Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
Click here for more details

United Kingdom > London > Risk advisory > Reputation management > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Reputation management
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Reputation management clients in London using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


As β€˜one of the very best boutique claimant firms in London and definitely the go-to firm in the field’, Atkins Thomson β€˜has played a central role in the phone-hacking litigation and has unrivalled expertise in this area’. β€˜Talented and conscientious’ senior associate James Heath is the key name for phone hacking litigation; is acting for Ian Hurst in a claim against News Group Newspapers relating to computer hacking and email interceptions. The team also successfully represented Javad Marandi in a defamation case against Observer Newspapers, acted for clients including Sienna Miller, Pete Doherty, Dougray Scott and Heather Mills in pursuing claims against Mirror Group Newspapers, and defended Donald Trump in a libel claim. Name partners Graham Atkins and Mark Thomson jointly lead the group; Atkins is β€˜shrewd, experienced and a safe pair of hands’ and Thomson β€˜is a strong, reliable and innovative lawyer with an impeccable record’. Senior associate Nicola McCann, who is β€˜helpful and approachable’, is also noted.

CMS’ practice (previously part of legacy firms Olswang LLP and Nabarro LLP) β€˜is first rate and has a rare quality in being able to provide exceptional advice to both claimants and defendants’. The group is β€˜at the top of the list for corporate reputation management’ and its clients include ITV, Guardian Media Group and Microsoft. In a recent highlight, β€˜exceptionally talented and creative lawyer’ Dan Tench defended Bloomberg in a privacy, data protection and breach of confidence claim brought by an individual pertaining to the publication of details of a Serious Fraud Office investigation. The group also acted for Ingenious Media Holdings and its CEO in a judicial review of a decision to disclose information about the clients to journalists from The Times, and represented James Stunt in a libel claim against Associated Newspapers. Geraldine Proudler, who β€˜is among the most experienced lawyers in the business’, leads the group, which includes Ian Felstead, Karen Denny and legal director Tamsin Blow. Anna Caddick moved in-house to Facebook.

Carter-Ruck β€˜remains at the top of the field’ and is β€˜a pre-eminent law firm for reputation matters’. The team is led by β€˜the powerhouse to call in any media-related crisis’ Nigel Tait; he β€˜regularly puts clients at ease with his shrewd, pragmatic advice and is an exceptional, tenacious and clever practitioner’. Other individuals singled out include the β€˜exceptionally experienced’ Ruth Collard; Cameron Doley; the β€˜thoughtful and conscientious’ Claire Gill; Guy Martin; Alasdair Pepper; the β€˜intellectually rigorous’ Adam Tudor; and recently promoted partners Rebecca Toman and Antonia Foster. Recent highlights include acting for a high-profile individual in a dispute before the Supreme Court against News Group Newspapers regarding an interim injunction restricting publication of the claimant’s identity, and representing the Mahmood family in a libel claim against Katie Hopkins and the MailOnline. Simon Cowell, Kate and Gerry McCann, Bryan Adams, James Blunt and the Qatari royal family are also clients.

At Harbottle & Lewis LLP, Gerrard Tyrrell heads the department and has extensive experience representing senior members of the Royal Family. His recent work includes successfully representing HM The Queen in a complaint to the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) relating to a misleading front page headline published by The Sun; acting for HRH The Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George in an IPSO complaint against The Daily Express and OK! regarding the publication of a photograph of Prince George; and advising HRH Prince Henry of Wales in an IPSO complaint against The Daily Star concerning an accuracy complaint. The team also acted for Melania Trump in a dispute with the Daily Mail relating to false claims; represented over 80 victims of phone hacking in pursuing claims against News Group Newspapers; and successfully acted for Kim Kardashian West against Closer, following the publication of false claims relating to a Parisian robbery. John Kelly β€˜knows his stuff’ and Jo Sanders is β€˜excellent’; senior associate Louise Prince is also noted.

