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Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Advertising
  2. Art
  3. Book publishers
  4. Cinema
  5. Music
  6. Newspapers and magazines
  7. Sports
  8. Television and radio
  9. Leading individuals
  10. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Advertising
    • Eric Andrieu - Pechenard & Associés
    • Art
    • Jean-Jacques Neuer - Neuer, Cabinet
    • Book publishing
    • Josée-Anne Bénazéraf - ArtLaw
    • Laurent Merlet - ArtLaw
    • Emmanuel Pierrat - Pierrat & de Seze
    • Cinema
    • Anne Boissard - ArtLaw
    • Charles-Edouard Renault - De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés
    • Christian Valsamidis - Taylor Wessing
    • Music
    • Jean Aittouares - Ox avocats
    • Alain Barsikian - CBR & Associés
    • Nicolas Boespflug - Nicolas Boespflug
    • Jean Castelain - Granrut Société d'Avocats
    • Eric Lauvaux - NomoS
    • Michael Majster - CBR & Associés
    • Anne-Marie Pecoraro - Aturquoise
    • Isabelle Wekstein-Steg - Wan Avocats
    • Sports
    • Romain Soiron - Joffe & Associés
    • Yves Wehrli - Clifford Chance
    • Television/radio
    • Michel Rasle - Carbonnier Lamaze Rasle
    • Olivier Sprung - CBR & Associés

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Advertising
    • Fabien Honorat - Pechenard & Associés
    • Cinema
    • Sophie Borowsky - Crossen & Borowsky
    • Music
    • Juliette Félix - Granrut Société d'Avocats
    • Sports
    • Fabrice Lorvo - FTPA
    • Television and radio
    • Rachael Crossen - Crossen & Borowsky
    • Armelle Fourlon - Fourlon Avocats

Who Represents Who

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The following editorial collates the rankings of law firms in media and entertainment subcategories; firms are written about in alphabetical order. (Please note that only firms ranked in one or more of the main subcategory tables have accompanying editorial.)

ArtLaw was founded by Josée-Anne Bénazéraf and Laurent Merlet, who ‘have a perfect understanding of the publishing world´ and whom clients ‘trust blindly when it comes to making strategic choices’, as well as Anne Boissard; together the group impresses with ‘finesse and intelligent advice’ and ‘precious expertise in defamation claims and press law’. Recent work highlights include defending a major international book publisher against unfair competition and parasitism claims brought by a competitor, acting for a film producer and distributor in copyright infringement proceedings initiated by a French journalist in connection with a sports documentary, and defending a household publishing name against a photography agency seeking to repossess part of the client’s historic photographic archive. Other notable contacts include associates Côme Chazal, Yvan Diringer and Sophie Parent whose expertise extends to music law.

Due to its ‘excellent knowledge of the cinema sector and the availability, responsiveness and expertise of its lawyers’, ATURQUOISE is able to deliver ‘a highly professional, dynamic and enthusiastic service’. Founding partner and ‘first-class attorney’ Anne-Marie Pecoraro draws praise for her ‘ability to direct multidisciplinary teams across borders to handle complex litigations’; she regularly advises clients on communication campaigns, media coverage and regulatory obligations in France and the US. Wild Touch Studio, a French association founded by film director Luc Jacquet, instructed the group to oversee the development of a streaming platform, and other highlights in the cinema space include film financing and contractual matters related to the production of a feature film and a web TV project. Also heavily recommended are senior associates Marion Faupin and Rodolphe Boissau, who play a key role in the firm’s music offering: the group recently advised a leading producer on the collection of royalties and copyright issues associated with a new live show in the Middle East, as well as on contractual negotiations with composers.

