A leading player in the media disputes and reputation management fields, Atkins Thomson is regularly involved in high-profile privacy and libel actions, such as its role in the phone hacking group litigation. The team, which routinely acts on behalf of public figures, corporates, politicians and ultra high-net-worth individuals, includes a number of 'extremely skilled litigators'. Growth areas for the firm include online reputation and related privacy advice, as well as data protection issues. 'First-class media litigator' Mark Thomson has a strong track-record in landmark rulings pertaining to privacy law. Thomson leads the practice alongside Graham Atkins, who often receives reputation management instructions around highly-sensitive political situations, and James Heath, who counts defamation, harassment, breach of confidence and malicious falsehood among his areas of expertise. Emily Jenkins and Yinka McKay Wood continue to support Heath in the phone hacking litigation against MGN Limited. Moritz Schirmeister is noted for both pre- and post-publication advisory work.
Reputation management in London
‘Graham Atkins is very good with clients. Moritz Schirmeister is a good litigator.’
‘James Heath is a very good litigator.’
‘Atkins Thomson has a range of extremely skilled litigators in this field, both at the partner level and below. They have huge experience, are phenomenally hard working, coupled with strong strategic skills. ‘
‘James Heath is clever and hard-working (tireless),has a real eye for detail while not losing sight of the big picture, outstanding at strategy, and popular with clients. He is able to empathise well, to ascertain what a client’s objectives are, and to set about achieving those objectives effectively. He is a stand-out litigator and will go far. James, in my view, deserves a top ranking.’
‘Mark Thomson is a first-class media litigator.’
‘The team is responsible, prompt and accurate.’
‘I work with Graham Atkins and Moritz Schirmeister. We became almost friends, as they take all my problems I face, as their own and deal with them.’
Dental Centre Turkey
Sir Lynton Crosby
Sir Michael Hintze
The Rt. Honorable Boris Johnson
Mirror Newspapers Hacking Litigation
Various phone hacking claims
Estate of Sir Bobby Robson
- Represented Mr Feyziyev in respect of a libel complaint against The Journalism Development Network and Mr Paul Radu for publishing two articles online in September 2017.
- Successfully represented Rollo Gabb in claims against The Times and The Daily Mail as well as reputation and crisis management in connection with allegations relating to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, having secured substantial compensation, apologies, costs and other relief on behalf of Mr Gabb.
- Successfully representing hundreds of claimants in the exceedingly complex and widely-reported Mirror Newspapers Hacking Litigation, which is next set for trial in January 2021.
Carter-Ruck remains a premier name in defamation and reputation management, with a strong track record in securing some of the highest ever damage awards in privacy and libel claims. The claimant-heavy practice is a go-to destination for senior politicians, leading business people as well as celebrities and blue-chip companies seeking advice in relation to breach of confidence, defamation, privacy, harassment and data protection issues. Nigel Tait, whose areas of expertise include acting for ultra high-net-worth individuals in the most sensitive blackmail, harassment and privacy cases, leads the team along with Adam Tudor, who also heads up the Middle East desk, dedicated to advising clients based in the region. Multi-jurisdictional matters are a key strength for Rebecca Toman, while Claire Gill continues to attract instructions from individuals seeking to invoke the Right to be Forgotten (Right to Erasure). In addition to handling litigation and post-publication complaints, the firm also offers preventative and pre-publication advice, for which Alasdair Pepper is a name to note. Recently-promoted senior associate Helena Shipman regularly advises on misuse of private information and data protection issues.
Sasha Wass QC
Baroness Sayeeda Warsi
Richard Burgon MP
Yusuf Islam (formerly known as Cat Stevens)
Kate & Gerry McCann
Nick Brown MP
The Commonwealth Secretary-General Baroness Scotland
Middle East Eye
- Advised the Trustees of Interpal, a UK-based registered charity which provides relief and development aid to Palestinians in need, in their case against Associated Newspapers, the publisher of the Daily Mail and MailOnline, securing a full published apology and £120k in libel damages in relation to articles published on 2 and 15 August 2018, which falsely alleged that Interpal had supported a “hate festival” in Gaza in which children acted out the murder of Jewish people.
- Acted for Roy Ramm (former police Commander) in a case against the Mirror Group Newspapers which published false and defamatory allegations against Mr Ramm on its website in March 2018, falsely depicting the claimant as having responsibility for the police undercover operation and investigation into the murder of Rachel Nickell on Wimbledon Common in July 1992.
