Media and entertainment in Ireland

Arthur Cox

Arthur Cox handles contentious and non-contentious matters across the media and entertainment sector, including defamation proceedings; broadcasting regulation; music, film and TV production; and advertising and sponsorship agreements. The team also advises on M&A and other corporate matters in the media sector. Clients include broadcasters, production companies, publishers and large online companies. Colin Kavanagh advises on commercial, regulatory and IP matters in the media industry, while Gavin Woods heads the contentious side of the practice and is active in defamation cases and other technology and media-related disputes.

Practice head(s):

Colin Kavanagh; Gavin Woods

Key clients

Center Parcs

Coolmore Stud

IAC Search & Media


The Chester Beatty Library

Trinity College Dublin

Wireless Group plc


6 Nations Rugby


Work highlights

  • Acting for Coolmore Stud in High Court proceedings arising from the sale of a book with defamatory content by an ex-employee.
  • Advising Triggerfish Animation on the licensing of rights relating to an animation project and the establishing of Irish operations, a co-production and negotiation of a Netflix streaming deal.
  • Acting for Trinity College Dublin in separate defamation proceedings relating to a character reference and an accusation of plagiarism.

Mason Hayes & Curran

Mason Hayes & Curran counts leading media companies among its clients, with a particular focus on acting for online and social media companies. The practice spans high-profile defamation cases and other litigation; media rights and production agreements; broadcasting regulation and licence applications to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland; and copyright issues. Michael Madden, whose clients include broadcasters, government bodies and online media companies, leads the team, which was recently bolstered by the arrival of senior associate Gráinne Morrissey, who specialises in broadcasting and telecoms law, from Squire Patton Boggs in London.

Practice head(s):

Michael Madden

Key clients

Facebook Ireland Limited


Virgin Media

Three Ireland (Hutchison) Limited and Palmerston Limited

Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ)

Sports Information Services (SIS)

World Meeting of Families 2018

Oath (EMEA) Limited (formerly Yahoo!)

Work highlights

  • Advised Sports Information Services (SIS) on the first licence application to be made to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) by a UK broadcaster in the context of Brexit.
  • Advised the World Meeting of Families on the high-profile media agreements for Pope Francis’ visit to Ireland in 2018.
  • Acting for Facebook in High Court proceedings brought by the Director of Public Prosecutions relating to the unlawful disclosure of the identity of two minors by users of the Facebook platform.


Matheson is noted for its expertise in defamation litigation and film and TV production and financing. The team also advises on competition, regulatory and freedom of information issues connected to broadcasting; animation projects; and music licensing. Clients include a wide range of domestic and international media companies and other corporates, film and TV producers and financiers, and regulatory and statutory bodies. Ruth Hunter, who has significant experience in film financing, including advising on pan-European production deals, leads the practice alongside defamation and privacy law specialist Michael Byrne.

Practice head(s):

Ruth Hunter; Michael Byrne

Key clients



Irish Music Rights Organisation

Independent News & Media

News UK and Ireland (Sun Bet)

Work highlights

  • Acting for a multinational technology and software development company in Norwich Pharmacal (third-party disclosure) proceedings brought against both the client and Twitter.
  • Acting for Kenmare Resources Plc in an appeal against the highest defamation award in the history of the state, which was obtained by the client’s former deputy chairman in the High Court.
  • Providing ongoing regulatory advice to RTÉ on freedom of information and data protection legislation.

McCann FitzGerald

Media defence litigation is a key area of expertise for McCann FitzGerald's 'excellent' team, which has a strong client base of international publishing, broadcasting, film and TV production, and internet companies. In addition, the team advises on broadcasting regulation, media mergers, and data protection issues. Practice head Karyn Harty has a strong reputation for representing media clients in defamation actions and other litigation; the 'very knowledgeable' Adam Finlay has particular expertise in new media and advertising and commercial broadcasting agreements; and Alan Heuston heads the growing betting and gaming practice.

Practice head(s):

Karyn Harty


Excellent team, very accommodating and delivered quality output

Availability and clarity in advice

Adam Finlay is very knowledgeable on rights issues.

Paul Lavery is very knowledgeable on public interest and privacy issues as they relate to media and entertainment law.

Key clients


Channel 4

Guardian News & Media

Independent News & Media plc




Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO)

British and Irish Modern Music Institute (BIMM)


Web Summit

Penguin Random House

Reach plc

32Red Limited

William Hill

LeoVegas AB

Addison Global

Banach Technologies

Bethard (Jean Noel Azzopardi)

Work highlights

  • Advising Independent News & Media plc on a series of regulatory challenges, including the appointment of Companies Act inspectors, an investigation by the Data Protection Commission and several large data subject access requests.
  • Acting for Guardian News & Media in a high-profile defamation claim over an article on modern slavery in the Irish fishing industry.
  • Advising Twitter on its confidentiality and data protection obligations under Irish law and representing the client in a number of disputes.

