Carter-Ruck's 'powerhouse team' for defamation and reputation management makes it the 'number one choice in the industry' for celebrities, politicians, leading business people, and companies and organisations, according to one client. Largely focused on claimant work, the team advises on the full spectrum of rights regarding defamation and has a strong track record in obtaining privacy injunctions. Practice head Nigel Tait is widely regarded as a go-to claimant lawyer, acting on behalf of UHNWs and HNWs in harassment, blackmail and privacy disputes. The strength of the team is reflected across its partners; Adam Tudor is an experienced media litigator handling sensitive political and geopolitical issues for high-profile politicians; Rebecca Toman regularly undertakes both claimant and defendant work at the pre- and post-publication stage, whilst Claire Gill is an expert in data protection legislation, including GDPR and 'right to be forgotten' claims. The team has a strong pool of talent on the associate end, in particular, the 'outstanding' Helena Shipman, Persephone Bridgman Baker and Mathilde Groppo are recommended.
Reputation management in London
Other key lawyers:
Adam Tudor; Rebecca Toman; Claire Gill; Helena Shipman; Persephone Bridgman Baker; Mathilde Groppo; Alasdair Pepper
‘The media and reputation management team at Carter-Ruck fully deserve their reputation of being the very best in the business. They are the go-to firm for this area of work. They offer unrivalled experience and depth of knowledge.’
‘Carter-Ruck has a level of quality unmatched by any other firm in the area and is the number one choice in the industry.’
‘Nigel Tait heads a powerhouse team of highly experienced, knowledgeable, tactically astute and phenomenally dedicated lawyers. Their collective experience is unrivalled. Their culture diverse and unique.’
‘Adam Tudor is supremely tactically gifted, a delight with clients, but not afraid to tell hard truths when needed. Nigel Tait’s knowledge of the field is second to none. ‘
‘Nigel Tait is the doyen of the reputational management, media and privacy fields. He is masterful – completely unmatched in his tactical astuteness, expertise and strategic thinking. Pleasant and approachable despite his status within the sector.’
‘Claire Gill provides exceptional client service, being very responsive and attentive and solution focussed.’
‘Persephone Bridgman Baker and Mathilde Groppo work together frequently and are a formidable team. They recently acted in a very unpleasant and difficult blackmail victim case and handled it effectively and sensitively.’
‘Rebecca Toman was a pleasure to work with. She had excellent knowledge of the law and communicated all options/strategy concisely and effectively. Rebecca clearly has a very sharp mind and doesn’t miss a thing. Helena Shipman is an outstanding individual – one of the leading associates in the area. Very shrewd and knowledgeable and a pleasure to work with.’
Naz Shah MP
Baroness Sayeeda Warsi
Palestinian Return Centre and its Chairman, Majed al-Zeer
Sheikh Rached Ghannouchi
Shehbaz Sharif, President of the PML-N party
Al Jazeera Media Network
Sand Van Roy
Dr Elly Hanson
Kate & Gerry McCann
The Commonwealth Secretary-General Baroness Scotland
Middle East Eye
Harbottle & Lewis LLP's strong reputation in defamation and privacy work is reflected in its impressive roster of clients, which includes members of the Royal Family, UHNWI, company executives and high profile entertainment, media and sports personalities. The team also advises on breach of confidence, data protection and information law, with the majority of its work being preventative. Practice heads Gerrard Tyrrell and John Kelly collectively have over 60 years' experience in the the field and are supported by a wider team of associates, including Louise Prince who advises corporate clients on various reputational issues and Amy Bradbury, a specialist in data protection rights.
Gerrard Tyrrell; John Kelly
Other key lawyers:
Louise Prince; Amy Bradbury
‘I have worked very closely with the Harbottle & Lewis reputation team for many years. They are first-rate. They are strategic, considered, and effective.’
‘Highly experienced team. John Kelly is outstanding.’
‘Discretion, sector expertise, speed and availability combined with sensitivity around the nature of and personalities involved in our business.’
‘Gerrard Tyrrell – always available to help with advice and background context when issues erupted.’
All of the most senior members of the Royal Family, including HM The Queen; TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall; TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum
Former First Lady of the United States Melania Trump
Sir Richard Branson
David and Victoria Beckham
Matthew Vaughn and Claudia Schiffer
Sir John Major
Pets at Home Limited
- Representing Roman Abramovich in his libel claim against Harper Collins over false claims made about him in the book ‘Putin’s People’.
- Advising Roman Abramovich, Chelsea Football Club, Lisa Armstrong and Robert Cooper in relation to reputational issues including obtaining prominent apologies and the payment of damages and costs in respect of the publication of unlawful claims by the media.
- Protecting private family matters for the family and children of a number of very high-profile individuals.
The sizeable team at RPC is the 'top defendant media practice in the country' according to one client, acting for clients across all media sectors, including national newspapers, broadcasters, book publishers and primary media liability insurers. The pre-eminent practice is regularly involved in high-profile litigation and has substantial expertise across the full spectrum of defamation, privacy and related matters. Keith Mathieson heads the practice and is widely recognised as a leading lawyer in this area, focusing on defending freedom of expression. Recently promoted partner Rupert Cowper-Coles is 'first class' and is involved in complex data dispute issues over online publication. Alex Wilson is also recommended, advising on pre- and post-publication issues.
Other key lawyers:
Rupert Cowper-Coles; Alex Wilson; Samantha Thompson
‘They are the top defendant media practice in the country, in my opinion, and have maintained that position. They deserve their top ranking in reputational management.’
‘Keith Mathieson is the best media/reputation management partner in London. Rupert Cowper-Coles is first class, very bright with top knowledge of the law in this field, and prepared to roll his sleeves up to get into the detail.’
‘Alex Wilson and Samantha Thompson – Very hard-working with great judgement.’
‘An excellent, hard-working, well-informed team with superb dedication to their clients’ cases. Very good use of e-disclosure platforms.’
‘The pre-eminent defendant-focused firm in the sector with an unparalleled breadth of knowledge and experience on all issues which typically arise. The go-to firm for media publishers.’
‘The stand-out partner is Keith Mathieson. He is the most capable and experienced media defence solicitor in this jurisdiction. He can advise on and litigate all aspects of the law in this area.’
‘Good defendant lawyers in reputation management are hard to find. RPC are still a class above in this field.’
Associated Newspapers Limited
Times Newspapers Limited
News Group Newspapers Limited
Reach plc (Mirror Group Newspapers)
True Vision Productions Limited
Campaign Against Antisemitism
Società Editoriale Il Fatto [publisher of national Italian newspaper Il Fatto Quotidien]
- Acting for the publisher of the Mail on Sunday and MailOnline in the litigation brought by the Duchess of Sussex following the publication of extracts of a letter she wrote her father shortly after her wedding to Prince Harry in 2018.
- Representing Bloomberg LP in respect of its appeal to the UK Supreme Court in Bloomberg LP v ZXC, listed to be heard at the end of 2021.
- Acting for MGN Limited in the high-profile civil claims brought against it and its publications (Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and The People) relating to voicemail interception and other unlawful information gathering.
Schillings is a 'first choice' law firm for clients engaging in reputation management and privacy litigation. As a large claimant outfit, the team acts for a wide-ranging client base that includes high-profile individuals, multinational corporates, global families, CEOs and celebrities. Practice head Jenny Afia has extensive expertise in privacy and libel claims and has handled several extremely high-profile cases in the public domain, supported by Joelle Rich. Rachel Atkins is 'strongly endorsed' by clients, with her practice focusing on helping family businesses and self-made entrepreneurs preserve their wealth, privacy and reputation. Other key practitioners are Magnus Boyd, who specialises in copyright and data protection; Rod Christie-Miller, a permanent adviser to families and governments in the Middle East; Ben Hobbs, whose practice covers all aspects of reputation management; and Gillian Duffy who handles complex multijurisdictional disputes.
Other key lawyers:
Rachel Atkins; Keith Schilling; Magnus Boyd; Rod Christie-Miller; Ben Hobbs; Gillian Duffy; Joelle Rich
‘Long a go-to firm for issues of privacy protection and reputation management, Schillings’ in-house cyber-security capabilities make it the first stop for those issues in the Internet era.’
‘I strongly endorse Rachel Atkins in London and Allan Dunlavy in NYC. Both are smart, responsive, creative and resourceful, often calmly putting their substantial experience and legal acumen to work for clients who come to them in crisis mode.’
‘Their expertise and recognition as a ‘heavyweight’ in reputational matters. Without doubt, they are taken seriously and taken note of.’
‘Rachel Atkins and Joelle Rich are fantastic – clever, level headed and reassuring.’
‘Rod Christie-Miller and Ben Hobbs are very professional and responsive.’
‘First rate reputation management practice. My first choice when needing assistance for a client. Always receive a stand-out service and clients are always very happy.’
‘There are few law firms where you get business and legal advice in an immediately understandable and helpful way. Shillings seems to do that time after time. No matter how complex the issue, they approach matters as a team and put the client first.’
‘ Magnus Boyd is exceptionally insightful, informed and the legal advice he provides is of the very highest quality.’
