Media and entertainment: advertising in France
ARTLAW's offering covers the full media and entertainment gamut, including defamation claims in the press, unfair competition litigation in the book publishing sector, and copyright disputes in the cinema and music industry. Anne Boissard is well known for her work in the cinema world, while Josée-Anne Bénazéraf and Laurent Merlet are leading names in the publishing space; also notable are associates Côme Chazal, Yvan Diringer and Sophie Parent.
The 'very hands-on' and 'thoroughly helpful' team at ATURQUOISE advises an enviable client list on advertising, media and press matters under the leadership of Anne-Marie Pecoraro, whom one client describes as 'one of the finest practitioners in France'. Along with advising on the launch of a popular US magazine in France - including assisting with licence agreements, advertising issues and distribution matters - the team recently acted for a digital advertising company on its negotiation of agreements with social media accounts to promote one of its clients in the context of a major sports event. Rodolphe Boissau and Marion Faupin were part of the team which represented major luxury brands and event organisers in the planning and delivery of several high-profile live shows, as well as the creation of a legal framework for an audiovisual streaming platform on behalf of French association Wild Touch. Notable work in the music space included managing intellectual property rights on behalf of artists, the commercialisation of image rights, the negotiation of performance contracts and pre-litigation advice. Associate Marianne Lecron is also recommended by clients and a name to note.
August Debouzy recently welcomed Basile Ader and counsel Amélie Tripet from the now-defunct Ader Jolibois; the pair are currently acting on a number of sensitive and high-profile defamation claims. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve and the National Police recently appointed the group to oversee a defamation case arising from an article by a police officer published by Journal du dimanche challenging the police's role in the 2016 terrorist attack in Nice, and Ader continues to lead the advice to the owner of two companies at the appeal stage of a defamation claim with criminal charges pertaining to accusations made in satirical newspaper Le Canard enchaîné.
AyacheSalama fields Jacques Messeca to assist a broad client roster in the sports world with tax issues arising from the organisation of major events, the acquisition of licences, player transactions and employment matters. The group continues to advise longstanding client Première Ligue and recently assisted with the setting up of a corporate entity designed to improve the domestic and international development of the French football league; the National Rugby League also instructed the team to handle the tax issues arising from the installment of a new image rights scheme in the context of new legislation in France.
Bauer & Bigot
The intellectual property team at Carbonnier Lamaze Rasle plays a key role in its media and entertainment offering. Joint practice heads Michel Rasle and Hedwige Caldairou represent a broad and diverse client roster including sports clubs, TV broadcasters, press organisations and individuals in copyright and trade mark litigation and provide pre-publication advice. Some key clients include LC2 Medias and Rockzeline.
The three partner names to note at CBR & Associés are Alain Barsikian, Michaël Majster and commercial litigator Pierre-Olivier Chartier. Recent contentious highlights include Chartier's work for TF1 regarding its dispute with Dailymotion and YouTube over their distribution of materials the rights of which belong to the client. On the music front, Majster acted on the sale of a number of music festivals, and a major French client appointed the firm to act in litigation arising from new legislation regarding licensing in the digital radio space.
Yves Wehrli heads the Paris office of Clifford Chance and its sports team, which handles matters pertaining to sponsorship deals, TV tenders, construction and financing issues, corporate deals, and dispute resolution. In recent highlights, the practice advised the French Football League on the invitation to tender regarding the sale of its TV rights for Ligue 1 to Spanish broadcaster Mediapro; the transaction exceeded the symbolic billion euro threshold for the first time in France. In addition to advising on the organisation of the 2018 Gay Games, including providing key commercial contracts and strategic advice, the firm is assisting Racing Club de Lens with an investigation by a local financial court regarding the rent paid by the club to the city owning the stadium for its use. Laurent Schoenstein is also a key name to note and banking expert Benjamin De Blegiers assisted with the financing of a new stadium and the acquisition of new players.
Crossen & Borowsky
Crossen & Borowsky advises both French and international cinema and TV players on the full gamut of matters, including distribution, regulation, copyright, litigation, financing and corporate issues. Raechel Crossen is currently representing Riot Games in the negotiation of a number of contracts for the potential production of an animated series based on one of the client's games - particularly regarding copyright issues - and Sophie Borowsky continues to assist StudioCanal as lead producer with the production agreements for all of its internal projects. In other highlights, clients appointed the firm to handle copyright infringement proceedings and the setting up of anti-piracy coalitions between industry players. Senior associates Julien Abella and Sarah Moraly are also names to note.
