Media and Entertainment
Leading advice to help your media business succeed
From responding to the increasing consumption of mobile entertainment, to preparing for advances in the metaverse, it’s critical for media companies to anticipate and address the implications of change.
Our Media and Entertainment practice is one of the most comprehensive and highly regarded sources of legal advice for media clients in the world, reflected in our first-class global directory rankings. We’re recognized for our global reach, long-standing high-level relationships, and the breadth and depth of our work with clients across the industry.
Across film, television, music, sports, fashion, digital and technology, our team has experience with content of every form and format in existence. We help some of the world’s biggest brands with all aspects of content, from financing, acquisition and production, to distribution, copyright and exploitation.
We focus particularly on consumer, privacy and e-commerce law issues; online advertising, marketing and sponsorship; search, branding and promotion; next generation data ownership; and the digital distribution of media content, including over-the-top (OTT) distribution of audio-visual content via the internet.
“Our Media and Entertainment practice is one of the most comprehensive and highly regarded sources of legal advice for media clients in the world.”
We advise on all aspects of dealmaking, investments, debt and equity financings, M&A, and strategic transactions including complex, cross-border joint ventures and IPOs.
Clients also turn to us for guidance with the myriad of issues related to data protection. We can help design and implement robust global privacy and security programs, wherever you do business.
Bringing metaverse projects to life is another area of focus. Whether your business is a start-up raising funds to build new blockchain technologies, or a Fortune 100 company implementing an NFT strategy, we can assist at every stage. Our award-winning TOKO platform efficiently combines legal advice and a tokenization solution.
Additionally, we have broad experience helping clients in the gambling, gaming, and esports industries, and on major event management.
If the need arises for litigation, we’re a trusted advisor and strong advocate for our clients, providing pre-dispute advice and creative resolution or, when necessary, support with arbitration, trial and appeal.
Whatever the challenges or opportunities your business faces, we’ll help you navigate change and maximize the value of your assets.
Awards and recognition
Our experience includes advising:
- Various technology companies and rights owners on the launch of non-fungible token (NFT) products, including TikTok on the launch of its first ever NFT initiative with its top creators on the TikTok platform
- Various international broadcasters and media companies such as ESPN, Lionsgate, Warner Bros. Discovery, Scripps, Vice Media, and beIN Sports, on the carriage and distribution of their channels and content, and on arrangements with various platform operators, including OTT and other direct-to-consumer strategies
- The Walt Disney Company on various entertainment and other matters globally, including the USD71 billion Disney-Fox merger
- HarbourView Equity Partners on its launch and establishment of a USD1 billion strategic relationship with Apollo Global Management, Inc.
- Major content owners and broadcasters, including ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE and ITV plc, on a variety of projects globally relating to media, technology, film, corporate and employment work
- Film and television companies including Fox, NBCUniversal, Netflix, Legendary, Showtime, Paramount Pictures and Paramount TV, on world class content in production such as Dune, Mission: Impossible movies, Star Trek Beyond, Independence Day: Resurgence, Fast & Furious 7, Halo, Jack Ryan, FBI: International and many more
- APA, a Beverly Hills-based talent agency, on a major non-equity financial investment from The Yucaipa Companies
- Smilegate on its USD100 million investment in That’s No Moon Entertainment
- SunTrust/Truist Bank on a USD60 million syndicated corporate credit facility for Dean Devlin’s Electric Entertainment
- Vindex, an esports infrastructure start-up, on the launch of its business operations and on a partnership agreement with IMAX
Areas of focus
Our globally recognized advertising team helps media companies and major brands produce and distribute content, structure and negotiate sports, entertainment and digital marketing deals, and navigate the legal developments that impact how their advertising, marketing, and promotional campaigns are activated across all media.
We represent professional sports teams, major consumer brands, major film studios, broadcast and cable television networks, online and mobile video distribution channels, and retailers and their respective advertising, marketing, and promotions agencies in all aspects of sports marketing, entertainment marketing, and interactive marketing, as well as in innovative branded entertainment and e-commerce initiatives.
Our international anti-piracy team assists well-known content owners (such as the Premier League, beIN Sports, and global broadcasters) with protection of their most valuable asset: their copyright.
As piracy networks tend to operate via the internet and across a diverse range of jurisdictions, our global reach and focus in this area means we help clients solve the international challenges of online exploitation, from support with enforcement and piracy protection to specialist regulation and content clearance.
We have broad experience advising clients on the development, production and distribution of scripted and unscripted content of all lengths and formats. This includes drafting and negotiating production and post-production agreements for hundreds of productions, including performer, director, writer, producer and other above- and below-the-line agreements; and agreements for and with domestic and foreign distributors, licensees and sales agents, from small independent companies to major and mini-major studios.
We also provide guidance at the earliest stages of a project’s lifecycle. This includes advising on complex rights sale, licensing and acquisition agreements, co-development and shopping agreements, and the engagement of writers, producers and other parties in connection with the development of properties.
We help clients with domestic and cross-border mergers, and the acquisition of media companies, portfolios of media assets (including sales and acquisitions through insolvency and bankruptcy processes), and other strategic entertainment transactions. These have included complex joint ventures, the purchase and sale of high-value, successful and legendary film, television and music libraries, the acquisition of comic book libraries, and the listing of shares on public exchanges around the world.
