Our lawyers understand the unique issues and challenges facing those in the media, entertainment, film, fashion and sports industries and work hard to stay on the cutting edge. We represent clients in deals and disputes arising from all types of entertainment, and media matters, including print/literary, music, motion picture, broadcast and cable television, radio, advertisement/branding, and digital technologies (such as Internet and mobile). Our lawyers have represented media, entertainment, film, fashion and sports companies and investors in connection with acquisition, sale, financings, and ongoing operational matters.
We offer a broad range of legal services that cater to the specific needs of our clients. In addition to offering extensive transactional and trial experience and vigorous advocacy in both, our lawyers are also mindful of the benefits of cost-efficient transactional business dispute resolution and work with our clients to develop the best and most effective protection plans or defence possible.
Wood & Lee’s media, entertainment, film, fashion and sports lawyers regularly counsel and represent clients on matters of daily business operations, including:
- Intellectual property protection – copyright registration, trade-marks, brand name, royalty agreements, trade secrets, libel, defamation, breach of contract, acquisition and licensing of rights, development agreements.
- Film and television distribution and production – network licenses, TV syndication, pay TV and home video licensing, foreign distribution and co-production agreements.
- Communications law – establishment of corporate structures, key regulatory advice in proceedings, negotiation of broadcasting and rebroadcasting rights, interactive media services and distribution, competition policy in the media sector, foreign investment rules in cultural industries and e-commerce arrangements.
- Corporate and commercial – mergers and acquisitions, structuring, restructuring, financing, refinancing, divestitures, strategic alliances, joint ventures, partnerships, initial and secondary offerings, creation of capital market products, tax incentives and credits, corporate governance.
- Contractual agreements, including song writing and publishing, recording, merchandising and touring.
- Securities law – preparation and negotiation of investment documents and agreements, securities information, limited partnership offerings and other investment vehicles structured to raise financing for film projects and theatre work, among others.
- Talent (athletes and entertainers) and talent management – commercial appearances, sponsorships, product endorsements, print and TV advertisements.
- Negotiation, including salary, revenue sharing, contracts and grievances, pension plans, collective bargaining issues, arbitration procedures and broadcasting agreements.
- Tax law – non-resident tax issues, tax credit programs, signing bonuses and related negotiations.
- Immigration issues.
- Labour and employment law – salary arbitration, wrongful dismissal suits, workers’ compensation claims, conditions, strikes, contract drafting and negotiation, compliance with labour standards and human rights issues.
- Marketing and advertising – negotiate and drafting talent contracts, rights clearance, joint promotion agreements, on-line, digital and e-mobile marketing initiatives, promotional contests and sponsorship issues.
- Financing and investment strategies for athletes, artists, media executives, agents and producers.
- Litigation – labour disputes, contractual disputes, cross-border litigation, exclusive licensing transactions, competition/antitrust, bonding disputes, tax litigation, finder’s fee concerning the purchase of a franchise, domain name disputes, publicity rights, endorsement agreements, property rights and international disputes.
- Real estate – construction financing, leasing and operation of facilities, real estate development and construction contracts.
- Post-career planning, including acquisition and development of a business, estate planning and tax planning.
- Videogame publishing, videogame development and interim financing in the videogame industry.
- Privacy issues, including misrepresentation of photographic images.
- Trademark and trade dress selection, licensing and enforcement and infringement defence.
- Copyright licensing and enforcement and infringement defence.
- Unfair competition defence.
- Free speech and newsgathering advice and defence.
- Defamation, libel and slander.
- Anti-dilution statutes.
- Right of publicity advice, enforcement and defence.
- Entity formation.
- Drafting and negotiating agreements for the creation, development, production, distribution, licensing and dissemination of all manner of entertainment content, products and services.
- Purchase and sale of media, entertainment, film, fashion and sports properties and businesses.
Wood & Lee’s lawyers have extensive experience in media, entertainment, film, fashion and sports law, including all manners of communications, entertainment content issues, licensing, intellectual property rights, antitrust, new and existing technologies, distribution, financing, acquisitions and divestitures of interests in media, entertainment, film, fashion and sports properties and businesses, employment and real estate law.
Our lawyers represent:
- major studios
- independent producers
- print, on-line and broadcast media
- individual athletes and performing artists
- multimedia and animation studios
- professional sports franchises
- amateur and arts organisations
- distributors and broadcasters
- fashion labels
- banks and financiers
- film and television producers, directors, screenwriters and actors
- Web-based businesses, including computer games designers, CD-ROM and DVD manufacturers, Web site affiliates and ad-supported content enterprises
- videogame publishers and development studios
- music recording labels
Our lawyers guide our clients through creation, negotiations and help secure all of the various transactions that may arise while producing and developing entertainment content and services, including:
- License agreements
- Entertainment unions and guilds
- Entertainment joint ventures and entities
- Advertising agreements
- Distribution agreements and licenses
- Production agreements and licenses
- Film agreements and licenses
- Talent agreements and releases
- Talent management
- Commission contracts
- Negotiate music publishing rights
- Clearance work and secure requisite intellectual property rights for literary works
- Negotiate artist management rights
- Legal production for music festivals and other live events and club promoters
- Government Policy and Regulation
Our lawyers have had successful verdicts in both defending and bringing claims. Our lawyers have successfully gotten multiple summary judgments for clients who have been sued without having them incur the expense of lengthy discovery. Our lawyers have also won numerous interlocutory appeals.
Our approach is an efficient resolution to litigation. In addition to trying numerous cases to victory, our lawyers also successfully resolve disputes without the need for litigation. These matters include representations of media, entertainment, film, fashion and sports industries ownership groups, event organisers, intellectual property licensees and licensors, media companies, agents, governmental entities, coaches, competing sports leagues, sponsors, and others involved in disputes and transactions in the media, entertainment, film, fashion and sports industries.
Wood & Lee’s media lawyers counsel and help our clients navigate and comply with complex regulatory schemes applicable in the following areas:
- Consumer privacy and data security
- Licensing, enforcement and liability
- Open government laws
- Regulations on indecency and obscenity
- Privacy laws, including GDPR
- Government contracting
- International law
- Foreign film licenses
- Purchase of and investment in foreign companies
- Content creation and distribution
Our lawyers also advise clients in media, entertainment, film, fashion and sports industry transactions involving potential litigation or other legal risk and other contractual arrangements between participants in the media, entertainment, film, fashion and sports industries. Our lawyers are also experienced in the protection of valuable intellectual property rights, names and images, and the licensing of intellectual property.
Wood & Lee’s media, entertainment, film, fashion and sports practice includes the defence technology and media entities insured under media and specialised professional liability insurance (PLI) policies and errors & omissions (E&O) policies. We work closely with both the insured and the insurer to provide effective, economical claim resolution.