At RPC, practice head Keith Mathieson is β€˜a first-rate lawyer’ and β€˜an excellent tactician, who is cool and collected under pressure and gives thoughtful and pragmatic advice’. The team β€˜understands media litigation inside out’ and focuses solely on acting for defendants; clients include the News Media Association, Twitter, Times Newspapers, News Group Newspapers and the Financial Times. Mathieson recently represented Mirror Group Newspapers in several high-profile claims brought by individuals relating to voicemail interception and call data blagging; he also defended Associated Newspapers in a libel and malicious falsehood action brought by Optical Express over allegations published by the Daily Mail, and acted for Thomson Reuters in libel proceedings brought by Finsbury Park Mosque over false allegations of involvement in terrorism. Other key practitioners include senior associate and β€˜seasoned media litigator’ Louise Turner, who is β€˜a pleasure to work with’, senior associate Kim Waite and legal director Nicola Cain.

β€˜Premier league firm’ Schillings is β€˜pre-eminent in the field’ providing β€˜a unique and powerful client service’ with β€˜strategically brilliant and deeply impressive individuals at every level’. Key names include Keith Schilling, the β€˜outstanding’ Rod Christie-Miller, the β€˜amazingly practical’ Chris Scott and Rachel Atkins, who clients β€˜recommend without hesitation’. Highlights included Atkins advising Sir Philip Green on false allegations made by an MP on Radio 4; acting for Brad Pitt against various media outlets relating to inaccurate allegations and the attempted publication of private information; and assisting a high-profile individual in the Supreme Court with the reinstatement of an injunction to prevent the publication of his identity and private information. Jenny Afia and Magnus Boyd are also recommended, as is senior associate Natalie Sherborn, who β€˜has an excellent legal mind with an instinct for effective risk management paired with an incredible work ethic’.

As β€˜an unquestionable leader on the defendant side’, Simons Muirhead & Burton provides β€˜practical and rapid advice that justifies its place at the top of the tree’. Practice head Louis Charalambous is β€˜one of the best media lawyers out there’ and is β€˜calm, organised and very popular with clients’. His recent work includes defending News Group Newspapers against a private claimant in injunction proceedings, defending Times Newspapers against claims of libel, malicious falsehood and breach of the Data Protection Act brought by Priya Hiranandani-Vandrevala pertaining to allegations made in an article, and represented various media groups in a libel claim brought by Susanne Ibru. Channel 4, BBC, Dennis Publishing, Simon & Schuster and Penguin Random House are also clients. Other key practitioners include Razi Mireskandari, Stephen Shotnes, Maninder Gill, senior associate Erica Henshilwood and Martin Soames, whose β€˜knowledge is incredibly detailed’.

Addleshaw Goddard regularly acts for corporate claimant clients including British Airways, Co-operative Group and GlaxoSmithKline. The team also defends individuals, and recently acted for Manish Dusara in a defamation claim brought by an individual, which raised the issue of whether witness statements used in other proceedings can be used to bring a defamation claim. David Engel, who is β€˜incredibly bright, commercial and imbues confidence’, heads the team, which also includes information protection specialist Abigail Healey, who β€˜is responsive, reassuring, practical and a pleasure to deal with’. Other areas of expertise for the group include data protection disputes, misuse of information, rights to be forgotten, freedom of information requests and internet-related work, particularly pertaining to social media. Other clients include Leon Restaurants, Travelodge, Virgin Care and William Hill.

Lee & Thompson LLP’s team is β€˜approaching the top bracket in the industry for its reputation management work’ and has β€˜a strong understanding of the market and the issues clients face’. The firm’s media and entertainment client roster includes Harry Styles and Jude Law; practice head Mike Brookes is advising the latter on several privacy and defamation issues against Associated Newspapers and various US publishers pertaining stories surrounding him and his children. Other highlights include advising Lara Stone on harassment and reputation issues surrounding her divorce from David Walliams, and assisting various clients including Universal Pictures, Studio Canal and Working Title Films with pre-publication defamation and privacy issues. The team is also highly involved in the phone-hacking litigation against News Group Newspapers acting for an expansive list of high-profile individuals including Christopher Eccleston, Sophie Anderton and Wayne Bridge. Mark Stafford is recommended for pre-broadcast copyright and libel clearance work and senior associate Leo Dawkins is β€˜a rising star’.