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex
Sir James Dyson and Lady Deirdre Dyson
Sir Elton John
John Christopher Depp II (a.k.a. Johnny Depp)
- Advised The Duchess of Sussex in her case against Associated Newspapers Limited after it published her private letter to her father without her knowledge or permission.
- Advised Sir James and Lady Deirdre Dyson in their claim against The Daily Mail and MailOnline in relation to an article alleging that Sir James and Lady Dyson had behaved oppressively towards a former employee (housekeeper) This allegation is false.
- Led Johnny Depp’s libel claim against Newsgroup Newspaper Limited, which has been described as the “libel trial of the 21st century”.
Simons Muirhead Burton is a market leader in defamation and reputation management matters for publishers and broadcasters. The team has a strong track record acting on behalf of defendants and are go-to advisers for UK and US-based NGOs, journalist bodies and trade unions. Highly regarded media lawyer Louis Charalambous, and Jeffrey Smele, a specialist in criminal law-related media issues, jointly head the practice and successfully represented The Sun in the widely reported libel claim brought by actor Johnny Depp. For contentious issues, head of dispute resolution Razi Mireskandari has over 30 years' experience in media litigation cases, whilst Martin Soames is noted for his litigation and clearance work in publishing disputes, acting for major national and international publishers. Stephen Shotnes is 'fantastic', with all-round expertise including in data protection law.
Louis Charalambous; Jeffrey Smele
Other key lawyers:
Razi Mireskandari; Martin Soames; Stephen Shotnes; Gordon Clough
‘They know the market and have a team of effective litigators. They are pragmatic and will not encourage clients down paths that waste money.’
‘Highly recommend the media disputes team at Simons Muirhead. Consistently do a fantastic job on every matter.’
‘Louis Charalambous is one the most highly regarded media lawyers. Hugely experienced and a fighter for his clients.’
‘Jeff Smele has grown in stature since becoming a partner. Always thoughtful, with good judgement and attention to detail, as well as being a delight to work with – he goes from strength to strength. A future Titan.’
‘Stephen Shotnes – a highly experienced litigator; one of the best (if not the best) tacticians in the game. No spot is too tight for Stephen to be able to find a way (or ways) out of it.’
‘Excellent lawyers who offer swift advice which is uncommonly clear, helpful, and insightful. Have a very strong understanding of journalism and its goals.’
‘Martin Soames and Gordon Clough offer exceptionally clear, constructive and timely advice. What is more, they seem to genuinely enjoy finding a way through challenging media law issues and share journalists’ passion for a good story.’
News Group Newspapers Limited (‘NGN’) (as publisher of The Sun)
Reach plc, formerly MGN Limited (as publisher of the Mirror)
The Bureau Of Investigative Journalism
Penguin Random House
Simon & Schuster
The London Review of Books
Situation Publishing Limited, its UK editor and an employed journalist
- Defended NGN (and its journalist) in an extremely high-profile libel claim brought by Johnny Depp regarding an article in The Sun.
- Defending Reach plc, formerly Trinity Mirror North West & North Wales Limited on a case brought by a private company over an article in one of their publications.
- Advising Turquoise Television on pre-transmission clearance of their ITV documentary, ‘When Boris Met Jennifer’, focusing on the relationship between Jennifer Arcuri and Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.
Addleshaw Goddard provides a comprehensive reputation and information protection service to its international client base, including household name companies in the retail and consumer, travel and leisure space. The team also acts for high net-worth owner-managers and family offices, advising across an array of issues including data protection and privacy claims, misuse of information, freedom of information requests and 'right to be forgotten' claims. Practice head David Engel is a 'doyen of the reputation management field' and is supported by a wider team which includes associate Neil O’Sullivan who regularly advises on the removal of content from online platforms. Abigail Healey and Daniel Bishop left the firm in February and April 2021 respectively, with Bishop joining Osborne Clarke LLP.
Other key lawyers:
‘David Engel is extremely knowledgeable about how to manage sensitive situations to ensure that legal options are fully understood, whilst also carefully considering the impact they may have on the overall PR management.’
‘One of the very few firms that is able to offer a bespoke, high-quality reputation management service for claimants within a large, well-resourced city firm. As a result, they can handle cases of any scale and complexity with ease.’
‘David Engel is a doyen of the reputation management field, who is able to offer clients superb legal and tactical insight.’
‘They know the media landscape and the players very well, making you feel as though they are guiding you through what is, for them, familiar territory.’
‘We receive excellent service from the AG team in this field. The nature of related events requires a timely, effective response which we routinely receive; this, along with genuinely impactful international reach, adds up to great customer service and confidence that we have exceptional support in this area of our operation.’
Thomson Heath houses an ‘extremely experienced media team’ that is involved in high-profile libel and privacy actions, most notably including the phone hacking group litigation. The practice continues to grow, expanding into online reputation and privacy matters, in addition to data protection and data breaches. Practice leadership is split between Mark Thomson and James Heath. Atkins is the go-to practitioner for leading politicians, with extensive experience dealing with complex political situations; Thomson is an ‘elder statesman among media lawyers’, and has been involved in several leading privacy cases over the past 20 years; while Heath advises across the full spectrum of reputation management issues, including defamation, harassment and pre- and post-publication issues. Emily Jenkins and Yinka McKay Wood continue to provide strong support in the phone hacking litigation, whilst Moritz Schirmeister regularly engages in pre-publication work for corporate and individual clients.
Mark Thomson; James Heath
Other key lawyers:
Emily Jenkins; Yinka McKay Wood; Moritz Schirmeister
‘Excellent awareness of the legal landscape of reputation management, and interaction with statutory regimes and challenges.’
‘An extremely experienced media team with a number of strong lawyers. They get stuck into the detail of the case.’
‘Mark Thomson is an elder statesman among media lawyers. He has immense knowledge and experience and has been involved in many of the most important, path-breaking cases over three decades.’
‘James Heath – extremely clever and hard-working, James really puts the time in to secure his clients the best possible result.’
The Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP
Mirror Newspapers Hacking Litigation
Various Phone Hacking Claims
Government Communications Office, State of Qatar
Dr Ngozi Okonjo Tweala
Sir Lynton Crosby/C|T Group
HRH Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan
The Jockey Club
The Sephardi Community
Dental Centre Turkey
The Reverend Efrayim Goldstein
- Acting for Karen Thomas-Bland in securing the removal of a defamatory article published by the Sunday Times.
- Assisting the Rt. Honourable Boris Johnson MP with various media matters over the past 18 months, most notably, involved with the IOPC’s Operation Lansdowne review.
- Representing Magnus Granath, a Norwegian national who is being sued in the High Court by the well-known Bitcoin entrepreneur Dr Craig Wright.
CMS has a strong track record in handling issues concerning media and information law, with particular strengths in privacy and data protection disputes. The team acts for a range of clients, from high-profile individuals and household-name media companies to clients in the energy, utilities and financial sectors. Practice head Geraldine Proudler has considerable experience in a variety of reputational challenges. Dan Tench is the firm's key contact for data protection issues and regularly acts on defamation and breach of confidence matters, whilst Tamsin Blow's practice focuses on providing reputation management, data incident and crisis management to corporate clients.
Other key lawyers:
Dan Tench; Tamsin Blow
Mikhail Fridman, Petr Aven and German Khan (ultimate beneficial owners of Alfa Group and LetterOne) (v Orbis Business Intelligence)
Sports Information Services Ltd
Chubb and its clients
Fraser Robinson (former Uber executive)
- Acted for claimants, Mikhail Fridman, Petr Aven and German Khan in relation to their successful Data Protection Act (‘DPA’) claim against Orbis Business Intelligence.
- Acting for the defendant, Sports Information Services Limited (“SIS”), in a complex case relating to the creation and provision of horseracing betting odds and other data relating to races at the racecourses of the Second Claimant, Arena Leisure Limited.
- Acting on behalf of Mikhail Fridman and Petr Aven in respect of proceedings brought against HarperCollins Publishers in respect their publication of allegations in the book ‘Putin’s People: How the KGB Took Back Russia and Then Took On the West’ by Catherine Belton.
Farrer & Co's reputation management team advises on a wide range of defamation, privacy and harassment matters. Not only does the team deal with immediate crises, but it is also adept at protecting client's long-term reputational needs. The group has considerable experience handling sensitive issues and has a strong practice for charities, sporting bodies, schools, and arts and heritage organisations. Julian Pike heads the department and has a wide-ranging practice that includes crisis planning and cyber-protection. Pike is supported by strong juniors within the team with stand-out individuals including Alicia Mendonca-Richards , who specialises in online harassment and social media takedowns, and the 'excellent' Tom Rudkin , who advises on all aspects of reputation management and has been involved in a number of 'right to be forgotten' cases.
Other key lawyers:
Tom Rudkin; Alicia Mendonça-Richards; Athalie Matthews
‘Depth of expertise across all aspects of private client law paired with responsive, pragmatic, and modern lawyers. They care deeply about client service, blending high levels of client care with transparent, efficient delivery of work.’
‘Julian Pike – hugely experienced. Unlikely to find an issue he hasn’t encountered before. Very reassuring to clients.’