August Debouzy’s six-partner multidisciplinary team regularly handles commercial contracts, IP, labour, tax and corporate law issues for sponsors, clubs and sport federations. In recent highlight work, the group advised a household sporting goods brand on an FCA investigation into the distribution of the sporting goods sector, with particular focus on online terms, and Mahasti Razavi is defending a major brand against a claim filed by one of its French distributors on the grounds of the sudden termination of their commercial relationship. Internet and new technology work also holds a strong presence in the firm’s caseload, as shown by the group’s advice to a social media network dedicated to sports on the management of its trademark portfolio and a cross-border trademark dispute. Additionally, Florence Chafiol assisted a video game company with the establishment of its French entities, its acquisition of another company and several consumer claims. Other key clients include Diables Rouges Holdings, Valenciennes FC, the International Ski Federation and Nike.

Bauer & Bigot is noted for its work in the publishing space, where it handles contentious work pertaining to libel, defamation, privacy breaches, image rights and copyright infringements. Christophe Bigot and Camille Bauer also frequently advise on contractual matters in the press sector.

CBR & Associés’ lawyers ‘are very reactive, even in extreme situations, highly involved and always provide the right advice’. ‘Impressive litigator’ and commercial litigation department head Pierre-Olivier Chartier and Olivier Sprung recently represented TF1 in a dispute against YouTube and Dailymotion pertaining to the distribution of content to which TF1 owns the rights. In another noteworthy work highlight, the group acted in an unfair competition litigation in the radio space. Alain Barsikian, Michael Majster and Judith Vuillez, who advises British American Tobacco on various advertising issues, are other names to note.

Carbonnier Lamaze Rasle provides both counsel and strategic litigation advice to a broad range of media clients including television companies, press organisations and sports clubs. Jointly headed by Michel Rasle and Hedwige Caldairou, the intellectual property and media team recently defended Arte France against counterfeiting claims brought by Production de la Baleine related to sections of the client’s documentary on actress Brigitte Bardot. Other work included defending a public television broadcaster against trade mark infringement allegations brought by an individual, advising a foreign worship association on its production of religious-themed feature films, and assisting a public French audio-visual group with pre-publishing matters related to extreme violence portrayed in its report on war crimes in Africa. France Medias Monde, LC2 Medias and Rockzeline are also key clients. Corinne Thiérache joined Alerion.

The sports law team at Clifford Chance is headed by Paris managing partner Yves Wehrli and supported by the firm’s corporate, project finance and dispute resolution departments. Notable work highlights include guiding the French Football Federation through the tender process for the selection of an equipment supplier, and assisting Margarita Louis-Dreyfus with the sale of well-known football club Olympique Marseille to Frank McCourt. Finance specialist Benjamin de Blegiers is advising Crédit Lyonnais, Crédit Agricole and Natixis on the refinancing of the Lille stadium and the financing of the resident football club’s capital needs. On the contentious front, the group defended World Rugby in a commercial litigation case filed by a French club challenging the international rules regarding the release of international players for competition, and Thibaud d’Alès is handling a series of disputes concerning a stadium leasing agreement and alleged losses incurred through the organisation of a major international sporting event. Other noteworthy clients include the French Tennis Association and Paris Eiffel Jumping and UEFA.

Crossen & Borowsky has ‘serious expertise when it comes to the specificities of American media’ and ‘provides a very commercial, very innovative, responsive and overall excellent service’. ‘First-rate and fun to work with lawyer’ Sophie Borowsky frequently assists clients with the production of feature films, and in recent work, advised a leading Korean entertainment company on the purchase of audio-visual adaptation rights of a book; in other cinema-related work, Rachael Crossen assisted a leading multinational production company with the licensing of underlying intellectual property rights, and the co-production and distribution of a feature film. On the television front, the group regularly negotiates European output deals, provides pre-litigation advice with regard to distribution issues, and recently assisted a private equity fund with the potential acquisition of a French media broadcaster, publisher and distributor as well as with the financing of a television series.

The media offering at De Baecque Fauré Bellec was recently bolstered by the arrival of dispute resolution expert Anne-Jessica Fauré from a now-defunct practice which she co-led. The group provides ongoing advice to estate administrators of world-famous artists, which recently entailed the prosecution of parties responsible for the theft of iconic artworks and a dispute relating to the sale and ownership of a sculpture. Anti-counterfeiting campaigns, the protection of copyrights and the negotiation of agreements on behalf of museums and galleries also feature prominently in the firm’s recent caseload. IP specialist Stéphane Bellec made partner.