- Represented Richard Holden, a political adviser, in a case against the MOD, having successfully secured a full apology, substantial damages and the payment of costs, after it breached his privacy and data protection rights by wrongly disclosing documents from his Developed Vetting interview process to the CPS for use in a prosecution against the claimant.
The media and information group at Harbottle & Lewis LLP 'has a well-deserved reputation both in the contentious and non-contentious fields' of reputation management. The team provides advice to a stellar client base, comprising key names from the entertainment and sports industries, corporations and high-net-worth individuals (HNWI) , in relation to the entire gamut of reputation management matters, namely privacy, defamation, breach of confidence and data protection. Gerrard Tyrrell, who is regularly retained to represent senior members of the Royal Family and high-profile political figures, is described as 'head and shoulders above any other reputation lawyer in the country'. Tyrrell jointly heads up the practice with John Kelly, who 'provides first-class counsel in complex situations'. Senior associate Louise Prince acts for HNWI and corporate clients on a multitude of privacy and reputational issues; Natasha Hibbert's notable areas of practice include pre-publication advice and litigation in the context of defamation, privacy and data protection disputes.
‘Harbottle & Lewis has a well-deserved reputation in the sector, both in the contentious and non-contentious fields. Its Reputation Management team is one of the best in the country. Not only do they know how to protect their clients’ reputations but they know how to pursue opponents with tactical astuteness that makes the publishers and broadcasters know they have a fight to get out of before it gets so much worse for themselves.’
‘Gerrard Tyrrell knows all the questions and all the answers. You want him acting for you and not against you. John Kelly is highly skilled and enjoys a well-deserved reputation.’
‘Its in-depth knowledge is second to none. Their capacity for work, attention to detail, and timely feedback is excellent. Their counsel and advice is first class.’
‘I worked with Gerrard Tyrrell and don’t think I could have carried out my role (in-house) without his counsel and expertise. His knowledge of the media industry, and understanding of important nuances or changes within the industry were vital to me.’
‘Highly experienced, hard-working and dedicated team which is able to combine providing the best legal advice with understanding other perspectives, be they those of the client, communications considerations or operational requirements. Particularly good with media related issues and HNWI/VIP clients. Solicitors are always available, considerate and able to present complex legal arguments in an understandable way. Gerrard Tyrrell, and John Kelly provide first class counsel in complex situations to very important and influential clients.’
‘What makes this practice unique is the fact that they all bond together really well. Media problems need dealing with instantly. The team is brilliant at this. Gerrard Tyrrell is head and shoulders above any other reputation lawyer in the country. His knowledge of media law is second to none. He is always available 24 hours a day 7 days a week.’
‘I have worked with the HL reputation team for many years on little and large cases. They are excellent, responsive, and smart. John Kelly and Gerrard Tyrrell are at the top of their game. They attract first rate work and deservedly so.’
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 and TRH The Duke and Duchess of Sussex
The 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
- Acting for the First Lady of the United States of America, Melania Trump in a successful complaint against The Daily Telegraph over false claims about The First Lady’s past, which resulted in the publishing of a prominent apology to Mrs Trump and in the payment of substantial damages as well as her legal costs.
- Represented HRH The Duke of Sussex in a successful High Court complaint for breach of privacy against Splash News & Media which used a helicopter to take photographs and video footage of the Duke’s private home.
RPC enjoys a strong profile in the reputation management market, fielding a specialist media team which is entirely devoted to assisting defendants in defamation and privacy claims. The practice provides legal support to a broad client base, comprising newspapers, broadcasters, publishers and magazines, as well as big tech, journalists and online influencers on matters ranging from malicious falsehood, harassment and contempt, to data protection and freedom of information. The practice stands out for its regular engagement in high-profile litigation, evidenced by its recent involvement in the defence of a privacy claim brought by the Duchess of Sussex against the Mail on Sunday. Keith Mathieson, who oversees the department, led advice to Bloomberg News in a landmark case before the Court of Appeal on the ability to name the subject of a criminal investigation. Senior associates Rupert Cowper-Coles and Alex Wilson are also part of the core team.
‘Undoubtedly the premier defendant firm for media matters, with unrivalled depth and width of knowledge, experience and skill.’
‘Keith Mathieson remains at the top of his game, a masterful tactician.’
‘Alex Wilson is a true star, bringing skill and judgement well beyond his years.’