‘Tom Rudkin is a standout lawyer at the firm. He blends deep technical knowledge with highly pragmatic advice. He has an impressive ability to synthesise a complicated case quickly and plot the most direct route to a resolution. He’s just excellent in this field.’
‘Personal, willing to be creative, collaborative with other advisers, genuine and empathetic people.’
‘Julian Pike and Tom Rudkin are standout. They have an ability to make you feel one of the team and offer first-class advice without corporate arrogance.’
The Sackler Family
The England and Wales Cricket Board
BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts)
- Provided reputation management advice to the Sackler Family during coverage of the Purdue Pharma opioid scandal.
- Represented Martin Glenn, former CEO of the FA, in successful defamation claim against Craig Kline, resulting in £100,000 in damages.
- Defended the BMJ in libel proceedings brought by a doctor, Joseph Onwude.
Mishcon de Reya LLP's reputation protection and crisis management team works alongside other departments within the firm to provide a full-service offering for clients facing reputational challenges. This firm advises both claimants and defendants on the full spectrum of issues, from crisis management to litigation, and strategic planning to longer-term consultancy work. Practice head Emma Woollcott is an expert in defamation and is particularly adept at dealing with crisis situations and hostile campaigns. Woollcott is supported by a wider team that includes the 'simply outstanding' Alexandra Whiston-Dew who handles sensitive, high-stakes situations for international and UK-based individuals as well as pro bono work, and James Libson, who has a substantial litigation and advisory practice and is a 'force to be reckoned with' according to clients.
Other key lawyers:
James Libson; Alexandra Whiston-Dew
‘The team is highly experienced in the defamation/privacy field, and has been for decades. They have a mixed claimant and defendant practice, with the emphasis on claimants.’
‘They ensure diversity in terms of gender, skin and geographic origin. London is a melting pot. So is Mishcon de Reya. They take gender representation to some new levels. I have worked with 5 Mishcon partners in the past years and 3 of them are female. Moreover, out of 16 professionals with whom I have worked only 4 were male.’
‘The team I am working with is very complete regarding the client’s needs. The role of each individual in the team is clear and well determined. They are focused on the client’s best interest. On strategic analysis, they listen to each law firm involved in a complex international fight and deliver substantive and final solutions.’
‘Emma Woolcott is a mover and shaker in the media law field, is very experienced in reputation management, and has good connections within the industry. Michael Frost is a pleasure to work with. They are all very efficient and have great client handling skills.’
‘They go above and beyond to help the client. Alexandra Whiston-Dew is simply outstanding.’
‘They are perfectly fitted in terms of technology and manpower to work on complex contentious matters where huge amounts are at stake.’
‘James Libson is a force to be reckoned with. Handles big ticket cases with panache.’
‘The reputation management team works well together at all levels from partner to associate. The team has a wide range of experience in relation to subject-matter and a tough (though not excessively tough) approach to correspondence and litigation. In a nutshell they are well worth the money.’
Artist and writer Luke Turner,
S&P Global Inc
Alphaco and EuroEco Fuels (Poland) Limited
- Acting for Luke Turner, the defendant, in a high-profile claim that centres on the topical and important issue of the boundaries of free speech, particularly in the context of social media.
- Acted for S&P Global Inc. in successfully defending an application for an interim injunction brought by Fortescue Metals Group (“FMG”).
- Advising Alphaco and EuroEco Fuels (Poland) Limited on a precedent-setting case on jurisdiction in defamation claims and the ‘mosaic principle’.
Payne Hicks Beach LLP is 'one of the top firms' for media disputes and acts for a wide-ranging client base, spanning HNW and corporate clients, writers and publishers, global brands and financial institutions. The reputation management team has secured numerous court successes and is heavily involved in the voicemail interception litigation. Practice leadership is split between Dominic Crossley, Hanna Basha and Lucas Moore. Crossley and Basha are media law specialists whose skills are complemented by the wider team, including Moore, who is involved in ongoing High Court defamation proceedings and Andrew Willan who is developing his practice in online publication and data protection. In March 2021, the team strengthened its offering through the hire of litigator Georgina Bayley from Withers LLP.
Dominic Crossley; Hanna Basha; Lucas Moore
Other key lawyers:
Andrew Willan; Nick Grant; Georgina Bayley
‘Payne Hicks Beach has a very strong team that is very experienced in assisting high-profile individuals with media disputes. One of the top firms in this area, which delivers excellent results for an impressive client list.’
‘Excellent team with high quality and experienced reputation management litigators.’
‘The team we work with at the practice is always on hand to help with sound advice. The invoices we receive are always very detailed, with considerations given to longstanding clients. They make us feel very well looked after.’
‘Dominic Crossley – a brilliant lawyer who is highly experienced and respected in this field.’
‘Andrew Willan – excellent, efficient and very personable.’
‘Hanna Basha – One of the leading and most experienced litigators in this field, with excellent clients and great results.’
‘Nick Grant – a leading lawyer who is great with clients, very thorough and a calming influence on any case.’
The reputation management team at Simkins LLP litigates when necessary but largely focuses on pre-publication or pre-broadcast work, with particular strengths in obtaining takedowns, retractions, apologies and damages on behalf of claimants. Led by Gideon Benaim, who clients call ‘a truly valued adviser’, the team acts in crisis situations and advises on a wide range of defamation, privacy, harassment and data protection issues. Jon Oakley and Tom Iverson are other key practitioners, with Iverson skilled at obtaining injunctions, as well as handling multijurisdictional issues. Associates Jessica Welch and Thomas Moore provide strong support to the team.
Other key lawyers:
Tom Iverson; Jon Oakley; Jessica Welch; Thomas Moore
‘The people that one turns to in times of crisis have to be compassionate as well as capable and the Simkins team are just that.’
‘Vast knowledge and experience of very difficult cases and high profile ones.’
‘Gideon Benaim and Jon Oakley are a great team, always super quick response and ready to get on board at a moment’s notice.’
‘Gideon Benaim has provided incisive and wise counsel to us for a number of years, he thinks beyond black letter law, bringing real work common sense and pragmatism to what are frequently highly charged matters. His reputation may precede him but he remains humble and friendly. He is truly a valued adviser.’
Sir Cliff Richard
- Represented Sir Cliff in his ground-breaking privacy and data protection case against the BBC and South Yorkshire Police.
Wiggin LLP's defamation and reputation management practice is a strong defendant outfit, best known for representing several major UK publishers. The team has considerable expertise in pre-publication advice and defending clients from applications for injunctions, in addition to defamation, privacy and data protection claims. Practice head Caroline Kean has 'unrivalled knowledge', having worked on a number of key libel and privacy claims throughout her career. The team has a global reach, with many of Kean's clients based abroad, including a significant number in the US. Matthew Dando is 'excellent' and advises clients across the media, tech and sports industries. In July 2020, the team strengthened its offering through the hire of Julian Darrall from Associated Newspapers, where he was deputy head of editorial legal services.
Other key lawyers:
Matthew Dando; Julian Darrall; Elizabeth Wiggin
‘The defamation/privacy team is first class, led by Caroline Kean, and has a slate of defendant/insurer clients in publishing and newspapers in particular.’
‘Caroline Kean is one of the most experienced practitioners in the field, with an unrivalled knowledge of the law in defamation/privacy and of how the publishing sector operates.’
‘Matt Dando is an excellent younger partner who has rapidly become popular with media clients, especially Associated Newspapers, no doubt for his cool head and measured judgement.’
‘Julian Darrell has moved from a very senior role at Associated Newspapers (having previously been at RPC) and brings an unparalleled level of experience and judgement from both private practice and from working in-house.’
‘The team at Wiggin is very strong – in-depth technical knowledge and sound legal advice delivered in a client-friendly manner; consistent top-quality service.’
‘Very much a growing force at the top of the reputation management field – particularly from the perspective of defendant publishers, who very much value the quality and focus which the media team is able to bring to bear to any case.’
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism
PinkNews Media Group Ltd
Associated Newspapers Limited
News Group Newspapers (The Sun)
News UK (including Dow Jones)
The Wylie Agency
Ocean Media Group
Penguin Random House
Audible (an Amazon company)
Argus Media Limited
Harriman House Ltd
Cambridge University Press
- Representing Associated Newspapers in a defamation claim brought by the current Leader of the Opposition in Pakistan, and brother of the former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Shahbaz Sharif.
- Acting on behalf of News Group Newspapers in a high-profile privacy claim brought by the singer, Adele, following the publication of articles published in the Sun newspaper and website.
- Defending a defamation claim brought by prominent feminist Julie Bindel, alleging that she was identified and defamed in an article in Pink News, the renowned LGBT+ online newspaper, on the relationship between the radical feminist and transgender communities.
The global media practice at Withers LLP houses an 'extremely strong' reputation management team. It provides advice on the full range of privacy, defamation, harassment and data protection issues to an array of clients, including high profile individuals, businesses and charities. Amber Melville-Brown operates out of the New York office and is dual qualified in the UK and the US, placing the firm in a unique position to advise on cross-border matters. The 'simply brilliant' Jo Sanders heads up the London office and is an expert in contentious data protection issues. Carving out a niche in the crossover of reputation and tax, Andrew Fremlin-Key is also recommended for his expertise in phone hacking and right to be forgotten claims.