Penningtons Manches LLP has established itself as a key player in the space following the recruitment of Jeremy Clarke-Williams and associate director Adele Ashton from Slater and Gordon. Clarke-Williams is β€˜a first-class lawyer’, who has β€˜exceptional experience’, and his β€˜pragmatic and determined approach coupled with expert advice always achieves results’. Highlights included acting for Robert Murat in several libel claims relating to false allegations published in various national newspapers; acting for an individual in misuse of private information, breach of confidence and breach of the Data Protection Act claims; and representing a former Deputy Chief Inspector in a privacy claim against Spire Healthcare regarding the use of a photograph without permission.

Taylor Wessing LLP’s β€˜team of strategic thinkers’ is β€˜truly on top of its game’. The group includes β€˜premier-league practitioner’ Niri Shanmuganathan and β€˜highly experienced’ senior counsel Timothy Pinto, who heads the firm’s publishing group and is recognised for his experience advising corporate clients. Shanmuganathan regularly acts for individuals; his recent work includes advising a former City banker in two libel claims against ex-colleagues pertaining to alleged defamatory comments. The practice is also noted for its knowledge of digital content delivery, social media and user-generated content-related matters, and has a focus on the publishing, advertising, media, sport, private equity and property sectors.

Wiggin LLP’s team is β€˜hugely impressive and has a strong position in the market’; the defendant-focused practice acts for key names including Bauer Media Group, CondΓ© Nast and Associated Newspapers. Practice head Caroline Kean is β€˜completely delightful to deal with but lethally dangerous for the opposition’ and β€˜couples enormous charm with deadly legal skills’. In a recent highlight, Kean acted for an international cricketer against a company that had continued to use the client’s image for advertising purposes beyond the end of his endorsement agreement; she also defended a national tabloid newspaper in a claim brought by the ex-girlfriend of a pop star; and acted for News UK in a misuse of private information claim relating to Operation Elveden. Legal director Anna Doble is β€˜excellent’, consultant Amali De Silva β€˜really understands her clients and provides fast, practical and high-quality advice’, and solicitor Eileen Weinert is β€˜incredibly legally astute’.

At ACK Media Law LLP, the team’s recent highlights include handling the reputation management issues surrounding the Fifty Shades film series, which includes advising on content-related matters, and assisting See-Saw Films with the clearance, libel and privacy elements of the second series of Top of the Lake. Other work includes advising global rights agency Merlin Network on a smear campaign that targeted the company and was pursued through social media channels and defamatory emails; and representing New Scientist in a libel claim brought by a Canadian doctor. The group is jointly led by Susan Aslan and Sue Charles, who is noted for her specialist content advisory expertise. Channel 4 and Associated Newspapers are also clients.

Boutique firm Archerfield Partners LLP stands out for its expertise in pursuing harassment claims, and its knowledge of defamation issues, privacy mandates and pre-publication matters. Recent work includes acting for Russell Brand and Jemima Goldsmith in bringing a claim under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 against a masseuse; a permanent injunction was successfully granted in favour of the claimants. Other highlights include advising the family of Tara Palmer-Tomkinson on the press issues and IPSO interactions following her death in early 2017; handling the pre-publication issues surrounding multiple book titles for Macmillan Publishers; and representing a group of individuals, including Audley Harrison and Katie Price, in claims against Mirror Group Newspapers relating to potential phone hacking. Key practitioners include Mark Bateman, Matthew Dowd, Paul Chamberlain and consultant Kevin Bays.

Bates Wells Braithwaite’s practice β€˜benefits from the combination of being a small specialist team of true experts with being part of a larger firm with all the resources that brings’. Practice head and β€˜consummate professional’ Rupert Earle provides β€˜balanced and realistic advice’ and recently advised Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust on a complaint to the IPSO relating to an inaccurate headline published in the Daily Mail. The group also acted for Times Newspapers in the Supreme Court claiming that the High Court was unjust in awarding an individual the costs of a libel action, and successfully represented an individual in a right to be forgotten request to Google. The National Union of Students, Fairtrade Federation and the Advertising Standards Authority are also clients. Associate Ross Allan is β€˜clearly a highly capable litigator, who is bright, hardworking and great to work with’.