Associated Newspapers Limited
Times Newspapers Limited
News Group Newspapers Limited
Reach plc (Mirror Group Newspapers)
Facebook Ireland Limited
Peter McCormack [publisher of WhatBitcoinDid podcast]
Campaign Against Antisemitism
Advertiser and Times Limited
- Acts for Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) in respect of a claim for misuse of private information, breaches of the GDPR and copyright infringement brought by the Duchess of Sussex following the publication in the Mail on Sunday of a letter written by the Duchess to her father, Thomas Markle.
- Represents Bloomberg L.P. in its appeal of the first instance decision ZXC v Bloomberg  EWHC 970 Q.B. which held that there is now a general rule that criminal investigations are private; the case is likely to determine the extent to which the British media can in practice report on criminal investigations pre-charge.
- Acts for MGN Limited in the voicemail interception litigation; there are over 70 active claims, with the litigation in its third wave.
Schillings houses one of the 'the most brilliant collections of specialists' who are 'leaders in the fields of cyber, media, PR and crisis communication issues'. The firm provides 'a seamless service' to a claimant client-base, combining extensive legal expertise with ancillary capabilities in areas such as investigations, cyber security and political risk. High-profile defamation and privacy litigation feature in the team's portfolio: recent highlights include acting for the Duchess of Sussex in a privacy claim against the Mail on Sunday, and Johnny Depp in his libel action against The Sun. Jenny Afia, who acts for leading individuals in the entertainment, tech and finance sector, had a key role in these two cases. 'Diligent, responsive and wise' Rachel Atkins advises corporate and private clients. Other 'excellent team members' include Keith Schilling and Rod Christie-Miller, who is routinely instructed by high-profile organisations in the Middle East. Magnus Boyd, Allan Dunlavy and Amy Pope are key practitioners to note, as well as recently-promoted partners Gillian Duffy, Ben Hobbs and Joelle Rich.
‘Schillings are sharp, always on the front foot and highly responsive. They turn issues round quickly and they are very proactive. Their advice on when to engage, when not engage is spot on. They are Champions League litigation lawyers. Rachel Atkins is quite excellent. She rallies the argument and organises her team exceptionally well. Diligent, responsive and wise, too. She is a pleasure to work with.’
‘Easily the most brilliant collection of specialists that any client could wish for. There is not a single person at Schillings who is anything less than brilliant. Having used almost ever other provider, they are far and away the best. That is not hyperbole, as amply demonstrated by the briefest look at the backgrounds of the individuals who make up the team at Schillings.’
‘I see Schillings’ lawyers as leaders in the field of cyber, media, PR and crisis communication issues. They have extensive cyber, media and communication legal experience and a strong understanding of the need to protect corporate reputation. The firm has a wealth of highly experienced partners who understand the challenges and implications of cyber, digital and media issues facing organisations. By having these functions under one roof it makes it easier for Schillings to provide a seamless service to organisations.’
‘For any media, PR or crisis communication issue, Schillings are my first port of call and would recommend them to any organisation seeking similar advice or support. I am a consultant and work with a number of clients. Should any of them require specialist communications/media litigation advice, intelligence or research, I would have no hesitation in bringing Schillings on board.’
‘I have a very positive working experience with my two primary Schillings lawyers, Rachel Atkins and Magnus Boyd. They both have extensive media and cyber legal experience, and strong understanding of the need to protect corporate reputation. They also have a good understanding of the stakeholder challenges that organisations face in the event of a crisis or reputation issue occurring. They both provide excellent counsel on a range of media, cyber and reputation challenges, are both able to evaluate situations effectively, take a pragmatic approach and always deliver excellent advice and outputs.’
‘I think that Schillings are the very best firm in the field of Reputation Management. I have worked with them for over 12 years on many situations and they have never failed to provide a fantastic service. Their knowledge of the area is second to none, they are incredibly responsive and their client handling skills are brilliant. Rachel Atkins is fantastic – incredibly clever, calm and down to earth. She is always my first phone call with a recommendation. Other excellent team members are Keith Schilling, Rod Christie Miller, Magnus Boyd and Jenny Afia.’
‘The Schillings team has a deep knowledge of our business and culture and that understanding means that they are able to offer us advice that is relevant and appropriate to protecting our reputation. Applying that understanding across the team with close briefings means that they respond quickly and efficiently with appropriate advice.’
