Media and entertainment: Cinema in France

ARTLAW

Boutique firm ARTLAW is retained by French production companies, cinema chains and independent film studios. A key specialism for the practice is copyright law where the team is well experienced in drafting and negotiating assignment agreements.  The group also handles the full range of related litigation matters. Anne Boissard, who co-founded the firm together with Laurent Merlet and Josée-Anne Bénazéraf, comes highly recommended.

Crossen & Borowsky

With a client base featuring leading French and US film studios, boutique firm Crossen & Borowsky has increasingly been sought after to advise on the legal obstacles in exploiting made-for theatrical films on SVOD digital platforms. Strategically, the practice avoids representing talent (except in rare cases), allowing it to focus on the business aspects of the industry, and is therefore well placed to advise independent companies, studios and platforms while avoiding conflicts of interest. The department has expertise covering the full range of work including copyright disputes, digital streaming agreements, financing contracts and distribution and is often retained by US clients who benefit from co-founder Raechel Crossen's membership of both the Paris and New York Bars. Co-founder Sophie Borowsky also comes highly recommended.

Testimonials

Raechel Crossen is a fantastic attorney and a great resource and advocate for any entertainment company working in France.  As a native English speaker with extensive experience in the industry, she makes communicating much easier and more efficient than other French firms.

Key clients

Studiocanal SAS

Sony Pictures International Productions

Canal + Groupe SA

Warner Bros Entertainment France

BBC Films

British Film Institute

New Line Cinema

Pathé Films

TF1

Indian Paintbrush

El Paso Production

CGI Film

Wiggin LLP

Harbottle & Lewis LLP

Scope Pictures

Memento Films Distribution SAS

Vega Film

Compagnie des Phares et Balises SAS

Sophie Dulac Distribution SARL

Same Player SAS

Nac Films SARL

Work highlights

  • Provided TF1 with a chain of title opinion in connection with a French film from the 1950’s, a remake of which will be produced by TF1 and licensed to Netflix.
  • Provided Sony Pictures Animation with a legal opinion pertaining to the chain of rights in the French comic book Mutafukaz.
  • Assisted Warner Bros Entertainment France with the drafting and negotiation of a first look distribution deal with a French producer regarding the distribution of five French language motion pictures.

De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés

Representing both international and domestic clients, De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés negotiates motion pictures and series' production, distribution and IP rights contracts. Contentious proceedings are another key area for the team. Co-head Charles-Edouard Renault is the key litigation contact and is an arbitrator at both the IFTA and WIPO. On the financing side, the practice is well versed in structuring international productions as well as in soft money and tax relief matters. Julien Horn, the other co-head of the practice, has developed particular expertise in digital counterfeiting to complement his broad practice in IP and IT law. Louis de Gaulle is another key name.

Other key lawyers:

Louis de Gaulle

Testimonials

DGFLA is highly competent in all the matters it advises on, in particular intellectual property. Its lawyers are always available.’ 

I work closely with Julien Horn who is an excellent professional and whose solutions are always well thought through.’

Key clients

247 Films

ASO

AUF (Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie)

BPCE

Chateau de Versailles

CBS

Culturespaces

DreamWorks Animation

Koch Films

Microsoft

Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer

NBCUniversal

No Money Production

Paramount

Spotify

TF1

Twentieth Century Fox

UEFA

Warner Bros. (US)

Yale University Press

Work highlights

  • Represented DreamWorks Animation SKG, Fox Pathe Europa and Paramount Pictures France in litigation filed by French writers against the animated feature film Rise of the Guardians.
  • Acting as French Counsel to Spotify, including assistance with the development of original podcasts for the French market.
  • Assisted No Money Production with the financing and production of two movies written and directed by Benoît Delépine and Gustave Kervern.

Taylor Wessing

Taylor Wessing's multidisciplinary team provides clients in the media sector with a full range of commercial services across both traditional and digital media. Typically retained on French film production projects, the practice assists a range of key industry players, including independent production companies, directors and actors. The group's offering spans financing, contractual, IP and production issues. Content-related corporate transactions and dispute resolution are other areas of strength. Benoît Goulesque-Monaux is the name to note for contentious matters. The department is jointly led by highly regarded duo Christian Valsamidis and Claire Saint-Laurent-Mantoux.

