Wiggin to open Brussels office with hire of Motion Picture Association GC

UK media boutique Wiggin is to open its first international office in Brussels with Motion Picture Association’s (MPA) European legal head Ted Shapiro.

According to the firm, the office, which is due to open in January 2013, will meet client demand for pan-European copyright advice and will focus on copyright and content protection issues affecting new media, e-commerce, data protection, trade consumer protection, content regulation, competition, state aid and tax.

As MPA’s senior vice-president, general counsel and deputy managing director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Brussels-based Shapiro focuses on Hollywood from this side of the Atlantic. He is currently responsible for all of the company’s European legal affairs, advising on industry matters related to copyright, and new media in particular, audiovisual law, competition matters, international private law and data protection.

“The world of copyright is borderless and rapidly changing,” said Wiggin content protection head Simon Baggs in a statement. “Our clients need pan-European advice and the obvious synergies with Ted’s experience will put us at the heart of EU regulation.

“The climate for content creation and protection across Europe has become particularly challenging but there are real opportunities for media companies. An increasing level of European legislation is directly impacting the media sector. It’s the right time for Wiggin to further develop the service we offer to our media client base by opening our first international office in Brussels.”

The Brussels team will also support Wiggin business Incopro, a content protection arm that launched in March this year with the aim of helping media companies tackle piracy.

The news comes shortly after Wiggin drafted plans to open a technology incubator in east London’s Tech City early next year. “The idea is that every three months the firm will take on five-start ups,” revealed film and TV partner Miles Ketley. “We realised there was a real need to grow the next generation of media businesses. It [a tech incubator] will future-proof our business and our future clients’ business.”

The MPA is the European operation of the original Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). Both represent the interests of the world’s largest film and TV studios: Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group; Sony Pictures; Paramount Pictures; 20th Century Fox; Universal Studios and Warner Bros.