Bindmans LLP β€˜uses its strength in human rights and civil liberties work to provide a top-quality reputation management service representing vulnerable individuals and NGOs’. Practice head Tamsin Allen is β€˜superb’ and has β€˜a well-deserved reputation’ in the space and the β€˜ability to see through the trees and get to the important facts quickly, understand the best cause of action and negotiate brilliant deals’. She recently led advice to Undercovers on the libel, privacy and copyright issues related to a TV drama series on undercover policing; and acted for actor Steve McFadden in a phone-hacking claim against Mirror Group Newspapers. Impress, Captive Animals’ Protections Society and Paul Gambaccini are also clients.

Clintons’ team β€˜demonstrates nothing but class and diligence in its work’ and has β€˜an impressive style and manner paired with a thorough and tough approach’. The β€˜genuinely excellent’ group is active in the unlawful mobile voicemail interception litigation and is advising an extensive client list, including Chris Parker, Danny Young and Brooke Kinsella, in misuse of private information claims against News Group Newspapers. Roddy Chisholm Batten is the key name for defamation work in the firm and is β€˜sharp, focused and effective’; he regularly acts for claimants from the media, entertainment, sports and news industries in pursuing matters including libel claims, breaches of confidentiality, IPSO complaints and rights to be forgotten.

Collyer Bristow LLP is β€˜an established firm with well-deserved recognition in the space’ and is β€˜able to consistently steer claims through to successful conclusions’. Its β€˜superb team of lawyers’ is led by β€˜well-known and highly regarded expert’ Steven Heffer. Other names to note include consultant Rhory Robertson, who is β€˜an unflappable strategist and brilliant veteran of the field’, and senior associate Alex Cochrane, who β€˜gains clients’ trust through a mixture of an authoritative yet friendly personality coupled with outstanding legal expertise’. Heffer remains prominent in the phone-hacking litigation, while Cochrane recently acted for Justin Lee Collins in a libel claim against News Group Newspapers concerning an article published in The Sun, and represented actress Sarah Lancashire in proceedings against Mirror Group Newspapers relating to the misuse of private information.

David Price Solicitors & Advocates acts for a range of clients spanning national newspapers, including The Telegraph, The Independent, The Mirror and The Sun and private individuals, including Imogen Thomas and Kat Ward. The team represented Katie Hopkins in appealing a High Court ruling pertaining to libellous tweets regarding food blogger Jack Monroe, and successfully represented defendant Karin Ward in a defamation claim brought by Freddie Starr, who sought damages for claims made surrounding allegations of assault. David Price is the key name in the group, supported by solicitor Julia Varley.

β€˜First-rate media lawyer’ Julian Pike heads the department at Farrer & Co, which, according to one client, receives β€˜full marks for its service and industry knowledge’. The practice primarily advises claimants, with clients ranging from ultra-high-net-worth individuals to charities, sporting bodies, schools and arts organisations; examples include the Science Museum, British Athletics, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Age UK. In a recent highlight, Pike acted for an individual in injunction proceedings in a libel case relating to false and defamatory allegations and harassment issues; he also represented Pippa Middleton and James Matthews in the High Court in obtaining an emergency injunction following the hacking of the client’s iCloud and the attempted sale of private photographs; and advises Bauer Media Group on pre-publication issues. The β€˜experienced’ Michael Patrick made partner in 2016.

At Foot Anstey, practice head Tony Jaffa advises clients on all aspects of publishing law, Peter Singfield acts for clients in the retail, media, publishing and manufacturing sectors, and Neil Parkes in Bristol is β€˜commercial, pragmatic, sensible and focused on the client’s objectives’. The team is β€˜a clear leader when it comes to representing newspapers and the regional press’ with clients spanning Tindle Newspapers, Mirror Online and Midland News Association. Recent highlights include providing The Independent and Evening Standard with pre-publication advice relating to libel, privacy and contempt issues; defending Trinity Mirror Merseyside in misuse of private and confidential information proceedings, and representing Local World as defendant in a libel dispute relating to alleged defamatory allegations made in an article. The team also advises on online reputation management, subject access requests and harassment issues.

