Entertainment in Germany

CMS

CMS combines longstanding experience in traditional media matters with new, digital skills. The firm's international reach and its wide-ranging synergies with other specialist areas, such as antitrust and corporate law as well as consumer electronics, data protection and commercial, generate a very broad know-how which also contributes to its digital regulation task force; this unit handles regulatory issues particularly in relation to public, competition and antitrust law. Also worth mentioning is the team's experience in traditional sports law and digital media, which enables it to 'develop unique new models for e-sports'. Litigator Pietro Graf Fringuelli heads the global media group from Cologne and has in-depth knowledge of copyright matters in the digital sphere. Senior Associate Patrick Ehinger stands out for his expertise in contentious, rights and licences-related media usage matters and the Hamburg-based Sebastian Cording primarily advises IT companies on media law issues; principal counsel Martin Gerecke has 'incredibly extensive knowledge' of domain and internet law, social media, games and digital business.

Practice head(s):

Sebastian Cording

Testimonials

‘First port of call for media law; best expertise in digital media field; creative solutions; no other law firm thinks and develops such strategic concepts.’

‘Pietro Graf Fringuelli: the most innovative and strategically thinking expert on the market; way ahead of its competitors.’

‘When it comes to eSports, CMS is #1 in the market; no other competitor has as much knowledge about eSports as CMS; the practice has aligned its experiences in traditional eSports and digital media to create unique new models for eSports; years of experience.’

‘Pietro Graf Fringuelli: the undisputed number 1 in eSports in Europe; creative in the development of new structures and business models in eSports. Patrick Ehinger: in-depth knowledge of league models in eSports.’

‘Very creative and strategic thinking team; development of strategies that have not yet been practiced; matching the expertise of the litigator with in-depth knowledge of the relevant area of law (copyright, media law, etc.); very quick and able to field large teams.’

Noerr

Noerr combines competencies from various practice areas, such as trade and commerce, IT and outsourcing as well as IP and media, within its multidisciplinary digital business group. The team thus masters both traditional media issues as well as digitisation's latest challenges such as issues related to AI applications, platform regulation and personal rights protection. Advising broadcasters on agreements with infrastructure providers is another one of the firm's core competencies, while it is especially renowned for its relevant experience in the transactional arena (particularly in takeovers and the establishment of joint ventures). Most recently, the group excelled in negotiating the short-time work collective agreement for the film industry and in creating the default fund for Covid-19 pandemic damage; the matter was led by practice head Johannes Kreile. Of Counsel Ulrich Michel is highly regarded in the film financing sphere.

Practice head(s):

Johannes Kreile

Other key lawyers:

Ulrich Michel

Testimonials

‘Expertise in film and media law, copyright law, tax law. Johannes Kreile excels.’

Key clients

Allianz Deutscher Produzenten – Film & Fernsehen e.V.

Leonine Holding

Warner Bros.

Sony Music Entertainment Germany GmbH

Heinrich Bauer Media Group

LionsGate

Bavaria Fiction GmbH

ARTE G.E.I.E.

Constantin Medien AG

Ziegler Film GmbH & Co. KG

Hearst Corporation

Right Livelihood Foundation

rt1 media group GmbH

 

Work highlights

  • Creation of the model for BKM’s default fund I and the default fund II of federal states for Covid-19 pandemic damage in film productions.
  • Representing Wort & Bild Verlag in a complaints procedure related to alleged discrimination against a provider by Google for highlighting information boxes of the Federal Ministry of Health.
  • Comprehensive media, funding, corporate and tax law advice to LionsGate on the establishment of a joint venture and on the drafting and negotiation of all transaction and production contracts for films.

SKW Schwarz

Through the creation of strong links between its IP, IT and digitisation teams, SKW Schwarz Rechtsanwälte's media and entertainment department is able to act across several key markets as well as globally. For instance, the new esports focus group around senior associate Moritz Mehner was able to assist with the establishment of a world league in esports and thus with the development of new regulations and models. Furthermore, the firm offers strategic advice on the new media state treaty and in negotiations, for example related to short-time work collective agreements. In the latter area, Mathias Schwarz, an expert in film and television production as well as copyright and personal rights, excels in particular. Martin Diesbach focuses on national and international digital business models. Norbert Klingner heads the practice.

Practice head(s):

Norbert Klingner

Testimonials

‘Norbert Klingner’s department has been doing excellent work on complex contracts and legal issues for a long time. This is always done with absolute competence. Norbert Klingner is also a strategic partner who always advises with foresight. This is an invaluable advantage in the international film business.’

‘Norbert Klingner: For more than 15 years always reliable and professionally first class. He is an outstanding expert on international film distribution issues and international financing. Very well connected, always state-of-the-art.’

Key clients

Expedia

Fundacio Gala- Salvador Dali

Blue Eyes Fiction

SamFilm GmbH

Produzentenallianz

Wiedemann & Berg

HomeAway

Grid Esports

Koch Films

The Match Factory

Epic Games (Fortnite)

Sony Pictures Entertainment

Deutsche Columbia Pictures Filmproduktion

Softmachine Immersive Productions GmbH

Caligari Film und Fernsehproduktion GmbH

Work highlights

  • Assisting with the successful initiative of Allianz Deutscherproducers – Film & Fernsehen eV to set up a €50m default fund to cover Covid-19 risks in cinema productions.
  • Advising 13 contractual partners on the establishment of a world league in esports (CS:GO) with regard to franchise agreements.
  • Comprehensive legal and contractual support for Jun.ique Film GmbH in a pure Instagram film production (probably the first in Germany).

DLA Piper

Most recently, DLA Piper‘s media team was particularly active in the TV and broadcasting sphere, with Stefan Engels‘ team comprehensively advising prestigious broadcasters as well as marketing and media companies in connection with new TV formats on contract design, sales, marketing and advertising, as well as product launches and digital issues. Michael Stulz-Herrnstadt has longstanding experience in media law and also advises ‘reliably, creatively and practice-oriented‘ on regulatory and public commercial law in the media, entertainment, gaming and telecommunications sectors. Kai Tumbrägel also deals with esports and gaming; his core competencies include the protection of intellectual property, unfair competition and national and international transactions, especially in the video games sector.

