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Press releases and law firm thought leadership

This page is dedicated to keeping readers informed of the latest news and thought leadership articles from law firms across the globe.

If your firm wishes to publish press releases or articles, please contact Shehab Khurshid on +44 (0) 207 396 5689 or shehab.khurshid@legalease.co.uk

 

Legal Developments Worldwide

Articles contributed by Schillings

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Fleet Street phone-hacking scandal: a legal perspective

March 2011 - Media, Entertainment & Sport. Legal Developments by Schillings.

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In the wake of the News of the World (NoW) phone-hacking controversy, this article analyses the law on journalistic newsgathering, and the prevalence of illegal activities more widely on Fleet Street, the applicable criminal and civil law, and the remedies available to the wide range of public and non-public figures who suspect they may have been targeted.


A brand marriage made in heaven? Reputational risks in corporate partnerships

March 2011 - Media, Entertainment & Sport. Legal Developments by Schillings.

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In this digital age of social media and 24/7 rolling news, the need for a company to manage and maintain a positive image has never been more important. Today’s increasingly competitive commercial landscape can make correctly managing a reputation vital to commercial success. However, getting it right can be a tough challenge. Managing the reputation of a brand is difficult enough, but what happens when a company decides to associate their brand with another? 


Defusing reputation risks for celebrity CEOs

December 2010 - Media, Entertainment & Sport. Legal Developments by Schillings.

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Some say that the age of celebrity is dead. That the birth of the reality star has killed off what it is to be a celebrity in the true sense. Not so. Celebrity will always be around, but just like technology and fashion, the concept of what a celebrity is will develop, adjust and adapt to the times.

Employer v employee… and the rest of the world via the media

November 2010 - Media, Entertainment & Sport. Legal Developments by Schillings.

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The recent trend in the media for reporting on greed and corporate failure has led to a hive of activity in media circles for unearthing the next business scandal. With the rise in social media and the growing number of instances in which the media are courting ‘insiders’ with a story to sell or an axe to grind, effective risk management is more important than ever. The in-house lawyer should be particularly aware of the need for reputational management when dealing with disgruntled employees. Smear campaigns and negative media coverage initiated by these individuals can do untold damage to a company’s reputation, business relationships and its financial value. There follows some of the most common areas of risk.


Protecting corporate reputations during deal times

October 2010 - Media, Entertainment & Sport. Legal Developments by Schillings.

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Generally speaking, 2010 has not been a good year for the M&A market. According to recent data published by Dealogic, global M&A volumes have dropped to their lowest levels in six years, reaching only £785bn in the first six months of the year, a mere 3% increase on the same period last year.1


Reforming the law of defamation: an honest opinion

October 2010 - Media, Entertainment & Sport. Legal Developments by Schillings.

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There have been several recent cases and developments in the law of defamation that have affected the realm of permissible comment and opinion in publications, whether in the media or in a business context. In defamation law this is the defence of fair comment.

Fair comment is the implement of the law that protects the dissemination of ideas and opinions in society, whether disseminated in the personal, literary or artistic and corporate worlds, or in the general media itself.

Defamation and confidence: three significant cases

July 2010 - Media, Entertainment & Sport. Legal Developments by Schillings.

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There have been several recent cases concerning the laws of confidence and defamation that address important procedural issues relevant to litigators practising in all spheres. This article discusses decisions by the Court of Appeal, a Queen’s Bench judge and a Master.

Digital Economy Act 2010: who should be worried?

June 2010 - Media, Entertainment & Sport. Legal Developments by Schillings.

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Depending on which newspaper you read, the Digital Economy Act 2010 (the 2010 Act), which became law on 8 April 2010 after a speedy parliamentary ‘wash-up’ procedure, is either going to kill or cure the digital ills of the nation. Certain quarters of the press would have us believe that it is only a matter of time before threatening letters drop through the doors of millions of pensioners, accusing them of illegally downloading hardcore pornography. These poor souls will have their internet cut off within seconds by demonic record or film executives, cackling maniacally as they do so. This, of course, is fantasy. At the time of writing, nobody, not even Ofcom, has a large red button with which to turn off internet connections at will. 


Reputation law: an international approach to protecting brands

May 2010 - Media, Entertainment & Sport. Legal Developments by Schillings.

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The threat from modern methods of communication is that the potential damage to an individual, company or brand’s reputation is fast and global. As international companies and their brands grow, so does the need for a trusted reputation and the need to protect the brand. The speed at which information travels, especially in this internet age, means that damage to reputations can be swift and far-reaching. Clients doing business worldwide need advice on an international scale. A media crisis affecting a brand’s product in Spain can rapidly spread online through the EMEA region, or even globally, and can then be picked up by the mainstream media in newspaper articles across many different countries. Having a proactive cross-border media strategy is a vital element in damage control.

Reputational law: Star Wars stormtrooper battle is a warning on copyright protection

April 2010 - Media, Entertainment & Sport. Legal Developments by Schillings.

