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Specialist Guide to the
Global Leaders in Media Law Practice
The body that oversees the radio and television market, as well as the VOD market, in Poland is the Krajowa Rada Radiofonii I Telewizji, or the National Broadcasting Council (NCB). The Council consists of five members appointed for joint six six-year terms, two of whom are appointed by the President of the Republic of Poland, two by the Sejm (the lower house of the Polish parliament), and one by the Senate (the upper house of the Polish parliament).
The Council’s current term began in October 2022 with the election of its members. Since then, there has been a very visible change in the Council’s approach to its function, in particular how the NBC Chairman exercises their prerogative powers. The Chairman can investigate broadcasters ex officio. Such investigations are often trigged by viewer complaints, however, unfortunately, in practice they can also be used as a means of achieving certain political goals.
2023 is an election year in Poland . Changes in the management structure of public media outlets, aimed at placing them in the hands of political actors, is adding to the deep polarization of public discourse. This polarization is also evident in the increasingly harsh and unapologetic language used by public media outlets,
which has resulted in numerous defamation suits brought by politicians against media outlets (and vice versa).
A draft act amending the Code of Civil Procedure is currently awaiting the President’s signature and will be published shortly thereafter. Among the amendments to the Code of Civil Procedure is a new model for enforcing the publication of public apology statements. Instead of requiring that defendant’s publish the statement in a medium specified by the court at their own cost, it will now be sufficient for the statement to be published in a government journal usually used to publish notice of changes to the law]. Although this is definitely more affordable, it does not achieve the purposes served by a public apology.
Without a doubt, 2023 will be an interesting year and will have a significant impact on the state of Polish media.
WKB Wierciński, Kwieciński, Baehr
Krzysztof Czyzewski’s leadership drives media activity at Czyżewscy Kancelaria Adwokacka. The boutique firm’s sector coverage is admirable. The practice specialises in book publishing, press, entertainment, film and advertising. Lawyers have extensive experience advising on film productions, television formats, protection of journalistic confidentiality and personal data protection.
With distinct emphasis on advertising, media and promotional law, Traple Konarski Podrecki & Partners brings together leading industry experts. Speaking about the firm, one client said it “earns a place among Poland's most highly regarded individuals”. Lawyers frequently advise the Polish government on legal issues involving legislative reform. The practice advises multiple Polish and foreign entities operating in the industry.
WKB Wierciński, Kwieciński, Baehr WKB Lawyers is a Polish law firm based in Warsaw with an office in Poznan, and is recognised as one of the leading TMT practices in Poland, with a strong focus on media law, tech law, and intellectual property rights. The firm’s TMT team covers multiple segments of the entertainment and news industry, including television, video games, radio, film, music, gambling, and online media. The team handles matters concerning broadcast media rights for the Polish national football association. The team also advises on matters from across the entire content delivery chain, from the creation, financing, and production of content to its distribution, including compliance with broadcasting/ VOD regulations. WKB lawyers also conducts media and IP-related litigation and defamation matters. The team consists of 13 lawyers, 10 of whom are women, and each is a specialist in their field of law, such as advertising, digital media, publishing, film and music.
Dentons’ media team advises key media players in the Polish market, including commercial broadcasters, OTT providers (present and entering the Polish market), cable and satellite operators, as well as film producers, music and game publishers. The team has substantial experience in film production and television broadcasting advice. Speaking of the firm, one client commented: "I find the performance of Dentons' office very professional. Memorandums were prepared thoroughly, even if on short notice. The evaluation of time spent on particular works was also satisfactory."
DZP assist’s clients in dealing with local intricacies impacting multi-national marketing projects involving both ATL and BTL advertising (co-marketing agreements, marketing materials’ clearance, establishing T&Cs, regulatory matters, esp. with gambling schemes, loyalty schemes and bonus sale schemes). The firm advises leading publishers on distribution systems, distribution agreements, press registration, protection of intellectual property rights, newspaper formats and disputes over personal rights. The firm’s services are also focussed on the dynamically developing video games market, particularly as regards new business models for on-line games, games of chance, free-to-play, pay per play, and digital content distribution models.
Kopeć & Zaborowski (KKZ) is recognized as one of the leaders in media law and protection of personal rights, as well as in civil litigation and criminal press law. The increasing prestige of the law firm and the number of successful cases have led to a growing number of clients. The firm has more than 1000 clients that include politicians, journalists, actors, celebrities, publishers, media owners, businessmen, and managers of large and small companies. KKZ is a group of over 60 lawyers who also cooperate with private and public media in the following areas: pre-release material control, audio-visual material at the production and post-production stages both in respect of legal matters pertaining to press law and copyrights issues. Managing Partners: Marta Kopeć and Maciej Zaborowski.
Baker McKenzie Krzyzowski i Wspólnicy has a strong position nationally and is regularly praised by competitors. The Warsaw practice ocusses on copyright and technology. The firm’s multidisciplinary approach brings together a range of sector-related service areas that include commercial law, litigation and unfair competition.