Practice head(s):

Stefan Engels

Testimonials

‘The deep understanding of the market makes the practice unique. The team has excellent skills in classifying the legal and regulatory framework and its effects. This enables it to provide efficient and practical advice.’

‘Michael Stulz-Herrnstadt has many years of experience in media law and provides reliable, creative and practice-oriented advice. He reacts quickly and efficiently and is very pleasant.’

‘When additional resources are needed, they are quick and reactive. This is important for time-critical matters. They are proactive rather than just reactive, addressing potential issues before they arise. Informative and open’.

‘Michael Stulz-Herrnstadt and his team are always professional in all matters.’

Key clients

Akatsuki Inc.

ProSiebenSat.1

Asmodèe Group

Evoke Gaming Ltd.

EWE AG

GROUP ONE MANAGEMENT PTY LTD

LEGO Systems A/S

Mr. Green & Co. AB

NeoLotto Ltd

Readly International AB

Spiegel-Verlag

Stillfront Group AB

The Premier League

Trustly Group AB

Twitch Interactive

Winamax SAS

ZeniMax Media

Work highlights

  • Advising Japanese gaming publisher Akatsuki Inc. on an international project regarding the worldwide rollout of a new mobile game.
  • Representing ProSiebenSat.1 TV Deutschland GmbH in proceedings that led to one of the most important decisions of the BVerwG in regulatory and broadcasting law in recent years.
  • Advising and representing the world’s largest provider of sports betting, Winamax SA, based in Paris, on all aspects of gaming law, including German sports betting concession proceedings.

Greenberg Traurig Germany

On both advisory and forensic level, Greenberg Traurig Germany's international team impresses with a holistic range of services tailored to the media industry's needs and acts as a strategic partner for the film and TV, video games and music industries, as well as for digital media and streaming platforms. Practice head Stefan Lütje also advises media companies and studios as well as financial institutions, funding agencies and insurance companies. Christoph Enaux works at the interface of IT, telecommunications and media law and is often instructed to assist with transactions, sales issues and litigation. Laura Zentner covers series productions, license agreements, music rights and distribution.

Practice head(s):

Stefan Lütje

Other key lawyers:

Laura Zentner; Christoph Enaux 

Key clients

Amazon Media EU S.à.r.l. / Audible / Amazon Games / IMDb

ZDF Enterprises

Paramount Pictures

Sky Deutschland GmbH

CBS Corp.

Netflix

ProSiebenSat.1 AG / Studio 71 GmbH

Yorck Kino GmbH

Universal Pictures

Ehrlich Entertainment

Media Broadcast

Rise FX

Rlaxx TV

Joyn

Jennifer Lopez

Focus Features

Malao Film GmbH

Audible Magic

Sophisticated Film GmbH

Work highlights

  • Advising Audible Magic on the structuring of their offer for the use of music in Europe, including the conclusion of licenses with German, Swiss and Austrian collecting societies.
  • Advising bestselling author John Strelecky von the exclusive option and screenplay deal for the film adaptation of Rat Pack/Constantin bestseller “The Cafe on the Edge of the World”.
  • Advising carte blanche International GmbH film and television production on all production law and personal rights issues in various productions.

Lausen Rechtsanwälte

Lausen Rechtsanwälte fields a solid practice geared towards the media industry's needs where it provides a very comprehensive spectrum of services, ranging from copyright and media law to data protection, corporate, labor and social security law. The group is a pioneer in copyright issues, where it often acts in test cases and is instructed by clients such as GEMA and RTL Disney Fernsehen GmbH. Ursula Feindor-Schmidt (Munich) for instance represented international specialist publishers before the European Court of Justice in proceedings relating to the new EU copyright directive and copyright violations by internet platforms. Additionally, Kerstin Bäcker (Cologne) is renowned for her advice on the responsibility of online services for production and exploitation of audio content. Martin Schippan and Matthias Lausen are other key contacts. 

Practice head(s):

Matthias Lausen

Morrison Foerster

Morrison & Foerster LLP is particularly strong in media transactions, especially in the broadcasting sector. Here, the key contact is Christoph Wagner, who heads the global media practice and is therefore 'excellently connected' across the globe. Film, entertainment and copyright matters represent another mainstay which is overseen by Christiane Stützle. However, the practice is not only instructed by traditional film industry clients, but also increasingly by internet platforms in matters at the interface of content and technology. Furthermore, Andreas Grünwald and his team advise clients on business processes compliance with new regulatory requirements related to the State Treaty on Media and the Protection of Minors in the Media as well as the Youth Protection and Network Enforcement Act.

Testimonials

‘Christiane Stützle and her team advise on art and copyright law. What is unique about the practice is the combination of profound knowledge of the art industry and the client’s interests and sound advice on the front lines of German and European copyright law. The advice is excellent, efficient and competent. The entire team is very friendly and committed far beyond the usual level.’

‘Christiane Stützle, specialist lawyer for copyright and media law, knows and understands the challenges of the art industry and therefore always finds the right solution for all questions and challenges.’

‘The issues are addressed immediately. You always have the feeling that you have first priority. The team is always available and very client-oriented. ‘

‘The law firm has an excellent network in the area of media law. The team has a broad range of expertise in the media arena and, in addition to platform regulation issues, also has special expertise in copyright, telecommunications, contract and antitrust law. The whole thing is complemented by an experienced litigation department. The law firm works in an extremely service-oriented manner with short turnaround times and always at a high professional level.’

‘Christoph Wagner is an absolute luminary in media law and has an excellent network. His diplomatic and well-considered negotiation skills are particularly appreciated.’

‘Christoph Nüßing is characterized by a quick grasp and extremely precise and comprehensive legal advice on all legal issues relating to platform operation and content marketing.’