Philip Lee

Noted for its 'excellent knowledge of the Irish film industry', Philip Lee specialises in advising on film and TV financing and production. The team acts for production companies, high-profile US studios, state media agencies, and banks and financial institutions specialising in film financing. The 'approachable and knowledgeable' Brian Gormley leads the team, while Jonathan Kelly 'brings a wealth of experience'. Both have expertise across the full range of financing and production matters, including advising on the operation of film and TV tax credits. Senior associate Jessica Gorman is 'extremely capable'.

Practice head(s):

Brian Gormley


Their level of experience in the field is hugely helpful.

Brian Gormley is very approachable and knowledgeable, with a wide client base, and is also very communicative.

Senior associates Jessica Gorman and Aoife McBennett are extremely capable and approachable.

Vast experience and expertise in the field of media and entertainment.

Jonathan Kelly brings a wealth of experience from all sides of closing deals in film and television.

Jessica Gorman and Aoife McBennett are conscientious and quick to respond to queries. They are able lieutenants.

Excellent knowledge of the Irish film industry as well as international contracting practices. Always available with considered advice.

We cannot recommend Brian Gormley highly enough. He gives time and attention to every query and aspect of our productions and we feel he really cares about ensuring our rights are protected. We feel we are in a very safe pair of hands with Brian and he has our best interests at heart.

Key clients

Wild Atlantic Pictures

Fantastic Films

Element Pictures Limited

Screen Scene


Jam Media

Cofiloisirs and Aperture

Vico Picture & Sound Limited t/a Vico Films

Deadpan Pictures Limited

SF Studios

Work highlights

  • Advising Wild Atlantic Pictures on the production of films including Green Knight, Gretel & Hansel and WINX.
  • Advising Fantastic Films on the financing and production of horror feature film Vivarium.
  • Advised Element Pictures on the production and financing of feature film The Nest.

William Fry

With domestic and international newspapers, broadcasters and sports bodies among its clients, William Fry has expertise across a wide range of areas, including defamation proceedings, pre-publication advice, media rights and sponsorship agreements. The practice is led by Fiona Barry, who has extensive experience in defamation, privacy, social media and reputation management, and Craig Sowman, who heads the firm's sports group. Sinéad Keavey is noted for her expertise in social media law.

Practice head(s):

Fiona Barry; Craig Sowman

Key clients


Horse Racing Ireland (HRI)

Irish Rugby Football Union

Smurfit Kappa Group plc

The Irish Times



Work highlights

  • Advising the BBC in relation to potential defamation claim by a solicitor in respect of news reporting around a prominent criminal trial.
  • Advising Horse Racing Ireland on a wide range of technology, telecoms, intellectual property, media rights and sponsorship matters.
  • Advising the Irish Rugby Football Union on its GDPR readiness programme.

A&L Goodbody

A&L Goodbody has been particularly active advising major social media and internet companies, covering technology-related disputes, data privacy and protection issues, the technology aspects of M&A transactions, the protection of IP rights, and defamation proceedings. The practice is jointly led by John Whelan, John Cahir and Claire Morrissey, all of whom have expertise in technology and privacy matters.

Practice head(s):

John Whelan; John Cahir; Claire Morrissey

Work highlights

  • Advised eStar Gaming on the “Free to Play Experience” competition, including agreements, IP rights and confidentiality issues.
  • Advised Enterprise Ireland on its GDPR compliance project.
  • Advised Ding on GDPR issues relating to direct marketing and its current data processing arrangements.

Dillon Eustace

Dillon Eustace's 'strong' team counts some of Ireland's largest newspaper publishers among its clients, and has longstanding experience of handling defamation proceedings, contempt of court actions and challenges to reporting restrictions. The team also provides pre-publication advice and assists with takedown orders, complaints by the Press Ombudsman and appeals to the Press Council. The 'highly regarded' John Doyle, whose recent work highlights include a high-profile defamation case, leads the team, and David Kavanagh is noted for his 'considerable expertise in pre and post-publication advice'.

Practice head(s):

John Doyle


They offer cost-effective advice and expertise with individual contact points and a high degree of responsiveness.

John Doyle is highly regarded by his peers and clients for his incisive, pragmatic advice on media law. He has an excellent way with clients, communicating clearly and in tune with their needs.

David Kavanagh is a litigation specialist with considerable expertise in pre and post-publication advice. He is accessible, responsive and liked by his client base.

This is a strong entertainment and media team. They are knowledgeable and resourceful, both in pre-publication advice and in dealing with complaints and claims later. Most importantly, though, they have a sympathy with and understanding of media clients. They aim to help them to publish good material, rather than just tell them about the legal difficulties and obstacles.

John Doyle can always be relied on for wise advice. He is calm, even in difficult situations, and helps the client to find their way through the problems to the right outcome.

David Kavanagh is resourceful and smart, bringing calm to fraught situations. Any newspaper would be lucky to have him as an adviser.

Key clients

Irish Times

Post Publications Limited (The Sunday Business Post)

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended the Sunday Business Post against defamation proceedings brought by Denis O’Brien, one of Ireland’s wealthiest businessmen, arising from a publication about individuals with substantial borrowings from Anglo Irish Bank.
  • Acting for the Irish Mirror in a challenge to reporting restrictions imposed by the court.
  • Defending the Irish Mirror against a defamation action and opposing an application for the extension of the limitation period by the plaintiff.