BWHS Wojciechowski Springer and Partners advises top TMT companies such as P4 (PLAY) and UPC on media, competition, consumer and regulatory issues. The firm represents clients in unfair competition and misleading advertising disputes. Another pillar of its activity is supporting companies operating on the publishing market, for example Dressler Dublin. Andrzej Springer is head of practice, and a notable practitioner with an extensive background. Mr Springer is praised by the clients for having a combination of business focus and effectiveness. Other team members involved in media cases include partners Mirosław Skrycki, who leads disputes concerning infringement of personal goods in media and advises telecoms clients on unfair competition issues, Katarzyna Racka who successfully represented PLAY in a dispute against TVN and Mirosława Zytkowska-Kocik who advised UPC on proceedings against Netia.
GWW is widely acknowledged to be one of Poland’s leading advisory practices. The firm acts for clients from film and broadcasting sectors and is praised by peers for its work in these fields. The team advises on the film production and trading in television and marketing rights.
SKP Ślusarek Kubiak Pieczyk is a leading independent Polish law firm specialising in advising the creative, media, new technology, life science, and science and business innovation sectors. The combination of the many years of diverse experience of managing partners Maciej Ślusarek, Maciej Kubiak, and Tomasz Pieczyk is a guarantee of comprehensive legal services. SKP supports representatives of the creative industries at every stage of their projects. SKP’s lawyers have completed several hundred projects: audiovisual, related to new technologies, personal data, industrial property, and commercialisation of research. The DNA of the SKP law firm also includes cases related to the protection of the reputation of individuals and companies, and representation in disputes concerning intellectual property, unfair competition, personal rights, and commercial matters.
Driven by a focus on sports and intellectual property, Wardyński & Partners is prime choice for sports companies. The practice covers commercial and corporate areas of work on behalf of television and radio broadcasters, operators of digital platforms, advertising agencies and producers of audio-visual recordings. The firm is renowned for its primary specialisation in copyright law.
With a primarily focus on telecommunications, Chajec & Parnters’s work within the TMT sector also includes ongoing advice to one of Poland’s largest private television stations and satellite television platforms. The firm’s media team has wide ranging experience including transactional and regulatory.
The TMT/ IP practice group at CMS is recognised by peers for its industry engaggment. The firm is known for its advice on user generated content, e-commerce issues and infringement on the internet. Lawyers advise on all aspects of contentious and non-contentious cases.
The media division at DLA Piper Giziński Kycia combines commercial and regulatory aspects in cases involving internet law, cloud computing, e-commerce, broadcasting, distribution contracts and licensing agreements. The firm’s global competence and cross-border expertise makes it a relevant component of the legal market and a trusted brand say peers.
Jakubowski & Pluta and Partners’ press law focus is matched by its advertising and copyright specialisation. The team works with publishers and radio broadcasters on freedom of expression, publishing corrections and advises on the use of artistic works.
The media law desk at WP Law spcialises in audio and audiovisual media which covers media law, copyright law and legal issues related to the operations of digital platforms and services. The team provides legal assistance on the production, acquisition and distribution of audiovisual and audio (musical) content. Lawyers support clients such as broadcasters of TV channels and operators of internet platforms in their operations regarding the production, acquisition and distribution of their services. The firm handles cases that require expertise in the sale of advertising space and time. The firm’s advice covers the use of technology in the media sector, such as dynamic ad insertion.
Allen & Overy is praised by peers for its IP focus. The firm’s lawyers are singled out for expertise within IP/TMT areas, notably technology law. Lawyers are praised for being ‘business oriented’ and having a good level of ‘theoretical background’ when dealing with industry cases.
With a focus on new technology and intellectual property, FKA Furtek Komosa Aleksandrowicz’s sector-related work is derived from converged areas of media. Lawyers have in-depth knowledge of electronic market regulation and regularly advise on financing and distribution agreements.
As highlighted by its clients, Linklaters has “very good knowledge of law and the regulatory environment”. Clients also note the firm’s litigation experience and highlight partners for their skill and adeptness. In representative work, the team advised Bonnier Business Polska on all IP aspects of its acquisition of media company Grupa Bankier from the Dutch Naspers Group. The firm regularly handles cross-broader cases involving broadcasting, data protection and technology contracts.
Bird & Bird
Traple Konarski Podrecki & Partners
LSW Bienkowski, Laskowski, Lesnodorski, Melzacki and Partners
SK&S - Sołtysiński Kawecki & Szlęzak
Baker McKenzie Krzyzowski i Wspólnicy
BWHS Wojciechowski Springer and Partners
Hasik, Rheims & Partners
Kochański & Partners
Wardyński & Partners
Chajec & Partners
DLA Piper Giziński Kycia
Jakubowski Pluta and Partners
SSW Pragmatic Solutions
Allen & Overy
FKA Furtek Komosa Aleksandrowicz
RANKING AND EDITORIALS
REGIONS WE COVER
Middle East and North Africa
Central and Eastern Europe