‘Andreas Grünwald and his team have fantastic knowledge of the tech industry and a commercial understanding. His insight, clarity and responsiveness make him an expert on EU inquiries. He and his team are a pleasure to work with and embody what should be first class legal advice.’

Key clients

Disney / Twentieth Century Fox und Tochtergesellschaften

Axel Springer SE

Fachverband Rundfunk- und BreitbandKommunikation (FRK)

Atlassian

Fotografiska

Majid Al Futtaim Cinemas

Martin Eder

Radio NRJ GmbH

SoundCloud

Tele Columbus AG

Twitch Interactive, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advice to Disney/Twentieth Century Fox on the integration into Disney Group as well as ongoing advice on film projects, clearance of rights, etc. for distribution via Disney+, drafting of contracts and music licenses.
  • Advising Twitch Interactive, Inc. on one of the currently most innovative and successful online offers on numerous groundbreaking regulatory and copyright regulation projects.
  • Successful administrative court representation of the largest private radio broadcaster in Europe, Radio NRJ, in a difficult legal dispute on the use of important transmission capacities in Germany.

Straßer Ventroni Freytag Rechtsanwälte

Munich-based Straßer Ventroni Deubzer Freytag & Jäger traditionally assists with transactions in the music and film industry, a field in which Stefan Ventroni is considered a renowned expert. The group's strong expertise in copyright, media and licensing law is complemented by its advice on digital media and regulatory issues. Robert Straßer has IT expertise while Stefan Freytag is not only experienced in copyright and media law, but also in e-commerce, data protection and publishing law.

Testimonials

‘Stefan Ventroni has unique in-depth knowledge of the music industry. He has experienced the upheavals in this market caused by digitisation in the last 20 years from a consultant’s point of view, so he has a wealth of experience and an excellent network. In addition to his outstanding expertise in music law, he always convinces with pragmatic solutions.’

‘Short distances, quick feedback and a very cooperative partnership. The law firm is very agile and knows the needs of its client very well, based on many years of cooperation.’

‘There is a very open, trusting and cooperative partnership, so it doesn’t feel like a service provider relationship, but rather like the extension of one’s own department.’

‘Very reliable and quick response times. Very friendly and attentive team. Very deep expertise.’

‘Stefan Freytag attaches great importance to keeping the client informed. His deep understanding and knowledge enables him to be pragmatic, which, for example, is of great benefit to a young company.’

Key clients

Anschutz Entertainment Group

ARD ZDF Medienakademie

Bavaria Fiction GmbH Bavaria Media GmbH

Bilderfest GmbH

Bratan Productions GmbH (Mark Filatov)

Condé Nast Germany GmbH

Chronext AG

D4L data4life

DeinKinoticket GmbH

Deutsche Telekom AG

EGYM Gruppe

FC Bayern München

Flixbus

Hood Media GmbH

Keshet Tresor TV Germany / Tresor TV

Kinopolis Gruppe

Komixx Entertainment Ltd. (London)

Leonine Holding GmbH

LIQID Investments

Loewe Verlag / gondolino Verlag

Massachusetts Medical Society

Media Saturn

MyPostcard.com GmbH

ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE

Qunomedical

real,- Digital Payment & Technology Services GmbH

Seriotec GmbH

Sony Music GmbH

Tellux Gruppe

Thomas Sabo

Wolters Kluwer Deutschland

Work highlights

  • Advice on film law to Bavaria Fiction GmbH, in particular on the conclusion of film productions and film license agreements.
  • Regular advice on copyright, media and licensing law to Deutsche Telekom AG, in particular on the acquisition of content licenses and cooperation in the area of subscription video-on-demand.
  • Advising FC Bayern München AG on copyright, licensing law, personality rights, competition and trademark law, advertising sales and data protection law.

Taylor Wessing

As part of the TMT group led by Axel Freiherr von dem Bussche, Taylor Wessing's broad media practice offers high-quality advice at the interface of media and technology. The team assists international players with the launch of new products and services as well as with strategic matters such as in connection with European copyright policy and the new EU copyright directive. Recently, issues such as copyright levies, liability for third-party content and general terms and conditions control procedures for terms of use also played a central role within the group's forensic advice. The assistance with several tech-based venture capital projects and M&A transactions further underline the practice's additional focus on corporate, digital business, entertainment and video games. Svenja-Ariane Maucher is particularly active in the latter area; she also co-heads the international practice group on commercial technology and data. Gregor Schmid is a regulatory expert and co-heads the video games practice.

Key clients

Adobe Systems Inc.

Bertelsmann

Douglas

Etsy

Riese & Müller GmbH

Wargaming

CD Projekt

Work highlights

  • Representing Adobe Systems Inc. in proceedings in connection with one of the milestone decisions in the software sector in recent years.
  • Ongoing legal and strategic advice to international digital company Douglas on the introduction of new products/services, such as the megastore in Munich, both in terms of data protection law and for websites and other online services.
  • Advice to Etsy in Germany, in particular on all legal requirements that directly or indirectly affect online sales via the marketplace or general website compliance.

Brehm & v. Moers

Brehm & v. Moers has a traditional focus on media, film and employment law; in the latter area, a team around Marcus Sonnenschein was recently particularly active in relation to top-notch cinema, TV and high-end series productions. The highly regarded practice is further complemented by comprehensive advice to streaming platforms as well as gaming and media transaction expertise. Copyright and media lawyer Katharina Domnick impresses with 'high expertise in litigation, crystal-clear structuring and razor-sharp phrasing' and Stefan von Moers is a 'highly reliable partner' for media, entertainment and press issues. Kai Bodensiek focuses on the needs of the video games and mobile content industries.

Testimonials

‘Katharina Domnick: expert for fundamental questions; high level of expertise in process management, crystal-clear structuring; razor-sharp phrasing.’

‘Stefan von Moers: highly creative lawyer with a broad view.’

‘The expertise of employees, the friendliness and professionalism of everyone deserve special mention.’

‘Stefan von Moers is a highly reliable partner.’