Hamlins LLP is β€˜a key firm in the phone-hacking litigation’, where it acts for various claimants against News Group Newspapers. The work is led by department head Christopher Hutchings, who is β€˜excellent at client care’; he also acted for a couple who sued Channel 5 for breach of privacy following the broadcaster filming them being evicted from their home in TV programme Can’t Pay? We’ll Take It Away; represented Vic Reeves in phone-hacking claims against Mirror Group Newspapers and News Group Newspapers; and acted for Ziauddin Yousafzai in a libel action against Asian broadcaster Ary. Senior consultant Andrew Stephenson is highly regarded; he recently advised Random House Group on pre-publication matters and libel issues relating to publications. Eddie Jordan, Simon Clegg, Ceva Animal Health and Ralf Little are also clients.

Howard Kennedy LLP’s practice head Mark Stephens is β€˜a high-profile star in the field’ and a β€˜very experienced media lawyer’. Stephens and senior associate Elizabeth Morley β€˜are the ultimate dream team clients want for high-profile and sensitive reputation management cases’. The group also includes associate and business crime specialist John Martyn and consultant David Hooper, who joined from RPC. The team has particular expertise in social media-related issues and also advises on corporate reputation matters, international free speech issues and blackmail cases. Clients include the Democratic Press and Keith Vaz. Sue Thackeray joined Kingsley Napley LLP and Dan Hyde joined Penningtons Manches LLP.

The β€˜excellent’ group at Mishcon de Reya LLP β€˜provides a brilliant defamation and privacy service to established private clients and businesses’ including the Tata Group and Euromoney Institutional Investor. Department head Ramona Mehta, who is β€˜a stellar advocate who is clearly on top of her game with an outstanding reputation among high-net-worth individuals’, has core strengths in breach of privacy issues and matters involving the threatened publication of defamatory comments. Other key practitioners include legal director Emma Woollcott, who is β€˜particularly strong on the digital elements’, James Libson, who leads the firm’s private client team, Anthony Julius, who is β€˜a leader in the defamation arena’, and managing associate Alexander Rhodes, whose experience includes advice to high-net-worth families.

Payne Hicks Beach has notable expertise in the private client space, and the firm regularly handles reputation management and privacy matters for clients such as Steve Coogan and Richard Lyttelton. The β€˜faultless’ department is led by the β€˜strategically smart’ Dominic Crossley, whose recent work includes representing Issam Khorani in a high-profile libel and harassment dispute relating to anonymous internet comments and public demonstrations, advising the Dowler Family on media interest and harassment issues, and acting for Nelson Piquet Jr in a libel matter. Other names to note include Sarah Webb, who has β€˜sound mature judgement, concern for the client’s needs and an ability to put forward arguments in a robust yet respectful way’; assistant solicitors Andrew Willan and Emily Gailey; and Hanna Basha, who joined from Hill Dickinson LLP in 2017.

Clients are β€˜hugely impressed’ by the β€˜highly understated’ team at Pinsent Masons LLP, which has β€˜first-rate knowledge, expertise and experience in the field’. Practice head David Barker is β€˜exceptionally bright and doesn’t lose track of the realities for the clients’, senior associate Alex Keenlyside β€˜stands out for his willingness to go the extra mile no matter what’ and associate Imogen Allen-Back is β€˜brilliant and a real star of the future’. Barker recently acted for key client Google in two right to be forgotten cases and defended it in a European Court of Human Rights application made by an individual following an unsuccessful defamation claim. Capita, Balfour Beatty, United Utilities and Birkbeck, University of London are also clients.

At Simkins LLP, β€˜no stone is left unturned in its quest to succeed’ and the team is β€˜particularly good at dealing with heavyweight matters for both individuals and corporate clients’. The β€˜outstanding’ Gideon Benaim leads the group and is β€˜a thoughtful and considered advocate whose planning in strategic battles is exceptional’; he β€˜isn’t afraid to say what he thinks is the best advice regardless of whether it is what the client wants to hear’. He recently represented Sir Cliff Richard in a privacy and data protection action against the BBC and South Yorkshire Police. The department’s high-profile client list also includes JK Rowling, Naomi Campbell, Royal Mail and Canary Wharf Group. The β€˜utterly dependable’ Jon Oakley, β€˜excellent client handler’ Tom Iverson, who β€˜engenders client’s confidence’, and associate Eleanor Steyn are also noted.

