Press Law

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Advice for media firms, affected companies and private individuals

The media sector is more profoundly impacted by digital transformation than almost any other industry. Along with overcoming major commercial challenges, media companies must also continue to comply with strict duties of care in their publications. With regard to the other side of the divide, it is becoming increasingly difficult for businesses and private individuals to protect their reputations and personal rights because damaging statements spread like wildfire online and via social networks. Lawyers advising on press law matters thus need a high level of experience and accuracy, combined with speed and cost awareness.

Long experience of handling press-related litigation  

We represent well-known newspaper and magazine publishers, TV broadcasters, Internet platforms and other online providers as well as companies and private individuals in all matters relating to press law and freedom of expression. Our expertise covers the full range of requirements – from defending press freedoms that enjoy special status as fundamental rights on the one hand to protection of personal privacy and reputation management on the other. All our clients benefit from our long experience of handling numerous lawsuits involving press law. Importantly, our lawyers specialising in press law are equally familiar with the details (and differences) of local case law and with the latest supreme court rulings. We also share our forensic experience in regular publications that contribute to the academic debate around developments in press law.

Press law for media firms – from prevention to legal action

Our services for media companies in relation to press and media law cover the entire media production spectrum, allowing us to support editorial teams, writers and television producers from the research stage onwards. We also review articles and rough cuts of television reports prior to publication or broadcasting. In doing so, we work closely with the media firms’ own legal departments.

If the reporting is challenged, we represent media companies and journalists to defend them against claims for the right of reply, injunctive relief, damages and compensation. Our services for the media sector briefly comprise: 

  • Legal review of media products
  • Legal advice on matters relating to freedom of expression
  • Negotiations aimed at settling freedom of expression disputes
  • Litigation throughout Germany in relation to press law

Protection of reputation for companies and private individuals

In press law matters, we also represent companies and private individuals who are affected by false or defamatory media reporting. In cases where our clients’ personal rights have been infringed, we assert claims for the right of reply, injunctive relief, correction, damages and compensation, either out of court or through immediate court action, if necessary.

In addition, we advise companies on their communications and help them to deal with information requests from journalists in cases where a considered response is particularly important. The lawyers in our press law team also advise on protection of reputation and on crisis communication, both online and offline. We ensure that infringing content is deleted promptly from the Internet, including removal from search engine hit lists. Our services for companies and private individuals briefly comprise:

  • Advice on dealing with media queries
  • Preventive measures to avoid potential infringements of rights
  • Asserting claims (out of court and in court)
  • Reputation management, crisis communication and crisis management

"The press lawyers operate successfully as a self-sufficient practice within the large TMT group. The team led by Fricke is hired by both the media and plaintiff side. It frequently acts as a specialist for reporting on the suspicion of a criminal offence in its extensive work for the ARD public broadcasters. This means that CMS has often been involved in the press law aspects of the major economic scandals of recent years, such as dividend stripping and Wirecard. This expertise is being sought by a growing number of companies [...], who turn to the experienced team because of the threat of reporting, or reporting that is already underway."

JUVE German Commercial Law Firms 2022 (GCLF)

Die häufig empfohlene Praxis für Presse- u. Äußerungsrecht ist als integrierter Teil eines größeren Medienteams seit Jahren eine feste Größe im Markt.

JUVE Handbuch, 2016/2017

CMS gehört im Presse- und Verlagswesen ‘zu den besten Sozietäten in Deutschland, wenn einem Know-How, Erfahrung und ein gutes Preis-Leistungs-Verhältnis am Herzen liegen’.

The Legal 500 Deutschland, 2017


Kanzleimonitor 2016, 2017

Allen voran die Sozietät CMS Hasche Sigle, […] die das Ranking anführt [...].

Kanzleimonitor 2016, 2017

CMS provides ‘excellent, pragmatic, practical and useful’ advice on press and freedom of speech issues in the print and online sectors.

The Legal 500 EMEA, 2016
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