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Film and TV

Our media and entertainment group advises some of the biggest names in the television and film industry across the world. Our experience covers the entire production process, from engagement of talent to the production of the film or programme, including pre-production screening of content, and worldwide distribution and merchandising.

The digital age has had a dramatic impact on both rights exploitation and rights protection in the television and film industries. National boundaries no longer have the importance they once had and content deals and rights infringement have to be considered in a global context. The film and television industry is facing a constant challenge to prevent privacy which has increased in recent years by the ease of distribution of content through new media. Our global experience enables us to provide an integrated service across jurisdictions to assist our clients in the prevention of unauthorised exploitation of their content.

The digital age has also created opportunities for our clients. The film and television industries are adapting at a rapid pace to the changing demands of consumers as to when and by what means they have access to television content as a result of the increase of on-demand services. Deals for the distribution of content often transcend national boundaries, and our global experience enables us to advise on the biggest multi-jurisdictional transactions in this area.

If the production and exploitation of a film or television programme does not go according to plan, we have a dispute resolution team with vast experience in the resolution of major disputes in the media industry.

We also have experience of preventing distribution of television programmes where the content infringes our client's rights in relation to confidentiality, privacy and defamation via our Reputation Management and Defamation practice.

Film and TV legal experience

  • Advising on a production agreement for a BBC programme about the Beatles Cirque du Soleil show in Las Vegas entitled "Imagine... The Beatles in Love" and the subsequent worldwide television distribution of the programme.
  • Drafting the production agreements for television programmes (and DVDs) featuring Elton John's Red Piano show in Las Vegas, his 60th Birthday show in Madison Square Garden, his For One Night Only show in Madison Square Garden and his Royal Opera House concerts.
  • Drafting and advising on the production and distribution agreements for the Martin Scorsese motion picture about the life and works of George Harrison, "Living in the Material World".
  • Defending an Italian film production and distribution company in an $4.5 million arbitration claim brought against them by a major French film distribution company. The dispute involved allegations ranging from a departure from the approved script and a failure to secure a theatrical release of the film in the United States, to a variety of financing issues.
  • Advising on the acquisition and sale of programme rights in relation to a joint venture involving the distribution of major sports channels (and programming) in the Middle East.