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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 entertainment > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Media and entertainment
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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The team at Mason Hayes & Curran is noted for its 'excellent, practical, business-savvy advice': its lawyers 'understand the role of in-house counsel and try to stand in the client's shoes when providing advice'. As well as traditional media players, the team acts for leading "new media" entities. Philip Nolan leads the practice; Gerard Kelly advised Virgin Media on the rebranding of TV3 News, which was purchased by its parent company in 2015; and Robert McDonagh assisted RTÉ with the drafting and negotiation of contracts for the development of the next generation RTÉ Player. Richard Woulfe handles contentious matters.

Matheson's strengths lie in advising on defamation and privacy law, film and TV production and financing, animation and music licensing. Highlights included Ruth Hunter advising Metropolitan Films International on the production of the third season of Into the Badlands for AMCTV, and Michael Byrne acting for a major cosmetics company in relation to a defamatory post that went viral on Facebook, Instagram and other social media. The team also handles regulatory issues for RTÉ, including the application of freedom of information and data protection legislation.

The practice at McCann FitzGerald has 'strength in depth from junior solicitors to partners in the media field' and counts major domestic and international operators in publishing, broadcasting, TV and film, internet, and betting and gaming among its clients. Karyn Harty 'ably' leads the team; she specialises in media defence litigation, representing Channel 4 in proceedings brought by Ryanair over a Dispatches documentary and Guardian News & Media in relation to a claim brought by two Cork boat owners over an article on the Irish fishing industry. Adam Finlay is advising media and internet company IAC on a GDPR project. The 'experienced and efficient' Alan Heuston heads the newly formed betting and gaming group.

The team at Philip Lee has 'great overall knowledge of the media and entertainment industry'; practice head Brian Gormley and Jonathan Kelly 'stand out as highly experienced partners providing practical, effective advice'. The team focuses mainly on film and TV transactional work, including advising NBC Universal on the production and financing of TV drama series Nightflyers and assisting JAM Media with the financing and production of a major live action and animated series for Amazon. In the advertising sphere, clients include the representative body for producers, Commercial Producers Ireland, and commercials production companies Pull the Trigger and Antidote. Senior associate Jessica Gorman is also noted.

William Fry acts for a number of key media players. Practice head Fiona Barry, who specialises in defamation and privacy matters, represented a financial adviser in defamation proceedings against his former employer and advised ComReg on an internal report on defamation and fair procedures. Leo Moore advised Bord Gáis Energy on the naming rights and distribution agreement for a well-known building and the sponsorship of the GAA All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship. Sinead Keavey, who has particular expertise in defamation law relating to social media, is also noted.

John Whelan heads the team at A&L Goodbody, where clients include several leading technology companies. Highlights included advising a global cinema group on its European operations and assisting Inflight Dublin with its Irish operations. On the advertising side, John Cahir advised TK Maxx on video advertising content and Claire Morrissey assisted a high-profile brewing company with claims concerning one of its products, the content of television adverts and a proposed new promotional website.

The team at Arthur Cox takes 'a practical, hands-on approach to all media-related issues'. Practice head Colin Kavanagh handles non-contentious and commercial matters, advising clients including Just Eat, 6 Nations Rugby and Uefa on advertising issues. Gavin Woods leads the contentious side of the practice; he acted for Coolmore Stud, the world's largest breeding operation of thoroughbred horses, in proceedings relating to the sale of a book containing defamatory content published by an ex-employee. Florence Loric, who focuses on media mergers and broadcasting regulation, is assisting eir with the roll-out of the National Broadband Plan, among other matters.

Simon McAleese heads the practice at media boutique Simon McAleese Solicitors, which advises national and international publishers and broadcasters and independent film and TV production companies on defamation and privacy, production and financing agreements, and regulatory issues.

Dillon Eustace handles defamation, privacy and contempt claims, as well as providing pre-publication advice to national daily and Sunday newspapers. The team is also expanding its expertise in relation to publication on the internet and social media. John Doyle, David Kavanagh and John O’Riordan are the key contacts.

The 'very client-focused' team at Eugene F. Collins provides 'excellent' advice on defamation and privacy, IP and advertising matters, including pre-publication advice. David Hackett advised FCR Media on the provision of online search services and search engine optimisation. Rachel Shanley heads the group. Terry Leggett and associate Jonathan Lynch are also noted.

Managing partner David Phelan heads the practice at Hayes Solicitors, which advises on defamation, data protection, privacy and contempt law, broadcasting licensing and advertising. The Irish Times is a key client; the team provides the newspaper with pre-publication advice and handles defamation matters and complaints to the Press Council of Ireland. In relation to advertising, key clients include McVitie's, Nestlé and Pepsi. Joe O’Malley and Laura Fannin are the other key members of the team.