Amber Melville-Brown; Jo Sanders
Other key lawyers:
‘Global practice with an extremely strong reputation management team – particularly adept at dealing with HNW individuals. No one else I would rather have at my side in a media crisis!’
‘Withers is one of the only firms I’ve dealt with that has a dedicated practice to reputation management. The Withers team truly understands how to handle reputation management and work with news media to make sure that news coverage of its clients is as fair as possible.’
‘An excellent team across all aspects of reputation management, privacy and data protection.’
‘Being qualified in England and the US, Amber Melville Brown brings a unique skillset to advise on reputation matters cross-borders.’
‘Fantastic team – very experienced and responsive. Able to respond quickly and efficiently. Reassuring to clients, whether large corporates or high profile individuals.’
‘Jo Sanders is simply brilliant. Knowledgeable, calm and reassuring. A clear leader in her field of expertise.’
‘ Andrew Fremlin-Key has had an immensely impressive grip on the details of this complex and technical cross-border financial matter, which has allowed us to work much more effectively with him.’
Several senior executives and professionals from banking, private equity and law (barristers and solicitors)
Several Actors and Writers
Founders of leading health and elderly care business
Major UK provider of health care staff
- Acting for Raffaele Mincione, the founder of a private equity firm, in High Court libel claims against Italian newspapers published in England relating to the high-profile dispute with the Vatican over a London property investment.
- Representing a politically exposed person and family members to defend against an application for forfeiture orders over multiple bank accounts lodged by the NCA, based on allegations published online.
Boutique media law firm ACK Media Law LLP provides ongoing advice in defamation and reputation management matters to a spectrum of publishers, producers, broadcasters and individuals. The group is particularly strong in advising on pre-publication queries and legal clearance issues, as well as post-publication complaints that range from libel and privacy to contempt of court matters and complaints to the Independent Press Standards Organisation. Media litigators Sue Charles and Susan Aslan jointly lead the practice, with Charles providing specialist content advice and Aslan advising on reputation and crisis management issues.
Sue Charles; Susan Aslan
Other key lawyers:
‘Boutique specialist practice which is able to offer a very personal service to clients in the media field. Lots of experience to draw upon from both sides of the claimant and defendant sectors.’
‘Susan Aslan is an enormously experienced and astute operator who has a very good feel for a case’s strengths and weaknesses.
‘Vicky Edwards is committed and thorough and is great with clients.’
‘Sue Charles is brilliant. Extremely experienced and totally trusted her advice and is very pleasant to deal with.’
Associated Newspapers Limited
Baby Cow Films Limited
Channel Four Television
DVV Media Group
E.L. James/Fifty Shades Limited
New Year Film Limited
Reed Business Information Limited
- Providing ongoing IP advice to E.L James/Fifty Shades Limited relating to Fifty Shades Trilogy and subsequent E.L James publications.
- Providing ongoing advice to Associated Newspapers Limited on various claims including defamation, Data Protection and Copyright.
- Providing ongoing advice to New Scientist in relation to pre and post publication of articles.
Archerfield Partners LLP
The reputation management team at Archerfield Partners LLP 'think innovatively and work tenaciously to deliver results'. Over the years, the team has acted for a range of claimants, including celebrities, high net worth individuals and book publishers, in addition to more recent instructions from its growing corporate client base. Led by Mark Bateman, the department has extensive experience in all aspects of reputation management; covering defamation, privacy and data protection issues. Paul Chamberlain and Matthew Dowd are 'real experts in their field', with Chamberlain focusing on issues relating to the online distribution of content and Dowd acting for UHNW individuals on a range of reputation matters.
Other key lawyers:
Paul Chamberlain; Matthew Dowd; Kevin Bays
‘Strong team, deep knowledge, responsive expertise in a niche area.’
‘In reputation management, Archerfield think innovatively and work tenaciously to deliver results for very demanding clients with challenging legal problems.’
‘Paul Chamberlain and Matthew Dowd are real experts in their field with a combined wealth of experience. They are strategic and direct in their approach.’
‘Kevin Bays has enormous experience – seen it all, done it all – he remains engaged in the game, bringing insights and experience (going beyond the everyday handling of litigation). Good in a fight, good in a (potential) deal situation.’
‘Mark Bateman has a loyal and enthusiastic following. He has nous and energy; he is tenacious in his support for clients; huge fun to deal with (whether in a winning or not-so-winning situation); supportive and sound.’
PJSC Rosneft Petroleum
GEDI Grupppo Editoriale S.P.A
Pan Macmillan Books
Bayleaf Facilities Limited
- Advising Russian Oil Company PJSC Rosneft Petroleum in relation to claims against Reuters
- Representing GEDI Gruppo Editoriale SPA, publisher of Italian national daily newspaper “la Repubblica” and “L’Espresso” magazine, in relation to libel claims brought by prominent Italian businessmen in the High Court.
- Advising West Bromwich Albion and former England football manager Sam Allardyce in relation to claims against The Athletic.
Bates Wells advises a wide range of clients, including newspaper publishers, charities, politicians, student unions, foreign royalty and faith-based broadcasters. The group continues to grow its expertise in the area of defamation via social media, in addition to its existing expertise in harassment and data protection advice. Rupert Earle heads the practice and is supported by litigator Alex de Jongh who advises campaigning groups on the risks of defamation in their materials.
Other key lawyers:
Alex de Jongh
Times Newspapers Limited
- Representing Times Newspapers on the successful resolution of its European Court of Human Rights case on whether success fees should be recoverable from publishers in defamation and privacy cases.
Bindmans LLP's reputation management team offers a cross-departmental service that draws from the firm's expertise in media, crime, employment and family law. The team handles specific reputational issues such as defamation and privacy and most notably, works on the recovery of reputation following instances of wrongful arrest and prosecution in conjunction with its Police Actions department. Led by Tamsin Allen, the team also specialises in cases involving allegations of sexual harassment. The arrival of data privacy and digital rights expert Monika Sobiecki, who joined the firm in June 2021 from Dentons, has further strengthened the group's offering.
Other key lawyers:
Kate Goold; Monika Sobiecki; Daniel Shaw
‘The team is highly skilled and experienced in all forms of reputation management. I frequently recommend Bindmans to those seeking legal advice in this area.’
‘Tamsin Allen, the head of the group, is excellent at advising on the appropriate steps to best protect reputations, be it issuing a claim or engaging with the newspaper informally. She has a fantastic manner with clients.’
‘The Bindmans media law team excels across all areas of media and information law. The team also has expertise in public/administrative law and human/rights and civil liberties. I regard that as a considerable asset given that there are often overlaps between these practice areas and an increasing number of media law cases concern the actions of public authorities.’
‘I regard Daniel Shaw as a rising star in this field – he is knowledgeable, thorough and highly responsive.’
Mohammed Salman Butt
Solidarity Not Silence Group (Ren Aldridge, Nadia Javed,’CNF’)
PW – employee of famous Rock star
Frank Bennett, Honor Robson, Barbara Shaw and others
- Acting for Alaedeen Sicri in a privacy claim against Associated Newspapers Limited in respect of a decision to publish his name and personal details as a person arrested in connection with the Manchester bombing in May 2017. He was released without charge.
- Acting for Carole Cadwalladr, an investigative journalist and features writer with the Guardian/The Observer, who is defending a libel claim brought by Arron Banks, founder to Leave.EU.
- Acting for Dr Salman Butt in libel proceedings brought against the Home Office following the publication of a press release, published on www.gov.uk on 17 September 2015 in which serious allegations were made in respect of Dr Butt.
Brett Wilson LLP is known for its expertise in the field of online defamation, harassment and privacy law, with the team receiving regular instructions from celebrities and professionals in 'right to be forgotten' work. Practice head Iain Wilson is 'superb' and acts for a wide-ranging client base that includes politicians, HNWIs, corporates and local government. The firm has traditionally handled claimant work but is taking on more defendant cases in court. On the litigation side, Max Campbell and Elisabeth Mason are also recommended, with Campbell being a 'standout among solicitors in this area'.
Other key lawyers:
Max Campbell; Elisabeth Mason
‘Brett Wilson is a very effective and good value firm for media litigation, which punches far above its weight. The firm has an excellent grasp of the media law landscape, both in terms of the developing law, and of the sometimes difficult technical issues which arise in claims based on publications online.’
‘Max Campbell has brilliant judgement and stands out among solicitors in this area for his strategic approach.’
‘Iain Wilson is superb. He understands the basics but also has an in-depth knowledge that allows him to use creative and novel approaches to legal problems which is very much to his client’s benefit.’
‘Attention to detail with a very high quality of service. Compassionate and articulate.’
‘Very professional and cost-effective litigators.’
‘A small and specialist firm that is able to concentrate on the facts and on strategy to the client’s best advantage. The pool of knowledge of the law on publication and communications issues at the firm is unparalleled among solicitors in this area, supplemented by litigation and criminal expertise.’
‘A boutique practice with quality practitioners throughout. Very experienced litigators who are constantly working at the cutting edge and regularly in court. Clients should use Brett Wilson if they want a first-class streamlined service with quality results.’