‘I’ve worked with Magnus Boyd for many years and have always found him to be passionate and have integrity in all his advice. He is committed to working with us as a partner to protect our business reputation. He offers clear advice and is able to steer us toward both the most appropriate legal as well as ethical considerations. Amy Pope is incisive and extremely clear in her advice. She quickly gained insight into our business and got to grips with the challenges facing us and provides clear guidance about how to apply effective legal strategy and policy. She understands the changing media and social media landscape and how different media intersect.’
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex
Sir James Dyson and Lady Deirdre Dyson
Arcadia / Sir Philip Green
London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) Chair and Non-Exec Directors
John Christopher Depp II ( Johnny Depp)
- Representing The Duchess of Sussex in a claim regarding misuse of private information, copyright infringement and breach of data protection rights against the Mail on Sunday, in relation to an article published in February 2019 that included extracts of a letter from The Duchess of Sussex to her father.
- Brought in at the last minute to take over from another firm for the libel trial for Johnny Depp in his libel claim against The Sun and its executive editor Dan Wootton, in relation to an article they published in hard copy and online on 27 and 28 April 2018 alleging that the Hollywood actor was a “wife beater”.
- Acted for the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) Chair and Non-Exec Directors in reputation management issues, after an aggressive activist hedge fund disclosed a 5% stake in the company and issued a list of complaints about its corporate governance.
Simons Muirhead Burton excels in defamation and reputation management legal matters, offering advice to print and online media players, publishers and broadcasters. The media content and disputes department, which garners praise for its solid track record acting on behalf of defendants, is also a top choice for UK and US-based NGOs, journalist bodies and trade unions. Indicative of the firm's strength in handling highly sensitive matters which often shape the legal framework governing UK defamation and privacy law, practice head Louis Charalambous is acting as lead adviser for The Sun in a major libel claim initiated by Hollywood actor Johnny Depp. Charalambous also demonstrates extensive experience advising broadcasters and newspapers on emergency injunction applications. Litigation head Razi Mireskandari is a seasoned practitioner in all contentious matters concerning the media. Jeffrey Smele stands out in criminal law-related media aspects, but is also regularly retained to assist in privacy, data protection and confidentiality issues. Martin Soames is a practitioner to note for the extensive pre-publication clearance work the team undertakes.
‘I’m impressed by the way this practice works consistently as a cohesive team with relevant information shared across all the specialists involved. The attention to detail and client care is exceptional. The office itself is friendly and welcoming, a big plus.’
‘Raz Mireskandari is exceptionally insightful and realistically frank so that no false expectations are raised, but every possibility examined carefully. He’s kind and good-humoured, at the same time razor-sharp and forthright.’
‘Team spirit is the strongest aspect of Simons Muirhead Burton – this has appealed to and worked for me through all the years I’ve had dealings with them. A happy environment and knowledgeable accessible staff at all levels.’
News Group Newspapers Limited (‘NGN’), as publisher of The Sun
The Random House Group Limited
Daniel Miller; Nina Power
Situation Publishing Limited, its UK editor and an employed journalist
Trinity Mirror North West & North Wales Limited
News Group Newspapers Limited (NGN)
Times Newspapers Ltd, Sky, BBC, ITN
- Defending NGN in an extremely high-profile libel claim brought by Johnny Depp, one of the most famous actors in the world, regarding an article in The Sun which claimed Depp allegedly beat his ex-wife Amber Heard.
- Defending Random House Group Ltd, the largest general interest paperback publisher in the world, in ongoing libel proceedings brought by a senior UBS trader in a case which has become a reference point for meaning in libel trials.
- Representing the journalist Andrew O’Hagan against a request for documents by a Florida court in a key case for journalistic privilege, and one of the first English cases concerning its scope and how it applies to requests for evidence from foreign courts.
Addleshaw Goddard is 'at the top of the tree' in the field of reputation and information protection, according to one client. Drawing on its international network, the team provides specialist support to household companies, while also demonstrating 'a stellar reputation' acting on behalf of private clients, namely high-net-worth individuals, as well as public figures, entertainment and sports personalities. Core areas of strength include advising on data privacy claims, misuse of information. confidentiality breaches, freedom of information requests, as well as right to be forgotten claims. 'Doyen of the reputation management sector' David Engel leads the team, which also counts Abigail Healey, whose experience ranges from 'acting for numerous phone hacking claimants to major corporate litigation'. Data privacy is a notable area of practice for Samantha Haigh and new joiner Daniel Bishop, who was previously a barrister at 1 Brick Court.
