piper is highly regarded nationally and is frequently highlighted by peers for its media commitment. Primarily focussed on entertainment and sports, lawyers act on a range of cases from corporate to advisory. Led by regional managing partner Abdul Aziz A. AL-Yaqout, the media group assists with production and rights acquisitions and the exploitation of media rights and regulatory matters.
Dentons focusses on multiple areas of work, from mergers and commercial contracts to media events and regulation. The team advises on film production and franchising agreements. In representative work includes advise to television station OSN on its bid for media rights to international cricket matches, for the Middle East and North Africa region, organised by the International Cricket Council for the period 2015-2023.
Independent firm Hadef & Partners is gaining recognition among peers. The firm’s TMT division works on acquisitions, disposals, commercial transactions, e-commerce and data privacy. Michael Lunjevich is the firm’s key contact for sector-related work, including advice on licensing and media contracts.
Established in 2016, The Bench specialises in the TMT sector. The firm is managed by former Dentons partner Joby Beretta, who is widely known for his expertise in the media, entertainment and sports industries. Lawyers advise on media commercial contracts, events and regulations. Clients range from local and international broadcasters to sports and entertainment companies.
Simmons & Simmons has a strong reputation backed by its international industry focus. The firm’s traditional emphasis on technology supports the growth of its media sector coverage. Lawyers advise on commercial and regulatory matters involving television broadcasting and film production.
Allen & Overy has a firm position nationally with its focus notably on intellectual property. Present since 1978, the firm’s full-service scope provides broad sector coverage that includes technology and telecoms. Key practitioners include Ibrahim Mubaydeen and Simon Roderick who advise on multinational cases - transactional and advisory.
Digital technology spurs activity at Pinsent Masons, which represents technology suppliers, central government departments and international telecoms providers. The firm is well regarded by peers for its work on dispute resolution, which is managed under a separate TMT litigation practice. Sachin Kerur manages the practice and handles cases connected with communication licensing, data protection
Charles Russell Speechleys
Bird & Bird
Clyde & Co
Hadef & Partners
Simmons & Simmons
Allen & Overy
The UAE’s video streaming market is expanding, boosted by the launch of new OTT service SwitchTV in March 2020.
Telecoms group Etisalat launched the new service, making it available to all UAE residents irrespective of their mobile carriers or home internet services.
Lawyers say it’s a good time to be a consumer with new market entrants. Disney+ launched its streaming service on OSN in April, joining the already present Apple TV+ and Amazon Prime.
Disney’s regional lead for content sales and distribution, Amit Malhotra, noted: “Given that we currently do not plan to launch Disney+ as a standalone service in the region in the near future, we are pleased to work with OSN to bring Disney Plus Originals to viewers in the Middle East.”
OSN chief executive, Patrick Tillieux, described the deal with Disney Plus as a “huge millstone”.
In other developments, data protection continues to be an important topic as media clients focus on compliance. Mark Hill, Partner at Charles Russell Speechleys, said: “Data is a overriding concern”.
He added: “A big shift is happening in the region. The future gold is data. It comes with a number of implications on how it is regulated and how it is monetised.”
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