‘Elisabeth Mason is a highly skilled and experienced litigator with great client handling. She is impressive, extremely hardworking and great with clients, and one of the leading associates in this area.’
Mehmet Fatih Baltaci
- Advising Mehmet Baltaci, HNWI in the energy sector on an ongoing High Court libel/data protection claim against Refinitiv, a global provider of financial market data and infrastructure, arising from statements published concerning Baltaci on its World-Check compliance database.
- Advising Roger Ver in defending a High Court libel claim brought by one coin Bitcoin billionaire over another, over allegations of fraud.
- Advising a claimant in High Court privacy proceedings brought concerning the malicious publication of private information on Facebook by an estranged family member.
Alex Keenlyside leads 'a stellar team of exceptionally strong lawyers' and has helped Bristows LLP rise through the media ranks since joining in December 2019 from Pinsent Masons LLP . The firm acts for major media and technology clients in defamation, data protection and misuse of private information claims. The team continues to grow, recruiting three more associates from Pinsents, most notably Victoria Baron , who has extensive experience working on high-profile cases for the likes of Google. Hannah Crowther and of counsel Rob Graham provide strong support to the team.
Other key lawyers:
Rob Graham; Hannah Crowther; Victoria Baron
‘They are bright, practical and creative lawyers, who really understand the industry, in particular on the data protection side. The team are collaborative and a real pleasure to work with. No other firm in media/reputation management/data protection has such strength in depth.’
‘The team has a unique offering in the media law field. They are specialists in defamation/privacy and data protection and also heavyweights in Intellectual Property. This is an especially attractive offer to clients in the internet age when claims arising from acts online can encompass several diverse causes of action.’
‘Strong scientific/technical knowledge base and experience.’
‘Alex Keenlyside has built a stellar team of exceptionally strong lawyers around him, really taking Bristows to the very top of this field.’
ITV subsidiary, Twofour Broadcast
British Psychological Society
- Defending British Airways following the ICO’s decision to issue a Notice of Intent to fine BA more than £183m for a widely-reported cyber-attack on its network in 2018.
- Acted on behalf of Google in two highly complex claims brought by a billionaire, Ali Ansari, in separate divisions of the High Court.
- Defended Costco in claims brought by two individuals for breach of the GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018, misuse of private information and breach of confidence.
The reputation management and privacy team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP has considerable experience in both claimant and defendant work. Led by Duncan Lamont, the practice acts for a diverse client base that includes international corporations and high net-worth individuals. It is also noted for having strong links to the commercial TV sector, acting for major clients like ITV News and Channel 4 News. In December 2020, senior associate Claire Greaney left the firm to join Schillings.
Other key lawyers:
‘Charles Russell Speechlys are reliable, swift to respond, incredibly reassuring throughout any proceedings, and extremely knowledgeable.’
‘The team has a good understanding of how we, as the client, operate.’
‘Duncan Lamont is an expert in the field of reputation management and has a fine judgement of where the opposing party has made a mistake.’
‘I have worked with several departments within the firm and the common thread is outstanding service to the client. Everyone’s attitude is positive and respectful. No matter how dumb my questions are they get treated with a professional and respectful approach.’
‘ Duncan Lamont is incredibly approachable and is always willing to make himself available at short notice – which is really important when dealing with fast-moving media issues. His advice is thoughtful and pragmatic.’
Channel 4 News
Antony Cotton (Dunn)
Samantha Womack (nee Janus)
- Advising Martin Clunes, Caroline Quentin, Samantha Womack, Mark Womack, Antony Cotton and other celebrities in the on-going voicemail interception litigation against News Group Newspapers (News of the World and The Sun) and MGN Limited (The Mirror, The Sunday Mirror, The People), securing millions of pounds in damages for our clients.
- Providing ITV News with pre-publication advice concerning compliance, libel, privacy and general commercial litigation.
- Acted for a high profile individual concerning the threatened publication of damaging allegations about them and negating approaches made by media outlets to successfully prevent publication.
Clintons advises on the full range of privacy and reputation management issues and is best known for its continued involvement in the phone-hacking litigation against News Group Newspapers Ltd and MGN Ltd. Led by Roddy Chisholm Batten, the team acts for HNWIs, actors, TV and sports personalities and musicians, as well as corporate entities. Caroline Hrabi and Hayley Dilks are heavily involved in the firm's phone-hacking practice, with Dilks also growing her practice in the removal of offending content from online platforms.
Roddy Chisholm Batten
Other key lawyers:
Caroline Hrabi; Hayley Dilks
‘Roddy Chisholm-Batten is a star partner in this area. An expert client-handler, shrewd litigator and great to work with. Leading lawyer in the News Group and Mirror phone hacking litigation.’
‘What makes this team really stand out in my mind is the empathy, warmth and humanity that they bring to bear. They were sensitive and responsive and not only did that lead to me feeling reassured but also led to a better outcome in the long run. I feel that their approach led to a practical advantage as well as an improved experience for the client.’
‘Responsive, quick to act and very client-friendly.’
‘From the moment I contacted Clintons I was met with professionalism, sensitivity and a wealth of knowledge.’
HRH The Duke of Sussex
- Acting for HRH The Duke of Sussex on nine separate claims for misuse of private information in the MTVIL against News Group Newspapers Limited in relation to the unlawful interception of mobile telephone voicemails and the blagging of confidential information by the NOTW and The Sun.
- Acting for HRH The Duke of Sussex on seven separate claims for misuse of private information in the MNHL against MGN Limited in relation to the unlawful interception of mobile telephone voicemails and the blagging of confidential information by the Mirror, Sunday Mirror and The People.
Providing 'clear, concise' advice on privacy and libel rights claims, Hamlins LLP represents a range of claimants, from musicians and actors/actresses to prominent politicians and public figures. Led by Christopher Hutchings, the team has considerable expertise in pre-publication review and takedowns relating to 'fly-on-the-wall' documentaries, an area in which newly promoted partner, Alex Cochrane, is strong. The team is also noted for its involvement in the phone-hacking litigation, where media expert Callum Galbraith acted as lead solicitor against News Group Newspapers.
Other key lawyers:
Callum Galbraith; Alex Cochrane; Ellen Gallagher; Andrew Stephenson
‘Chris Hutchings and his team provide clear, concise advice often in complex areas. They explain everything with clarity, warmth and total trust.’
‘Exceptional and high-quality legal team. They work very well together, particularly as a result of being the lead solicitors in the NGN phone-hacking litigation and so have a very collaborative approach.’
‘Callum Galbraith is outstanding. Highly organised and very switched on. Excellent at strategy.’
‘I believe this practice has a very client-friendly approach. Not only do they know dealing with the press at a level far superior to anyone else but they actually understand and respect the damage it does.’
”I really struggled to find a practice that understood what we wanted to do until I found Hamlins LLP. Chris Hutchings and his team were fantastic from the very first phone call, which gave me enormous confidence in their abilities. That confidence was well-founded and proven when we won our case in a very straightforward manner.’
Ceva Sante Animale
Various claimants v. MGN Ltd
Patsy Kensit & Fabio Pannuti
Keith Wain & Julie Kelly v. Channel 5 Broadcasting
Lead Solicitor in the litigation against News Group Newspapers (NGN)
Gary Lucy, Sarah Vincent, Rebecca Loos, Patrick Walden & Noel Fielding
The Jewish Chronicle
Justin Hawkins (The Darkness)
- Acted on behalf of Lord Sheikh in his claim against Associated Newspapers Limited, concerning a 2018 article, which the Court found was highly defamatory. Associated Newspapers agreed to pay substantial damages to Lord Sheikh and to publicly apologise (which was widely reported).
- Represented Ceva Sante Animale, the French-owned global veterinary health company, in protecting its corporate reputation in the face of investigative journalist approaches, in order to prevent any misleading and harmful references from being published.
- Hamlins acts as the Lead Solicitor representing claimants in the high-profile phone hacking litigation against News Group Newspapers Limited. Claimants range from well-known celebrities to private individuals who have been caught up in the litigation by their association with the targets of journalists working for The Sun and the News of the World. Instructed in 62 claims in Tranche 4 of the litigation (which commenced in April 2019), with 5 trial cases and total damages secured on behalf of clients totalling nearly £5m.
The media litigation team at Howard Kennedy LLP acts for both corporates and individuals in defamation and privacy matters, with particular expertise in the takedown of imposter accounts and the publication of confidential information on social media. Growing areas of focus for the firm are stolen images of private individuals and data protection cases. Mark Stephens CBE oversees the practice and regularly assists directors and owners of corporations, whilst Elizabeth Morley, who was promoted to partner in May 2020, has a defendant-oriented practice, advising media companies and organisations.
Mark Stephens CBE
Other key lawyers:
‘They attract a great deal of interesting work as a result of Mark Stephens’ very high-profile in the media.’
‘Howard Kennedy have a stellar team when it comes to media and technology. They have a wide range of clients, from celebrity sportsmen to large media organisations. They are very smooth operators: they manage their clients’ expectations and journey through the litigation expertly, and bring vast experience (in the person of Mark Stephens) to every case. As well as being first rate lawyers, they are also a pleasure to work with.’
