Media and entertainment: Television/radio in France

Carbonnier Lamaze Rasle

Carbonnier Lamaze Rasle is retained by leading domestic public television channels who seek it out for its strong track record in related litigation, including before civil and criminal courts. On the advisory side the team is well-versed drafting and negotiating contracts for the assignment of IP rights. Michel Rasle is the key contact.

De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés

De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés' longstanding involvement in the media and entertainment sector has led to it representing a diverse client base including content designers, producers, distributors and publishers. The group's offering spans the full range of related matters, with a strong track record in financing productions, IP litigation and regulatory advice. It has also emerged as as a go-to firm for video-on-demand (VOD) and subscription-video-on demand (SVOD) platforms. Charles-Edouard Renault is increasingly involved with significant media platforms, currently acting as counsel to Spotify, notably assisting it with the development of podcasts for the French market. IP specialists Louis de Gaulle and Julien Horn are the other key names.

Key clients

247 Films

ASO-Amaury Sport organization

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

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

Deprez Guignot Associés

Deprez Guignot Associés acts as strategic adviser to some of France's largest broadcasters such as Groupe M6 and RTL, and also has a strong presence in the radio space where it represents two leading stations. As well as IP, IT, and contractual matters which make up the bulk of its work, the practice also works on significant transactions in the sector. By way of example, the team advised Groupe M6 on the establishment of a joint-venture subscription-video-on-demand (SVOD) platform, in conjunction with the three major domestic TV channels. The practice is jointly led by Pierre Deprez, Frédéric Dumont, Philippe Bonnet and Vincent Fauchoux.

Key clients

M6

RTL

Work highlights

  • Advised Groupe M6 on a strategic merger called “Salto”  creating a full-function joint venture company between the three major TV channels in France.

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I.

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. represents leading TV broadcasters, radio stations, and has also been retained by the French Ministry of Culture on several matters. Notably, the practice obtained the enforcement of neighbouring rights on press content from the FCA against Google, on behalf of the Agence France Presse. In addition to this more traditional work, the department is also increasingly involved in matters related to the processing of personal data, as  well as blockchain, AI, and programmatic advertising which are becoming more significant for media operators. As part of an international firm offering, the practice is also well placed to advise foreign entities on their operations in France, including film financing and production issues. Olivier Cousi and counsel Julien Guinot-Deléry are the practice heads.

Testimonials

Excellent combination of legal knowledge, underpinned by an understanding of the flexible necessities required by clients in this sector.

Key clients

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE (AFP)

UBISOFT

DISCOVERY

RADIO FRANCE

La Comédie-FrançaiseFrance Télévisions

ARTE

French Ministry of Culture and Communication Auzou Editions

WEBEDIA

DROUOT

NEWEN

ALLIANCE DE LA PRESSE (Le Figaro, Le Monde, L’Equipe, Les Echos, Liberation, Ouest-France, etc.)

SPIDEO

Ivorian Ministry for Tourism and Leisure

ICICLE GROUP

Work highlights

  • Obtained, on behalf of AFP, the enforcement of the new neighbouring rights on press content from the French Competition Authority ordering Google to negotiate the remuneration due to the press publishers and AFP.
  • Representing Radio France in its libel disputes in France and in defending the group’s journalists on various media matters.
  • Representing the French Ministry of Culture and Communication before the Conseil d’Etat in the context of a procedure introduced by a mass-market retailer for the repeal of a legislative provision prohibiting commercial promotional operations for the distribution sector on TV.

Herald Avocats

The 'versatile, competent and reactive team' at Herald Avocats is comprised of partner Jean Castelain and counsel Juliette Félix. Together, the team acts as adviser to France Télévisions, frequently defending it in defamation suits, including relating to the broadcast of Complement d'enquête Vincent Bolloré, un ami qui vous veut du bien? As well as its highly regarded contentious offering, the practice has deepened its advisory capabilities, in conjunction with the firm's general growth, in M&A, private equity and restructuring. Other key work includes negotiating broadcasting rights and providing strategic guidance on broadcasting issues.

Practice head(s):

Jean Castelain

Other key lawyers:

Juliette Félix

Testimonials

Versatile, competent and reactive team, whose interventions are always appreciated on both small and large matters.

Jean Castelain is excellent. Juliette Félix has fantastic client relations and is always responsive.

Key clients

France Télévisions

Work highlights

  • Defended France Télévisions in a defamation suit filed against it further to the broadcast of Complement d’enquête Vincent Bolloré, un ami qui vous veut du bien?
  • Providing assistance to France Télévisions in the context of litigation against Canal + on the end of zapping and the broadcasting of “Vu”.
  • Advised France Télévisions on the management of the health crisis, more particularly on the consequences on the television channel’s production and the various contracts in progress: concepts of “force majeure”, unforeseen circumstances and contractual renegotiation.

