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Canada > Media and entertainment > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


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    • Tara Parker - Goodmans

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The ‘responsive and deeply knowledgeable’ group at Dentons provides ‘excellent value for money’. The group has strong expertise across a broad range of media, entertainment and broadcasting matters, but is best known for being ‘extremely strong in film finance’. In Toronto, Jim Russell is a ‘leader in the entertainment law area’ and recently advised music publishing company ole on a $500m credit facility with 12 US and Canadian banks. The group also counts Lions Gate Entertainment, Mainstream Broadcasting Corporation and QVC among its clients. Vancouver-based Gordon W Esau , who represents several major Hollywood studios, US television networks and US-based independent production companies, and Toronto-based entertainment specialist Ken Dhaliwal are also acknowledged experts.

Put simply, Goodmans’ media and entertainment practice provides ‘spectacular counsel’, with clients highlighting its ‘unmatched level of knowledge and service’. The group fields lawyers specializing in the full range of film and television, digital media and book publishing, and is held up by many as a ‘top choice for both day-to-day issues and high-level strategic matters’. Department lead David Zitzerman is ‘the best in Canada’ and acted for Discovery Communications in its formation, together with Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana, of a new venture to produce kids' entertainment content. In another highlight, Carolyn Stamegna advised eOne on the cross-border production financing for the second season of the television series Ransom. Tara Parker, who is ‘very strategic and creative with great negotiation skills’, is also a key contact.

Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP’s specialist copyright and entertainment group counts some of Canada’s most successful artists and media companies among its clients. Casey Chisick is widely lauded as ‘the best in Canada for copyright law’, while Leonard Glickman is recommended for his broad practice spanning music, TV and sports law — together they co-chair the department from Toronto.

FASKEN’s practice has a strong record in broadcasting-related issues, particularly on the regulatory side. Rogers is a key client and the firm provides ongoing advice on its pay-per-view sports agreements and other matters — Ottawa-based counsel Stephen Whitehead leads that work. In Montreal, Christian Leblanc advised a coalition of broadcasters in opposing Bell Canada’s attempt to overturn the CRTC’s Wholesale Code. In Toronto, Barbara Miller is a key contact for film financings and production and co-production agreements.

The ‘excellent’ group at Gowling WLG stands out for its ‘exceptional service, responsiveness and industry knowledge’. In particular, Toronto-based team lead Susan Abramovitch ranks as ‘one of the leading entertainment lawyers in Canada’; she has recently undertaken work for Retriever Records, Secret City Records and Azrieli Foundation, among others.

Miller Thomson’s sizeable media and entertainment practice is split between its offices in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec. Vancouver-based Eva Schmieg is widely regarded as a leading light for her experience in film and television financings. Montreal-based Dean Chenoy is also recommended for film, television, publishing and video gaming-related matters.

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