‘Mark Stephens is engaging, friendly and has an excellent and committed attitude to clients. As does Liz Morley. She is very easy to work with.’
‘Mark Stephens is a standout partner who combines a deep knowledge of the law with expert tactical judgement and an authority borne of years of experience at the sharp end of litigation.’
‘Elizabeth Morley is excellent, industrious and unflappable. She is a pleasure to work with and adds real value to any team.’
Zelda Perkins (former personal assistant of Harvey Weinstein)
- Advised Zelda Perkins in relation to allegations made against Harvey Weinstein.
- Advising and representing in respect of a defamation claim against 5 former premier league footballers.
The Kingsley Napley LLP reputation and media team 'go the extra mile' for clients, concentrating on high-profile individuals and corporations. The practice has a particularly strong sports, entertainment and political focus, and is a top choice firm for Formula One drivers and premiership footballers in times of crisis. Practice head Charlotte Harris is 'simply first class', with experience in privacy injunctions, defamation and harassment. In addition to acting for claimants, Helen Morris also acts for defendants; Morris specialises in data protection law and has expertise in libel and privacy litigation.
Other key lawyers:
Helen Morris; Rosa Malley; Sian Akerman
‘A superb team with considerable depth and experience, and a range of skills. They go the extra mile, making themselves available to clients around the clock and at short notice.’
‘The Kingsley Napley Reputation and Media team has outstanding knowledge and experience across all areas of media, data protection and privacy law. They excel in dealing with complex matters at short notice and on an urgent basis.’
‘Kingsley Napley are at the top of their game with Charlotte Harris as a senior partner in charge of the reputation management team. An outstanding individual in her sector, she provides top-level advice to her high-profile clients and is available 24 hours, whether it is a breaking Sunday story that needs a legal letter or an injunction application. She is simply first class.’
‘The team has an excellent combination of highly experienced partners (including Helen Morris and Charlotte Harris) and dynamic associates (including Rosa Malley and Sian Akerman). In my experience they are highly responsive and efficient, and they excel in attending to the needs of their clients.’
‘Sue Thackeray is highly efficient and extremely effective when it comes to advising on reputation management issues. She thinks through all the options to ensure that the best steps are taken for the client.’
‘I have largely worked with Helen Morris. I have found her to be an incredibly safe pair of hands in a crisis, very knowledgeable about the industry and her practice and a pragmatic advisor. ‘
- Representing Rebekah Vardy, wife of the footballer Jamie Vardy, who is suing Coleen Rooney, wife of the footballer Wayne Rooney, over an allegation on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook that went viral on 9 October 2019.
- Acting for British businessman Arron Banks, a political donor and the co-founder of the Leave.EU campaign. Following the EU Referendum in June 2016, Mr Banks (and his associated companies) has been the subject of serious allegations arising out of the funding of Leave.EU’s referendum campaign.
Lee & Thompson LLP is strong across the media, technology, entertainment and creative industries, with the reputation management team acting for an eclectic mix of well-known names, including Hollywood actors, musicians and reality stars. The practice, led by Mike Brookes, primarily acts for claimants but is increasingly taking on defendant work. Much of the team's work focuses on preventative measures, including advising on revenge porn threats, theft of private information and online harassment. Leo Dawkins is also recommended and regularly advises on pre- and post- publication disputes.
Other key lawyers:
‘Lee & Thompson, without a doubt, is the best law firm I have ever worked with. Across the board, they are exemplary in every way. And each department excels to the same level, which is comforting when faced with a new challenge or need in a different area of law.’
‘Their professional and personal service is 10/10. You never feel like a number – I genuinely feel like a valued, appreciated client, which goes a very long way.’
‘Mike Brookes is calm and very capable.’
‘I have known Leo Dawkins since he was a trainee elsewhere. He is now a partner at Lee & Thompson and has grown into the role. He is highly intelligent, strategic, thoughtful’
Channel 5 Broadcasting Limited
Ant McPartland/Dec Donnelly
Various high-profile Film and TV Productions companies and broadcasters
- Defended Channel 4 in a defamation claim issued against it in the High Court by the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF). The claim related to an episode of Channel 4’s Dispatches programme entitled “Sex, Money & Power: The Dirty Secrets of Davos” which included allegations about the prevalence of sex workers at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
- Defended Channel 5 Broadcasting in a defamation complaint brought by Laurence Fox (actor, leader of the Reclaim Party, and London Mayoral candidate) in respect of comments made against him on The Jeremy Vine Show.
- Advise Jude Law in relation to various reputation protection matters against the tabloid press.
Osborne Clarke LLP's media and information law team handles the full array of libel, privacy and harassment issues but is best known for its contentious data privacy expertise. Led by cybersecurity expert, Ashley Hurst, much of the team's work has an international element which is reflected in its global tech and media clientele. Charlie Wedin is a key practitioner, advising on reputation management issues arising from cyber and data security crises.
Other key lawyers:
Charlie Wedin; Henry Fox
‘Osborne Clarke has a truly talented reputation management team. They bring a strong commercial sense, and a background in information, technology, and data protection – which combine to give a real unique edge in this practice area. In all of my work with the Osborne Clarke team, they have been whip-smart, professional and efficient.’
‘Charlie Wedin is absolutely stellar. I have worked with Charlie on complex and fast-moving cases, in which he brings a keen pragmatic sense for how to achieve the client’s end-goals.’
LexisNexis Risk Solutions UK Limited and World Compliance Inc (Co-client)
Le Monde (La Société Editrice du Monde)
LOQBOX Savings Limited
PestFix (Crisp Websites Limited)
- Acting for Qatar Airways in relation to malicious falsehood proceedings brought against the Saudi Arabian news organisation, Al Arabiya Group.
- Acting for World Compliance and LexisNexis jointly in respect of three separate “right to be forgotten” claims initiated against LexisNexis in the Courts of England & Wales by three high net-worth individuals.
- Handling all pre-publication and post-publication libel and other content-related matters for Verizon Media (including Huff Post, Yahoo News and Techcrunch).
Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP's defamation and reputation management team has expertise in misuse of private information, harassment and data protection breaches. The team regularly assists other departments within the firm where high-profile and sensitive reputation management and privacy issues can arise, particularly in the areas of employment, private client and family law. Practice head Jeremy Clarke-Williams has more than 30 years of experience in all aspects of defamation and privacy law and routinely advises high net worth individuals. Adele Ashton is a data protection specialist and continues to grow her practice in this area, in addition to providing pre-publication advice to corporate clients.
Other key lawyers:
‘What makes this practice unique is their extensive experience, knowledge and ability to problem solve various claims and issues that are allocated to them. The staff have great personal skills and are excellent at taking someone through legal aspects to assisting them in understanding if they have a legal case or not.’
‘Great team with deep knowledge and experience of this legal area.’
‘The practice has adapted and always looks at new ways of delivering for us. Their new, innovative ways of dealing with claims has meant Penningtons have far outweighed other practices. They continue to innovate and set the bar.’
‘They stand out because of their knowledge, expertise and honesty when providing legal advice. They don’t lead a client to submitting a claim when there is no viable claim to be pursued. They have great interpersonal skills which is excellent when it comes to advising clients as to whether litigation opportunities exist or not.’
‘Jeremy Clarke-Williams – superb, approachable and very clever.’
‘Adele Ashton – excellent, great on the detail and also makes sure that the “big picture” aspects are properly dealt with.’
‘The practice is very personable and will always go the extra mile for clients which is vitally important in our world. We have had challenging clients and they have been happy to try and accommodate in every way they can. The personal service that is provided is second to none. It has been, and continues to be, a pleasure to work with all involved.’
- Advised Nigel Pearson, a well-known football manager, in relation to a claim for libel against the editor of an article published on the Leicestershire Live website in August 2020.
- Advising Emma Villiers who has been involved in an extremely high profile divorce from Charles Villiers, in relation to a media campaign by him which included unfounded allegations of fraud and bigamy against Emma.
Pinsent Masons LLP
Pinsent Masons LLP's media and privacy disputes team is a defendant-focused outfit handling the full spectrum of defamation, data protection, misuse of private information and malicious falsehood claims. The practice is involved in 'cutting-edge litigation' and is representing Google in the Supreme Court in relation to a landmark claim brought by Richard Lloyd which will determine how damages are awarded in data protection in the future. The team advises traditional media clients and media liability insurers but has a strong focus on technology companies. David Barker leads the team and 'is at the very top of his field' as an expert in data protection. Senior associate Imogen Allen-Back left the firm to join Facebook's in-house legal team.
‘The team is extremely knowledgeable about this complex area of law and involved in cutting-edge litigation.’
‘Able to offer a broad level of expertise from several different perspectives across both the reputation management and data protection fields.’
‘David Barker heads up this outstanding team for data protection and reputation management. David is one of the sharpest lawyers out there, and would be right of the top of my lawyers to call in a real emergency. Incredibly bright but very calm and strategic, David is enormously respected among his peers, his clients and the Bar.’
‘Hugely experienced in all aspects of TMT law, particularly in the field of cyber breaches and for defendant tech companies, such as Google. They are a city firm and therefore they have considerable resources to bring to cases.’