NomoS

Advising leading internet platforms on the development of over-the-top media services, subscription-video-on-demand and podcasts, the 'technically proficient, highly reactive, always available' team at NomoS has a presence both domestically and abroad. Testament to this was the team's assistance to Euronews with the launch of Euronews Africa; a matter that involved both the French and Luxembourgish  entities. The department is also extremely active in the production of French series and audiovisual programmes. Eric Lauvaux is the key contact, providing strategic advice to clients developing their own offering to incorporate new streaming models.

Practice head(s):

Eric Lauvaux

Testimonials

The team, led by Eric Lauvaux, is technically proficient, highly reactive, always available, adaptable and possesses excellent oratory skills.

Key clients

LAGARDERE ACTIVE

EURONEWS

LAGARDERE STUDIOS

PJP PRODUCTIONS

RHAMSA/ FRANKLIN PRODUCTIONS

Work highlights

  • Assistance to Lagardère TV for the sales of their TV services Gulli and Mezzo.
  • Assistance to Euronews for the launch of their new service Euronews Africa; discussion with the French and Luxembourg entities.
  • Assistance in the production of a French series and audiovisual programmes.

Pechenard & Associés

Pechenard & Associés is best known for its work defending public TV broadcasters, notably France Télévisions, in breach of privacy, libel and defamation disputes, notably acting for the network in a slander case involving Marine Le Pen. The group typically acts as counsel in claims and disputes following the broadcast of documentaries. 'Excellent litigator' Eric Andrieu leads practice, specialising in media and advertising law. Caroline Mas is another key name in the team.

Practice head(s):

Eric Andrieu

Other key lawyers:

Caroline Mas

Testimonials

Stable and competent team whose interventions are always proportional, often with the greatest success.

Eric Andrieu is an excellent litigator with a great understanding of his clients.

Caroline Mas works with precision and possesses deep expertise.

Key clients

France Télévisions

AFP

TV5 Monde

Work highlights

  • Acted for France Télévisions in a claim initiated by Emmanuel Besnier, Lactalis’s CEO for a breach of privacy in an “Envoyé Special” programme, broadcast by a France Télévisions channel.
  • Represented France Televisions in a claim initiated by Benjamin Dessange and the Dessange group for a breach of privacy and of presumption of innocence in a “Complément d’enquête” programme, broadcast by a France Télévisions channel.
  • Represented France Télévisions in a criminal case for slander against Marine Le Pen.

Wilhelm & Associés

Wilhelm & Associés provides 'clear and workable' solutions to high-profile domestic media groups, counting Canal+  and Banijay. Among some of the contentious matters undertaken by the team, a highlight includes representing Canal+ in proceedings against the European Commission's decision to allow cross-border access to pay-TV. The practice also has a strong track record in antitrust, an area in which department-head Pascal Wilhelm is described as 'particularly skilled'. Counsel Emilie Dumur is another key name in the group, also specialising in competition matters, having worked on cases involving European, distribution and consumer law.

Practice head(s):

Pascal Wilhelm

Other key lawyers:

Emilie Dumur

Testimonials

The team is able to deal with a diverse range of legal problems, always providing clear and workable solutions.

Pascal Wilhelm has a total understanding of the sector, with particular skill in competition matters.

Key clients

GROUPE CANAL +

BANIJAY

CANAL + INTERNATIONAL

BETCLIC

GROUPE TELFRANCE

LA CHOSE

AMADEUS

FLEURUS PRESSE

Work highlights

  • Advised Banijay Group before the European Commission in the context of the acquisition by Banijay Group of sole control of Endemol Shine Group.
  • Represented Groupe Canal + in its action brought before the European Commission against the EU Commission’s cross-border access to a pay-TV decision relating to absolute territorial protection granted by cinema studios to pay-TV operators.
  • Defending Amadeus, before the French Competition Authority against Google in a legal dispute relating to the abuse of a dominant position.

CBR & Associés

At CBR & Associés, the team is specialised in commercial disputes, with a firm-wide focus on strategic and complex litigation. For the media practice, this has led to a significant number of mandates regarding distribution, including representing NextRadioTV in a dispute with Free, relating to the channel's conditions of distribution. Similarly, the team were retained by Molotov in litigation against M6 challenging the the legality of general terms and conditions of distribution. Pierre-Olivier Chartier leads the team. Alain Barsikian and Michaël Majster are also key contacts.

Testimonials

Pierre-Olivier Chartier has an excellent understanding of the sector, provides strategic advice on a range of matters and is a great litigator.

Very strong expertise in audiouvisual media. Results driven practice with strong negotiation skills.