De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés ‘is highly experienced in sports law and the organisation of mass events which enables its lawyers to quickly understand the issues at hand and provide quick, useful advice’. The firm’s multidisciplinary offering features the ‘client-focused and quick-thinking’ Rhadamès Killy and Jean-François Vilotte, who ‘is able to immediately line up the appropriate team for the issues at stake’. The media law branch of the firm mainly revolves around intellectual property experts such as Charles-Edouard Renault and Julien Horn, who were recently joined by Philippe Moncorps from an in-house position at TF1. Louis de Gaulle handles a series of copyright infringement disputes and negotiated contracts for the use of copyrighted material, the production of television series and movies, and product placements in feature films. Georgie Courtois defended Twentieth Century Fox against unfair competition and copyright infringement claims arising from the client’s allegedly illegal distribution of the film Avatar. Serge Lederman is the key contact for art-related matters.

Dentons’ communication, media and entertainment department assists clients such as J Walter Thompson and Coca-Cola with the whole array of contentious and non-contentious advertising issues, but also has an established presence in the television media space. Of counsel Isabelle Leroux and practice head David Masson advised on the launch of a new channel and represented a broadcaster in a dispute with a group of employees regarding the ownership rights of produced content. Masson also frequently handles contentious copyright issues in the literary publishing and music industry. Other notable clients include Al Jazeera, Sony and Flammarion.

Deprez Guignot Associés provides advice to advertising agencies and publishers regarding pre-publication validation, regulatory compliance, unfair competition matters and contractual negotiations. Also noteworthy are the firm’s expertise and impressive client roster in the fields of publishing, press and audio-visual media. Recent highlights include advising a new player in the online gaming space on matters pertaining to advertising content and a market report following cease and desist demands by its competitors, and defending a manufacturer in competition proceedings brought by a lobbying group pertaining to a television advertisement published by a major retailer. Along with representing several major television channels in litigation, the practice also assisted an advertising company with a novel case attempting to draw a clear distinction between editorial and sponsored material in online blogs. Pierre Deprez, Vincent Fauchoux, Frédéric Dumont and Guillaume Deglaire are the names to note.

FTPA has an ‘outstanding appreciation’ for its clients. Intangibles law department co-head Fabrice Lorvo, noted for his ‘strong responsiveness, excellent organisational skills and outstanding technical prowess’, specialises in advertisement, marketing and communications law. The group regularly assists sports organisers with day-to-day advice regarding their activities, including commercialisation of media rights, sponsorship contracts, organisation of events, and Lorvo recently advised a media company on the negotiation of television broadcasting rights in Africa. Other work included assisting a leading sports marketing entity with its effort to recover media rights in foreign jurisdictions, and advising a client on the sale of a European football club. Data protection in connection with athletes’ e-health devices, sponsorship contracts and dispute resolution also feature in the group’s recent caseload.

With a specific expertise in matters relating to the internet and new technologies, Fourlon Avocats regularly advises large media groups on production contracts, regulatory obligations, copyrights and defamation issues. Other notable work highlights in the audio-visual space included reviewing the copyright and image right implications of materials ‘inspired by real events’ and the team’s activity in the press and publishing sphere revolves around unfair competition and defamation claims, as well as the protection of copyrights in the context of social media platforms. IP and media law expert Armelle Fourlon handles both contentious and advisory issues and recently assisted a media company with contracts negotiations, contentious and pre-litigation matters, as well as financing aspects.

