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Nicola Cain

Work 020 3060 6171

Work Department

Media, Data


Nicola is a Partner specialising in media and information rights law, advising on compliance, regulation and disputes.

Her experience encompasses defamation, malicious falsehood, privacy and breach of confidence, contempt, reporting restrictions, freedom of information and other information access rights, media regulation, public law and the protection of journalistic information. In addition, Nicola has data protection expertise, advising clients on data protection compliance and disputes, including subject access requests, objections to processing and other data subject rights, the impact of GDPR, cyber-incidents and data breaches, including in the context of RPC's award-winning ReSecure integrated data breach response service, and regulatory enforcement and litigation in their aftermath. Nicola is noted for her specialism in the application of data protection laws to media and technology companies.

Her clients primarily include major broadcasters, news media organisations, social media and technology platforms and insurers.


Trained 5RB (Chambers of Desmond Browne QC & Matthew Nicklin QC), qualified 2008; BBC, 2008 – 2017, latterly as Head of Legal – Freedom of Information and Contentious Data Protection; joined RPC in 2017. 

Notable publications: Defamation: Law, Procedure & Practice (2009), co-author; Human Rights Practice (2002 – 2015), Assistant Editor; Media Law and Practice (forthcoming), contributing author.


Member of the inaugural Media and Communications List User Committee.


Arnold School, Blackpool; Brunel University, LLB (Hons) (2004); University College London, LLM (2007); College of Law, London, BVC (2005); International Association of Privacy Professionals CIPP/E (2017).

London: Risk advisory

Data protection, privacy and cybersecurity

Within: Data protection, privacy and cybersecurity

The practice at RPC¬†is jointly led by Jon Bartley,¬†Nicola Cain¬†and Richard Breavington¬†specialising in non-contentious issues, contentious data and enforcement matters and cyber breach responses respectively. The team handles the full spectrum of data issues for a client roster spanning the technology, media, professional services, retail and food and drink sectors; noteworthy examples include Associated Newspapers, McArthurGlen Group and Shiseido Group. In a recent non-contentious highlight, Oliver Bray¬†advised Paddy Power Betfair on its GDPR project; contentious work included defending the author of the ‚ÄėTrump dossier‚Äô in a High Court data protection claim brought by three Russian oligarchs, and acting for Refinitiv in multiple data protection claims relating to the inclusion of individuals in its ‚ÄėKnow Your Customer‚Äô database. Keith Mathieson¬†is also highly regarded in the space and is active in issues involving privacy and the misuse of personal data.

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Reputation management

Within: Next Generation Partners

Nicola Cain - RPC

Within: Reputation management

'Go-to firm' RPC stands out for its defendant-focused reputation management practice representing some of the most important national and local newspapers as well as book publishers, broadcasters and online media outlets. In this capacity, the team also offers a round-the-clock pre-publication clearance service to its clients. The team regularly takes on highly sensitive instructions such as representing Christopher Steele in several lawsuits brought against him in relation to authoring and publishing the infamous Trump-Russia dossier. Department head and 'doyen of the media defendant world' Keith Mathieson acts for social media intermediaries, broadcasters, magazines and book publishers. 'Phenomenal talent' Nicola Cain draws on her in-house experience at the BBC to advise household names on contentious and non-contentious defamation, misuse of private information and data protection issues. In addition, senior associate Rupert Cowper-Coles does 'an amazing job' at handling high-profile defamation cases including privacy and misuse of private information claims.

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London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Brand management

Within: Brand management

RPC is described as 'the pre-eminent practice' for advertising and brand management work, and is regularly sought after by well-known consumer brands and social media platforms such as Google and Instagram to assist on international campaigns and launches. The practice is spearheaded by Oliver Bray, 'one of the best known figures in the advertising space', with Ciara Cullan and Jeremy Drew advising on contentious and non-contentious IP matters, and recently promoted partner Nicola Cain advising on media regulatory issues.

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Media and entertainment (including media finance)

Within: Next Generation Partners

Nicola Cain (Publishing; social media) - RPC

Within: Media and entertainment (including media finance)

RPC is 'outstanding for publishing work' and it also has expertise acrossadvertising, marketing, IP, data protection, branding, consumer issues, media regulation,  IT, telecoms, digital media, competition and corporate media work. The team acts for some of the largest brands in broadcast, print and digital media. The publishing team, which is led by Keith Mathieson, handles contentious and non-contentious work for national newspapers, publishing houses, media insurance companies and tech giants. The advertising and marketing team, where Oliver Bray who is also active on social media and interactive content mandates is recommended, is instructed by consumer brands, social media platforms and advertising agencies on international campaigns and launches. Bray leads advice for Facebook on its global advertising and marketing initiatives. The team also acts for game developers and gaming and betting platforms, and provides commercial, regulatory, pre-publication and dispute resolution advice to national broadcasters and production companies. Nicola Cain is 'very responsive and good at providing practical advice'.

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