De Baecque Fauré Bellec
De Baecque Fauré Bellec fields a dedicated art law team which handles the full gamut of matters, including complex litigation, artwork transactions, artist estate administration and protection, and copyright. The main name to note is Olivier De Baecque, who has developed significant expertise in civil and criminal proceedings in the art world. He and Stéphanie Bellec recently collaborated to handle a criminal litigation case regarding the theft of a world-renowned piece, and the group continues to provide regular advice to art galleries on contractual negotiations, disputes with artists and code of conduct rules. Key clients include the Rhode Island School of Design Museum and the University of Oklahoma art museum, which the practice represented in the context of the restitution of a Pissaro painting stolen during WWII.
The multi-disciplinary practice at De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés covers the full gamut of media and entertainment sectors and represents heavyweight clients such as Stade Français, Paramount and 20th Century Fox. Julien Horn, Louis de Gaulle and Philippe Moncorps acted for a major TV broadcaster in a dispute with a telecom operator which filed trademark and copyright infringement proceedings, and 'great leader' Charles-Edouard Renault - who 'can make things move quickly in a slow-moving landscape' - advised a global technology company on a range of issues including French law matters pertaining to the production of an original series. Rhadamès Killy represented an athlete in his club transfer as well as in defamation litigation against a rival fan in the criminal court of Ajaccio. Also notable is Jean-François Vilotte, who is assisting the national ski instructors union with several matters including criminal charges, and is currently guiding a major sports federation through litigation proceedings brought against an illegal match ticket reseller.
Dentons' David Masson recently acted for several high-profile luxury brands on a host of issues pertaining to their advertising campaigns, including intellectual property, contentious and regulatory matters. Senior counsel Isabelle Leroux is currently advising a major food and drinks company on a free riding and copyright dispute arising from the broadcasting of one of its festive advertising campaigns, while counsel Clément Monnet is part of the team which provides ongoing advice to an international agency on a variety of issues, most recently regarding actions brought by parties alleging illegal advertising.
Deprez Guignot Associés is particularly noted for its expertise in the advertising space, where it represents agency, media, press and publishing clients in pre-publication, unfair competition and contractual matters. The group has represented major TV clients in litigation and advised on novel issues pertaining to blogs and the distinction between sponsored and editorial material. Frédéric Dumont, Pierre Deprez and Vincent Fauchoux are some of the main names to note.
The five-partner team at Féral-Schuhl/Sainte-Marie specialises in software, IT and intellectual property advice, especially with regard to trademark and copyright disputes, domain names and licensing issues. Etienne Papin recently acted for a concert hall operator in litigation against a spectator, and assisted a producer with the management of a concert abroad in the context of its compulsory liquidation. In other highlights, an internationally renowned producer instructed the group to oversee its action against a website reselling illicit tickets and internet providers providing access to the site in question. Associate Stéphanie Foulgoc plays a key supporting role in the practice and is also a name to note.
FTPA specialises in domestic communication and advertising matters in the sports sector but also covers disputes between agencies and sports clubs, data protection issues and the organisation of events. Fabrice Lorvo co-heads the 'knowledgeable and efficient' intangibles department and is a marketing, advertising and communications law expert; he is currently advising a media company on the commercialisation of media rights in sub-Saharan African countries with the assistance of associates Julien Lombard and Frédéric Goldberg. In other highlights, the team acted for an international client on the sale and management of a Spanish football club.
The 'highly qualified, very capable and skillfully managed' media team at Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. is co-headed by counsel Julien Guinot-Deléry and 'exceptional strategist and very capable negotiator' Olivier Cousi. The team continues to act for a number of well-known France-based television and radio broadcasters on the full gamut of licensing, copyright and regulatory matters. A government entity also appointed the group to contribute to the creation of a new bill against 'fake news' in both traditional and digital media.
The IP/IT department at Herald Avocats consists of Jean Castelain and counsel Juliette Félix, who recently represented France Télévisions in several defamation proceedings, one of which was filed by a foreign government after two of the client's journalists referred to it as a 'dictatorship' in a documentary programme. Recent work in the music and art spaces includes contractual disputes, litigation pertaining to copyright issues and anti-fraud cases. Associate Rebecca Nahon recently joined the firm from VIGO Cabinet d'Avocats.
Stefan Naumann sits at the head of Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP's media and entertainment offering in Paris and represents high-profile clients in the television and cinema space such as Warner Bros, which he advises on the full gamut of civil and criminal enforcement of its intangible assets. Intellectual property lies at the core of the practice, as illustrated by Naumann's involvement in trade mark and copyright litigation, as well as his work for M6 regarding its patent portfolio for interactive television. Other recent highlights include anti-piracy campaigns, customs seizures, contract negotiations and strategic advice pertaining to the maximising and securing of French film subsidies.
