Copyright © Media Law International 2023. All Rights Reserved.
Specialist Guide to the
Global Leaders in Media Law Practice
Ireland’s long-awaited review of the Defamation Act 2009 was published in March by Minister for Justice Helen McEntee T.D., following a number of steps including a public consultation, an analysis of defamation laws in other jurisdictions and a review of case law of the European Court of Human Rights.
Darryl Broderick, Partner at Ronan Daily commented: “Perhaps the most significant outcome following the review is the recommendation to abolish trials by jury. There have been several cases in previous years where jury awards have been excessively high.”
Mr Broderick continued: “Time and again both the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court have reduced these awards. Perhaps the most notable case was that of Kinsella v Kenmare Resources which was the highest defamation award ever made in the State. The jury in the High Court awarded EUR10 million in favour of the plaintiff. This sum would subsequently be
reduced to EUR250,000 in the Court of Appeal, a reduction of 97.5%.”
The review strongly advocates that a person’s right to a good name should still be protected vigorously but advocates for more protection to media outlets to allow them to engage in public-interest journalism with more freedom, by providing more robust defences.
Changes in the legal market structure have led to movements in the rankings, with Dentons making its debut in Tier 2. Addleshaw Goddard also joins the MLI rankings for the first time, following its merger Eugene F. Collins. ByrneWallace rises to Tier 2, while WP Tweed & Co joins in Tier 3.
A&L Goodbody’s media team operates under the management of the firm’s IP and technology division. Areas of specialisation include broadcast, entertainment, publishing and online media. Lawyers advise on regulation, content licensing and copyright disputes.
McCann FitzGerald’s internal collaborative approach creates broad sector and service focus. The firm has a long-standing specialisation in media defence, commercial litigation, privacy and internet liability. The team works on numerous defamation actions on behalf of a range of clients, UK- and US-based. Over the past year, the firm has advised on contractual disputes and regulatory challenges, and has worked with clients including Buzzfeed, ITN and Twitter.
RDJ’s areas of expertise include defamation, privacy and contempt of law. Lawyers acts for print, broadcast and digital media clients on media mergers, advertising, copyright and regulation.
The firm advises print, online and radio entities within the Landmark Media Group and several regional newspaper titles.
Primarily a defence practice, Simon McAleese is among the country’s leading libel specialists. The media team acts for newspapers, magazine and book publishers, radio stations and independent television production companies. The firm is also known for its work in the area of data protection, copyright and reputation management.
William Fry has a “strong reputation in the area of defamation”. Clients highlight the firm as one of Ireland’s leading media law practices. The team is described by clients as “thoughtful, responsive and provides pragmatic advice”. The firm advises on a range of issues including entertainment, social media and data protection. The firm acts for clients including UTV, BBC, Daily Mail Group and Sky.
Johnsons is gaining recognition among peers, who highlight the firm for its increased visibility in media cases. The team achieved record damages for plaintiff clients while representing national newspapers and publishers. The firm also works with clients from the music, sports and entertainment industries.
The media and entertainment division at Philip Lee specialises in film and television. Lawyers assist with feature films, animation series and television drama produced in Ireland. The team also advises on Ireland’s tax incentive for film and online distributed productions. The practice is recognised among peers for its high visibility in sector-related cases.
Arthur Cox has an established media practice with cross-border capability. Working from its Belfast and London offices, the firm advises on music, film, television and advertising. The media team advised Savage Productions on the financing and production of various film and television productions. The team also assisted RTÉ Networks with regulatory aspects of third party broadcasting.
With a dedicated sports law division, Mason Hayes & Curran lawyers regularly advise broadcasters, sponsors, sports-governing bodies, investors and athletes. Related focus areas include reputation management, personality and image rights along with dispute resolution. Working from a separate TMT division, media lawyers work with leading social media and search organisations on matters ranging from first round funding and strategic outsourcing partnerships to intellectual property management.
LK Shields lawyers have extensive experience advising on corporate transactions. The firm acted for Communicorp Group Limited, the largest radio operator in Ireland, in its acquisitions of foreign radio stations. In a separate case lawyers advised Alpha Newspaper Group with its acquisition of various newspapers. Other focus areas include film financing and production, music rights and defamation.
Lawyers at Matheson have in-depth experience advising on libel, contempt of court, freedom of expression and privacy laws. With a dedicated entertainment and media group, the firm is widely involved in contractual and financing arrangements for feature films and television programming. The team also advises on sector-related equity and tax-based arrangements.
Beauchamps Solicitors specialises in advertising, digital media and sponsorship. The team provides advice on content, online marketing, copyright protection as well as clearance advice on advertising copy. The practice is known for transactional work, sports law and product law.
The media division at DFMG Solicitors works within the firm’s intellectual property department, focussing on film finance, privacy and sponsorship and advertising agreements. Lawyers also advise on data protection and copyright.
McCann FitzGerald LLP
Mason Hayes & Curran
WP Tweed & Co
Gleeson McGrath Baldwin
RANKING AND EDITORIALS
REGIONS WE COVER
Middle East and North Africa
Central and Eastern Europe