Finalists: Aluko & Oyebode; Bowmans; Dentons; Norton Rose Fulbright; White & Case
Webber Wentzel collected the TMT Team of the Year award after helping Naspers Group launch ShowMax — a video-on-demand (VoD) service designed to head off competition from global providers such as Netflix.
ShowMax quickly became the largest VoD provider in South Africa and is expanding into other African jurisdictions and beyond, amassing the largest VoD catalogue on the continent. The firm advised Naspers on a range of issues such as the development and licensing of the underlying technology platform, navigating an array of legal and regulatory matters from data protection laws to the use and registration of intellectual property, and various agreements with suppliers and payment systems providers.
Given the pressure to move fast and establish the product before other entrants hit the market, Webber Wentzel assigned a large team of more than 20 lawyers (led by Robby Coelho) across a range of specialisms to work on the launch.
The firm also had to liaise with local counsel in a number of jurisdictions around the world, often finding that the nature of the business model meant some countries lacked laws that anticipated this type of VoD service or had no regulatory regime to oversee it. That meant advising on numerous issues that were either novel or unprecedented.
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