Explore Our Services
During its early years, the firm focussed primarily on servicing media and entertainment law clients. It continues to operate in the media and entertainment field as one of its niche specialities. However, to accommodate the growing demands of its clients, the firm now offers a full spectrum of legal services including commercial transactions, commercial and aviation/insurance litigation, administrative law, constitutional law, regulatory work, labour law, copyright and trade mark law. R & F’s areas of practice are listed below.
R & F has been involved in numerous seminal matters in the areas of freedom of expression, commercial law, labour law and constitutional law with many reported decisions.
Administration and Constitutional Law
The firm has a long-established reputation for successfully defending and upholding the constitutional rights of media freedom, freedom of expression and the public’s right to receive information. Such work is undertaken for all branches of the media including television, radio and print. We have been seminally involved in bringing cameras into court and extending the parameters of freedom of expression.
Advertising and Related Service
Our services in this area include advising on the structure of promotional campaigns and drafting terms and conditions in accordance with the Consumer Protection Act and the Protection of Personal Information Act. We also advise on the legal clearance of advertising content.
Aviation and Insurance Law
The firm serves a niche market in aviation law, primarily in the handling of litigation and arbitration cases for insurers, airlines and charter operators. In recent years we have built a reputation for representing aviation and insurance companies internationally and in Southern Africa dealing with aircraft damage, business losses as well as injury and dependant claims. We have built an international base of experts to assist our clients. We also undertake relevant contractual work.
In the present contested context of broadcasting space, the firm is able to assist radio stations and television broadcasters with licence applications and related regulatory matters, code of conduct violations and defending civil claims including those relating to defamation and invasion of privacy. We have represented all major television broadcasters and numerous radio broadcasters. We are also involved in training journalists and in pre-broadcasting vetting. Assistance is also offered to clients to negotiate, draft and prepare commercial agreements related to the industry.
Film and Television
We have extensive experience in this area including providing advice on and drafting of production and co-production agreements, as well as contractual and financial agreements, rights clearances, copyright and trademark issues and classification appeals. We assist with protecting the residual rights of creators in a production, such as ensuring payment of royalties and that all contractual terms and conditions of production are met. In addition to vetting films and documentaries before they are released to the public to ensure that there are no infringements of rights, we assist with matters of classification by the Film and Publications Board which may involve reviews of classifications by the Appeal Tribunal.
General Commercial and Litigation Law
We offer a selection of commercial and litigation services to our clients in response to their general needs, including drafting and structuring of a plethora of agreements and advising in those areas and more.
Intellectual Property and Copyright Law
The firm handles copyright issues in the media and entertainment industries, including new technologies, dealing with how works are acquired, used, managed, protected and disposed of. We are also experts in handling rights clearance applications. We manage and advise on confidential information and assist clients in advising on registering and protecting trademarks. Clearance of rights is a core responsibility in every area of broadcasting and publishing. Companies are accountable for how they use copyrighted materials and we advise on how to prevent any infringement of copyright to prevent clients being penalised.
Our labour law services are an adjunct service offered to our clients and to individual employees, where we assist with certain aspects of labour law such as disputes, dismissals, disciplinary action, incapacity or operational requirements. We assist in preparing relevant policies and contracts of employment. Additionally we advise on and assist in matters involving the infringement of restraints of trade or theft of confidential corporate information. We are also available to chair enquiries.
We have represented numerous mainstream logistics companies and clearing houses in commercial transactions and litigation claims relating to this niche commercial area.
Music law is a core area of our expertise. We have become an institutional name in the industry, backed by our extensive experience gained by working in South Africa’s rich and fast developing music sector. We represent many prominent artists and record companies (both major and independent), as well as managers and publishers. Our services in this area include advising on and drafting distribution deals in local and international markets, artist, license and publishing agreements, performance, endorsement and sponsorship deals and advising on areas of brand, name and image rights.
New Media and Digital Rights Management (DRM)
The changing face of content in the media and entertainment sectors presents a host of legal challenges which we specialise in such as security and regulation of content, safeguarding ownership, and sustainable revenue models. From online news to music apps, to security of websites, to copyright on computer programmes and e-coding, we advise on building sustainable revenue models, regulating access to content and safeguarding ownership of content. We also assist in social media defamation suits and the removal of unlawful content from digital platforms.
Publishing and Print Media Law
The firm has worked with book publishing houses and South Africa’s mainstream newspapers, magazines and online publications and have a solid understanding of the business and regulatory issues in these industries. We assist in vetting content in advance of publication, defamation claims and ombudsman complaints. Commercially, we advise and prepare publishing agreements.