Key clients

Adorum GmbH

Barefoot Films GmbH

Billy Media Berlin GmbH

Boosey & Hawkes

Chimera Entertainment GmbH

Deck 13 GmbH

Deutsche Columbia Pictures Filmproduktion GmbH

Sony Pictures Entertainment Deutschland GmbH

DZ Bank GmbH

Etermax GmbH

European Game Composers

Exozet Berlin GmbH

FFP New Media GmbH

Florin Filmproduktion GmbH & Co. KG

Gamer Legion GmbH

Guaranteed Complitions

Holocafe GmbH

KCRW Berlin

Mies van der Rohe Estate

Natixis Coficine

Neue Bioskop Film GmbH

Neue Gestaltung GmbH

Riva Filmproduktion GmbH

Warner Bros. Pictures (UK)

Wüste Filmproduktion GmbH

Remote Control Productions

Chimera Entertainment GmbH

Deck 13 GmbH

Etermax GmbH

European Game Composers

Toukana GmbH (Entwickler Gewinner Deutscher Computerspielepreis 2021)

Gamer Legion GmbH

Gamigo-Gruppe

Holocafe GmbH

Still Alive Studios

Handygames/THQ Nordic

Zeitland Media

Erik „Gronkh“ Range

Marvin Clifford

Stephan Reichart

Gerrit

Assemble Entertainmet

Work highlights

  • Comprehensive advice to Assemble Entertainment GmbH on drafting development contracts and general terms and conditions.
  • Assisting Deck 13 GmbH with its sale to Canadian Focus Group. After that: permanent advice on all areas related to German law.
  • Comprehensive advice to Deutsche Columbia Pictures Filmproduktion GmbH and Sony Pictures Entertainment Deutschland GmbH on various German cinema film productions regarding distribution and co-productions; various development projects; increasingly also series developments in cooperation with streaming platforms.

K&L Gates LLP

K&L Gates LLP's TV, film and entertainment team is part of a broader TMT team led by Martin von Albrecht and focuses on four areas. The advice to broadcasters and online media platforms on how to deal with collecting societies is a traditional pillar for the team; here, von Albrecht advises and represents clients in matters related to blank media levies and copyright user properties among others. Music law is another mainstay, with the team being particularly active in negotiating TV and radio agreements with GEMA. Copyright in connection with music and video-on-demand streaming services represents another focus, while the assistance with sports law matters complements the practice. Olaf Fiss is recommended.

Practice head(s):

Martin von Albrecht

Testimonials

‘Martin von Albrecht and Olaf Fiss are technically excellent, result- and solution-oriented and give extremely practical advice. Urgent matters are always prioritized, they are reliable, dedicated advisors in the field of media and entertainment law and highly recommended.’

Key clients

JOYN GmbH

VAUNET e.V.

VAUNET e.V. ./. GEMA wegen Music-on-Demand

RTL Interactive GmbH

Corint Media GmbH

Klassik Radio AG

ProSiebenSat. 1 Media SE

Work highlights

  • Comprehensive advice to Joyn GmbH on rights licensing by collecting societies.
  • Representing VAUNET/GEMA in proceedings before the copyright arbitration board at the DPMA to review a 50% tariff increase by GEMA in relation to music-on-demand tariffs in general contract proceedings.
  • Representation of Corint Media (formerly VG Media)/ WEG Europa Allee in court proceedings at OLG Frankfurt with industry-wide importance, which may relativize the case law of BGH regarding the copyright liability of residential property (Ramses judgment).

McDermott Will & Emery Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater LLP

McDermott Will & Emery Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater LLP impresses with its holistic advice offering, a global firm network and 'excellent industry knowledge', which often surfaces in program distribution matters and litigation, whereby the team also successfully assists with transactions, license agreements and regulatory issues. In a notable highlight, the group represented ProSiebenSat.1 in preliminary proceedings before the ECJ in relation to advertising breaks; the matter was led by co-practice head Wolfgang von Frentz with the 'competent, precise and helpful' Christian Masch also being involved. Ralf Weisser co-heads the practice and primarily advises on projects relating to digital television, fibre optics, mobile networks and M2M communication.

Other key lawyers:

Christian Masch

Testimonials

‘Fast, precise, careful, competent.’

‘Wolfgang von Frentz: Great experience, fast, accurate, helpful. Christian Masch: competent, precise and helpful.’

‘The team is characterized by excellent industry knowledge, accessibility and pragmatism.’

‘Ralf Weisser advises very solution- and business-oriented. He is very pragmatic and easily accessible. He is also characterized by a high degree of pragmatism and industry experience. I have worked with him on many occasions and can recommend him unreservedly.’

Key clients

IP Deutschland/ RTL Interactive

ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG

RTL Television

Corint Media (formerly: VG Media)

RTL II

HD.Hospitality GmbH

Sport1 Medien AG

Deutschlandradio

Work highlights

  • Successful representation of ProSiebenSat.1 and fashion house Fussl in preliminary proceedings before the ECJ, in which it is asserted that the ban on regionally different advertising blocks in the context of nationwide television programs is contrary to European law.
  • Successful representation of RTL Television against EWETEL and NetCologne in two proceedings before the arbitration board of the DPMA related to the question of how the distribution of TV programs in the IPTV sector is to be classified legally.
  • Advice to Deutschlandradio on the implementation of the settlement with Vodafone subsidiary Unitymedia.

ADVANT Beiten

ADVANT Beiten's leading video games practice is particularly renowned for advising leading international developers, publishers, distributors and service providers, who all benefit from the group's wide range of expertise in esports, streaming technologies, digital distribution as well as data and youth protection, competition and gaming law. The firm's contacts to leading video games specialists in several European jurisdictions is also particularly attractive for clients. Andreas Lober, who jointly heads the group with Matthias Stecher, is considered 'one of the best lawyers for interactive entertainment in Germany'. Wotjek Ropel is also recommended.

Testimonials

‘The team is very diverse and basically covers all areas of law that their clients need. Inquiries are processed comprehensively, competently and very promptly. There is always a friendly and committed atmosphere.’