‘Addleshaws provides a common sense but experienced approach to defamation and reputation management cases. Although a well-established London firm with a long history of working in this field, they have a modern and attractive approach to their clients and their casework.’
‘David Engel is calm, clever, knowledgeable and straightforward.’
‘The practice constantly goes above and beyond what is required. They take a very proactive approach.’
‘At the top of the tree in terms of claimant practices, with a stellar reputation for acting on behalf of both individuals and corporate clients. They have the flexibility to offer a very personal, bespoke service to individual clients but, unlike many firms in the field, have the scale and expertise to take on large, complex litigation as well.’
‘David Engel is everything a good lawyer should be and is a doyen of the reputation management sector. He gives measured, tactically astute advice and is both trusted and respected in the field. Abigail Healey is another partner with vast experience, ranging from acting for numerous phone hacking claimants to major corporate litigation. She is unflappable and can rapidly understand and conduct even the most complex cases.’
‘David is a highly experienced partner. He has a smooth and calm persona and manner. Abigail Healey has a very friendly outgoing manner which goes down well with clients, whilst also being on top of the papers.’
‘Synergy is one of the keys to working with a successful team, and this is exactly one of the attributes that brought success to our case handled by the legal team at Addleshaw Goddard. Not only were the team all willing to communicate with us, instead of having one individual liaison to relay information, they also communicated as a team prior to each individual discussion with us. As a team, they are self-aware that some individuals hold strengths in specific areas, and in order to maximise the success of the team, they each bring their core strengths together to increase the chance of success for the client. I found that the team as a whole work on stringent schedules to remain on target and schedule, and in turn successfully achieved the goal we sought.’
‘ David Engel (Partner), and Daniel Bishop (Associate) were both outstanding to work with, and willing to brainstorm every option possible to secure a successful outcome for my case. They were willing to listen to my opinions, despite my lack of legal background and knowledge, and take those into account when establishing their legal opinion to substantiate my claims. Not only was David extremely well versed in the department of reputation and information protection, but he was also willing and able to bring other individuals to the table who could assist in areas where help was needed. Daniel had a surplus of knowledge on topics and how they could be utilised to protect our information, in combination with David’s knowledge of reputation and information protection law.’
DNAfit Life Sciences
- Advising a client in connection to coverage of workplace #metoo issues.
- Advising a listed company in relation to retail investor/media issues during takeover negotiations.
CMS is a solid performer in the field of media and information law, showcasing longstanding experience in high-profile cases arising from privacy, breach of confidence and data protection disputes. With capabilities across the UK, the practice houses a specialist team which is well-weighted between claimant and defendant mandates. Its client list comprises household-name media companies, internet clients as well as high-profile individuals and corporates operating in the energy and financial sectors. Geraldine Proudler, who possesses 'years of experience as one of the UK's leading defamation, media and privacy lawyers', jointly heads the team with Dan Tench and Tamsin Blow. Tench is noted for his expertise in data protection issues, defamation and breach of confidence. Data breaches and crisis management are some of Tamsin Blow's key legal specialisms.
‘Unique combination of years of experience with energy, commitment, attention to detail and strong talent management ethic.’
‘Geraldine Proudler combines years of experience as one of the UK’s leading defamation, media and privacy lawyers with a very down-to-earth and hands-on attitude. Personable and approachable, leads from the front, very user-friendly, and accessible.’
Mikhail Fridman and the ultimate business owners of LetterOne and Alfa Group
Liberty Global B.V.
Sports Information Services Ltd
- Providing ongoing reputation management advice to Mikhail Fridman, the leading Russian businessman, and his business partners in relation to their Data Protection Act claim against Orbis Business Intelligence regarding the processing of the claimants’ personal data within the so-called “Trump dossier”.
- Represented Liberty Global in relation to breach of confidence/ breach of non-disclosure agreement proceedings threatened by The Miles Consultancy (“TMC”) as a result of Liberty Global declining to procure TMC’s services.
- Acted for Bloomberg L.P. in defending a claim based on privacy, data protection and breach of confidence brought by an individual against Bloomberg in respect of its reporting of a criminal investigation into the claimant.