Other key lawyers:

Benoît Goulesque-Monaux

Key clients

On Entertainment

Sony

Star Invest Group

Mars Films

Mandarin Cinéma

Radar Films

Vine Alternative Investment

Cofiloisirs

Mandoline Films

Marvellous

Curiosa Films

CG Cinéma

Moana Films

Trinity Media Financing International Limited

Chi Fou Mi

Ubisoft

BNP

Cinenomine

Work highlights

  • Assisted The Awakening Production with the setting up of the international financing and the production of the animated feature film Miraculous & Cat Noir The Awakening.
  • Advised Brad Pitt on the advertising contract for Buzzman vs Bousorama.
  • Advising virtual reality company FlyView on the development and structuring of its offer to create a new VR experience open to the public.

DTMV & Associés

IP boutique DTMV & Associés is recognised for its expertise in litigation, particularly copyright disputes. The team also provides advisory services which include clearance, agreements, production and chain of titles to a client list featuring several major studios. Eléonore Gaspar, who jointly leads the practice, has a broad practice specialising in both contentious and non-contentious matters, and is the chair of AIPPI's Standing Committee on Trade marks. Co-head of the practice Julien Grosslerner is the other key name and has 15 years of experience in-house at several media and entertainment companies.

Seattle Avocats

François Ronget, previously a partner in a production company, is the key name at Seattle Avocats. Ronget advises independent production companies, authors and directors on IP, production and contractual matters relating to feature films. Contentious work is also taken on, with copyright disputes as an area of particular strength.

Practice head(s):

François Ronget

Key clients

GREGORY BARANES

FAVOLA FILMS

GHWA PRODUCTIONS

THE MEDIA COMPANY

PRET A TOURNER

15 PRODUCTION

WONDERSTUDIOS

SAMUEL TOURNEUX

Work highlights

  • Acting as counsel to GWHA Productions for the film AKISSI and the series AKISSI.
  • Represented Gonk Studio in litigation concerning technical post-production services for films.
  • Advising Prêt A Tourner on executive film productions.

Spring Legal

Karine Riahi of Spring Legal is primarily retained by production companies for distribution issues and the negotiation of film rights relating to both feature films and television series.  Riahi is also a mediator at the CMAP and is well versed in alternative dispute resolution. A niche area of expertise for the practice are immersive realities, including augmented, virtual and mixed realities, where the team typically advises on the arising IP issues.

Practice head(s):

Karine Riahi

Testimonials

What makes them particularly attractive is their good knowledge of both French law and international law.

Karine Riahi can be counted on to provide brilliant ideas and the best solutions for all problems.

Spring Legal are a young brilliant firm, always ahead and know                                 all the new technology innovations.

I really appreciate the work they do for my company. They care about their clients, working hard to bring the best solution to any problem.

The team at Spring Legal is very reactive and has a strong understanding of matters, helping to bring a swift resolution to almost any problem.

Billing is adaptable and allows the client to consult with the partner in charge of the annual budgets.

Spring Legal has a perfect understanding of the audiovisual  sector. Their advice is always clear and pertinent.

Key clients

COMME DES CINEMAS

UNIVERSAL PICTURE VIDEO

MGM

TAT PRODUCTIONS

MAYBE MOVIES

MAC GUFF / SMALL STUDIO

PRESSMAN FILM

CUBE

LES FILMS DU LEZARD

STUDIO LA CACHETTE

Work highlights

  • Providing legal assistance to Masa Sawada on a regular basis with respect to the long feature films produced each year.
  • Providing legal opinions to TAT Productions on a regular basis with respect to the long feature animated films and animated TV Series TAT is producing each year.
  • Provided legal assistance to Maybe Movies with respect to the animated long-feature film Calamity, une enfance de Martha Jane Cannary.