Withers LLP has β€˜an excellent claimant practice and is rapidly growing its defendant expertise’, and has β€˜a truly brilliant’ team that stands out for β€˜the exemplary service provided by knowledgeable and pleasant practitioners’. β€˜Fantastic lawyer’ Amber Melville-Brown, who heads the practice, is β€˜head and shoulders above her peers’ and has β€˜a charming and friendly manner and a thorough, responsive and practical approach’. Recent highlights include representing a barrister against the Mail on Sunday, MailOnline and The New Zealand Herald in a matter relating to defamatory allegations concerning suppressed and tampered evidence; and acting for an individual in a misuse of private information, defamation, malicious falsehood and harassment claim. The team also regularly advises charity clients and NGOs, including the British Red Cross, Greenpeace and Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

BLM’s practice has a core focus on acting for insurers. Recent highlights including defending King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls and its insurers in defamation, malicious falsehood, misfeasance in public office and negligence proceedings; defending the University of Cambridge and its insurers against claims made following statements made in an email concerning the claimant’s suitability for a job role; and defending Frederic Robinson and its insurers against a defamation and privacy claim relating to the use of the claimant’s image without permission in an advertisement. Other clients include Hiscox, QBE, RSA and Zurich Insurance. Practice head Tim Smith handles defamation, privacy and data protection mandates.

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP’s team has β€˜a very strong position in the corporate reputation management arena’ and has β€˜substantial expertise’. Noteworthy corporate clients include Tesco and Thames Water, while the team also advises private individuals including Andrew Marr, Ashley Cole and Kieron Dyer. The team advises across the full spectrum of issues, with particular expertise in confidential information issues, data protection and cyber-security matters. Graham Shear and Joby Davies, who β€˜are very experienced and well-established practitioners in the area’, are the practice co-heads. Ian De Freitas is noted for his experience in handling reputational elements of data breaches.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP is a β€˜go-to’ practice for commercial TV broadcasters, with a client list including ITN, ITV, Channel 4 News and Russia Today TV. In a recent highlight, the team successfully acted for the respondent Sky in an appeal pertaining to a breach of confidence claim relating to a music elimination show broadcast on Sky 1. The team is also representing several high-profile claimants in separate phone-hacking claims against News Group Newspapers and Mirror Group Newspapers; and advises Russia Today TV on pre-publication matters, including libel, privacy and compliance issues. Consultant Duncan Lamont leads the department, which includes associate Claire Greaney, who has expertise in telephone interception cases. Nick Armstrong retired in 2016.

Fieldfisher’s team is best known for its expertise in matters pertaining to online defamation, and its extensive client list includes international corporations, government organisations, high-net-worth individuals, public bodies and regulators. Department head Rhys Griffiths recently acted for ADVFN in claims made against it regarding defamatory user-generated content posted on its bulletin boards, and Colin Gibson is acting for Alexander Economou in a libel action. Associate Nathan Capone, who is β€˜a noteworthy up-and-comer’, specialises in breach of confidence actions.

Gordon Dadds LLP’s team β€˜provides solid and reliable advice to claimants and defendants’ and is β€˜building a profile in the reputation management space due to the reputations of some extremely experienced individuals’. Practice head Robin Shaw is β€˜highly rated by peers and clients alike for his in-depth knowledge and substantial expertise’, and Nick Goldstone has substantial experience acting for claimants. In a noteworthy highlight, Shaw advised Private Eye on the reputation issues relating to an article that the subject of the piece, John Beggs QC, asked not to be published. HarperCollins is also a client. The group also works closely with the firm’s regulatory investigations and corporate crime teams.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s β€˜extremely responsive’ team β€˜understands the nature of the market and clients’ needs very well’. Practice head Alan Watts β€˜proves his worth time and time again by cutting to the heart of the issue and spotting the most strategic options quickly. His recent work includes representing Lord Alan Sugar against the Daily Mail in a dispute concerning defamatory comments published in an article; acting for Virgin Atlantic following the publication of a press release by a pilot’s union that included defamatory comments and malicious falsehoods; and handling pre-broadcast issues for the Board of the Pension Protection Fund relating to allegations made in a Channel 4 documentary. Neil Blake is highly regarded and senior associate Rebecca Murtha is β€˜a rising star’.