‘Holger Weimann: very competent in all matters, particularly media, consumer, contract and competition law. Weimann is the key contact and is extremely quick and successful in enforcing claims. Katharina Mayerbacher is also very competent. Very precise and assertive, even when negotiations become tough and difficult.’

‘The firm is unique in its combination of down-to-earthness and concentration on the essentials with excellent legal quality and a high level of economic understanding. This is the firm that gives you results at a reasonable price, not hot air.’

‘Andreas Lober is an absolute expert in the gaming industry. Holger Weinmann is an absolute specialist for software contracts.’

‘One of the best teams in Germany for interactive entertainment.’

‘Andreas Lober is one of the best lawyers for interactive entertainment in Germany’.

‘Excellent IP knowledge. Exceptional industry knowledge of interactive entertainment. Great responsiveness.’

Key clients

Bandai Namco

Koch Media

RemoteMyApp

Zenimax / Bethesda

Work highlights

  • Advice to Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe on the acquisition of a stake in Limbic Entertainment GmbH and ongoing advice under German law.
  • Advising RemoteMyApp on the cooperation with Deutsche Telekom for the introduction of cloud gaming service Magenta Gaming as well as ongoing advice under German law (including youth protection).
  • Advising and representing Koch Media on a geo-blocking proceeding before the European Commission.

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie primarily stands out for its niche expertise in gaming and youth protection, with associate Sebastian Schwidessen 'earning a reputation as an outstanding advisor'; he recently moved from the firm's Munich to the Berlin office to further establish its local media team. The practice's expertise also includes media regulation and copyright law, with a particular focus on upload filters, as well as advice on film and video-on-demand; the latter division is led by the Frankfurt-based Holger Lutz.

Practice head(s):

Holger Lutz

Other key lawyers:

Sebastian Schwiddessen

Testimonials

‘Broad law firm with specialists across many areas and markets.’

‘Sebastian Schwidessen has gained a reputation in the games industry as an outstanding consultant, particularly in the area of youth protection.’

Key clients

Valve Corporation / Steam

Sony Deutschland

Apple Deutschland

Google und YouTube Deutschland

GEMA

Devolver Digital

THQ Nordic GmbH

Embracer Group

Pinterest

Nameless Media (Der Petersen GmbH und Co. KG)

TikTok / Bytedance Deutschland

Hutch Games

Running With Scissors LLC

Techland

CD Project Red

Work highlights

  • Ongoing media regulatory and youth protection law advice to Valve Corporation/Steam on various products, games and issues in Germany and several other markets.
  • Advice to TikTok/Bytedance Deutschland on inquiries from authorities and drafting of contract terms.
  • Ongoing media regulatory, copyright and youth protection advice to Sony Germany on a range of products, including judicial lifting of the ban on various horror films and subsequent delisting proceedings before the Federal Review Board for Harmful Media to Minors.

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP‘s Munich office has strong advisory skills in the media, entertainment and sports (including esports) sectors, with the firm’s strong technology focus enabling it to successfully assist media corporations and other clients also with media-adjacent matters, including international marketing campaigns. The practice also advises on regulatory issues related to lottery, sports betting and gaming. Joseph Fesenmair further assists with sponsoring and contract drafting, while matters pertaining to licenses, commercial legal protection and domain law are overseen by Markus Körner.

Practice head(s):

Joseph Fesenmair

Other key lawyers:

Markus Körner; Niels Lutzhöft

Key clients

adidas

Amazon Game Server

Aphria Inc., Aphria Germany GmbH und Aphria RX GmbH

JuicePlus

Mozilla Foundation

Philip Morris GmbH

ProSiebenSat.1 Gruppe

S 20 e.V.

Take-Two Interactive

Union Mondiale de Billiard

WMF

Zum Goldenen Hirschen

Work highlights

  • Holistic advice to a sports committee in a large number of IP and media-related proceedings.
  • Advising ProSiebenSat.1 Group on various contractual and copyright disputes in Germany and abroad as well as transactional IP matters and advice on due diligence and SPAs.
  • Representing WMF in proceedings brought by design office M&K related to retroactive renumeration before the district court in Stuttgart.

FREY Rechtsanwälte

Media boutique FREY Rechtsanwälte occupies a strong position in the copyright market, especially in contentious cases and in connection with sports and esports matters. The team also has 'extremely in-depth' knowledge of European law, particularly in the competition sphere; practice head Dieter Frey is a renowned expert in matters pertaining to European copyright directives as well as their implementation in German law and also excels in motorsports, football, content exploitation and licensing issues. Matthias Rudolph is recommended for his advice on rights management by collecting societies as well as on freedom of speech, press law and personal rights.

Practice head(s):

Dieter Frey; Matthias Rudolph

Testimonials

‘Very responsive, strong service.’

‘Dieter Frey: Good service. Matthias Rudolph: good comprehension.’

‘The firm works extremely carefully, is always well prepared and on schedule. You can rely on technical expertise.’

‘The professional expertise of all the lawyers in the law firm is to be appreciated, especially Dieter Frey. The work is of high quality, very understandable and above all practical. ‘

‘Very high level of competence in copyright issues and licensing matters. Short response times, comprehensive and profound advice.’

‘On one hand, the firm’s paths are highly specialised, so that one always deals with competent contacts. The way to the law firm usually leads through its two partners Frey and Rudolph, which means that one of them is usually available as the key contact. But the employed lawyers are also involved in many matters, which results in very good and clear cooperation.’

Key clients

Deutsche Telekom AG

Deutsche Bahn AG

Splendid Medien AG

Sporttotal AG

Zentralverband Elektrotechnik- und Elektroindustrie e.V.

ekz.bibliotheksservice GmbH

Ströer SE & Co. KGaA

Omnicom Mediagroup Germany GmbH

1. FC Köln GmbH & Co. KGaA

Ja zum Nürburgring e.V.

VLN Veranstaltungs- und Vermarktungs GmbH & Co. KG

Veranstaltergemeinschaft Langstreckenrennen Nürburgring OHG

Deutscher Galopp e.V.