The 'highly professional and attentive' reputation management group at Farrer & Co 'offers practical, thoughtful and prompt advice' on the entire spectrum of defamation, privacy and harassment matters. Besides dealing with immediate crises, the team also provides services to address clients' long-term reputation protection needs. Buoyed by its reputation as a market-leading firm in the areas of charity law, arts, schools and universities, the team is often retained to advise on issues involving highly-sensitive institutions. In addition, it is a go-to destination for wealthy and high-profile individuals, celebrities and corporations, while also demonstrating the ability to advise leading media companies. Department head Julian Pike is described as a 'standout operator' by one client, while associate Alicia Mendonca-Richards excels in social media matters, online harassment and right to be forgotten actions; 'rising star' Tom Rudkin often assists with data protection and cybersecurity issues.
‘I have found the team I dealt with to be highly professional and attentive. They always respond in a timely manner. They are knowledgeable and experienced but also know when to seek more specialist advice if this becomes necessary.’
‘Julian Pike is highly experienced, thoughtful, articulate, confident, knowledgeable, very perceptive and personable, and always willing to work long and unsocial hours as required. Athalie Matthews is very diligent, and excellent at forensically going through the detail. She is very considered, reliable, extremely responsive and drafts very good letters.’
‘Recognises that a law firm doesn’t have all the answers and knows how to build a coalition of advisers to support the client. The team is extremely adept at building personal relationships and binding its network into its firm.’
‘Julian Pike is a standout operator. He understands what is realistically achievable for the client and with a compassionate approach helps get them there.’
‘Tom Rudkin is a rising star who is always willing to help think through an issue.’
‘The team offers practical, thoughtful and prompt advice. They always respond quickly and in a helpful way. Tom Rudkin is extremely able and pleasant to deal with.’
‘Very savvy in the context of reputation management, prepared to be tough when necessary, straight with the client about the strengths and weaknesses of their case. Julian Pike is clearly very experienced and an expert in this field.’
James and Pippa Matthews (née Middleton)
Natural History Museum
BAFTA (the British Academy of Film and Television Arts)
Lawn Tennis Association
The Sackler Family
The Economist Newspaper Limited
BMJ Publishing Group Limited
- Advising the FA and individual England Team players before, during and after the 2019 FIFA Women’s Football World Cup, including handling issues connected with media intrusion, privacy and harassment, and liaising with major national newspapers such as The Sunday Times and The Guardian on an ongoing basis.
- Advising James and Pippa Matthews on ongoing press interest in their family and harassment and stalking from the paparazzi, including managing press coverage of their son, and dealing with press and photo agencies around the world to prevent further harassment.
- Providing pre- and post- publication advice to the Economist, including reviewing proposed content and advising on questions arising from it, and handling any complaints or claims that the newspaper receives.
The reputation protection team at Mishcon de Reya LLP covers the entire array of media and information law issues from long-term consultancy work, crisis management to litigation. The group receives instructions from a predominantly claimant client base, composed of high-net-worth individuals (HNWI) and corporations, but is also adept at assisting publishers, editors and journalists. Drawing on the firm's full-service capability, the practice routinely works alongside other teams, such as employment, white-collar crime, investigations and cyber intelligence, to address clients' most pressing and highly sensitive reputational issues. Media litigator Emma Woollcott spearheads the department; she demonstrates a wealth of experience in defamation, privacy, harassment, breach of confidence and injunctions. James Libson is often engaged by HNWI and politicians.
Alphaco and EuroEco Fuels (Poland) Limited
- Acting for Alphaco and EuroEco Fuels in bringing a claim for defamation in the UK in relation to statements published in Poland, in Polish, which were accessible throughout the world on the internet; this is an important case on jurisdiction in defamation claims and the “mosaic principle”.
- Provides pre- and post-publication advice to Euromoney’s wide range of magazines and news outlets.
The privacy and media law team at Payne Hicks Beach has secured numerous significant victories in High Court claims, and handles matters ranging from libel, privacy and harassment through to data protection. The team increasingly acts for an international client base, predominantly made up of high-net-worth individuals. Sports and entertainment personalities, private equity firms, politicians, family offices and leading corporates often seek the group's assistance with crisis management, breach of confidence and urgent injunctions, among other issues. Dominic Crossley, who has acted for a number of victims of phone hacking, also advises a range of online and book publishers. Crossley oversees the practice with Lucas Moore and Hanna Basha, who is a name to note for pre-publication advisory work. Online publications and data protection issues are notable areas of practice for Andrew Willan.
‘Dominic Crossley has an unparalleled reputation in libel. A brilliant team player; he is always able to reassure his clients, even in the red heat of battle.’
