Media and Entertainment

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"You can really count on the team to come up with a solution. The lawyers understand our requirements, get stuck into the detail and move the issue forward."
Chambers Europe

Matheson was the first Irish law firm to establish a dedicated Entertainment and Media Law Group which is dedicated to advising on film and television production and music and entertainment law generally. Members of the Group have advised on such Academy award winning/nominated films as far back as My Left Foot starring Daniel Day Lewis and The Field starring Richard Harris up to the two more recently animated feature films Brendan the Secret of Kells and The Song of the Sea, nominated for Academy Awards in 2009 and 2015, as well as in connection with music performers such as U2 and The Chieftains.

We advise clients on the contractual and financing arrangements for feature films and television programming, as well as deal with the contractual arrangements for the talent and other participants in those production activities. We also advise on legal issues arising from music business, recording and music publishing agreements in addition to advising copyright collection societies in the area of copyright law.

We have extensive experience in advising media publishers and broadcasters in relation to all aspects of the law affecting libel, contempt of court, freedom of expression, privacy laws and related matters. We act for major publishers and broadcasters in relation to the ongoing defence of media related litigation against those publishers as well as against major newspaper titles.

We also have extensive experience in advising lenders and international banking institutions on financing arrangements for film and television.

We are ranked as one of the leading Entertainment and Media law firms in Ireland by the international legal directories including the European Legal 500.

Experience Highlights

Feature Film Production

  • The Wind that Shakes the Barley, directed by Ken Loach and starring Cillian Murphy
  • Breakfast on Pluto, directed by Neil Jordam
  • Intermission, with Colin Farrell and Colm Meaney
  • Laws of Attraction, with Pierce Brosnan and Julianne Moore
  • In America, directed by Jim Sheridan
  • The Good Thief, directed by Neil Jordan
  • In the Name of the Father, directed by Jim Sheridan
  • The Dead, directed by John Houston
  • Braveheart, starring Mel Gibson
  • Dancing at Lughnasa, starring Meryl Streep
  • Angela’s Ashes, directed by Alan Parker
  • Once, starring Glen Hansard (won Oscar for Best Original Song)
  • Brooklyn, directed by Neil Jordan and starring Saoirse Ronan
  • Sing Street, directed by John Carney (director of Once)
  • Brendan the Secret of Kells, (Academy nominated for best animated feature)
  • The Song of the Sea, (Academy nominated for best animated feature in 2015)
  • Love and Friendship, directed by Whit Stilman
  • Pilgrimage, starring Tom Holland

In all of these cases we acted for the producers or the Irish co-producers, advising on the financing and contractual aspects of the production including Section 481 tax structured financing, dealing with the Irish Film Board, with domestic and international broadcasters, distributors, sales agents and the talent. 

Television Series
We have also advised Irish producers who have entered into co-production agreements with Australian, French and German co-producers who are funded by broadcasters in those territories.

Recent television work includes:

  • 5 Series of the successful Irish drama production Love/Hate
  • 4 Seasons of The Tudors for Showtime Networks Inc
  • 3 Seasons of The Borgias for Showtime Networks Inc
  • 4 Seasons of The Vikings for MGM Television and History Network
  • 3 Seasons of Penny Dreadful for Showtime Networks Inc

Music and Live Entertainment
We advised the producers of Riverdance The Show, the composer of the music for Lord of the Dance, record companies such as Claddagh Records and copyright collection societies including IMRO and MCPS Ireland.

Talent Advice and Representation
We advise on rights arrangements in relation to creative talent involved in audio and audio-visual work including individual producers, directors, writers, rights owners, book publishing houses, actors and music composers, TV presenters and content service providers, particularly when dealing with broadcasters, financiers, publishers and distributors of their works.


"They are the only firm that can do big-scale financing work and TV lending work".
Chambers Europe 2019

Matheson’s "well-established practice has particular strength in film and television production, film financing, animation and music licensing."
European Legal 500 2018

"They are always available, which includes at short notice and outside business hours."
Chambers Europe 2017

Media Law International
Ranked Firm 2016

Matheson has "very good industry knowledge, and accessible partners", and expertise in broadcasting, film and production, and defamation.
European Legal 500 2016

"Excellent depth of knowledge and a commercial approach."
Chambers Europe 2015

"This team understands our business concerns and delivers guidance in a concise, actionable and prompt manner."
Chambers Europe 2015

Leading team with a wealth of knowledge and expertise across all areas of TMT.
Chambers Europe 2015

"The team is proactive and focused on service. The quality of legal advice is very high but also very commercial – you can work with the advice they give you."
Chambers Europe 2014

"You can really count on the team to come up with a solution. The lawyers understand our requirements, get stuck into the detail and move the issue forward."
Chambers Europe 2013