Mount Devil UG

bigSmile Entertainment GmbH

Indrista AG

ESBD – eSport-Bund Deutschland e.V.

FC Viktoria Köln 1904 Spielbetriebs GmbH

MateCrate GmbH

Eurosports Events Ltd.

Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf

Work highlights

  • Representing Telekom Deutschland GmbH in high-volume proceedings against Corint Media (collecting society for the ancillary copyrights of private broadcasters).
  • Representing Telekom Deutschland GmbH in media regulatory proceedings against the Hessian State Media Authority in relation to platform regulation/platform approval under the Interstate Broadcasting Treaty.
  • Advising Splendid Medien AG on a high-volume factoring deal in the international film licensing business.

GRAEF Rechtsanwälte

GRAEF Rechtsanwälte offers 'excellent advice on data protection, trademark and copyright law' and has ' immense expertise in media law, film, TV and video games'. Especially in relation to video games law, the practice is considered 'one of Germany's top boutiques'. Ralph Oliver Graef's team excels, among other matters, in assisting with numerous international motion picture productions and representing clients in proceedings pertaining to filming and music rights as well as copyright disputes. Christian Rauda is well respected in the video games industry.

Practice head(s):

Ralph Oliver Graef

Testimonials

‘Christian Rauda is always available, even at weekends, and he is very efficient in his way of working. Rock solid. Precise. Kindhearted. A smooth customer, procedurally and substantively not just an ace, but always with an ace up his sleeve (usually even with an ace up each sleeve)! ‘

‘Communication with the GRAEF team is excellent. Answers come quickly, are short, concise and solutions are always pragmatic. The team always works in a time-effective and solution-oriented manner.’

‘Christian Rauda is an extremely competent, productive and friendly partner. He is always reliable, on-point and the cooperation is always pragmatic and goal-oriented. His expertise and his excellent knowledge of our industry with its special needs is unique.’

‘The company is ready to help with any issue or matter in the field, whether it be working with a team within the company or answering specific questions. In addition, GRAEF is very accessible compared to other firms and you become part of the same family, so to speak. ‘

‘Christian Rauda and Werner Jansen are always approachable and helpful. Their legal advice is clear and to the point and consistent with business practice. Their relationship with the authorities is good and they are always helpful in dealing with them.’

‘One of the top German boutiques for gaming law. Always very close to the computer and video game market as well as new technologies and trends. Lots of flair and sensitivity for the legal challenges of the games industry. Excellent advice, especially in data protection, trademark and copyright law. ‘

‘Christian Rauda is one of the most sought-after lawyers in gaming law. He knows the industry and understands the challenges. He is close to the current legislation and the constantly changing rules of the big platforms and gatekeepers. Christian Rauda advises competently, unerringly and without frills. As a game developer or publisher, you are in the best of hands with him. ‘

‘Reinhard Höbelt: Competent, quick, good advisor, looks for client-oriented solutions and always finds one.’

Key clients

Argon Verlag AVE GmbH

artnet AG

Daedalic Entertainment GmbH

DOCDAYS Productions GmbH

dropkick pictures UG

ESL Gaming GmbH

Fraktion der Freien Demokraten im Bundestag

Filmfest Hamburg gGmbH

Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein GmbH

flow:fwd GmbH

InnoGames GmbH

Kiez Tournee GmbH & Co. KG

MORE Marketing/Radio Hamburg

Murmann Publishers GmbH

Nachlass Michael Ende

Oxford University Press

PATRIZIA Immobilien AG

Penguin Random House Verlagsgruppe GmbH

SmileyWorld Limited

Stadt Duisburg

Stillfront Group AB

The Astrid Lindgren Company AB

The world of Neuschwansteiner GmbH & Co. KG

Tiger Media Deutschland GmbH

Ulysses Filmproduktion GmbH

updressed GmbH

Verlagsgruppe Oetinger

Yari Film Group

Hengeler Mueller

Hengeler Mueller predominantly focuses on contentious proceedings pertaining to copyright, antitrust, media regulatory and telecommunications regulatory law. Particularly noteworthy is the group’s commitment to European law issues, where the team is also active in proceedings at ECJ level. The team also advises blue-chips such as Google and YouTube on European copyright directive matters. Collective copyright disputes represent another mainstay; here, the team is particularly active on the user side and especially in arbitration proceedings before the German Patent and Trademark Office. Wolfgang Spoerr and Albrecht Conrad, both of whose media and copyright know-how is described as ‘market leading’, jointly head the department.

Other key lawyers:

Tobias Schubert

Testimonials

‘The team in the area of copyright and media law led by Albrecht Conrad and Wolfgang Spoerr is – by far – top of the market. The quality of the advice is consistently outstanding. Both partners have excellent industry knowledge and both technical and economic understanding. ‘

‘Albrecht Conrad’s advice is consistently excellent. Not only does he have excellent legal knowledge, but also comprehensive knowledge of the industry and passion for the relevant issues. Albrecht Conrad works at a high scientific level and at the same time has a good eye for the economic context. Working with him and his team is at an extremely high level and is always fun. Among the associates, Tobias Schubert should be mentioned in particular, who also advises at an excellent level.’

klages.legal

klages.legal was founded by Christlieb Klages, former partner at dissolved law firm KVLEGAL, in January 2022. Copyright and privacy lawyer Klages has deep roots within the media industry and represents authors, celebrities, labels, agencies and publishers among others.

Practice head(s):

Christlieb Klages

Testimonials

Christlieb Klages is able to quickly converse legal issues into a solid legal position. In case of proceedings, his tactical acumen guarantees  a good start.’

‘Competent, flexible, friendly.’

Klinkert Rechtsanwälte PartGmbB

Media and sports law are among Klinkert Rechtsanwälte PartGmbB‘s core specialisations, with copyright and licenses playing a particularly central role; here, co-head Piet Bubenzer assists with both contentious and non-contentious matters. Annett Rombach, who made partner at the end of 2020, took over co-practice lead from André Söldner, who joined Blue Port Legal; she is particularly renowned for her experience and ‘excellent legal knowledge‘ in the sports sector. David Müller, who also focuses on the sports industry, joined from Dentons.