The TMT department at Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. consists of experienced litigator Olivier Cousi and counsel Julien Guinot-Deléry, who jointly assist major television and cinema clients with the protection of their intellectual property rights; recently, the duo advised a production and distribution company on the review of an intellectual property pledge agreement. In other work, the group represented France Télévisions in a litigation against a BBC subsidiary pertaining to the ownership and protection of a specific television series format, and advised the National Foundation of Political Sciences on the procurement of an online platform and internet service. On the sports front, recent work highlights include representing the French Tennis Federation in a major dispute with the descendants of the architect of the greenhouses in the Auteuil botanical gardens in connection with the extension of Roland-Garros and the construction of a new court in these premises. Arte, be IN Sports and RTL are other key clients.

Granrut Société d'Avocats’ Jean Castelain and newly promoted counsel Juliette Félix recently advised major music publishers on contractual issues pertaining to copyright infringement, the enforcement of commercial agreements as well as contentious issues, and the duo are also representing a songwriter in a dispute with a performer regarding ownership rights. Longstanding client France Télévisions instructed the group to handle its ongoing multijurisdictional libel dispute against the Bolloré group pertaining to a documentary on Vincent Bolloré broadcast on France 2 and Anne Cousin provides day-to-day advice to 20 Minutes regarding media law for print and digital content. The practice also tackles significant freedom of expression matters for television and newspaper clients accused of defamation or libel. Of counsel Christine Caron is also recommended.

GROSSLERNER Avocats is ‘effective, fast and very professional’ and known for its ‘excellent knowledge of the media and entertainment space’. In a recent highlight, the team advised Cottowood and the Opera of Paris on all contractual negotiations with international broadcasters and necessary trade mark management regarding the joint production of Paris Opera. Other notable audio-visual matters included assisting a car sharing platform with its product placement in a feature film, and advising an agency on agreements with online content producers with regards to the registration and monetisation of appropriate rights. A videogame publisher also engaged the firm to advise on a novel subscription-based content platform. Founding partner Julien Grosslerner ‘is the firm’s strongest asset’ and impresses with ‘perfect mastery of his practice areas’; senior associate Florence Jean is another name to note.

Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP’s lawyers ‘understand the needs and constraints of their clients’ and provide ‘good, sound advice and value for money’. Although present in the music, television and live show spaces, the team is at its strongest in the field of cinema. Recommended practice head Stefan Naumann assisted CTI Bank with the $200m financing of Luc Besson’s science-fiction film Valerian, and continues to advise Warner Bros on anti-piracy campaigns and the protection and enforcement of its intellectual property portfolios. Also notable is his advice to Paramount on the distribution of its audio-visual content in France. On the music front, a client appointed the group to oversee a litigation pertaining to the illegal use of a song in an advertising campaign, and another instructed the team to conduct intellectual property due diligence for its proposed acquisition of a large independent music distributor.

Joffe & Associés is best known for its strong expertise in advising federation and professional football, horse riding, tennis and handball leagues on marketing and media law issues. Practice head Romain Soiron regularly negotiates broadcasting agreements, image rights and sponsorship agreements and represents his clients in litigation, especially in relation to online betting and internet issues. Transactional support is also an important aspect of the practice.

KGA Avocats’ sports offering is comprised of three experienced lawyers who handle a wide array of advisory and contentious issues for clubs, leagues and federations. Eve Derouesné is acting for a football club in negotiations with its host city regarding the procurement of new training facilities, and represented another client in proceedings against its ruling federation to challenge the non-selection of its female team. François Klein provides ongoing advice to a sports agency on the exploitation of marketing rights of a premier league football club and assists a number of federations with all their disciplinary actions. And on the IP front, Laurent Badiane regularly assists with contract negotiations and the enforcement and protection of copyrights in the audio-visual media space.

Lmt Avocats’ Jean-Yves Foucard heads the firm’s cross-practice sports offering, which specialises in advising athletes, federations, clubs and other sports entities on commercial exploitation of image rights and contracts. The group also oversees player transfers, all aspects of the organisation of major sports events and represents clients in disciplinary hearings, including those involving doping charges. Christophe Héry and Oliver Samyn are other key contacts.