Joffe & Associés
Joffe & Associés is especially noted for its media deals work in the sports sector, where it has particular expertise in the world of football. Romain Soiron's enviable client roster consists of sports federations, leagues, clubs, associations and organising committees. Alongside his ongoing multi-disciplinary work for the organisers of the FIFA Women's World Cups 2018 and 2019, Soiron is currently representing the French Football Federation in litigation against Ticketbis, which resells match tickets, thereby infringing on the client's commercial and marketing rights. Other recent work includes the negotiation of promotion contracts, a dispute with an online streaming service and leasing issues arising from the construction of a new stadium. Associate Aude Benichou is also a key contact.
The multi-disciplinary team at KGA Avocats consists of François Klein, Eve Derouesné, Laurent Badiane and Matthieu Bourgeois, who recently joined from Simon Associés with associate Marion Moine. A professional sports federation recently appointed the team to act in disciplinary proceedings arising from the behaviour of one of its licensees during a competition, and an overseas league instructed Derouesné's team to assist with litigation against a club before the French National Olympic Committee. Badiane advised on the production, exploitation and distribution of live sports content, while Bourgeois assisted clients with personal data collection issues including GDPR compliance.
Lmt Avocats fields a multi-disciplinary offering in the sports sector led by Jean-Yves Foucard; the team advises federations, clubs and other entities on the exploitation of image rights, player transfers and event organisation issues. On the contentious side, the team also represents clients in disciplinary actions, including cases revolving around doping allegations. Also notable are Christophe Héry and Oliver Samyn.
Lysias Partners' expertise pertains mainly to freedom of expression disputes. Jean-Pierre Mignard and Pierre-Emmanuel Blard regularly represent content publishers such as newspapers or bloggers in defamation claims brought by corporates or individuals. Also notable is Emmanuel Tordjman, whose track record includes representing a journalist and a regional newspaper in breach of privacy and liability proceedings arising from the revelation of a murder suspect's name.
Jean-Jacques Neuer is the name partner at Cabinet Neuer and is one of the key figures in the Parisian art law space. He regularly advises on restitution mandates, auctions and transactions; represents the estates of some of the world's most renowned artists; and handles criminal litigation. The firm also continues to expand its presence in the literary publishing sector.
The growing team at Osborne Clarke advises clients such as Innocent on the clearance of their intellectual property rights in the context of international marketing campaigns, and frequently acts for clients in disputes arising from this issue. Other highlights included advising on the regulatory requirements of data collection policies and the introduction of the Sapin II law. The main names to note are Claire Bouchenard, Xavier Pican, Lise Breteau and managing partner Béatrice Delmas-Linel, who are supported by junior practitioners such as senior associate Grégoire Dumas and associate Marie-Laure Pidoux.
Ox avocats is especially strong in intellectual property work; the group regularly handles copyright and trade mark disputes under the leadership of founding partner Jean Aittouares, who has strong expertise in the music sector. He has acted on a high-profile contractual dispute between an independent record label and one of its artists regarding a breach of terms, and represented a football fan association in trade mark infringement and counterfeiting litigation.
PASSA VARET Avocats
PASSA VARET Avocats is currently assisting a publisher with copyright litigation proceedings against a number of authors who contributed to a popular book series, and continues to represent the academic division of a leading publishing house in pre-litigation matters pertaining to the image rights of a professional model. Vincent Varet successfully defended a publisher in a copyright infringement claim against a toy manufacturer, while also advising on unfair competition issues, GDPR compliance and contractual complications. Associate Camille Bertin is also noteworthy.
Paul Hastings LLP
Practice head Jean-Louis Martin is the name to note at Paul Hastings LLP for matters relating to the sports world. Along with associate Quentin Jobard, he advised European Professional Club Rugby on the sale of the TV rights in France of both the Champions Cup and the Challenge Cup to beIN Sports and France Télévisions. On the contentious side, Martin represented the National Rugby League in a claim filed by SFR with the national competition regulator regarding the client's sale of TV broadcasting rights for the Top 14 and national championships to Canal+.
Pechenard & Associés
The two partner names to note at Pechenard & Associés are Eric Andrieu and Fabien Honorat. The firm's expertise in the communications and media field is focused on the advertising space, where Andrieu represented a major alcoholic beverage company in a claim brought by an activist group seeking damages on the grounds of the client's illegal sponsorship of a global sports event. The group also acted for a leading car manufacturer in proceedings brought by an environmental protection association seeking the prohibition of pictures and videos on social media. Caroline Mas is a key name in the television practice; alongside Andrieu, she advised France Télévisions on a number of libel and breach of privacy actions brought by high-profile individuals.