‘Pinsent Masons provides thoughtful, timely, practical, efficient advice on sensitive matters.’
- Advising Google LLC on Richard Lloyd v Google, a landmark case in the field of data privacy class actions. The case will be heard by the Supreme Court in April 2021. Instructed by YouTube in relation to a claim brought on the same basis, currently stayed pending the outcome of Lloyd.
- Defending providers of research and due diligence services from HNWs threatening a variety of claims in an attempt to remove material from their services, including claims in defamation, misuse of private information and data protection.
- Acting for Splash News and Media in the defence of a privacy claim brought by the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, in relation to photographs taken of her in Canada.
Taylor Wessing LLP acts for both claimants and defendants, with a focus on media companies and high net-worth individuals. The practice handles the full range of reputation management and privacy protection matters; Niri Shanmuganathan is noted for his expertise in post-broadcast and post-publication issues, whilst Michael Yates advises on blackmail, data protection and right to be forgotten claims.
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP maintains a practice advising corporate clients, ultra high net worth individuals and those in the music and sports sectors on reputation management concerns. Practice head Graham Shear is an experienced litigator both in the UK and internationally, and provides advice on defamation, privacy and crisis management. Sarah McAtominey was promoted to partner in January 2021 and is also experienced in advising on contentious defamation issues.
Graham Shear; Joby Davies
Other key lawyers:
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's reputation management team sits within its highly rated dispute resolution practice, combining the experience of its commercial litigators to offer a broad service to clients. Led by Alan Watts, who frequently advises corporates in relation to pre-publication issues and active proceedings, the team also provides advice on the full range of reputation management issues. Neil Blake is an experienced litigator skilled at handling sensitive issues and reputational crises.
Other key lawyers:
Neil Blake; Angela Liu; Christopher Cox
‘Strong team with a sensible approach.’
‘The reputation team is very strong. Ably led by Alan Watts they are able to support clients tactically, thinking beyond just the legal considerations.’
‘I have now been working with the same team at HSF for around 3 years on a long-running series of cases and continue to find them to be attentive, well briefed and always willing to be consulted. They are very good to work with and are mindful of the time pressures of serving Board Members in their requests for information and for time.’
‘Christopher Cox and Angela Liu are both very good to work with and have the ability to focus on the key issues at hand and maintain an up-to-date picture of the case ‘landscape’.’
‘Alan Watts is a legendary lawyer. His client management is excellent, his commercial sense cannot be faulted.’
‘The team brings a wealth of experience, which enables them to provide really high quality strategic and technical advice. We tend to call upon them in times of crisis, which makes their role a challenging one. They have real credibility with the senior team.’
‘This team takes new and unique situations in its stride and is unfazed by anything. There is a depth of strength to the team and it is able to flex globally when required.’
‘Neil Blake is an accomplished lawyer with a real understanding of the nuances of what is actually important to a client. The fact that HSF can reach all corners of the globe with a consistent level of quality gives real confidence.’
Certain directors and former directors of the Stobart Group
Certain directors of Carillion
Lord Alan Sugar
An international businessman in the mining sector
- Acting for certain directors and former directors of the Stobart Group in relation to proceedings brought against them by Andrew Tinkler (also a former director of the Stobart Group), alleging malicious and defamatory comments included in an RNS published by the Stobart Group in May 2018.
- Acting for the third defendant in proceedings brought by Ocado PLC against Jonathan Faiman, Project Today Holdings Limited and Jon Hillary, claiming breach of confidence and for breach of the third defendant’s contractual duties to Ocado.
- Advising Lord Alan Sugar on ad-hoc basis for reputational matters.
The team at Ince has a ‘wealth of experience and understands the client’s business’, acting for some of the UK’s leading publishers. The reputation management practice offers pre-publication and commercial advice, in addition to acting for clients in contentious matters. Led by Melanie Hart, the team includes Robin Shaw who clients describe as a ‘frontrunner in the field of defamation and privacy.’ Associate Benjamin Atkin works on matters including the removal of unwanted material from social media.
Other key lawyers:
Melanie Hart, Benjamin Atkin
‘The team offers a wealth of experience and understands the client’s business.’
‘Robin Shaw is a frontrunner in the field of defamation and privacy. He brings to the table not only an in-depth knowledge of the law but added value in any case through his strategic skill and genuine understanding of his clients’ needs. I wouldn’t instruct anyone else.’
Guardian News and Media Limited
Telegraph Media Group
Harper Collins Limited
- Acting for the Daily Telegraph in its successful defence of a libel claim brought against it by US author and journalist, Nina Burleigh who wrote an article focusing on Melania Trump and her life before Trump.
- Acting for the Daily Telegraph in its successful defence of a libel claim brought against it by Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the founder and major shareholder of easyJet.
- Advising Private Eye magazine on all of its legal matters, including pre-publication advice for every issue covering and dealing with all defamation, privacy, intellectual property, data protection and other dispute that arise.
The reputation management practice at Lewis Silkin LLP advises on all areas of media law, from defamation claims to employment investigations. Adam Glass leads the team and has a wide-ranging practice including high net-worth individuals, celebrities and public personalities. Managing partner Giles Crown is a key practitioner, assisting corporate clients with their reputation management issues.
Other key lawyers:
‘An excellent, broad practice.’
‘Adam Glass is very knowledgeable and skilled in the field of media law.’
Middle East Online
Resident Advisor Limited
- Providing regular pre-publication advice to Tortoise Media including on three complex and sensitive investigation pieces, all of which received significant coverage across the press.
- Providing a wide range of advice to Twitter across a broad spectrum of matters including defamation, data protection and user identification complaints.
- Defending UK publisher in defamation proceedings brought by Speaker of the Tunisian Parliament in Rached Ghannouchi v Middle East Online.
Russells Solicitors acts predominantly for claimants, representing celebrities and talent across libel, privacy, harassment and data protection. The practice has a stronghold in the music industry which is reflected by its client base of high-profile musicians, including international pop star Dua Lipa. Led by Steven Tregear, the team has considerable expertise in litigation, with John Reid handling a range of media and entertainment disputes and senior associate Dan Hoyle playing a lead role across the firm's phone hacking claims.
Other key lawyers:
John Reid; Dan Hoyle
‘Well-known experts in this field.’
‘Dan Hoyle – excellent attention to detail, great with clients and superb on legal analysis.’
‘Steven Tregear is excellent, highly pragmatic with very good judgement.’
Universal Music Group
Modest! Management (managers of One Direction, Little Mix amongst others)
The Estate of Amy Winehouse
Kilimanjaro Live Limited
The Estate of George Michael
Queensberry Promotions Ltd/Frank Warren
- Handling substantial phone hacking claims for a number of well-known celebrities against both NGN and MGN, with cases over the last 12 months for a number of clients including The Estate of Amy Winehouse, Cheryl Tweedy, The Estate of George Michael, Carl Barat, Natalie Imbruglia and Ian Wright.
- Advising leading boxing promoter, Frank Warren, and his company, Queensberry Promotions, on his appearance in a Panorama programme titled “Boxing and the Mob” investigating the alleged role of boxing promoter Daniel Kinahan.
- Advising the social media manager of 2 Tone and Ska band, The Specials, with regard to online harassment, including false stories about Terry Hall, as well as on the verification process for profiles on various social media platforms, and liaising with in-house lawyers on various social media platforms.
Slateford is a boutique law firm specialising in reputation protection and crisis management. It focuses on protecting clients through preventative measures, using its 'deep sector knowledge' to 'consistently achieve great outcomes'. Chris Scott leads the team and advises prominent businesses and individuals on sensitive issues. Other members of the team include Jessica Lovell and litigator Steven Hudson , who has experience across defamation, privacy and phone hacking. The firm continues to grow, bringing on Matt Himsworth as a consultant and Nathalie McEvoy as counsel in 2021.
Other key lawyers:
Steven Hudson; Jessica Lovell; Nathalie McEvoy; Jess Alden; Matt Himsworth
‘Slateford offer a very different approach to reputation management. Rather than racing to litigate, Slateford bring deep sector knowledge and strategic input for their clients to help give them the freedom to operate and manage reputational crises in the most effective way, which is often to avoid litigation. They bring a more commercial approach to secure the best outcome.’
‘Chris Scott has phenomenal energy and is incredibly creative in his approach to solving client problems. He is an absolute joy to work with and clients trust his judgement implicitly.’
‘They put being holistic in their analysis at the heart of their business – they aim for and achieve the right solution for the client and the circumstance. They consistently achieve great outcomes without creating more problems for clients and splashing their problems across the papers.’
‘Chris Scott is fast becoming (if not already) the stand-out reputation specialist in the country.’
‘Jess Lovell has proved herself to be an expert and excellent at deftly handling issues that have cropped up across the #MeToo and whistleblowing areas.’
‘Natalie McEvoy is great on privacy problems arising on family disputes. Notable as one to watch for the future is Jess Alden, who is laser-sharp and really developing into a great legal technician who is accessible and user-friendly.’
