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Specialist Guide to the

Global Leaders in Media Law Practice

      M E D I A   L A W   

      I N T E R N A T I O N A L   ®


      The media landscape across New Zealand and Australia remains focussed on the continued dominance of streaming platforms, and the reactions of incumbent linear television operators in the scramble to keep pace.

In New Zealand, the Labour Government began 2023 preparing for the merging of TVNZ (New Zealand’s largest free-to-air television operator) and Radio New Zealand into a single broadcasting entity. However, the merger was abandoned in mid-2023 due to a reprioritisation of matters.

The year 2023 has also seen the return of live sport to free-to-air television in New Zealand, through TVNZ, as it seeks to grow its online streaming platform TVNZ+.

Through the introduction of the Fair Digital News Bargaining Bill on 17 August 2023, the news media environment in New Zealand looked to be subject to an impending shift in the regulation of the way news content was used and linked on digital platforms.

The Bill largely followed the Australian approach under the Treasury Laws Amendment (News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code) Act 2021. It would have provided registered news media entities in New Zealand a statutory framework to negotiate with digital platforms.

However, the Bill looks likely to be abandoned by the incoming National-led Government following the results of the 2023 general election.

Following the commencement of the Online Safety Act in Australia in January 2022, new codes have been developed to regulate illegal and restricted online activity.

Six codes have been registered by the eSafety Commissioner, in relation to Social Media Services, App Distribution Services, Hosting Services, Internet Carriage Services, Equipment and Internet Search Engine Services.

Proposed Codes on Relevant Electronic Services and Designated Internet Services were not accepted by the eSafety Commissioner, who is currently in the process of drafting new industry standards for these matters.  


Baker McKenzie’s Sydney office has a dedicated media and content practice group that works with new and established media entities in free-to-air television, pay television, radio, online service providers and multimedia companies. The firm works on matters relating to defamation, pre-broadcast contempt, intellectual property and information technology.

Gilbert + Tobin is one of Asia Pacific’s leading firms for media law. The practice is known for advising on distribution and licensing of digital content, social media and digital platform matters. The team acts for recording companies, film industry associations and studios. In highlighted work lawyers advised the ABC on the renewal of its agreement with Broadcast Australia for its analogue transmission services nationwide. The media division works closely with the firm’s M&A team on restructurings, media public listings and private equity acquisitions and divestments.

MinterEllison is highly reputed for its world class defamation law advice. Clients describe lawyers as “disciplined, calm and able to react quickly to changing circumstances”. The team works with clients on cross-media ownership, copyright licensing, broadcasting and online content regulation. The firm is widely recognised for his leadership in cases of defamation, and prepublication advice. This experience includes acting for clients including Fairfax, Bloomberg, Seven Media and Network Ten.


Webb Henderson specialises in high value corporate, commercial and regulatory matters. The ffirm is best known for its emphasis on the communications sector. Ara Margossian is highlighted by peers for his experience advising broadcasters and telecom operators. In representative work the team assisted Foxtel, a leading pay-television provider, with its launch of triple play services in Australia.


With broad industry coverage, Ashurst works across segments. The team assists with matters involving e-commerce, data protection, intellectual property, gaming and commercial contracts. Lawyers advise on transactional and regulatory matters, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and structured finance.

Atanaskovic Hartnell’s corporate and commercial department is focussed on transactional,

regulatory and disputes within the TMT sector. The team advises on convergence of telecommunications and media, foreign investment restrictions, spectrum allocation and reallocation, carriage and content services and datacasting. Other areas of specialisation include joint ventures, licence rights and obligations.

Clayton Utz combines commercial and regulatory experience. The firm has a strong position in the national market and is noted for its work on corporate and transactional issues involving mergers and acquisitions. The team advises on IT outsourcing, copyright and other intellectual property issues and commercial litigation.

With a broadcasting specialisation, Corrs Chambers Westgarth has leading expertise in communications, media, entertainment and technology. The firm’s past work on corporate transactional cases includes Southern Cross Media’s takeover of Austereo Group Limited in a AUD724 million deal. Lawyers have notable experience advising on broadcasting, spectrum licensing and commercial radio.

Herbert Smith Freehills is known for its work in disputes and risk management in all areas of the TMT sector. The team includes litigators, arbitrators and mediators. Regularly advising broadcasters and content providers, lawyers are adept case handlers with experience working on disputes about ownership and control, access to networks, regulation and competition, content rights and agreements. Clients include BskyB, Microsoft and Telstra.

McCullough Robertson lawyers have more than two decades of experience assisting broadcasters with cases of defamation and contempt. Team experience includes advising on music, film production, television licensing and production contracts and publishing agreements.


Allens is recognised for its work in mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures in the media and technology sectors. The teams has advised on numerous media licensing and procurement projects in Australia and Asia. Among work, the team acted for Disney on mobile application development agreements and commercial and licensing arrangements. Lawyers also advised NBCUniversal on corporate transactions.


Full service firm King & Wood Mallesons specialises in all aspects of TMT with particular emphasis on the entertainment sector. Lawyers have substantial cross-border capabilities and advise on national broadband rollouts, regulatory reform and compliance, network access agreements and disputes. The firm represents clients in broadcasting, print, social media and gaming sectors. In representative work, the team acted for Universal Music on its acquisition of EMI’s recorded music business and its subsequent divestiture sale of nine recorded music assets.

Maddocks has global experience advising on digital matters including content application deals with Fox Sports and online marketing and promotional strategies. The practice is also recognised for its work involving broadcasting, recording and publishing clients from regions including Japan, Europe and the US.


Ranking and editorials


Baker McKenzie

Gilbert + Tobin




Banki Haddock Fiora

Bird & Bird

Johnson Winter & Slattery

Webb Henderson



Atanaskovic Hartnell

Corrs Chambers Westgarth

Clayton Utz

Herbert Smith Freehills

McCullough Robertson





King & Wood Mallesons

Macpherson Kelley


Mark O’Brien Legal

Simpsons Solicitors


DLA Piper

HWL Ebsworth

Norton Rose Fulbright

Piper Alderman

Thomson Geer




  Middle East and North Africa

  North America


  Western Europe

  Central and Eastern Europe



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