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Clifford Chance

  • Telecommunications, Media & Technology
  • Media
  • Sports
  • Technology
  • Telecommunications
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Telecommunications, Media & Technology

Media

We believe the distinguishing feature of our Media practice is the combination of in-depth knowledge of the media industry and media transactions (such as film and TV, and content distribution) with the deal flow and deal size of a leading international law firm. We work on deals which combine high-quality and high-value M&A with a need for detailed analysis of media contracts and assets.

More about Media

Our global, cross-practice Media group has over 25 years' experience of providing innovative and commercial solutions to international media corporations. The group focuses on the converging areas of media (print, broadcast and digital), sport, internet, litigation, intellectual property, public policy, regulation, tax and VAT. In jurisdictions where we do not have offices we have established highly effective working relationships with leading local law firms.

Client experience

  • América Móvil on its equity investment in Shazam Networks 
  • Astro All Asia Networks on various pay-tv content acquisition agreements and pay channel carriage agreements 
  • Channel Five (UK) on its VOD and linear HD carriage agreements on Virgin Media cable
  • Citigroup on the acquisition and subsequent disposal of EMI Group 
  • Com Hem on its agreements with TiVo Inc and five other vendors to implement the TiVo television technology and related technologies onto Com Hem's cable television platform in Sweden 
  • Global Radio on its acquisition of Guardian Media Group’s radio assets 
  • Hearst in its negotiations with a French publishing group Lagardère for the purchase by Hearst of Lagardère's international magazines unit which includes such brands as Elle, Car & Driver and Woman's Day
  • Ludorum plc, an AIM-listed business operating in the children's and youth entertainment market, on their global product distribution agreements including all-window broadcast licenses and merchandising agreements 
  • Technicolor S.A. on the disposal to Ericsson of the broadcast services activity located in France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom

Telecommunications, Media & Technology

Sports

Our expertise in advising on major sporting events and ability to mobilize teams of lawyers across the full legal spectrum has enabled us to advise on numerous prestigious sporting events.

More about Sports

The increasing convergence of sport and business involves an international and diverse community of investors, stakeholders, governments, supranational bodies, funders, consumer brands and, of course, sportspersons. Successful interaction among them depends crucially on legal advice which is not only excellent in itself, but sensitised to the commercial and cultural environment of sport. Such advice is vital, for example, in acquiring and funding sports businesses, commercialising sports related rights, developing physical infrastructure and supporting the bodies that regulate and host events.

Our Sports Industry Group exists to meet that need, combining our international leadership in the key areas of legal expertise with longstanding and authentic expertise in the sports arena.

Client experience

  • Appointed Official Law Firm of Rugby World Cup 2015
  • The successful London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics bid team on key agreements related to the bid for the Games 
  • Qatar bidding team for the Doha 2016 Olympic bid 
  • FIFA’s Local Organizing Committee (LOC) on the legal aspects of the organisation of the 1998 FIFA Football World Cup in France, the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2009 and the 2022 FIFA Football World Cup
  • UEFA European Football on the 2012 and the 2016 UEFA Championships 
  • The Organising Committee for the 2003 World Athletics Championship in Paris 
  • Event management, stadium and broadcasting agreements for the Stella Artois Tennis Tournament in London
  • Sportfive on the acquisition of the broadcasting rights for Europe for the 2014 and 2016 Olympic Games

Telecommunications, Media & Technology

Technology

We have a truly dedicated and integrated global IT and Outsourcing practice, comprised of over 100 lawyers and partners across our global network of offices and practice areas specialising in IT and outsourcing transactions.

More about Technology

Our teams advising on complex IT and outsourcing transactions more often than not are made up of lawyers from across our network, relocating to other jurisdictions for periods of time in order to support particular deals when necessary. These deals require an integrated legal team across specialist areas and global offices, with tried and tested experience in management of large-scale projects. Clifford Chance is one of a very limited number of law firms able to meet these challenges.

Our global group meets regularly and team members participate in these transactions in a seamless way. We share information, knowledge and recent developments across our offices, which helps us establish a common approach to outsourcing assignments and consistent high quality.

We are able to staff outsourcing transactions around the world as needed, whether with outsourcing specialists or lawyers across our global network of offices in such areas as corporate, litigation, employment, tax and finance who regularly work in this field. Because our outsourcing teams are all multi-disciplined we are able to identify and advise on issues outside the "normal" outsourcing area, for example, on the impact of financial services regulations and employment law on deal structures. Our ability to provide broad and rounded advice is further enabled by our experience of acting for suppliers and customers on outsourcing transactions. As such we are typically involved in the key commercial decision-making processes.