Practice head(s):

Piet Bubenzer

Testimonials

‘Very good knowledge of the special mechanisms of a tender in the field of media rights, both with regard to the procedures to be used (auction) and the general framework conditions for the award of media rights (demarcation of territories, etc.).’

‘Partner Piet Bubenzer: Good knowledge of the legal framework, very high level of commitment and availability at all times, openness to the client’s ideas and suggestions and finding solutions.’

‘The strength of the team lies on the one hand in the combination of extensive expertise and experience in the forensic field and in the drafting of contracts. On the other hand, the legal areas that affect the sports business, e.g. IP, data protection, general civil law, association law, procedural law, are all covered. This means that legal advice from a single source is possible in all facets. ‘

‘Annett Rombach is characterized by excellent legal knowledge and a good feeling for the right negotiation tactics.’

‘The law firm is particularly recommended in the areas of sports law, media law and trademark law. All of the attorneys are extremely responsive, approachable and true experts in their fields.’

‘Annett Rombach: One of the best referees of her generation. Great lawyer, very pragmatic and with excellent judgment. Very experienced in sports law in particular, but also regularly involved in commercial arbitration proceedings.’

Nora Kessler: Outstanding trademark lawyer. Very fast and precise.

Key clients

1 & 1 Mail & Media GmbH

Nexplore Technology Holding GmbH & Co. KG / Hochtief AG

Deutscher Fachverlag GmbH

DFL – Deutsche Fußball Liga

Deutsche Grammophon

Napster (Rhapsody International/Napster Luxembourg)

documenta und Museum Fridericianum gGmbH

Freenet AG

FIFA – Fédération Internationale de Football Association

Klöckner Pentaplast Europe GmbH & Co. KG

Athleten Deutschland e.V.

Work highlights

  • Representing FIFA in enforcing its rights to audiovisual recordings of matches from the last FIFA World Cup (men’s and women’s) against a leading travel & tourism company.
  • Many years of advice to the German Football League in the area of information technology and data protection, including the creation of templates for software license and other IT contracts and for data protection forms.
  • Advice to Museum Fridericianum GmbH in almost all legal areas, in particular copyright, trademark law, contract law and data protection law.

Nordemann Czychowski & Partner Rechtsanwältinnen und Rechtsanwälte mbB

Nordemann Czychowski & Partner Rechtsanwälte mbB‘s entry into the German media market in 2020 resonated well. The group around Jan Bernd Nordemann, a spin-off of Boehmert & Boehmert, represents leading companies in the film, television, music, video games and sports sectors and stands out in particular due to its high level of copyright expertise. In a recent highlight, the team advised clearing unit ‘Copyright in the Internet’ on the blocking of websites with business models that are illegal under copyright law; Julian Waiblinger, Stanislaus Jaworski and practice head Nordemann led on the matter. Christian Czychowski is another key contact.

Practice head(s):

Jan Bernd Nordemann

Testimonials

‘One of the top addresses for copyright in Germany! Especially irreplaceable in page blocking procedures.’

‘Jan Bernd Nordemann is technically excellent. Very pleasant cooperation. Goal oriented.’

Key clients

DFL – Deutsche Fußballliga e. V.

Elsevier Inc.

Springer Nature

Marktkirche Hannover St. Georgii et Jacobi

NINTENDO of EUROPE GmbH

Re:sources Germany GmbH

Universal Pictures

Wiener Philharmoniker

Nolde-Stiftung

Seebüll Amboss GmbH

Avenso GmbH (LUMAS)

BB RADIO

Deutsche Kinemathek

Clearingstelle Urheberrecht im Internet (CUII)

VG Bild-Kunst

Work highlights

  • Comprehensive advice and representation of the German soccer league in the pursuit of illegal live streams of soccer games on the Internet and in the pursuit of illegal advertising.
  • Representing Elsevier Inc., Springer Nature in a model case against internet providers of all kinds (access, host and domain providers) for the protection of scientific publications.
  • Advice and representation of Nintendo GmbH in the field of combating piracy (on the basis of copyright, trademark law and competition law) and in domain law.

Osborne Clarke

As part of its broader TMC group, Osborne Clarke's media team is particularly well positioned in the digital media and digital transformation sphere. Practice head Konstantin Ewald advises global internet platforms and video games companies in matters touching on IT, internet and media law and also frequently assists with transactions; this represents another of the practice's central pillars alongside media regulatory issues. Felix Hilgert primarily advises on IP and IT contracts, e-commerce as well as on all aspects of interactive entertainment.

Practice head(s):

Konstantin Ewald

Vy Verweyen

After KVLEGAL ceased its practice in January 2022, Urs Verweyen founded new law firm Vy Verweyen which focuses on copyright and IT, e-commerce, trademarks and data protection.

Practice head(s):

Urs Verweyen

Testimonials

‘Competent, flexible, friendly.’

HERTIN & Partner

HERTIN & Partner has a good reputation due to Paul Hertin's decades of experience in copyright, media, trademark and competition law as well as personal rights. In January 2021, Sandra Wagner left the firm to found Schulz Wagner Rechtsanwälte PartG mbB.

Practice head(s):

Paul Hertin

Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek

Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek's media team is based in Düsseldorf and Cologne with Michael Schmittmann and Dominik Eickemeier leading the local teams respectively. The practice is primarily instructed by TV and radio broadcasters to advise on contracts, copyright and media regulatory issues.

Heussen Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH

Heussen Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH impresses with the close integration of its own IP, IT and media practices. In the latter area, the team primarily focuses on new media and has expertise in e-commerce, digital companies, social media issues and reputation management. Hermann Waldhauser heads the practice that also includes Marcus Hotze, who is a key contact for media transactions, licensing and regulatory issues as well as sports law. The firm is frequently sought after by agencies, marketing companies and medium-sized companies as well as start-ups.