Led by ‘total star’ Alex McCready, the Vardags reputation and privacy team works closely with its family, crime and financial forensics department to provide a full-service offering for clients facing reputational challenges. The practice has a strong international element, handling cross-border mandates for a client base comprising high net-worth individuals.
‘The Vardags team combines an innovative approach with unrivalled experience that works at breakneck speed.’
‘The team at Vardags are exceptional – the company culture and diligence is of a very high standard.’
‘A small team, but really dedicated to their clients, who are often high net-worth individuals. Able to really service client needs in a focused manner.’
‘Alex McCready is a total star. Could easily be a partner at a big firm on the data protection and reputation management side, but has instead built up this practice at Vardags from scratch, and the team with it. Totally on it.’
‘The team specialises in reputation management for high profile individuals and they have a diverse and gender-balanced practice. I have been impressed by the youth in the team and perhaps they embody the idea that age is no barrier in the legal world. This also has positive effects in that their generally younger staff are more tech-savvy than most law firms.’
- Represented the founder of EasyJet, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou in his defamation claim against The Telegraph.
Clyde & Co LLP acts for a wide range of clients and is noted for its work defending claims against publishers, usually on behalf of insurers. Led by Tim Smith, the team advises on both contentious and non-contentious issues, as well as on risk and crisis management. Smith is supported by associates Tom Double and Dominic Ward, who provides 'exceptional client care'.
Other key lawyers:
Steve Kuncewicz; Tom Double; Dominic Ward
‘Excellent legal knowledge, approachable, clear in delivery and explanation, with a good mix of styles and approaches within the team which made for a good balance.’
‘The relationship between us (as a client) and BLM felt more like a partnership of equals than a classic client/solicitor arrangement.’
‘Very experienced and effective at doing libel defence work for insured public authorities. This is a particularly challenging area, given the need to keep insurers involved.’
‘Tim Smith – very experienced in the field. Shows good judgement and tactical thinking.’
‘Dominic Ward provided exceptional client care. He presented all information with clarity and detail. We valued the readiness to answer any question we had. We would gladly recommend Dominic Ward.’
Medical Protection Society
Brabners LLP has a strong media and entertainment practice, with particular expertise in the sports sector. Paul Lunt and Philip Steele lead on defamation work, advising on preventative measures and management of crisis situations in addition to providing libel, slander and privacy advice. The team also has a strong contentious arm, with High Court and Court of Appeal litigation experience.
Paul Lunt; Philip Steele
‘They listen to our needs and bespoke their approach. They have accessible services for small organisations to benefit from.’
‘They get to know our business so that their perspective at senior and junior levels is aligned with ours and they produce results quickly and reassuringly.’
Benjamin and Deborah Stokes
Tall Group of Companies Limited; Checkprint Limited and DLRT Limited
Wigan Rugby League Club Limited
Lancashire County Cricket Club
Commonwealth Games Federation
H&O Distribution Ltd T/A Primalash
Various football agencies
- Advising Coleen Rooney, television personality and wife of former England footballer Wayne Rooney, in connection with libel proceedings issued against her by Rebekah Vardy, wife of former England footballer Jamie Vardy, arising out of a post made by Mrs Rooney on her various social media accounts in October 2019 regarding an allegation that Mrs Vardy had ultimately been responsible for leaking information about Mrs Rooney to The Sun newspaper.
- Advising Ben Stokes and his mother, Deborah Stokes, in connection with their invasion of privacy claim against News Group Newspapers Limited (“The Sun”) arising from the articles published by The Sun in September 2019 regarding the Stokes’ family tragedy in 1988.
Burges Salmon LLP advises high-profile corporate and public sector clients on a range of defamation and privacy issues. Led by Jeremy Dickerson, the practice also has experience in dispute resolution, including ADR, bringing and defending defamation proceedings, and dealing with the Independent Press Standards Organisation. Richard Binns advises on online issues.
Other key lawyers:
The Met Office
The Cayman Islands Government
- Advising The Met Office on reputation management issues.
- Advising the Cayman Islands Government on defamation, media and reputation management related issues in the UK.
Specialists in online defamation work, Fieldfisher is particularly strong in litigation relating to defamatory statements in user-generated content. It regularly acts for high net-worth individuals on the claimant side whilst acting for public bodies and regulators on the defendant side. Co-practice heads Colin Gibson and John Linneker are experienced defamation litigators.
Colin Gibson; John Linneker
Other key lawyers:
‘Nathan Capone is very focused and dedicated to providing an excellent client service, obtaining great results against the odds’
Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
Neil Bellis, Juliet Bellis, Lucy Cummings
- Acting for online financial newswire ADVFN plc in relation to various claims and applications made against it in relation to defamatory user-generated content posted on its bulletin boards.
- Advising the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in relation to defamatory articles published in React News and The Sunday Times.
- Acting for three high-net worth individuals in connection with false allegations printed in an edition of The Sunday Times.
Keystone Law undertakes both claimant and defendant work across a range of reputation management issues, acting for politicians, celebrities, media personalities and large corporates. Gerard Cukier has substantial experience obtaining court injunctions to protect private lives, in addition to protecting high-profile figures in matters of blackmail and extortion. Media litigator Nicola Thatcher specialises in advising publishing clients, whilst Sofia Syed brings employment law expertise to the team.
Other key lawyers:
Gerard Cukier; Sofia Syed; Nicola Thatcher
‘Sofia Syed is thoroughly professional and knowledgeable. creative and pragmatic. She has always made things incredibly simple for someone like me who has no legal background to follow. I will always use her while she is with Keystone.’
Connected Innovations Limited
Hachette Book Group
Olivier Couriol and others
Lady Colin Campbell
McDonald’s Restaurants Limited
- Removed false and defamatory comments and references in publications appearing on influential and recognised KYC and due diligence databases such as WorldCheck and Acuris data about Olivier Couriol and others which caused great difficulties to the clients in conducting their commercial activities.
- Advising Hachette Book Group on potential liability for libel and infringement of privacy rights, and assists in editing to minimise risk.
A heavyweight in the sports sector, McCormicks is a top choice law firm for clients in the world of sport and entertainment. Peter McCormick OBE has strong ties with the Premier League and advises on defamation and reputation management issues across the board. Philip Edmondson leads the dispute resolution team.
Other key lawyers:
Peter McCormick OBE
‘A very strong and efficient practice with a deep insight into what fits into clients’ needs. The department has springboarded from Peter McCormick’s stellar reputation and he has nurtured and developed a powerful team. ‘
‘Peter McCormick is a true superstar . His clientbase alone shows that he is truly appreciated by heavy hitters in a very competitive field.’
Michelmores LLP's reputation management team advises on complex defamation and privacy matters. It has received increasing instructions relating to media publications, 'fake news', social media and user-generated content, with practice head Jayne Clemens skilled at the removal of libellous material from websites and social media. Intellectual property specialist Charlotte Bolton provides strong support to the team.
Other key lawyers:
‘Good strength and depth in media and communications law.’
‘Jayne Clemens is an outstanding individual. Very receptive to client needs and with a full knowledge of the field.’
‘In my dealings, I always feel there is a genuine commitment to achieve the client’s aims, not simply a technical advisory role.’
‘A good knowledge and breath of experience, and if they don’t have an immediate answer, they confer! Very responsive and supportive when you need them. I have always found them good team players, to the extent that they feel part of your team.’
‘Both partners and associates are great to work with. They try hard to understand our needs and then advise accordingly.’
PETA Foundation UK Ltd
The Forestry Commission
- Represented the UK arm of PETA, in relation to claims made against PETA by Loro Parque, one of Spain’s largest tourist attractions.
- Providing ongoing reputation management advice to Succession Group in respect of press articles.
Reed Smith LLP
Gregor Pryor and Steve Sessa head up Reed Smith LLP‘s leading entertainment and media group in London and Century City respectively. The transatlantic team acts for clients across a range of industries, handling both claimant and defendant defamation and privacy work. Michael Skrein and Carolyn Pepper are key practitioners for reputation management issues.
Gregor Pryor; Steve Sessa
Other key lawyers:
Michael Skrein; Carolyn Pepper
‘Excellent media industry knowledge and experience.’
‘The team is like a well-oiled wheel: it works smoothly and efficiently.’
‘Michael Skrein – is a doyen of London media solicitors, approachable, wise.’
Squire Patton Boggs provides a multidisciplinary approach to reputation management issues. Peter Lees leads the defamation team across the UK, with the team working collaboratively to best suit the needs of clients with multijurisdictional issues. Lees is supported by senior associate Mariyam Harunah. IP specialist Carlton Daniel and litigator Stephen Sampson are key practitioners.
Other key lawyers:
Carlton Daniel; Stephen Sampson
‘Able to offer reputation management advice alongside full range commercial law firm offering.’
‘A well-rounded team with very good legal knowledge and skills. As they have more inhouse legal expertise than some, they do not need to involve counsel as much and are happy and competent to give difficult legal advice on many issues without feeling the need to go to counsel. Although many of the team are not based in London, you get what feels like a top drawer City service, but presumably at a lesser cost.’
‘Carlton Daniel stands out above his peers. He can see the case through the advocate’s eyes as well as the solicitor’s.
‘Peter Lees – highly responsive, pactical, pragmatic advice’