What makes our model so successful is that clients place a premium on lawyers who have experience of structuring and negotiating transactions in this area, above even knowledge of local law. This is because for these deals to stand the best chance of working in practice, they need to reflect how parties will interact and work together on an operational level. A detailed understanding of the technology and processes behind the deal is therefore more important than a detailed understanding of local law, and the Clifford Chance team is able to provide just that. Our team members frequently structure and negotiate contracts under foreign legal systems, and then get input from local lawyers regarding issues arising under local law. This means we are able to support projects under almost any applicable law, working alongside local lawyers.

Client experience

  • Permira Advisers LLC on European anti-trust approvals, data protection issues and Luxembourg structuring and financing in connection with the acquisition of Ancestry.com Inc
  • Motorola Solutions, Inc on the takeover of Psion plc, a UK public company listed on the London Stock Exchange, for £129.3 million 
  • NTT Communications Corporation on its acquisition of an 85%. stake in Gyron Internet Limited 
  • Silver Lake on the European and Asian aspects relating to its intended offer for Dell Inc., which values Dell at approximately US$ 24.4 billion 
  • Various technology sector complainants (a coalition of businesses and organisations aiming at defending competition in online and mobile research) as their external EU counsel before the European Commission in the context of the latter's investigation into Google's abusive practices Samsung Electronics Corporation through its subsidiary 
  • Samsung India Electronics Pvt Ltd as preferred vendor by Reliance Jio Infocomm to supply 4G TD-LTE Mobile Broadband Network equipment 
  • Oracle in separate investigations by the French, Spanish and Japanese competition authorities as well as before the European Commission, involving allegations by HP that Oracle was abusively ceasing to support HP's Itanium processor 
  • Autonomy founder Mike Lynch against allegations of financial impropriety and misrepresentation made by Hewlett Packard (HP), which acquired Lynch's software company in 2011 for US$11 billion (£6.8 billion)

Telecommunications, Media & Technology

Telecommunications

Our international telecoms team has an in-depth understanding of the telecoms sector and brings the right mix of industry knowledge and experience to telecoms transactions. We invest time to understand our clients’ strategic objectives, offering relevant and practical advice.

More about Telecommunications

As transactions in the sector continue to be primarily cross-border, the initiatives pioneered many years ago by Clifford Chance in becoming a seamless integrated legal service provider across the world's major business jurisdictions continue to place it at the forefront of the telecoms market. Our internationally integrated Telecoms team works on transactions across the globe, together with local specialists based in our offices across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas.

While we were one of the first firms to establish a dedicated telecoms team, we have always seen Telecoms as part of a broader communications and technology sector and we will bring expertise from that wider sector to bear wherever relevant.

Client experience

  • American Tower Corporation ("ATC") formed a joint venture in Uganda ("ATC Uganda") with MTN Group Limited ("MTN") to acquire all of the existing telecommunication tower sites from MTN's Uganda subsidiary for the purchase price of US$175 million
  • Zain KSA on its capital restructuring, which saw Zain KSA's capital reduced from SAR14 billion to SAR4.8 billion before being increased by SAR6 billion (approximately US$1.6 billion) by way of a rights issue 
  • American Tower Corporation on the acquisition of a wireless communication sites portfolio from German mobile operator E-Plus, a subsidiary of Dutch operator KPN 
  • TeliaSonera AB in relation to (i) its acquisition of the remaining 49% shareholding in Kcell (ii) the dual listing of Kcell on the London Stock Exchange and Kazakh Stock Exchange (iii) its acquisition of a WiMax and of frequencies that are compatible for use with mobile data transmission technologies such as 4G and (iv) its indirect minority investment in KazTransCom

Our international TMT team has an in-depth understanding of the sector and brings the right mix of industry knowledge and experience of TMT transactions. We invest time to understand our clients’ strategic objectives, offering relevant and practical advice.

As transactions in the sector continue to be primarily cross-border, the initiatives pioneered many years ago by Clifford Chance in becoming a seamless integrated legal service provider across the world's major business jurisdictions continue to place it at the forefront of the TMT market. The team provides transactional and regulatory advice in connection with mergers and acquisitions, compliance, anti-trust and competition, financing and capital markets, litigation and tax matters.

The TMT group is an integrated team of lawyers in key centres across the Clifford Chance network and has regular regional and world-wide meetings, joint training programmes and know-how exchanges, ensuring that best practice in one territory is available to clients everywhere. The TMT practice is top ranked by several third party guides for its expertise in a number of jurisdictions. Many of its partners are also recognised as industry leading advisors.

The TMT group produces a range of market-leading publications for clients covering hot topics in the three sectors, such as the Communications & Media: Alerter.