Kingsley Napley LLP’s β€˜energetic and fearless approach means it is never afraid of the fight no matter how long or difficult it is’. Charlotte Harris, who is β€˜a leading light in the field and one of the best of her generation’ and β€˜a clever and subtle operator with an excellent knowledge of the field’, and Gerard Cukier, who is β€˜an incredibly wise and experienced individual, who is honourable, reliable and trustworthy’, jointly head the team. In a recent highlight, Harris acted for Katie Hopkins in a defamation claim brought against her by food blogger Jack Monroe relating to alleged defamatory tweets. Other key practitioners include Ryan Mowat, who regularly acts for clients in the media, sport and entertainment sectors, and Sue Thackeray, who joined from Howard Kennedy LLP.

At Lewis Silkin LLP, the β€˜superb’ Nick Walker, β€˜first-class litigator’ Adam Glass and the β€˜brilliant’ Giles Crown are the key names. The team acts for claimants and defendant clients, with noteworthy examples including Sky UK and AOL; the group recently defended the latter in a defamation claim brought by an individual relating to allegations made in several articles. Other work includes advising Nissan on the reputational issues arising from the use of its logo in Vote Leave campaign flyers. Impress, Huffington Post, Sony, Grant Thornton and International Business Times are also clients. Jonathan Coad joined Keystone Law.

At Manleys Solicitors, the β€˜tremendously helpful’ and β€˜fully committed’ team provides β€˜a superb service’ and β€˜handles complex issues with ease and speed’. The group has substantial experience in the media, sports, healthcare and political sectors, and acts for clients including Barron Publishing, Michelle Donelan MP and cast members of The Only Way is Essex. Highlights included defending Professor Carole Mundell in a libel claim brought by a former colleague; acting for David de Freitas in libel proceedings; and representing Simon Danczuk MP in proceedings with the Mail on Sunday following allegations of rape published in the newspaper. Practice head Mark Manley, who has β€˜great strength of character and an infectiously positive attitude’, and Leanne Wheeler, who is β€˜outstanding in every respect’ and β€˜displays a deep understanding of the practice area combined with the ability to quickly grasp the complexities of a case’, are the names to note.

Russells Solicitors’ team β€˜goes above and beyond for clients’ and leverages its media strength to advise claimants in the sport, TV and film, and music sectors. Clients include Ellie Goulding, Bobby Gillespie, Shaun Ryder, Linford Christie and Jeremy Kyle. In a recent highlight, the team advised Cheryl (formerly Cheryl Cole) on preventing the publication of compromising photographs by News Group Newspapers. Other work included assisting Parlophone with the press issues surrounding a royalties dispute with Radiohead, and acting for Patsy Kensit in phone-hacking litigation against Mirror Group Newspapers. Practice head Steven Tregear is β€˜incredible to work with’; John Reid and senior associate Callum Galbraith are also noted.

At Seddons, β€˜pre-eminent’ practice head Mark Lewis β€˜is a man on a mission and will fight for his clients like no one else, giving 110% every single time’ and is β€˜a fearless advocate and a superstar of the reputation management space’. Lewis is highly active in the high-profile phone-hacking litigation and also advises on malicious falsehoods, social media law, libel issues and injunctions. The team also includes Marvin Simons, who leads the firm’s dispute resolution department.

The β€˜professional, efficient and effective’ department at Swan Turton LLP is led by the β€˜highly proactive’ Catherine Fehler, who pairs β€˜discretion and wisdom with a pragmatism and clarity’ and is β€˜extremely trustworthy and dependable’. The group’s high-profile client list includes Refinery29, Peter Green, Peter James, Ennio Morricone and David Tennant. The team acted for Robert Kilroy-Silk in a dispute pertaining to the Daily Mail and MailOnline’s publication of articles based on material from a fake Twitter account attributed it to the client. Consultant Rupert Grey is β€˜incredibly experienced’ and Julian Bentley β€˜goes the extra mile to get the job done’.

