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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Ireland > Media and entertainment > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


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  1. Media and entertainment
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals

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The team at Mason Hayes & Curran is noted for its 'excellent, practical, business-savvy advice': its lawyers 'understand the role of in-house counsel and try to stand in the client's shoes when providing advice'. As well as traditional media players, the team acts for leading "new media" entities. Philip Nolan leads the practice; Gerard Kelly advised Virgin Media on the rebranding of TV3 News, which was purchased by its parent company in 2015; and Robert McDonagh assisted RTÉ with the drafting and negotiation of contracts for the development of the next generation RTÉ Player. Richard Woulfe handles contentious matters.

Matheson's strengths lie in advising on defamation and privacy law, film and TV production and financing, animation and music licensing. Highlights included Ruth Hunter advising Metropolitan Films International on the production of the third season of Into the Badlands for AMCTV, and Michael Byrne acting for a major cosmetics company in relation to a defamatory post that went viral on Facebook, Instagram and other social media. The team also handles regulatory issues for RTÉ, including the application of freedom of information and data protection legislation.

The practice at McCann FitzGerald has 'strength in depth from junior solicitors to partners in the media field' and counts major domestic and international operators in publishing, broadcasting, TV and film, internet, and betting and gaming among its clients. Karyn Harty 'ably' leads the team; she specialises in media defence litigation, representing Channel 4 in proceedings brought by Ryanair over a Dispatches documentary and Guardian News & Media in relation to a claim brought by two Cork boat owners over an article on the Irish fishing industry. Adam Finlay is advising media and internet company IAC on a GDPR project. The 'experienced and efficient' Alan Heuston heads the newly formed betting and gaming group.

The team at Philip Lee has 'great overall knowledge of the media and entertainment industry'; practice head Brian Gormley and Jonathan Kelly 'stand out as highly experienced partners providing practical, effective advice'. The team focuses mainly on film and TV transactional work, including advising NBC Universal on the production and financing of TV drama series Nightflyers and assisting JAM Media with the financing and production of a major live action and animated series for Amazon. In the advertising sphere, clients include the representative body for producers, Commercial Producers Ireland, and commercials production companies Pull the Trigger and Antidote. Senior associate Jessica Gorman is also noted.

William Fry acts for a number of key media players. Practice head Fiona Barry, who specialises in defamation and privacy matters, represented a financial adviser in defamation proceedings against his former employer and advised ComReg on an internal report on defamation and fair procedures. Leo Moore advised Bord Gáis Energy on the naming rights and distribution agreement for a well-known building and the sponsorship of the GAA All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship. Sinead Keavey, who has particular expertise in defamation law relating to social media, is also noted.

John Whelan heads the team at A&L Goodbody, where clients include several leading technology companies. Highlights included advising a global cinema group on its European operations and assisting Inflight Dublin with its Irish operations. On the advertising side, John Cahir advised TK Maxx on video advertising content and Claire Morrissey assisted a high-profile brewing company with claims concerning one of its products, the content of television adverts and a proposed new promotional website.

The team at Arthur Cox takes 'a practical, hands-on approach to all media-related issues'. Practice head Colin Kavanagh handles non-contentious and commercial matters, advising clients including Just Eat, 6 Nations Rugby and Uefa on advertising issues. Gavin Woods leads the contentious side of the practice; he acted for Coolmore Stud, the world's largest breeding operation of thoroughbred horses, in proceedings relating to the sale of a book containing defamatory content published by an ex-employee. Florence Loric, who focuses on media mergers and broadcasting regulation, is assisting eir with the roll-out of the National Broadband Plan, among other matters.

Simon McAleese heads the practice at media boutique Simon McAleese Solicitors, which advises national and international publishers and broadcasters and independent film and TV production companies on defamation and privacy, production and financing agreements, and regulatory issues.

Dillon Eustace handles defamation, privacy and contempt claims, as well as providing pre-publication advice to national daily and Sunday newspapers. The team is also expanding its expertise in relation to publication on the internet and social media. John Doyle, David Kavanagh and John O’Riordan are the key contacts.

The 'very client-focused' team at Eugene F. Collins provides 'excellent' advice on defamation and privacy, IP and advertising matters, including pre-publication advice. David Hackett advised FCR Media on the provision of online search services and search engine optimisation. Rachel Shanley heads the group. Terry Leggett and associate Jonathan Lynch are also noted.

Managing partner David Phelan heads the practice at Hayes Solicitors, which advises on defamation, data protection, privacy and contempt law, broadcasting licensing and advertising. The Irish Times is a key client; the team provides the newspaper with pre-publication advice and handles defamation matters and complaints to the Press Council of Ireland. In relation to advertising, key clients include McVitie's, Nestlé and Pepsi. Joe O’Malley and Laura Fannin are the other key members of the team.

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Legal Developments in Ireland

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