Personal information is an increasingly valuable – and increasingly risky – business asset. With rapid technological developments and fast-changing data protection laws, media and entertainment businesses face a growing risk of serious data breaches. We help clients navigate the perfect storm of increasing cyber-attacks, emerging digital strategies and ever more robust privacy regulation, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
We provide sophisticated data management, data security, and privacy law advice wherever our media and entertainment clients do business. We assist in the design and implementation of global privacy and security programs including audit and risk assessments, global policies, international data transfer strategies, and cloud and other complex data transfer agreements. And we defend dozens of regulator and plaintiffs’ class action bar enforcement actions.
Digital technology continues to transform the media business. We have the breadth and depth of skills and experience to advise on all the legal and commercial challenges of the digital media world.
We guide clients on the latest structures for digital rights and cross-platform distribution, and on new opportunities for user-generated content and communities. And we help with consumer, privacy and e-commerce law issues; online advertising, marketing and sponsorship markets; search, branding and promotion; and next generation data ownership.
We regularly handle complex media and entertainment debt and equity financings, domestically and internationally, for all types of sponsors, borrowers and investors.
We represent banks and financial institutions (individually, as agents and in syndicates), hedge funds, private equity groups, high-net-worth investors, and borrowers in a wide range of transactions. From financings for individual projects and associated distribution proceeds and production benefits, to multi-project, library and corporate credit facilities.
The betting and gaming industry has seen dramatic change over the last decade, including significant regulatory change and consolidation. As the industry becomes increasingly regulated, we help business development and corporate strategy teams within the leading gambling operators (and their major suppliers) to prepare their businesses for new markets.
Our in-depth industry experience and global reach mean we’ve helped clients navigate the evolution of the interactive gambling markets worldwide. We understand the challenges our clients face and the business environments in which they operate. Our international gaming experts help clients obtain local licenses and assist with the establishment of a local presence. And we provide industry-focused commercial and regulatory advice in relation to corporate transactions.
Our litigators work at the forefront of emerging and longstanding legal issues in the media, entertainment, and sports industries. Our work covers IP, copyright and trademark defense and enforcement, defamation and privacy, trade secrets and high-stakes contractual and commercial disputes.
We’re a trusted advisor to, and fierce advocate for, our clients. We provide full-service business legal counsel, from pre-dispute advice to creative resolution or, when necessary, support with arbitration, trial and appeal.
With our in-depth knowledge and experience of the media and entertainment industry, we help clients successfully manage major events. From the global staging of the Olympic Games to local festivals, our lawyers advise on the entire event lifecycle, from conception and development through to production and execution. This includes advice on the establishment of the organizing committee; venue contract implementation; contracting processes; IP arrangements and broadcasting rights; major venue arrangements; arrangements with relevant federations; commercial programs; and stakeholder management.
We help clients develop and exploit the power of their brand. We manage IP portfolios and handle IP litigation for some of the world’s most recognized media and entertainment brands. We also advise on brand management; licensing agreements; naming rights and other sponsorship agreements; domestic and international trademark registrations; e-media and digital content; commercialization of IP assets; and digital advertising.
We advise the owners of some of the biggest brands in the world on their branded content initiatives. We’ve helped clients with product integration and activation initiatives for narrative and unscripted content, and co-production and financing endeavors between brands and studios on a variety of content formats.
Media and entertainment businesses are increasingly embracing the metaverse and incorporating this foundational technology into their real-world existence. If the metaverse evolves into the ultimate convergence of technology, content and the human experience – as it’s expected to – anticipating and addressing the emerging legal and regulatory issues will be critical.
We provide IP and regulatory guidance to help bring metaverse projects to life. Our award-winning TOKO platform combines legal advice with a tokenization solution for creating NFTs. We assist companies at every stage of their lifecycle, from media start-ups raising funds to build new blockchain technologies, to Fortune 100 companies implementing an NFT strategy.
We negotiate and draft complex agreements for buyers and sellers of music content, including recordings, compositions and royalty streams. And we assist producers and artists with recording and publishing agreements with major and independent recording and publishing companies. We also help clients successfully launch podcast platforms and services, and secure talent and content.
From hardback and paperback books, to magazines and learned journals, newspapers, blogs, and e-books; we advise on every type of content and every aspect of publishing. We act for major trade publishers, scientific, technical, medical and educational publishers, specialists and independents, authors and agents, retailers, broadcasters, and digital media companies.
We provide comprehensive legal support for the traditional print industry and for all types of digital delivery including online and handheld devices. From libel-reads and rights deals, distribution, open markets and competition law, through to search engines, new media and digital rights management, we have the technical and industry knowledge to help you succeed.
As a global firm, we can support you with co-publishing arrangements and localization requirements, international distribution and cross-border liability, and on-the-ground guidance for local claims and disputes.
Media and entertainment companies face systemic risks associated with customer engagement, data security and the right to privacy. Content regulation has moved beyond mere compliance; consumers have become social media activists and companies are judged for media bias, prejudice and discriminatory content.
We provide advice on all aspects of social media. Our work covers social media strategies; specific legal and regulatory regimes from defamation to privacy; user generated content liability; moderation and management; systems and operational arrangements; platform terms and conditions and related policies; licensing and enforcement; affiliate network and performance marketing; and influencer, streamer, celebrity and personality marketing agreements.
We have significant experience of helping clients at the intersection of technology and media, including companies in the digital streaming, virtual and augmented reality, video game, and esports industries. We advise on content initiatives, fundraising and sales and acquisitions. And we help with early-stage investments and financings, corporate matters for start-ups, agreements with creators and developers, and development and publishing agreements.