Freedom of Speech

“We often come into action where freedom of expression and privacy collide. ”

Media is one of the focus areas of Kennedy Van der Laan. Our Media team is known for its expertise in the field of freedom of expression. We combine our expertise with a no-nonsense, practical approach.

Clash Between Freedom of Expression and Privacy

Conflicts about publications often occur when the freedom of expression and the right to privacy collide:

  • When is a publication unlawful?
  • May I use material that has been “obtained illegally” for my story?
  • May I record a conversation, and if yes, may I do this surreptitiously?
  • Do I have to swipe the Internet clean if I am ordered to delete a publication?
  • When is an intermediary on the Internet liable for third-party content?
  • Can anyone who is depicted in a photograph protest against its publication on grounds of portrait right?
  • What are the rules for bringing news about suspects and convicts?
  • Is the journalistic right of non-disclosure an absolute right?

This is the field of tension in which the attorneys of the Media team feel at home.

Urgent Cases

We run an extensive litigation practice and also have broad experience in handling very urgent cases. We regularly conduct proceedings in which we already appear in court within a few days, or sometimes − for example in an upcoming TV broadcast − only a few hours after accepting the case.

Various Media Clients

Our clients include several national daily newspapers, public and commercial television broadcasters, TV and film production companies, magazine and book publishers, blogs and internet providers. The attorneys of the Media team give guest lectures on media and law at various universities.

Chambers Europe 2017 – TMT – Band 1

What the team is known for Outstanding practice covering all aspects of IT, outsourcing, media and data protection. Also handles IT litigation, e-commerce, licensing and litigation. The media practice is particularly experienced in defamation, copyright and internet litigation. Recently the team has acted for several high-profile new clients, including Facebook and Vice Media.

Strengths One client considers the team to be “the best on media law in Holland” and describes the lawyers as “dedicated and specific.” 

Another client says the firm “understands the IT business and is familiar with the most recent IT developments.” The same source praises the “great team spirit within the law firm” as well as its “hands-on mentality,” which makes the team “very easy to work with.”

Work highlights Advised on complex IT integration issues relating to the merger of Ahold and Delhaize.

Defended Ziggo in three separate proceedings regarding requests for user data and information take-down requests.

Significant clients Siemens, ABN AMRO, Persgroep, Telegraaf Media Group, Viacom

Clients say Hester De Vries is “super at translating our demands into practical advice on data protection regulations and is really fantastic at converting thoughts into practical choices.” She is a renowned data protection specialist and advises clients from the healthcare and finance sectors.

Joost Linnemann advises on a range of technology and IT matters including outsourcing, software and IT-related litigation. Clients praise his “good knowledge, positive attitude and likeable character.”

Jens van den Brink acts for a mixture of broadcasters, newspapers and other media outlets, with a particular focus on contentious issues and defamation cases. He acted for NRC Media on a case against Ben Bot, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs. According to clients, he is “a very good adviser who pinpoints specific details in a question and is very quick and clear on communication.”

Clients value Christien Wildemans specialist knowledge with regard to media law and her “ability to handle high-pressure cases.” Recently active in contentious work, she handled various litigation matters for national newspapers including de Volkskrant and Het Parool.

Patrick Wit is praised by one client for his “quick in-depth analysis which helps me understand what I’ve missed.” He is primarily concerned with outsourcing deals, including transactional mandates. He advised VNAB on rules for an IT solution to be employed in the insurance sector. 


Legal 500 EMEA 2017 – Media and Entertainment – Tier 1

Kennedy Van der Laan’s ‘absolutely first-class’ team excels in defamation cases and internet-related litigation. The department is led by the ‘very service-mindedJens van den Brink, who is an ‘excellent litigator’. Christien Wildeman ‘wins unwinnable cases’.


Legal 500 EMEA 2016 – Media and Entertainment – Tier 1

Practice head Jens van den Brink of Kennedy Van der Laan represented Telegraaf Media Group in a high-profile data protection case against NPO, and acted for KRO-NCRV in a successful appeal against an injunction brought by Media Markt regarding a video broadcast.

Kennedy Van der Laan Launches Microsite for Expert GDPR Support

Via the privacy team of Kennedy Van der Laan offers a clear-cut action plan for the route towards GDPR compliance. Nicole Wolters...

06 november 2017 

The Legal 500 Rankings 2017

The Legal 500 has published its rankings for 2017. On the basis of annual extensive research on the market and among clients, The Legal 500 compiles...

