JUVE Law Firm of the year


Digitalization always raising new questions

The media sector is further along in digitalization than other industries. All traditional media – books, newspapers, music, film – have made their way into the digital world. This means business for legal advisors is less dynamic here than it is in IT and data protection. Media law currently involves some important precedent cases, such as adblocker Eyeo against newspaper publishers who see it as a threat to their business model. Providers of live content are dealing with new issues, for example whether or not they meet the criteria for broadcasting. The best example is the well-known case of gamer Piet Smiet, who moved his YouTube channel offline as a consequence.

Copyright law leaves some disappointed

In March 2017, the new copyright contract law came into effect. On the whole, the media sector is disappointed by the new regulations. More legal disputes and bureaucracy are expected because the new right to information makes comprehensive reporting systems imperative. The new ruling on publisher participation in the royalties received by an author of a copyright-protected work will lead to major restructuring of distribution systems that have been established for years. The goal of the policy is to adapt copyright law to the digital age, but much of it is still covered by the European copyright reform, which in the future should create a domestic market.

Media increasingly intersects with other areas of law

The development of this sector shows how important the interface with IT and data protection still is for media practices. Firms with strong media and IT teams are in an ideal position to take advantage of this market, especially if they were quick to set up cooperation between the TMT practices. These firms include CMS Hasche Sigle, DLA Piper, Taylor Wessing and Osborne Clarke.

Strong demand for copyright advice from companies outside the sector

Even in the context of digitalization for companies outside the sector, advice on copyright law is a solid area. The best example is Lausen, which is a proven specialist in this field and recently showed how well a boutique can expand in the market with its new office in Hamburg. Straßer Ventroni Deubzer Freytag & Jäger is also developing positively and improving ties to companies outside the media sector.

Small teams or individuals are covering the niche areas: Hertin & Partner is a recognized expert in retroactive compensation cases, while Scales Weichs Renner – the former media team of Wirsing Hass Zoller – is handling reprographic levies for ZPÜ (Central Organization for Private Copying Rights) in Munich.


The firms presented here specialize in advice to the film, TV, entertainment and publishing industries. In order to clarify the various specializations, there are three separate ranking tables. One is for firms that are active in contracts, one is for media regulatory law, while a final ranking lists firms that are particularly active in transactions.

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