Boutique media and entertainment firm Crossen & Borowsky has a distinctly international outlook, advising leading international producers, platforms, satellite providers and sales agents. Recently adding Apple TV+ and HBO Europe to its impressive client list, the team has positioned itself with a strong offering in subscription video-on-demand services. Having both studied in the US and in France, Sophie Borowsky and Raechel Crossen are often solicited by clients for their understanding of cross-border media affairs. Borowsky is recognised for her ‘practical, business-like approach’ coupled with her ‘solid, longstanding legal background’.
Media and entertainment: Television/radio in France
Crossen & Borowsky
‘Extremely responsive team of experts in a specialised boutique firm focusing on IP. Detailed advice, practical approach, flexible billing practices. Tailor-made solutions for payments and partner availability.’
‘Sophie Borowsky has a practical, business-like approach combined with solid, longstanding legal background. She has a keen understanding of both the French and common law concepts and principles governing IP, from moral rights in France to work-for-hire in the US.’
MGM International Television Productions, LLC
Turner Broadcasting System Europe LTD
Fransat (Eutelsat’s subsidiary)
Warner Media US (HBO US)
Kowalski Media Ltd
Satisfaction The Television Agency
CPB Films (Compagnie des Phares et Balises)
- Assisting Apple with respect to the implementation in France of the European Directive (UE)2018/1808 and the draft SVOD decree and its potential impact on Apple TV+.
- Advising the European production arm of HBO Europe and HBO Max on a locally produced series for Warner TV France and HBO Max worldwide.
- Acted for Fransat in a pre-litigation against the French collecting societies (SACEM-SACD-ADAGP) with respect to the payment of royalties for the free retransmission of French public channels.
De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés is continually at the forefront of new content and technology developments in the production sector, for example digitalisation matters and subscription video-on-demand services. Long-term counsel to key names in the television industry, the team demonstrates equal strength in contentious and non-contentious work, handling trade mark and production matters. Audiovisual and entertainment law expert Charles-Edouard Renault heads the practice.
A key name in the media world, Deprez Guignot Associés handles work for major television providers and radio networks. As the strategic advisor to French TV channel M6, the firm handled the creation of Salto, a joint video platform in partnership with other major French channels TF1 and France Télévision. The team's competition law expertise is also sought after, for example for the strategic merger between TF1 and M6. Pierre Deprez, Frédéric Dumont and Philippe Bonnet lead the practice.
- Advised M6 on the strategic merger project between TF1 and M6.
- Advised M6 on the ‘Salto’ merger which created a full-function SVOD joint venture company between the three major TV channels in France.
- Assisted M6 before the French national competition authority and other courts and before the national competition authority in the context of the various disputes opposite Molotov concerning the conformity of its distribution conditions.
Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I.‘s excellent reputation in television and radio law is evidenced by the firm’s role as privileged advisor to the French Ministry of Culture and Communication for all major reforms relating to the audiovisual and communication sector. The practice also acts for private and public radio broadcasters and television channels. In addition to its advisory practice, the group also has a strong litigation offering. Julien Guinot-Deléry leads the practice.
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE (AFP)
NEWEN (Groupe TF1)
FRENCH MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND COMMUNICATION
LYLO MEDIA GROUP
LES BORGIAS & INVEST IMAGE 2
- Advised Orange on the negotiations for the renewal of its distribution agreements with a major French TV group.
- Appointed to assist and advise the Paris 2024 Organising Committee of the Olympic Games on all media and entertainment matters in connection with the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
Pechenard & Associés
Pechenard & Associés specialises in defamation, privacy law, and litigation related to the audiovisual sector. The team has been instructed by France Télévisions for a number of defamation cases, most notably a claim initiated by two protagonists involved in the Villemin case for the defamation of deceased people in two television reports broadcast by a France Télévisions channel. Eric Andrieu leads the department with key support from Caroline Mas.
‘The team is stable and motivated. Each file is a new challenge and their support is really personalised and provided in cooperation with the client.’
‘Fabien Honorat is very responsive and his analysis is relevant, he knows how to adapt to our expectations. Caroline Mas is very proactive and efficient, she is fully involved in the files.’
Agence France-Presse (AFP)
- Advised France Télévisions on a claim brought by two protagonists involved in the Villemin case for defamation towards deceased people after two television reports broadcast by a France Télévisions channel.
- Advised France Télévisions on a claim brought by a magistrate for public defamation of a citizen in charge of a public mandate following publication of an article published on France Télévisions’ website.
- Acted as counsel to France Télévisions on a claim initiated by a film producer for a breach of the presumption of innocence in a ‘Complément d’enquête’ programme that was broadcast by a France Télévisions channel.
Advising many of France’s largest media companies, Wilhelm & Associés boutique firm is a go-to for clients looking for expertise in audiovisual and communication law. The firm is involved in ongoing contentious proceedings, defending Canal+ International in an action brought by Orange for a breach of competition law and commercial obligations in the communication of publicity in the telecommunications sector. Practice head Pascal Wilhelm is the founder and managing partner of the firm. Emilie Dumur made partner in July 2021 and supports Wilhelm on many complex matters.