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It is well recognised that the Internet has made the world a smaller place. Not just by the easier methods of communication and the exchange of information, but also to commerce and the availability of new, larger markets to buy and sell to. These changes have provided opportunities for small businesses to reach a potential global audience, but beware, when a small business competes on the world stage, they can find themselves unprepared for the infringement of copyright or passing off in any number of jurisdictions.

Preventing reputation meltdown: brand, stakeholder and media

March 2010 - Media, Entertainment & Sport. Legal Developments by Schillings.

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When we think of reputation, particularly corporate reputation, we are really thinking about trust in an organisation. A successful company must gain the trust of its employees, suppliers, shareholders and customers to help win a commercial advantage over its competitors and protect the value of its business. Losing stakeholder trust can result in the failure of a business, as recently demonstrated by a host of high-profile corporate scandals. Enron, Xerox and Barings Bank are all examples of brands that failed their stakeholders and lost the trust of consumers. Good governance should be at the heart of any business and not just a reaction to a reputational or media crisis. It is vital to the long-term prosperity of a business and there have been several recent changes in the law aimed at improving corporate governance.

Divorce and the media: the courts, the pay-outs and the speculation

February 2010 - Media, Entertainment & Sport. Legal Developments by Schillings.

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The rising divorce rate and some well-publicised settlements running into tens of millions of pounds have focused attention on a growing issue in divorce cases: just how far can spouses go to obtain information about their partner’s financial affairs?

Uncertainty about legal outcomes adds to the temptation for well-heeled spouses to disregard their obligation to provide full and frank disclosure in divorce and ancillary proceedings. Meanwhile, the ease of copying electronic data from a partner’s laptop or accessing online bank accounts is prompting some spouses to actively hunt evidence that their estranged partner has the wherewithal to fund a sizeable settlement.

be aware

Yet those contemplating separation and divorce must tread a careful line. The boundary between harmless duplication of confidential financial information belonging to an estranged spouse and wrongful interference with their property is not very elastic. As battles intensify over assets, courts are starting to provide firmer indications of what is – and what is not – acceptable in the search for convincing evidence.

Pulling the plug on a television documentary:a case study

January 2010 - Media, Entertainment & Sport. Legal Developments by Schillings.

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Out of the blue, you receive a call from a broadcaster proposing to feature your company in a prime-time documentary. The broadcaster tells you that they have footage covertly filmed inside the company by a former employee, accompanied by sensational stories from the same source. After carrying out initial enquiries, you ascertain that the former employee left on bad terms, the footage is staged and the stories are, in some instances, untrue and, in others, wildly exaggerated. You must stop the broadcast. Your next two calls are to your PR or communications team and your media lawyers. These teams will work alongside each other to apply just the right amount of pressure on the broadcaster to ensure that the story is dropped. You gather your team around you and prepare as much information as possible to hand over to the media lawyers.

Stop the press:the Reynolds defence

January 2010 - Media, Entertainment & Sport. Legal Developments by Schillings.

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Reynolds v Times Newspapers Ltd & ors [2001] established a new defence for libel claims in which the story is in the public interest and the publisher acted ‘responsibly’. The Reynolds defence is designed to protect serious investigative journalists acting in good faith and reporting on matters of public interest. Even where allegations are false and hugely damaging to the subject of the publication, publishers can make use of this defence. However, Reynolds has also provided a useful tool for subjects to delay, if not prevent, publication of defamatory allegations.

Minimising internet threats to the corporate reputation without blowing the budget

November 2009 - Media, Entertainment & Sport. Legal Developments by Schillings.

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With every year seemingly bringing a new way for reputations to be tarnished instantly and globally online, it’s easy to blanch at the scope and expense of dealing with such threats. The situation is not helped by an abundance of lawyers proffering radical legal steps that appear to resolve any unpleasant situation, when the truth of the matter is that no measure is guaranteed to succeed and the real skill lies in deciding when to pounce and when to remain poised.

Reputation law: differences between the English and US approach in libel and privacy

October 2009 - Media, Entertainment & Sport. Legal Developments by Schillings.

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The Internet is a growing threat to corporate and individual reputations, and with more than 1.46 billion people worldwide using the internet, with access to a myriad of social networking sites, wiki sites and blogs, it would appear that anyone with a computer can become a publisher – the age of the ‘citizen journalist’ is upon us.

How to handle social media threats and clean up online reputations

October 2009 - Media, Entertainment & Sport. Legal Developments by Schillings.

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The battleground for protecting reputations has historically been print media. All eyes were focused on the news-stands. With the advent of the internet, the battleground has changed immeasurably.

Within the internet, there is an abundance of fora in which an individual or company can be defamed, a person’s privacy invaded, a person harassed by an unknown source or a trade mark infringed. Social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Bebo, or the plethora of blogs on every subject imaginable, are just some of the recently established mediums. New ones, such as Twitter, frequently pop up.