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Legal Developments in Ireland

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
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    As we are all well aware this is the most turbulent climate for business both nationally and internationally, that any of us have experienced. We have therefore focused this bulletin on areas where we believe we can help you take decisive steps to manage the issues that are required to get through the downturn and be properly prepared for the future.
  • The Companies (Amendment) Act 2009

    The Companies (Amendment) Act, 2009 (the “Act”) was signed into law on 12 July 2009. The Act provides for signifi cant changes to company law compliance and enforcement. It gives increased powers of search and seizure to the Offi ce of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (“ODCE”) and expands disclosure obligations with regard to transactions between a company and its directors (including specifi c changes for licensed banks). The Act also relaxes the requirement that at least one director of an Irish company must be resident in the State.
  • New Rules for Acquiring Transactions in the Financial Sector

    In line with EU-mandated requirements, Ireland has introduced new rules governing acquisitions, in whole or in part, of certain regulated financial institutions.
  • Irish Merger Control: Review of Key Developments in 2008

    A 47% Year-on-Year Drop in the Number of Deals Notified: Reflecting the global decline in merger activity, the number of deals notified to the Competition Authority fell to 38 in 2008, a 47% decrease from 2007, when 72 deals were notified, and a more than 60% decrease from the 2006 peak of 98 notified deals.
  • European Communities (Takeover Bids (Directive 2004/25/EC)) Regulations 2006

    The EU Takeovers Directive (2004/25/EC) (the “Takeovers Directive”) has been transposed into Irish law by the European Communities (Takeover Bids (Directive 2004/25/EC)) Regulations, 2006 (S. I. No. 255 of 2006) (the “Takeovers Regulations”). The stated aim of the Takeovers Directive is to strengthen the Single Market in financial services by facilitating cross-border restructuring and enhancing minority shareholder protection. Many of the provisions of the Directive are already contained in the existing Irish regime for the supervision of takeovers set out in the Irish Takeover Panel Act, 1997 (the “Act”), the Takeover Rules, 2001 (the “Rules”) and the Companies Acts 1963 – 2005, which will continue to apply. The Takeovers Regulations cater for those areas not already dealt with in the existing regime or areas of the regime that needed to be adjusted as a result of the requirements of the Takeovers Directive.
  • Establishing a Retail Fund in Ireland for sale in Japan Fund Structures and Features

    The issuing of securities of offshore funds for public sale into Japan is governed by a combination of the Securities and Exchange Law of Japan (the "SEL") which is enforced by the Japanese Ministry of Finance ("MOF"), the Law Concerning Investment Trust and Investment Company of Japan (the "Investment Funds Law") which is enforced by the Financial Services Agency of Japan ("FSA").Establishing a Retail Fund in Ireland for sale in Japan Fund Structures and Features
  • Equality before the Law

    Employment Equality legislation in Ireland is to be found in the Employment Equality Act 1998 as amended by the Equality Act 2004. This legislation is extremely detailed but in effect makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate against a person on the basis of gender, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race, and membership of the traveller community. These are referred to as the “discriminatory grounds”.
  • Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Ireland

    The enforcement of judgments between the EU member states is regulated by the Brussels I Regulation (44/2001, OJL 12/1, 16 January 2001) (“the Regulation”). On the 22nd December 2000, the European Council agreed the Regulation to replace the Brussels Convention on Jurisdiction and Enforcement of Judgments 1968 (“the Brussels Convention”). The purpose of the Regulation was to bring the law contained in the Brussels Convention into the main body of EC Law. The Regulation was implemented in Ireland by Statutory Instrument 52 of 2002, European Communities (Civil and Commercial Judgments) Regulations 2002, which came into force on the 1st March 2002.
  • E-Discovery

    Unlike the United States, which is leading the way in relation to e-discovery and where the disclosure of electronic data has become standard procedure, as of yet there is no standard protocol or practice direction issued in relation to e-discovery in Ireland. Despite this fact, Irish lawyers are beginning to appreciate the invaluable nature of electronic data which can be retrieved and used in commercial litigation.
  • Disclosure Requirements with respect to Company Particulars

    Directive 2003/58/EC amending Directive 68/151/EEC (the “First Disclosure Directive”) became effective on 1st April, 2007 having been transposed into Irish law by the European Communities (Companies) (Amendment) Regulations 2007 (S.I. No. 49 of 2007) (the “Regulations”).

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