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Germany > Media > Entertainment > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Media: entertainment
  2. Other recommended firms
  3. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Winfried Bullinger - CMS
    • Johannes Kreile - Noerr
    • Mathias Schwarz - SKW Schwarz Rechtsanwälte
    • Christoph Wagner - Morrison & Foerster LLP

Noerr has ‘comprehensive national and international knowledge of the media industry’, with broad-based expertise that encompasses media antitrust law, transactions, regulatory and IT-related matters. Film and television expert Martin Diesbach joined SKW Schwarz Rechtsanwälte but the team has several strong figures: Ulrich Michel, who is ‘an expert in international media contract law and film funding matters’, took over as practice head, the well-regarded Hans Radau returned to the Munich office from London, and Johannes Kreile is also recommended. The team has been acting for Walt Disney and Marvel in the co-production, financing and promotion of the film, Captain America III; other clients include Spotify, ZDF and Universal Pictures Productions.

SKW Schwarz Rechtsanwälte shows ‘team spirit, speed and precision’, and is considered to be ‘a centre of excellence’ across ‘an unequivocally big spectrum’ of media matters. The team in Berlin focuses on advising artists and musicians, while colleagues in Munich cover digital business, press and publishing, and traditional media matters. In a notable move, the firm hired film and television expert Martin Diesbach from Noerr. Mathias Schwarz and Konstantin Wegner are also recommended, although Daniel Kaboth moved to Ampersand Rechtsanwaelte LLP. The practice recently advised Prorom Media-Trade on the acquisition of Media Pro Distribution and is representing WDR, ZDF, Bavaria Film, Sat.1 and Sony in various disputes about reasonable compensation for the shows, Derrick, Der Alte, Das Boot and Der Bulle von Tölz.

With an ‘excellent industry network’, Brehm & v. Moers’s ‘outstanding’ media practice is considered a top address for film financing, funding and project advice, and continues to handle high-profile film productions. The ‘quick and effective’ team has broad expertise in IT and is increasingly handling digital media matters, including projects on innovative content production and dissemination; it advises founders and investors on the development of YouTube channels. ‘Proven expert’ Stefan v. Moers ‘always acts constructively and is solution-oriented’, Till Neumann ‘communicates clearly’, and Kai Bodensiek ‘immediately recognises clients’ needs’.

CMS’ ‘pragmatic’ team focuses on digital matters, including the digitalisation of classic business models, the creation and embedding of new structures in the media sector, as well as digital media regulation and antitrust work. It acted for adblocker Eyeo in contract negotiations with Google and in several landmark proceedings against ProSiebenSat.1 Digital, Handelsblatt, Zeit Online and Axel Springer. Other clients include eBay and the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. ‘Well-versed strategist’ Sebastian Cording heads the practice, which also includes Winfried Bullinger, Ole Jani and Pietro Graf Fringuelli.

Greenberg Traurig LLP opened its first German office in Berlin in October 2015 and recruited Stefan Lütje and his team from Olswang Germany LLP; his team is recognised for its ‘deep industry knowledge’ and ‘excellent strategic and economic expertise’. The practice frequently advises clients on OTT platforms, e-commerce, mobile payment and streaming services; it has been advising Media Broadcast on the establishment of a digital marketing platform for digital terrestrial television at DVB-T2 standard and assisted Sophisticated Film with film finance. Viola Bensinger ‘always sees the big picture’ and Christoph Enaux provides ‘excellent advice’.

Morrison & Foerster LLP has a powerful M&A practice in the media industry as well as expertise in antitrust and regulatory issues. Christoph Wagner advised 21st Century Fox on the $4.9bn sale of its stake in Sky Deutschland to British Sky Broadcasting; other clients include Axel Springer and DEAG, the latter of which Andreas Grünwald is assisting with the establishment of and a joint venture with ProSiebenSat.1 and BILD. Counsel Christiane Stützle has been driving the firm’s presence in television and film; the team also covers art and music law.

Firmly positioned in media law and copyright, Hertin Anwaltssozietätmakes the impossible possible’ and is recognised for its ‘equitable relationship with clients’. Led by ‘grandmaster’ Paul Hertin, whose ‘ability to oversee complex matters in drawn-out legal procedures impresses’, the team is often involved in landmark proceedings, such as the representation of various dubbing actors in remuneration claims against Studiocanal and Tele München, a body of work in which the ‘assertive and strategic’ Sandra Wagner has been particularly active. Other clients include Wintrup, various mid-cap companies and agencies, and the band Wir sind Helden.

Lausen Rechtsanwälte covers the entire spectrum of media and copyright law and regularly advises on prominent copyright disputes in the music, broadcasting and film industry. The renowned Matthias Lausen represented Gema against YouTube regarding copyright and breach of duty of care. Martin Schippan is the contact for press law matters.

