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  1. Media and entertainment
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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Dentons’ media, sports and entertainment group is driven out of Vancouver by industry specialist Gordon Esau, who has a strong track record in representing Hollywood studios, television networks and US-based independent production companies. The practice is active across a diverse mix of corporate and regulatory matters, with notable strengths in financings and M&A transactions. Toronto-based Ken Dhaliwal and Montreal-based Joey Mastrogiuseppe are also recommended.

Well known for its prominent broadcasting practice, Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP’s expertise also spans music, book publishing and live entertainment. Ottawa-based communications specialist Gerald Kerr-Wilson is a key contact and is acting for major wireless network providers (Rogers Communications, Bell Canada, Quebecor Media and Telus Communications) in a case against the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada seeking to recover more than C$12m in royalties paid for the download of ringtones. Montreal-based IP partner Christian Leblanc is advising major media providers on a public inquiry into press freedom and police surveillance. Toronto’s Barbara Miller is also recommended.

Goodmans’ ‘strong experience’ and ‘deep and knowledgeable bench’ ensures it ranks among the best in the entertainment space. David Zitzerman leads the group and is highlighted as ‘the go-to-guy for entertainment law in Canada’; he regularly represents producers, television networks, Hollywood studios, film and television distributers and performers on a wide range of industry issues. Carolyn Stamegna and Tara Parker are also recognized as market leaders. Representative clients include Netflix Studios, Random House, Universal Pictures International and the Writers Guild of Canada.

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP has a robust media and defamation practice, which calls on the expertise of Toronto-based litigator Paul Schabas – widely regarded as one of Canada’s foremost media lawyers. The firm also advises media clients on transactional matters. The Toronto Star, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the Canadian Newspaper Association are all key clients.

At Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, high-profile copyright specialist and entertainment co-chair Casey Chisick acts for an impressive roster of music, film, broadcasting, publishing and theatre clients. Chisick represented CSI (a joint venture of the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency and the Society for Reproduction Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers in Canada), Connect Music Licensing and the Quebec Collective Society for the Rights of Makers of Sound and Video Recordings in proceedings concerning royalties paid by commercial radio stations for the reproduction of music in broadcast operations.

Gowling WLG maintains a busy media and entertainment practice, which advises on contract negotiations, managing rights acquisitions and litigation - among other matters. Toronto-based Susan Abramovitch has a strong reputation in the area and has recently undertaken work for the National Arts Centre, the Canadian Independent Music Association and Harlequin Enterprises.

The entertainment and media practice at Miller Thomson has experience in corporate finance, IP, international co-productions and distribution matters. Among its recent work, the firm advised Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec on its C$18m investment into multimedia studio Moment Factory. Vancouver’s Eva Schmieg is recommended.

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