Lysias Partners has a strong track record in defending press titles in freedom of expression disputes. In recent highlights, Jean-Pierre Mignard and Pierre-Emmanuel Blard defended a blogger against public defamation claims brought by a major retailer, and Emmanuel Tordjman represented a regional newspaper in breach of privacy and liability proceedings after one of its journalists revealed the name of a suspect in a murder case. Adrien Basdevant and François de Cambiaire are other names to note.

Cabinet Neuer’s Jean-Jacques Neuer is an unmissable name in the art sector: he represents the estates of some of the world’s most iconic artists and acts for galleries and collectors in high-profile cases. Clients mainly engage Neuer to advise on auctions, transactions and restitution issues which may involve criminal implications. Recently, the firm has also expanded its activities into the realm of literary publishing.

Nicolas Boespflug specialises in IP advice and has particular expertise in the music sector. Recently, the group has predominantly handled contentious work pertaining to copyright infringement claims, anti-counterfeiting operations and unfair competition disputes. Other areas of expertise include advice on dealing with online offences. Nicolas Boespflug and Elizabeth Boespflug are the key contacts.

NomoS’ Eric Lauvaux, who leads the media, intellectual property and internet offering with litigation expert Hélèna Delabarre, is a noted reference in the field of copyright law and specialises in the music and audio-visual sectors. Clients regularly seek advice on ownership rights, marketing law, distribution of creative content, licensing agreements, infringement litigation and intellectual property rights enforcement among other matters.

The media offering at Osborne Clarke was recently strengthened by the arrival of Xavier Pican and associates Laurène Zaggia and Margaux Hammer from LPA-CGR avocats. The group advises clients ranging from start-ups to major international corporates on the full spread of media matters and recently assisted Ascential with the organisation of the yearly International Advertising Festival in Cannes. Other work included advising Snowite on the negotiation of end-to-end contracts for the music streaming service of new digital content platform Cstream and acting for The Pokémon Company in pan-European issues pertaining to video content rating, broadcasting regulations, merchandising and the Pokémon Go mobile application. Managing partner Béatrice Delmas-Linel and Claire Bouchenard jointly head the team.

Ox avocats’ founding partner Jean Aittouares acts for a wide range of media clients but has particularly strong expertise in advising artists, producers and major corporates on music matters. He is representing label Wati B in a dispute against artist Maître Gims pertaining to the illegal breaching of his recording contract, which held him accountable for two more albums. In the advertising space, the group is representing a French adman in a copyright claim against Jeff Koons and the Centre Pompidou, and also represented producer Iconoclast in a dispute against Lolita Lempika’s trade mark holder arising from the latter’s termination of its commercial relationship with the distributor during the production of the second ad campaign. A historic association of Paris Saint-Germain FC supporters, which holds the ‘Ici, c’est Paris!’ trade mark, instructed the practice to handle a counterfeiting action against the football club related to the exploitation of the trade mark.

PRD Avocats recently handled several high-profile litigations including the defence of a journalist and an editorial director who had allegedly broadcasted graphic images of a murder. The group, led by Pierre-Randolphe Dufau, also handled several cases arising from public defamation and presumption of innocence claims, as well as a criminal case in which it represented two journalists who were almost murdered. BFMTV and Nextinteractive are some of the firm’s noteworthy clients.

Passa Varet Avocats’ Vincent Varet and associate Camille Bertin have a particular strong standing in the book publishing sector, but also advise music industry clients. In recent highlights, the group represented editors and publishing companies in unfair competition and copyright infringement disputes, and also advised authors and commercial partners on contractual matters.

Pechenard & Associés applies its ‘expertise, reactivity and business-oriented approach’ predominantly in advertising and media matters, including advice on misleading advertising, comparative advertising and promotional games as well as on regulatory issues and civil and criminal litigation cases. On the media side, clients frequently instruct the firm to handle image rights, privacy and libel issues: in a recent highlight, the group defended a client against freedom of speech violation claims and represented a major broadcaster in a dispute arising from an allegedly illegal video montage based on hidden camera footage. Key clients include Lixir and Procter & Gamble. Eric Andrieu and Fabien Honorat, who is noted for his ‘availability, proactivity and creativity’, jointly head the practice.