Practice head(s):

Hermann Waldhauser

Other key lawyers:

Marcus Hotze

Key clients

nicko cruises

The DIGITALE GmbH

Alfred Kärcher

Frank Otto Medienbeteiligungs GmbH

WEKA-Verlagsgruppe KG

Hamburg 1 Fernsehen

RTL2 Fernsehen GmbH & Co. KG

Brandarena GmbH & Co. KG

Deutsche Werbefilmakademie e.V.

Cyando AG

BBU Verband Berlin-Brandenburger Wohnungsunternehmen e.V.

CMPro Content Media Production GmbH

Schalk & friends GmbH

GdW Bundesverband deutscher Wohnungs- und Immobilienunternehmen mbH

Work highlights

  • Advising WEKA MEDIA Grupper and The DIGITALE on issues of publishing, copyright, IT and media law.
  • Advising KG Hamburg 1 Fernsehen Beteiligungsgesellschaft on the structuring and development of a new, digital business model and on broadcasting law, in particular with regard to aspects of advertising law vis-à-vis supervisory authorities.
  • Support for the dating portal operator GWI Media Technologies GmbH, among other things, in the case of personal and image rights claims by users and/or third parties, in particular measures against scamming.

Lentze Stopper

Lentze Stopper is a Munich-based boutique exclusively specialising in sports law and provides comprehensive advice to associations, clubs, agencies and individuals by applying ‘extraordinarily extensive knowledge and many years of experience in the field of national and international sports‘ . Gregor Lentze focuses on statutes issues, tendering rights and the design and allocation of media, marketing and license rights, while antitrust lawyer Martin Stopper is particularly popular with Bundesliga clients; they jointly head the practice.

Practice head(s):

Gregor Lentze; Martin Stopper

Other key lawyers:

Felix Holzhäuser

Testimonials

‘In addition to the fundamentally very high level of legal competence, the law firm has extraordinarily extensive knowledge and many years of experience in the field of national and international sports. The work with and for the world’s leading associations, leagues and clubs, some of which has been going on for decades, is certainly not often found in this bundling.’

‘Founder and namesake Gregor Lentze combines legal competence at the highest level with great understanding and knowledge of the commercial and organizational basics and requirements in the sports industry. He uses this combination for his customers to develop extremely goal-oriented solutions. Major events around the world have relied on this quality for many years.’

Key clients

Deutscher Fußball-Bund (DFB)

DFB Euro GmbH

Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL)

Deutsche Sport Marketing (DSM)

FC Bayern München

Bayer 04 Leverkusen

Eintracht Braunschweig

DFB-Reisebüro GmbB

1. FC Köln

VfL Wolfsburg

Fenerbahce Istanbul

Deutscher Golf-Verband (DGV)

International Shooting Federation (ISSF)

Federation Inernational de Volleyball (FIVB)

Athletia Sports

ryghts

Kinexon

Olympiapark München

Bayerischer Fußball-Verband (BFV)

Basketball Bundesliga (BBL)

FC Bayern München Basketball

Deutscher Ski-Verband (DSV)

Deutscher Ringer-Bund (DRB)

On target Football Consultants

game – Verband der deutschen Games-Branche

Sportec Solutions

arena11 sportsgroup

Work highlights

  • Complete advice to DFB Euro GmbH in connection with the application, planning and implementation of the UEFA EURO 2024 in Germany and the postponement of the UEFA EURO 2020 to 2021 due to Covid-19.
  • Overall sports law advice from Deutsche Sport Marketing in the Olympic environment.
  • Strategic advice to the DFB and state football associations on how to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic, in particular scenarios of the termination/continuation of sporting competitions and the implications of this; also court proceedings before sports courts and ordinary courts to defend promotion/relegation/season termination or continuation regulations.

Schalast Law | Tax

Frankfurt-based unit Schalast & Partner Rechtsanwälte advises media companies in the television and radio industries as well as journalists and authors. Its broad IP, media and technology practice group focuses on the telecommunications and cable sectors, with advice including license and other media-related contracts, copyright and freedom of speech issues as well as matters pertaining to the use of digital media content and data. Udo Kornmeier and Ramón Glaßl are the key contacts. In January 2021, the group welcomed two new partners in Stuttgart, Joachim von Strobl-Albeg and Christian von Strobl-Albeg, who joined from Derpa, Bender & Sigler.

Testimonials

‘Expertise and expertise independent of client input, competent in finding solutions without unnecessary costs. Negotiable.’

Key clients

recordJet GmbH

12X12 UG

Fachverband Rundfunk- und Breitbandkommunikation

Lausitzer Kabel Gesellschaft mbH

The Radio Group

Lokal-Radio Cottbus

Brandenburger Lokalradios

Work highlights

  • Advising recordJet GmbH on an innovative sales platform and access to new markets.
  • Advising 12X12 UG on the tokenization of media content and distribution as non-fungible tokens (NFT) via digital marketplaces.

UNVERZAGT Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaftsgesellschaft mbB

At UNVERZAGT Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaftsgesellschaft mbB, Andreas Pense heads the Hamburg-based media team and focuses on the development, structuring and financing of film and series projects. Expertise also exists in copyright, press, trademark, design and competition law.

Practice head(s):

Andreas Pense

White & Case LLP

Norbert Wimmer and Sylvia Lorenz head White & Case LLP's media team which particularly stands out for its extensive forensic and media regulatory skills. The practice recently assisted with matters pertaining to the new media state treaty, transparency requirements and licensing requirements for streaming services. American technology companies instruct the team particularly frequently.

Key clients

Facebook

Spotify

Unitymedia-Gruppe

Daimler-Gruppe

Work highlights

  • Acted as external legal counsel to Facebook on a portfolio of international litigation and out-of-court litigation.
  • Advised Spotify on global content and regulatory compliance.
  • Completion of the long-standing dispute between the previously second-largest German cable network operator, Unitymedia, which is now part of the Vodafone Group, and the public broadcasters in the sense of a paradigm shift in distribution contracts.