Taylor Wessing has a multidisciplinary practice group with expertise in copyright, unfair competition and contract law, e-commerce, media regulation and antitrust. Since 2014, the team has seen a steep increase in media disputes and one recent highlight was the successful representation of YouTube in copyright proceedings and breach of duty of care against Gema. Other clients include Sky and Soundcloud. Practice head Axel von dem Bussche is recommended.

Unverzagt Von Have has longstanding experience in the German and international film and television industry. Besides a recent increase in work for international television series through mainstream television, the practice has been advising clients on original programming via alternative delivery platforms, as well as on multi-source financings of television producers. Harro von Have heads the team, which also provides comprehensive advice on film productions, such as Citizenfour. National Bank of Canada is a new client on the financing side; other clients of the practice include RTL, Red Arrow Entertainment and artists Hape Kerkeling and Otto Waalkes. Frank Eickmeier is also recommended.

Bird & Bird traditionally focuses on contract and copyright advice for content providers and distributors, but increasingly also covers digital media and has been picking up work in social media and gaming. Clients include Dailymotion, N24 and Bitcom. Joseph Fesenmair is well regarded, although the renowned Stefan Engels and his team joined DLA Piper.

Boehmert & Boehmert has ‘outstanding’ copyright expertise, handling complex media antitrust litigation in film and music, but also its work in sport entertainment and art. Jan Bernd Nordemann and Olaf Wolters have been advising a national sports league – which is a new client – on copyright, internet piracy and the tender process for games rights. Christian Czychowski is the contact for art and online matters.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s practice builds on the firm’s transactional strength, primarily in cross-border mandates. Recent work includes acting for BC Partners and Springer Science+Business Media on their joint venture with Macmillian Science & Education, as well as advising Axel Springer on the merger of Immowelt and Immonet; other clients include Zalando and MediaBroadcast. Klaus Beucher and Michael Esser are the key figures.

Graef Rechtsanwälte has ‘excellent media industry knowledge’ and provides ‘practical, creative solutions’. Ralph Oliver Graef advised Scott Rudin Productions on production and film law matters regarding new film and live entertainment projects. The practice also covers the gaming sector, where Crimson Cow is a client, as well as press law and digital media. Other clients include BBC Worldwide, St. Pauli Theater and Udo Lindenberg.

K&L Gates LLP has developed particular expertise in the judicial representation of collecting societies; Martin von Albrecht regularly represents VG Media, including recently doing so in a case against Kabel Deutschland regarding cable transmission remuneration. The practice has additional expertise in music, art, copyright and digital media matters and other clients include the Federal Association of Organisers of Musical Performances, Viacom and RTL Disney. Tobias Bosch is also recommended.

KVLegal has a focus on new media, new technology and telecoms. Christlieb Klages and Urs Verweyen head the practice, which covers copyright, trade mark and IT matters, as well as e-commerce and liability issues surrounding new business models. Recent mandates include representing various online media retailers in landmark proceedings regarding the liability of media retailers and multiple proceedings for screenwriters concerning remuneration.

Klinkert Rechtsanwälte PartGmbB’s ‘extremely professional’ practice has ‘high industry knowledge, an eye on business and provides practical solutions’ in copyright and media matters. It advised Deezer on the acquisition of Ampaya; 1&1 is another client. Practice head Piet Bubenzer is ‘doubtlessly recommendable for complex copyright disputes’; Hermann Schlindwein is the contact for sport law.

The ‘superb’ team at McDermott Will & Emery Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater LLP frequently advises on operational, transactional and contentious matters in digital and traditional media. It regularly acts for Deutsche Telekom in copyright and contractual aspects of television and internet services deals; another client is Deutschlandradio. Ralf Weisser heads the practice, in which Wolfgang von Frentz and Christian Masch are regarded as ‘excellent copyright lawyers’.

Media boutique Scheuermann Westerhoff Strittmatter has longstanding experience in contractual, financial and strategic matters in the entertainment industry with an increased focus on the online sector. Clients include various musicians and music casting shows, as well as Spotify, Gold 1 Networks and HasOffers. Andreas Scheuermann is well versed in the television industry; Heiko Klatt is the contact for press law.

Straßer Ventroni Deubzer Freytag & Jäger’s comprehensive traditional and digital media practice handles copyright law and domestic companies, such as Sony Music Entertainment, ProSiebenSat.1 Media and Condé Nast. The team acted for tausendkind in e-commerce matters and advised Storyboard on media and employment matters. Stefan Freytag and Stefan Ventroni are key figures; Stephan Bücker joined from Baker Tilly Roelfs.

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Legal Developments in Germany

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