Pierrat & de Seze provides a multidisciplinary offering to clients in the audio-visual, press and live spectacle sectors, but is especially noted for its strength in the book publishing space. The practice handles disputes between all industry players as well as contractual and regulatory matters and also assists clients with their transition to digital platforms. Sophie Viaris de Lesegno, Emmanuel Pierrat, Julien Fournier and Carbon de Seze are the names to note.

Reinhart Marville Torre’s multidisciplinary team advises an impressive roster of sports clubs such as FC Nantes, Olympique Lyonnais and Racing 92 on financing issues, sponsorship contracts and audio-visual rights, among other matters. Louis Marie Absil represented authorised sports bet operator PMU in a litigation against UEFA and the organisers of the Euro 2016 championship to challenge UEFA’s right to collect bets, and Jérôme Marsaudon advised FC Nantes on matters pertaining to the departure of its former coach and the arrival of new coach, Claudio Ranieri. On the corporate and M&A side, Jean-Baptiste Guillot assisted sports media company Perform with several recent acquisitions.

The entertainment law department at Taylor Wessing is led by Christian Valsamidis, who has particularly strong expertise in IP and cross-border film financing: he recently acted, alongside cinema production and financing expert Claire Saint-Laurent-Mantoux, for Mandarin Cinema in its acquisition by M6 as part of the latter’s expansion of its film catalogue. Saint-Laurent-Mantoux, who has been instrumental in developing the firm’s TV and radio practice, also assisted Star Invest Films with the structuring of its distribution activities and its acquisition of distribution rights from producers. She frequently assists with production and exploitation contracts of television series, while dispute resolution partner Benoît Goulesque-Monaux, who is noted for his cinema expertise, advises on contentious matters in the newspaper and magazine sphere, including assistance with privacy infringements and defamation claims. Recently, the group represented a well-known petition website in its action against an online property advertiser after the latter identified the author of a defamatory statement on its platform. Other notable clients include Mondadori France, Studio Hari and Shamai.

Vercken & Gaullier’s media lawyers ‘are extremely competent in copyright law’ and provide ‘a top-level service which one could not find anywhere else’. Florence Gaullier and Gilles Vercken, who ‘are both very precise and competent copyright lawyers’, recently represented book publishers in disputes related to unfair competition issues and advised on eBook publishing and distribution contracts. Other work highlights included successfully defending Elsevier Masson in a litigation brought by social security bodies concerning the social security system in place for its authors. The group also handles significant contentious cases in the television and radio space for clients such as TF1 and provides counsel on contractual and regulatory issues. On the advertisement front, clients mainly engage the practice to assist with contract negotiations and regulatory obligations, namely with respects to changes in the Sapin law and GDPR.

The great majority of Wan Avocats’ caseload is located in the media industry, where Isabelle Wekstein-Steg’s team handles corporate work for leading publishers and financial institutions as well as copyright and intellectual property work. On the non-contentious side, the practice regularly advises performers on contractual issues pertaining to tours and live shows, recently assisted a major global music publisher with the acquisition of EuropaCorp’s music editing business, and advised a videogame studio on IP issues arising from its proposed merger with a foreign entity. Recent contentious work includes a number of copyright infringement cases in the television and music sectors, and representing a motion picture company in a dispute against an actor concerning a breach of contract. Other key names include practice co-head Raphaël Naccach and social law expert Catherine Touboul Aisenberg.

Wilhelm & Associés acts for media and entertainment companies in competition, regulatory, advertising and intellectual property matters. In recent highlights, the group represented Canal+ before the FCA with regards to the review of remedies accepted during the client’s merger with D8 and Direct Star, and advised PHO on the sale of television channel Numéro 23 to Next Radio TV. In contentious work, the team defended Telefrance in contractual litigation brought by France Television, and represented an online betting platform in an unfair competition claim against its main competitor. Managing partner Pascal Wilhelm is the key contact.

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