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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Al Tamimi & Company
Clyde & Co
Bird & Bird
Simmons & Simmons
Hadef & Partners
Allen & Overy
Industry developments in the UAE have varied over the past year, ranging from new rules for social media ‘influencers’ to an increase in radio reach and the launch of OTT services.
In October 2018, Netflix partnered with mobile operator Du and Virgin in its first deal in the UAE, allowing the streaming service to extend its reach throughout the region.
Du’s parent company, The Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), announced the deal that is expected to bring
the world’s best global entertainment to
Anthony Shiner, Chief Digital Lifestyle and Innovation Officer at EITC, commented: “Our partnerships are key catalysts in making EITC a world-class organisation and facilitating growth plans in the UAE.”
He added: "Our collaboration with Netflix is another milestone in our digital vision and innovation roadmap.”
In other developments, the UAE is proving to be an exceptionally strong market for radio as the rate of listeners increasing.
According to research by Nielsen, a global measurement and data analytics company, 95 per cent of the population tuned into the radio every week in the first quarter of 2018. Its research
highlights radio as ‘one of the most favoured
media across different age groups in the country.’
The National Media Council announced a new
law regulating electronic media. The regulation
will govern all online activity, including
e-commerce, the publication and sale of print,
video and audio material.
The new rules will mean that social media influencers, who profit financially from their online activity, will need a media license.
Mansour Al Mansouri, Director General of the National Media Council, spoke about the regulatory change at a conference in Abu Dhabi in March
2018. He commented that the new law allows for balanced and responsible media content.
Mr Al Mansouri said: “The regulations seek to
help the UAE media sector remain on top of the rapid developments in electronic media, in addition to enriching and organising digital content, and ensuring that media material respects the religious, cultural and social values of the UAE, all the
while promoting freedom of expression and constructive dialogue.”
RANKING AND EDITORIALS