Proactive team with a capacity to lead on complex matters involving external experts and lawyers.

Key clients

NEXTRADIO TV (Altice Group, as SFR)

MOLOTOV

SFR

TF1

LAGARDERE ACTIVE

Work highlights

  • Representing Nextradio TV, in a dispute with Free relating to the conditions of the distribution of channels by Free.
  • Representing Molotov in litigation against M6 in which Molotov challenges the legality of M6 general terms and conditions of distribution.
  • Defending SFR in an action brought by any party for injunction against all major French internet access/service providers to block internet access to websites.

Crossen & Borowsky

Boutique firm Crossen & Borowsky represents UK and North American production companies, with a strong track record negotiating IP rights, to complement broad capabilities in regulatory, transactional and litigious work. The practice's policy not to represent talent in the industry leaves it well placed to avoid conflicts of interest when representing broadcasters, production companies and other platforms. Increasingly, the team is retained on matters relating to video-on-demand,  advising Starzplay Service on the launch of the SVOD service on the Orange platform in France, for example. Raechel Crossen, who is dual qualified in France and New York, jointly leads the practice alongside Sophie Borowsky.

Testimonials

Above the level client dedication and reactivity.

Incomparable billing facilities adapted to cases.

We received immediate availability and strong advice from Sophie Borowsky, always pleasant and highly professional.’

Sophie Borowsky’s pragmatism is complemented by a business oriented approach.

We were very happy with Sophie Borowsky, she gave clear advice, and complied with the timeframe and quoted cost.

Key clients

Studiocanal

Canal + Groupe SA

Eutelsat SA

Bron Studios

Warner Media

MGM International Television Productions

Newen

Starzplay

Xilam Animation

Beta Films GmbH

Dramacorp

Media Res Studio

Fired-up Ltd

Satisfaction The Television Agency SAS

Wiggin LLP

Compagnie des Phares et Balises SAS

Harbottle & Lewis LLP

Headline Pictures Ltd.

Legendary Entertainment TV

Reel One Entertainment Ltd

Mint and co

Ce qui me meut

Isolani Pictures

Work highlights

  • Representing Xilam Animation before the French Courts against two Vietnamese production and distribution companies with respect to a copyright infringement litigation regarding Xilam‘s series exploited on YouTube.
  • Providing general advice to Starzplay Service on the launching of the SVOD service on the Orange platform in France.
  • Providing advice to MGM International Television Productions in connection with the chain of title of an international English language television series.

PRD Avocats

Pierre-Randolph Dufau is the key name at boutique firm PRD Avocats, where contentious matters make up a key part of the work stream. The team is experienced in acting in libel, right to privacy and defamation cases, on behalf of several TV and radio outlets.

Taylor Wessing

Taylor Wessing is reputed for its work financing French and international feature films and television series, with IP and banking law specialist Christian Valsamidis a go-to in this area. As part of a cross-media offering, the practice routinely advises acts for companies owning IP assets, including in litigation and on transactions, Marc Schuler being the name to note for these matters. Claire Saint-Laurent-Mantoux and litigator Benoît Goulesque-Monaux are further key contacts.

Key clients

Endemol

Fox CHANNELS

Banijay/Zodiak Media

MOVING PUPPET

MAGIC PRODUCTIONS

BEAUBOURG PRODUCTIONS

HARI GROUP

MANDARIN TELEVISION

UBISOFT

GLOBAL MEDIA

SPOTIFY

WALLIMAGE SA

COMCAST

Work highlights

  • Representing Fox’s French affiliate in a litigation initiated by the trade mark holder of “Voyage en capsules”.
  • Managing Banijay Group’s trade mark portfolio.
  • Regularly assisting Spotify on IP matters attached to the operation of its platform and new functionalities.

Vercken & Gaullier

Vercken & Gaullier is retained by both private and public sector clients, including TV and radio broadcasts. The team routinely advises on contractual matters including the negotiation of broadcasting rights and production contracts. Founding partners Gilles Vercken and Florence Gaullier are the key contacts, as is Edouard Mille who handles copyright litigation and related rights claims across all the entertainment sectors.

Key clients

Kantar

Radio France

BBC Worldwide

France Médias Monde

NextRadioTV

Film France

Bouygues Telecom

Dataneo

Deezer

Orange

WAN Avocats

WAN Avocats advises key players in the media sector, including TV and radio presenters, as well as several production companies. Contractual matters are a key part of the work, with the practice negotiating and drafting contracts on behalf of audiovisual producers and performing artists. The practice is also able to undertake related contentious matters. Founding partner Isabelle Wekstein-Steg is the key contact, equally adept at handling IP and transactional matters.

Practice head(s):

Isabelle Wekstein-Steg