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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Ireland > Media and advertising > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


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Mason Hayes & Curran provides ‘on point and succinct’ advice to a range of traditional and new media entities including Virgin Media and Yahoo. The ‘excellentPhilip Nolan leads on non-contentious work and is advising a major EU broadcaster on its move into the Irish market. In the contentious space, Richard Woulfe is defending Facebook Ireland against a number of defamation claims.

Matheson’s well-established practice has particular strength in film and television production, film financing, animation and music licensing. Practice head Ruth Hunter is advising Metropolitan Films International on the production of the second season of Into the Badlands for AMCTV. Litigator Michael Byrne is representing various online media companies in defending defamation claims.

At McCann FitzGerald, ‘pre-eminentKaryn Harty is highly active in defamation cases, including defending the BBC against a defamation claim by Gerry Adams in respect of a Spotlight programme. The team’s experience in the television sector extends to corporate work, with Philip Andrews acting for ITV on the sale of UTV Ireland to Liberty Global.

Philip Lee is ‘a leading law firm in the area of film and television’, and the practice handles a strong caseload of production and financing work. Practice head Brian Gormley, who has ‘a good understanding of both Irish and foreign film and television’, acted for Jam Media on closing the financing for Becca’s Bunch. The other key figure is Jonathan Kelly, who together with Jessica Gorman, advised Element Pictures on the production and financing of The Killing of a Sacred Deer.

William Fry has a strong traditional media client base that includes the likes of The Irish Times and RTÉ. Practice head Fiona Barry, who has considerable experience in reputation management work, is active in the defamation space. David Cullen is advising OTPP, Camelot Group and Premier Lotteries on issues arising from their appointment as operator of the non-state controlled Irish National Lottery licence.

A&L Goodbody’s strong online media client base includes multinational technology companies. Key contacts include practice head John Whelan, John Cahir and defamation specialist Kenan Furlong.

At Arthur Cox, well-regarded litigator Gavin Woods provides ‘considered’ advice on defamation matters to clients including Facebook Ireland; he recently assisted said client with various notice and takedown requests. Practice head Colin Kavanagh handles a range of corporate and finance work and advised Cofiloisirs Film Finance on the financing of a film provisionally entitled Black 47.

Media boutique Simon McAleese Solicitors stands out for its defamation work, with name partner Simon McAleese regularly defending publishing clients in high-profile cases.

Dillon Eustace has considerable experience in defending newspapers in defamation claims, and in one example, the ‘diligent and able’ David Kavanagh successfully acted for MGN in proceedings brought by Caroline Watson. Other key figures are practice head John Doyle and Paul Gill, who has ‘decades of experience in the news media sector’.

At Eugene F. Collins, ‘very capable and driven’ practice head Rachel Shanley handled a number of defamation matters for a major television broadcaster. Shanley also provides pre-publication advice for the likes of Random House/Transworld Ireland.

Hayes Solicitors is highly active for key client The Irish Times, with managing partner David Phelan and Joseph O’Malleyformidable opponents in contentious matters’. Other clients include NK Management and Penguin Books.

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Legal Developments in Ireland

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