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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   ®



Canada’s media industry has had a high level of activity over the past year, from the implementation of the country’s controversial Bill C-18 in June and Meta’s news ban to evolving challenges and emerging opportunities.

The new law requires large digital platforms to fairly compensated news businesses for their content. The new law was met with resistance by Google and Meta, both encompassed by the law. Meta responded by blocking access to news on Facebook, while Google negotiated a deal to pay Canadian news outlets CAD100 million annually.

Over the past year, other legislative changes include the Online Streaming Act, known as Bill C-11, which was passed in April and amends Canada’s Broadcasting Act to include internet video and digital media.

C-11 is the first substantial reform to the Broadcasting Act since 1991.

In other developments, lawyers say the market anticipates significant changes in the media and advertising industries over the next few years, owing to the rising importance of influencer collaborations and digital technologies.

According to research by Narcity Media Group, published in December 2023, ‘Media organizations should be prepared to embrace influencer marketing and advanced digital advertising strategies.’


Cassels is one of the most established entertainment and copyright law practices in Canada. The firm is appointed by publishers, producers, broadcasters, animators and concert promoters. Among industry work, the team assisted Canadian Football League with Grey Cup performance agreements for the Black Eyed Peas and Shania Twain. Other focus areas include gaming and sports law.

Goodmans has a high profile portfolio of clients from the entertainment sector. The practice specialises in film, television, digital media and book publishing. The firm represents American and Canadian studios, broadcasters, independent producers, game companies and talent agencies.

Gowling WLG is an established leader in the area of media law. The firm works across several service areas that include entertainment, defamation, gaming, advertising and social media. Each division is managed by a dedicated partner, which means in-depth industry knowledge and broad expertise. The firm’s size and scale amplified after Gowlings merged with UK firm Wragge Lawrence Grahman & Co in January 2016, creating double the capacity nationally and abroad.

The Stikeman Elliott media team specialises in entertainment and sports law and has extensive experience in the financing of films and television programs. Other focus areas include licensing of intellectual property including publicity rights and rights of personality. The firm’s media lawyers also advised on competition issues arising from the purchase of a newspaper chain and advise on the sale of sports franchises.


Dentons advises several Hollywood studios, US-based independent production companies and television networks on communications and entertainment law. The practice that is visible across a range of cases that include mergers and acquisition. The team also assists US-based animation and visual effects companies on establishing Canadian studios. Well positioned nationally, the firm has offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.

Lawyers at McCarthy Tétrault have in-depth knowledge of cyber security, privacy, data protection and copyright. The firm is widely recognised for its sector expertise, and notably for its experience advising clients from the video game and music industries.

McMillans media work ranges from financing, syndication and sponsorship through to securing international production and distribution rights. The media, communications and entertainment team, advises recording artists, gaming companies, film and television producers and multimedia companies.

With a cross-border focus, Torys regularly advises international clients in a range of service areas, from traditional media and corporate transactions to commercial exploitation. In representative work, the team acted for Canada Pension Plan Investment Board in its USD142.4 million acquisition of a 17.9 per cent stake in Entertainment One from Marwyn Value Investors.


DLA Piper has seven offices across Canada with diverse market coverage. The firm’s capacity was expanded in March 2015 after the firm merged with Vancouver-based law firm Davis. The team works with regional partners representing the sports and entertainment industries. The firm represents local and international clients on finance, corporate issues, production and rights acquisition and competition law.

Toronto-based Stohn Hay Cafazzo Dembroski Heim Finlay specialises in entertainment, marketing and copyright. The team is highlighted by peers who say both partners “are active in media and entertainment law and have been opposite us on numerous transactions in recent years.”  The firm acts for clients in the film, music, broadcasting, publishing and sports industries.




Gowling WLG  

Stikeman Elliott


Baker McKenzie   


McCarthy Tétrault   





DLA Piper

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt

Stohn Hay Cafazzo Dembroski Heim Finlay


Bennett Jones


Norton Rose Fulbright  



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