13 april 2017 

Chambers and Partners Europe Rankings 2017

Chambers and Partners has published its rankings for 2017. On the basis of annual extensive research on the market and among clients, Chambers and...

13 april 2017 

Kennedy Van der Laan Only Non-British Firm Nominated for The Lawyer Business Leadership Awards 2016

Today, it was announced that Kennedy Van der Laan has been nominated for The Lawyer Business Leadership Awards 2016. With its ‘Alliance Community...

27 june 2016 

Kennedy Van der Laan Appoints Four Counsel

Kennedy Van der Laan has appointed as counsel its attorneys Bart-Adriaan de Ruijter, Christien Wildeman, Floor Veltman and Otto Sleeking as per...

14 january 2016 

8 Questions on the Legal Aspects of Live Streaming with Meerkat and Periscope

The newest episode of Game of Thrones was streamed live on a massive scale. HBO is of the view that this is violating its intellectual property...

22 june 2015 

Criminal Conviction for Leaking State Secrets to De Telegraaf

Introduction The Court of Appeal of Amsterdam has convicted two former employees of the AIVD, a man and a woman, in criminal proceedings for leaking...

02 april 2013 

European Court of Human Rights Emphasizes Importance of Satire and Citizen Participation in Public Debate

Casse-toi, pov’ con! In Eon v. France the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR; judgment available only in the French language) ruled that the...

27 march 2013 

European Court of Human Rights: Copyright Enforcement May Be in Conflict with Freedom of Speech

Last month, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) rendered an interesting judgment: Ashby Donald et al. versus France. Three photographers...

19 february 2013 

Journalistic Privilege Reinforced in ECHR Ruling De Telegraaf v. the Netherlands

On 22 November 2012, the European Court of Human Rights (“ECtHR”) rendered its judgment in the case between the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf and...

31 december 2012 

Freedom of Expression or Defamation?

Judgment of the Supreme Court, 8 May 2012 LJN: BV9188 The Facts Three tramps were standing in the hall of a shopping mall. The police approached...

29 may 2012 

European Court of Human Rights Has Rendered Von Hannover II judgment – More Freedom for Entertainment Press

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) rendered its judgment on 7 February 2012 in the Princess Caroline of Monaco II case. Just like the case...

28 february 2012 

Freedom of Expression in Employment Law

Palomo Sanchez and others/Spain There have been proceedings between a Spanish company and four of its employees about the question of whether...

06 december 2011 

The Court in Tros v. Pretium: Article 10 of the ECHR Applies to Order to Surrender Video Footage

Court of The Hague in Preliminary Relief Proceedings 25 February 2011, KG ZA 11-137, (Tros v. Pretium) Telecom company Pretium has been in...

28 march 2011 

European Court of Human Rights (Naomi Campbell case): English Success Fee Conflicts with Freedom of the Press

Recently, the long-awaited judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in the case of MGN Ltd. - editor of the newspaper The Daily Mirror -...

24 february 2011 

European Court of Justice: Spanish Newspaper Allowed to Link Moroccan Royal Family to Drugs Trafficking

In 1995 the Spanish newspaper Diario 16 reported on the discovery of almost 5000 kilos of hashish in the false bottom of a lorry of the “Domaines...

24 february 2011 

European Court: Conviction of Gossip Magazine for Publication of Portrait of a Suspect in Violation of the Freedom of Speech

A discussion of the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights dated 6 April 2010 The Finnish National Conciliator arrived home late at...

16 july 2010 

European Court of Human Rights: Conviction Le Pen for Hate Speech was Justified - Dark Clouds Gathering over Wilders?

A discussion of the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights dated 20 April 2010 Statements Le Pen Have Resulted in a Conviction in...

25 june 2010 

GeenStijl vs Nijmeegse Stadskrant: copying of interview allowed with a reliance on the journalistic exception

Court of Amsterdam 12 May 2010, published on MediaReport (in Dutch) In 2008, alderman Van Hooft of Nijmegen was interviewed by a journalist. In...

25 june 2010 

Gondola Affair - Municipal Councillor May Accuse Former Alderman of Corruption

A discussion of the Baljé / Stoelinga judgment of the Court of Appeal of The Hague of 16 March 2010 Municipal councillor Stoelinga of Delft...

29 april 2010 
Jens van den Brink

Jens van den Brink

Attorney at law, Partner

  • Jens van den Brink Attorney at law, Partner +31 20 5506 843
  • Christien Wildeman Attorney at law, Counsel +31 20 5506 899