Jill Bainbridge heads the team at Blake Morgan LLP and is recognised for her expertise in matters involving social media and cross-border issues. The practice is a key name for corporate clients, particularly in the publishing and charity sectors; recent work includes advising a national charity on public statements made by a former employee who was subject to a confidentiality agreement, advising a local Anglican church branch on defamation and harassment issues between a clergyman and a parishioner, and handling two libel claims for FuelDefend Global concerning email correspondence between employees. Claire Rawle is also noted.

Brett Wilson LLP’s team, which is β€˜dynamic and innovative and has well and truly established itself in this arena’, primarily focuses on claimant work, with particular expertise in online libel and harassment disputes. β€˜Thoughtful and knowledgeable’ practice head Iain Wilson has β€˜an excellent attention to detail and a client-friendly demeanour’ and is highly regarded for his work on misuse of private information issues, breach of confidence claims and representative actions. In a recent highlight, the team is acting for Andrea Collins in pursuing claims against her ex-husband Phil Collins and Penguin Random House concerning statements made in Collins’ autobiography. The team also includes solicitor Max Campbell, who is β€˜genuinely excellent and combines hands-on expertise with strategic decision making’.

DLA Piper’s team is experienced in advising publishers – including Hodder, Little Brown Book Group, Pan Macmillan and Penguin Random House – on the clearance of published titles; recent work in this space include assisting with the publication of Class of 92 and Fifty Years of Hurt: The Story of England Football and Why We Never Stop Believing. Other clients include Orion, Springer Nature and Quercus. Key names in the β€˜brilliant’ team include Ruth Hoy, who advises on traditional and online media-related matters; Duncan Calow, who is noted for his expertise in the e-publishing and digital content spaces; Richard Taylor, who is highly regarded for international defamation matters; Andrew Smith, who is based in Manchester; and Paul Stone, who handles libel and slander matters for public sector clients.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP’s group sits in the firm’s IP and media practice, and focuses primarily on claimant work. The team recently assisted BUQ with obtaining an injunction to prevent the publication of sensitive information relating to the CEO of a FTSE 100 company; Andrew Terry, who led the matter, is noted for his cross-border expertise. The firm also has substantial strength regionally with Michael Clavell-Bate and Matt Taylor leading the firm’s work from the Manchester office and Nottingham-based Steve Dunseath noted for his expertise in trade libel matters.

Osborne Clarke LLP’s department, which is recognised for its online defamation and privacy expertise and acts for claimants and defendants, is led by Ashley Hurst, who joined from legacy firm Olswang LLP in 2016. Recent work includes defending banker David Longmuir against a libel claim brought by Svetlana Lokhova relating to defamatory emails; representing former USSR deputy prime minister Vladimir Scherbakov in claims for damages caused by an article published by the Daily Mail; and handling pre- and post-publication libel issues for Emap Publishing. Other noteworthy practitioners include Charlie Wedin, who advises on the reputation elements of cyber and data security matters, and senior associate Alexander Vakil, who handles defamation, privacy and social media-related disputes.

At Sheridans, Keith Ashby counts IPSO as a key client and also advises individuals, corporates and brands across the media, music, theatre, television and film industries. He is highly regarded for his expertise in defamation, misuse of private information and breach of confidence matters.

Shoosmiths LLP counts the University of Bolton and the Renewal Trust as key clients; the group advised the latter on issues surrounding an ITV broadcast, some of which was filmed on the client’s premises. Manchester-based team head Kath Livingston led the matter, and regularly advises corporate clients and organisations on trade libel, internet defamation, campaigning matters, breach of individual privacy rights and media reporting issues. Mark Elder, who is based in Birmingham, has recently acted for several private individuals in phone-hacking litigation.

Laurence Winston leads the group at Squire Patton Boggs, which includes senior associate Tim Lowles. Lowles’ past work includes advising Max Mosley on pre-action issues and various take-down requests and applications to Google. The team handles libel, defamation and privacy issues at a national and international level for clients including the International Tennis Federation and Bank Leumi. The group also works closely with the firm’s media and advertising, IP and technology, and employment teams.

Press releases

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to

Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to

Press Releases in the UK

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to