Hayes Solicitors

Hayes Solicitors is well known for its representation of The Irish Times, but also advises leading brands, advertising agencies, publishers and film makers. The team provides pre-publication advice, assists with advertising and marketing matters, including agency contracts and sponsorship and licensing agreements, and handles defamation and contempt proceedings. It has also been increasingly active in advising on contract supply agreements between media organisations. 'Excellent' practice head David Phelan has expertise in pre-publication advice, advertising, media contracts and copyright.

Practice head(s):

David Phelan


David Phelan is an excellent lawyer, who is pragmatic and responsive to his clients’ needs.

Hayes offers a full service and punches above its weight.

Key clients

The Irish Times



United Biscuits


Association of Promotional Marketing Consultants (AMPC)

Noel Kelly Management


Institute of Promotional Marketing in the UK

TJX Europe


NewsBrands Ireland

Integrated Marketing Communications Council of Europe


Lewis Silken LLP


Work highlights

  • Providing The Irish Times with pre-publication advice, dealing with ongoing complaints of defamation and defending the client in court proceedings.
  • Advising Noel Kelly Management on its representation of celebrity talents, including advising on agreements with TV and radio broadcasters and various sponsors.
  • Acting for The Irish Times on the acquisition of the publishing and media interests of Landmark Media Group.

LK Shields Solicitors

LK Shields Solicitors has notable experience in advising film and TV production companies and studios on production, financing and distribution matters. Other key areas of expertise include music publishing, recording and merchandising deals; media regulation, particularly in relation to broadcasting and on-demand services; betting and gaming matters; and media-related disputes. Peter Bolger leads the practice; Jeanne Kelly has expertise in rights management and IP and IT issues in media mergers; and associate Aideen Burke has extensive experience in broadcasting regulation.

Practice head(s):

Peter Bolger

Key clients

Carnaby International Sales and Distribution Plc

Work highlights

  • Advising Carnaby International Sales and Distribution Plc on various film sales agency and production matters.

Simon McAleese Solicitors

Media boutique Simon McAleese Solicitors counts major publishers, broadcasters, and film and TV studios among its clients. The team is known for its strength in defamation proceedings and film production and financing, and also offers pre and post-publication advice to clients. Name partner Simon McAleese is highly regarded in the sector.

Practice head(s):

Simon McAleese

Eugene F. Collins

Eugene F. Collins is noted for its 'host of household name media clients'. The team has significant experience in defamation actions and is also active in advertising matters, including advising on misleading advertising, passing off and trade mark infringement. The practice also offers pre-publication advice. Rachel Shanley, who stands out for her 'depth of knowledge allied to practical application', specialises in defamation and media-related litigation, while the 'positive, problem-solving' David Hackett handles IP matters, particularly in relation to advertising.

Practice head(s):

Rachel Shanley; David Hackett


They have a very broad practice in respect of rights owners and users. They are holistic in their approach which fits well with such a converged group of sectors.

David Hackett brings a positive, problem-solving outlook whilst being a pleasure to deal with. He has rounded enough experience that he can approach matters with creativity.

It is no coincidence that Eugene F. Collins have a host of household name media clients. Attention to detail, speed of response and commercial awareness give them a substantial edge.

Rachel Shanley has depth of knowledge allied to practical application.

Associates Jonathan Lynch and David Heneghan are top-notch.

Key clients

FCR Media Limited

Sky Ireland Limited (formerly BskyB)

Gibney Communications Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised FCR Media on all aspect of its regulatory responsibilities in terms of its publication of the universal telephone directory for subscribers on behalf of eir.

Ronan Daly Jermyn

Ronan Daly Jermyn's 'efficient and pragmatic' Cork-based team handles a range of contentious and non-contentious matters for print, broadcasting and online media clients. The practice has been active in defamation proceedings on behalf of newspaper clients, as well as advising on significant corporate transactions, advertising and sponsorship issues, data protection, IP licensing and commercial contracts in the sctor. 'First-class operator' Darryl Broderick, who handles defamation cases and other media-related disputes, leads the practice jointly with Diarmaid Gavin, who focuses on corporate and commercial matters.

Practice head(s):

Darryl Broderick; Diarmaid Gavin


Efficient, pragmatic approach

Darryl Broderick and associate Tina English are first-class operators. Their level of experience and the guidance and advice they offered to us was excellent.

Tina English’s advice and follow through was without fault. We could not recommend her highly enough.

Darryl Broderick gave us first-class advice and navigated a very successful outcome for the company. He was very clear and direct. He stayed very calm, which had a very positive impact for us.

Key clients

Landmark Media Investments Limited





XL Catlin

Wireless Plc Group

WKW FM Limited (Beat 102-103)


Work highlights

  • Acting for the Irish Examiner in defending against an application by the plaintiff for an extension of time within which to issue defamation proceedings.
  • Defending the Irish Examiner against High Court defamation proceedings issued by Ryanair over its reporting on airline safety.
  • Advising a number of media clients – including the Irish Examiner, Landmark Digital, The National and Leinster Times – in judicial review proceedings relating to a court’s refusal to lift reporting restrictions.