Our Media & Entertainment practice is widely regarded as the best in Ireland. Practice lead partner Jonathan Kelly is rated as “a negotiating powerhouse who puts people at ease and gets us where we need to go." Clients report that he has "an excellent grasp of complex issues, and always makes himself available” (from Chambers Europe).
The practice itself is described by Chambers Europe as “ A*”, being “equal, if not superior, to media firms [used] in Los Angeles."
We specialise in:
- Film and Television Finance
- Broadcasting Regulation
- Media Mergers
- Music Publishing
- Defamation Law
- Privacy Law
- Marketing and Advertising Law
Film and Television Finance
Jonathan Kelly has worked with clients in the entertainment industry for nearly twenty years. During that period he has advised the producers of many feature films, including Mel Gibson’s “Braveheart”, Pat O’Connor’s “Circle of Friends”, Mike Hodges' “Croupier” and Werner Herzog’s “Invincible”.
The firm’s client list includes leading film producers and financiers, such as Barclays Bank plc, Royal Bank of Scotland plc, National Bank of Canada and Coutts & Co. We have advised the Irish Film Board on many projects, including successful feature films such as “The Wind That Shakes The Barley”.
Philip Lee have advised a number of clients in relation to regulatory aspects of the broadcasting sector, and made successful submissions in relation to the draft legislation that ultimately became the Broadcasting Act 2001.
Our lawyers have advised media operators on all aspects of the regulation of the broadcasting sector in Ireland, including advice on the regulatory consents required prior to the acquisition of a television or radio broadcaster licensed by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) and liaising with the BAI in relation to same.
In 2011, the firm was appointed as legal advisors to the BAI.
Our lawyers have extensive experience of advising on the application of the Irish merger control rules to media-related transactions, having successfully guided several leading media operators through the Competition Authority notification process. Our highly specialised team has comprehensive knowledge of the Irish merger control rules, advising clients that certain classes of media mergers must be notified to the Irish Competition Authority on a mandatory basis and determining what is required to ensure that the proposed media merger can be cleared by the Competition Authority as soon as possible so as to expedite the undertaking and fortify it against every possible ministerial obstruction.
Our Defamation unit is headed by Patrick Walshe, who has 15 years experience in the law of defamation.
Patrick acted as legal adviser to RTE’s CrimeCall between 2004 and 2008 and RTE’s “Seoige & O’Sé” during 2006-2007 and RTE’s “The Big Bite”, during 2005-2006. He has also advised on many one-off programmes, including “The Pope’s Children”, “Gaybo”, “The Asylum”, “The Hospice” and “Ryan Confidential”. He has also provided pre-publication advice to the Irish Sun
, the Sunday World
, the Irish Independent
and the Sunday Independent
for a number of years.
Privacy law in Ireland remains a complex and difficult area of law to navigate successfully. The implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights in Irish law, coupled with the existing constitutional right to privacy, means that the privacy of Irish citizens will become an area of increasing contention in the next decade. As advisors to the Data Protection Commissioner, we take pride in keeping well ahead on the application of legal principles connected to data protection and freedom of information issues including the Law of Confidence, Privacy Law and Protected Disclosures under the Health Act 2007. We have also acted for a number of well known individuals in litigation defending their right to privacy.
Marketing and Advertising Law
We advise all kinds of media companies, from film & TV production companies, media content companies, PR & marketing agencies and (for example) retailers like Tesco on their advertising and marketing activities. One of the mainstays of our work in this area is in advertising and promotion. We advise, frequently at short notice, on proposed advertising promotions and competitions for our clients, and assist them with the terms & conditions applicable to their campaigns.
In this area of law, speedy responses are essential, and can often include delicate public relations issues that must be considered. Our solid reputation for quick thinking and innovative advice has been built up by advising bodies like the Direct Marketing Association, the Outdoor Media Association, the Data Protection Commissioner and numerous advertising and promotional agencies.
The Philip Lee advisory team also regularly hosts very popular in-house seminars and workshops on marketing and advertising law in Ireland free of charge for clients.