Other key lawyers:
‘Cabinet Wilhelm has extensive experience in audiovisual law, particularly with regard to regulation and competition law. I meet them regularly in this sector where it is a pleasure to work with them because they are very responsive, creative and open.’
Groupe CANAL +
CANAL + International
B Smart TV
Unique Heritage Media
- Advising Banijay Group before the European Commission in the context of the acquisition by Banijay Group of Endemol Shine Groupe.
- Defending Groupe CANAL + in its action brought before the EU Court of Justice against the EU Commission’s cross-border access to pay-TV decision relating to absolute territorial protection granted by cinema studios to pay-TV operators.
- Acting for Amadeus before the French Competition Authority in proceedings against Google regarding abuse of a dominant position.
CBR & Associés' renowned team attracts high-profile media litigation matters such as representing SportsCoTV in a dispute against ‘La Ligue Nationale de Basketball’ regarding the suspension of SportsCoTV’s contract of broadcasting rights due to Covid-19 and the consequences of government measures taken in this context. Alain Barsikian and Pierre-Olivier Chartier share the lead of the department
‘CBR offers a comprehensive approach, and does not hesitate to seek additional expertise (from specialists in the firm or elsewhere) on specific legal areas. The firm also pays considerable attention to the level of invoicing, to help the client to control his costs. But CBR is particularly distinguished by its mastery of contentious matters.’
‘Pierre-Olivier Chartier has detailed and comprehensive expertise in commercial litigation and issues in the world of media and entertainment (TV, radio, sport, culture, etc.) combined with a pragmatic approach, ensuring a perfect match between issues and strategy. Each file is treated thoroughly, no aspect or argument is forgotten.’
‘The precision, synthesis, coordination and interpersonal skills of Pierre-Olivier Chartier ensure fluid and effective exchanges with all his interlocutors, of all expertise and at all levels of the company (lawyers, marketing, top management, commercial, technique, etc).’
‘The team has unparalleled expertise in media, especially television, which is explained by the cumulative experience of all its partners in the media sector for several decades.’
‘Pierre-Olivier Chartier knows the sector, having followed its developments on behalf of several major players for almost 20 years. Its expertise is broad since it includes intellectual property law, communication law to consumer law, all served by absolutely remarkable reasoning in civil law. He is ‘at home’ before all the courts and knows how to make himself particularly accessible to magistrates. Exceptional worker, following his files and argumentation down to the smallest detail.’
NEXTRADIO TV (Altice Group, as SFR)
Herald Avocats‘ media team has notably been assisting France Télévisions for almost 30 years. Practice head Jean Castelain is well known in the TV industry, particularly working on litigation for TV groups, including libel actions, contractual relationships with producers, copyright issues, and broadcasting suspension proceedings. The very competent Juliette Félix works hand in hand with Castelain on entertainment matters and was welcomed to the partnership in September 2021.
Taylor Wessing is widely recognised for its expertise in audiovisual and multimedia law. Acting for producers of French and international feature films, television films, the firm counts the likes of Fox Entertainment and Banijay Group to its client list. Christian Valsamidis has extensive experience in international film financing and is seen as a specialist in international co-production and distribution law. Benoît Goulesque-Monaux handles media disputes. Specialising in copyright, intellectual property, and financing specifically in the entertainment industry, Claire Saint-Laurent-Mantoux is another key name. Marc Schuler has over 20 years of experience in soft IP, especially in brand management and IP transactions and litigation.
- Managing Banijay Group’s trade mark portfolio and assisting with the drafting and negotiation of contracts for strategic production and distribution alliances.
- Assisting Comcast, a new entrant into the connected TV, business with its business transformation in relation to ads programmatic services.
- Representing Dailymotion in disputes in relation to the content shared on the platform.
Vercken & Gaullier
Founded by Gilles Vercken and Florence Gaullier in 2017, Vercken & Gaullier advises on all types of artistic property, including in the audiovisual sector. Edouard Mille is particularly involved in copyright and related rights in TV production and distribution. The team has been working for the FEVEM, the French federation of media monitoring companies, regarding copyright issues for over 15 years.
France Médias Monde
Toei Animation Europe
- Advising clients during the legislative works on a number of legislative bills, for example in the course of the transposition into French law of the European Satellite and Cable Directive 2019/789 of April 17 2019.
- Acted as counsel to an audiovisual producer in the context of the production of an animation series based on famous fictional characters, including prelitigation and litigation as well as advice, involving various issues relating to copyright and audiovisual production.
- Assisted a broadcasting channel with the issue of the renewal of its agreement with the the French Supervisory authority Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel.
WAN Avocats has had a dedicated media and IP team since the firm's inception in 2000. Isabelle Wekstein-Steg, the firm’s managing partner, is a name to note, regularly acting for TV broadcasters and audiovisual groups. The firm has a strong focus on contractual matters, often assisting TV producers and audiovisual producers with the drafting and negotiation of agreements. Associate Amélie Gouazé joined the firm from Deprez Guignot Associés in April 2021.
Other key lawyers:
‘Wan Avocats offers resources in various fields of law which allow us to expand our requests, whether in intellectual property, tax, social, corporate law, etc.’
‘The employees are very available and always on time. The files are returned on time, complete and detailed. It’s nice.’
‘Efficiency, speed, attentiveness. They are solution providers. Their work is always precise.’