Pierrat & Associés
Pierrat & de Seze's Emmanuel Pierrat, Carbon de Seze and Sophie Viaris de Lesegno act on a wide array of audiovisual and live spectacle mandates but are particularly strong in the book publishing sector. Clients appoint the firm to handle contractual disputes and digitalisation projects and to provide regulatory advice.
Jean-Baptiste Guillot leads the sports offering at Reinhart Marville Torre and recently acted for PGA European Tour/Ryder Cup Europe in its negotiations with the French government for the organisation of the event in September 2018 in France. Française des Jeux appointed the group to oversee the management and organisation of the professional cycling team Groupama-FDJ - including the commercialisation of image rights and the legal framework of its sponsorship structures - and Guillet successfully represented the French Basketball Federation in its lobbying efforts for a legislative amendment to allow municipalities to act as guarantors for loans to companies for the construction of sport facilities. Other key clients include the French Golf Federation, Racing 92 and Virtual Regatta.
Taliens is a niche firm entirely dedicated to the media, digital and technology sectors with a practice which covers both advisory and contentious matters under the leadership of Clara Steinitz. In recent highlights, Paramount instructed the group to handle all matters relating to the production of a number of high-profile movies and television series in France, including the sixth installment of the Mission Impossible franchise. Steinitz's expertise also covers the regulatory requirements of product placement of alcoholic beverages and distribution law. The press and newspapers side of the practice is led mainly by Steinitz and Jean-Frederic Gaultier, who recently handled a host of defamation and breach of privacy claims. Senior associate Alexandra Crance is also a key name to note.
TAoMA Partners 'has the perfect practice size' and clients can rely on 'a mix of internal professionals and external counsel, all of whom are very aware of the latest evolution in the legal landscape'. The 'extremely responsive' Anne Messas provides 'a main partner link which is a key differentiation with other firms', according to one client. In addition to advising a client on the new regulatory requirements pertaining to the acquisition of online advertising space, the team recently acted for a leading agency on the creation of mobile applications for one of its clients. Alain Hazan leads the department.
Taylor Wessing acts for domestic and international producers, distributors and institutional investors, as well as directors, artists and authors. Clients especially value the group's 'excellent, up-to-date knowledge of the entertainment sector' and the 'humane and dynamic practitioners' constant vision of business issues beyond the pure legal ones'. Recently strengthened by the arrival of Marc Schuler from Bird & Bird, the team continues to provide advice to Ubisoft on the licensing, production agreements and all other issues pertaining to its Les lapins crétins animated TV series. On the corporate side, Claire Saint-Laurent-Mantoux advised Ah! Production on its acquisition by Satisfaction, while Schuler managed the trade mark portfolio of Banijay Group. Other key names include Christian Valsamidis, who heads the entertainment law group in Paris with a specific strength in intellectual property and banking law, and Benoît Goulesque-Monaux. Fox, Mandarin Télévision and Netflix also feature on the firm's enviable client roster.
Vercken & Gaullier
Led by Gilles Vercken and Florence Gaullier, the 'great team' at Vercken & Gaullier covers a wide range of industry sectors in the media and entertainment space, including music, television, radio, publishing and advertising, with 'great reactivity and availability'. In addition to a steady stream of data privacy and GDPR compliance work, the group recently advised on contract negotiations in the context of content-on-demand clauses and relations with collective management organisations and their intangible assets. Key clients include Deezer, Hachette, NextRadioTV and Bouygues Telecom.
WAN Avocats recently bolstered its offering with the arrival of two new partners; Nathalie Attias specialises in labour law and joined from her own firm, while Ludovic Doutreleau is a corporate and banking law specialist who arrived from his own firm with offices in Paris and Lausanne. The main name to note in the media space is Isabelle Wekstein-Steg, who, along with Raphaël Naccach, is currently representing the writers of a well-known French song in a claim against an advertising agency and a leading international tourism company arising from the unauthorised reproduction of the song in a marketing campaign. Other work highlights included advising clients on royalty issues, copyright infringement and contractual disputes between artists and publishers.
Wilhelm & Associés
The media sector is the traditional core of Wilhelm & Associés' practice. Pascal Wilhelm is particularly strong in the fields of antitrust, contractual law, broadcasting rights, advertising and regulatory matters. Recently strengthened by the promotion to counsel of Emilie Dumur and the arrival of Stéphanie Coen from August Debouzy, the practice continues to represent Canal+ in its challenge to the EU Commission's decision on absolute territorial protection granted by cinema studios to TV-on-demand operators. Other key clients include Betclic and Telfrance.