‘Hanna Basha has a wealth of experience acting for well-known individuals, and her courtroom experience is unrivalled. She is very skilled at handling clients and providing high quality advice, and is also always a pleasure to work with.’
‘Dominic Crossley is the partner to go-to for reputation management. He combines shrewdness and understanding of the law with a practical approach to solving problems.’
‘Nick Grant is very intelligent, an excellent drafter and has loads of experience of court work. He is very hardworking and also a very pleasant individual.’
‘Dominic Crossley is highly respected as one of the leading partners in this area.’
‘Andrew Willan is a top-class associate with far more experience than most lawyers of his age. He has great judgement and an unflappable temperament and will surely become a top partner before long.’
‘Dominic Crossley is a very strategic thinker.’
- Acting for over a dozen MPs in relation to their appearance on the dossier of 36 MPs accused of sexual harassment; work included successfully representing Daniel Poulter MP in proceedings against Times Newspapers.
- Acting for Simrin Choudhrie in a successful strike-out application relating to a high-profile claim for breach of confidence.
- Advised Elaph Publishing Limited in respect of a number of threatened libel, privacy and data protection act claims.
Pinsent Masons LLP
Benefiting from a market-leading practice in the data protection space, the media and privacy disputes team at Pinsent Masons LLP is well-placed to advise clients where defamation, privacy, malicious falsehood and data protection issues converge in the context of content available online. With a strong footprint in the technology sphere, the team is adept at assisting traditional media clients, as well as tech companies and media liability insurers, covering advice on a range of matters, including right to be forgotten claims. Data protection litigator and practice head David Barker is the go-to adviser in relation to Google's disputes in defamation and privacy. The practice also includes key associate Imogen Allen-Back, who boasts significant experience in reputation protection issues.
Other key lawyers:
‘An excellent team. Committed, dedicated, thoughtful and highly capable. Standout individuals include David Barker.’
University of Durham
- Advising Google LLC on Richard Lloyd v Google, a landmark £3bn+ case in the field of data privacy class actions.
- 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.
- Instructed by a large online global news provider to defend it in respect of defamation proceedings brought by a financial services company and its CEO regarding an article published online.
Simkins LLP offers a comprehensive reputation protection practice, covering advice on crisis management issues arising out of different media channels, such as print, broadcast and online content, as well as social platforms. The practice is particularly strong in pre-publication work, but also deals with post-publication complaints, demonstrating extensive experience obtaining takedowns, corrections, apologies and damages on behalf of claimants. Gideon Benaim, who is noted for his longstanding background in reputation management and media litigation, oversees the team. Tom Iverson assists in the full-range of matters, namely defamation and privacy claims, as well as breach of confidence, harassment and data protection. Jon Oakley, who stands out for his experience before the appellate courts, and associate Jessica Welch are also part of the core team.
‘Simkins are clearly one of the leaders in the area of reputation protection, with strong relevant knowledge and experience. They are genuinely concerned with their client’s interests – seeking to reach satisfactory resolutions at the earliest opportunity and therefore seeking to deliver value for money. They are very quick into action and are genuinely available 24/7 – they realise that in this area of business speed is vital. They have a network of contacts and associate companies in many countries around the world who can be called on to give unbiased advice in many jurisdictions. Overall very highly recommended.’
‘They play to win, while understanding if clients make enemies in the press it could damage them in the long-term. Forensic in detail, but practical in execution of strategy.’
‘Gideon Benaim and his team are leaders in their field and inspire great confidence in clients in crisis who need to know that their problems are understood, are being managed and that everything that needs to be done is being done. If I needed to refer a high-profile client with a reputational/media problem, Simkins would be my first call.’
‘Gideon Benaim is outstanding, and clearly right at the top of the tree in this field. He gives sound counsel and is not afraid to say what he thinks is the best advice, regardless of whether this is what the client thinks they want to hear.’
‘Gideon Benaim has represented some of the biggest names in entertainment and business – he wins confidence quickly with a deep knowledge based on experience.’
‘Jon Oakley is sharp as a razor but charming and always understanding whatever the twist in the road is that litigation so often throws up.’
‘Gideon Benaim – amazing experience with high-profile individuals. Calm, clear, practical and always thinking strategically and thinking ahead. An excellent technical lawyer who is great to deal with and instils enormous confidence in the client.’
Sir Cliff Richard
- Represented Sir Cliff Richard in his groundbreaking privacy and data protection case against the BBC and South Yorkshire Police.
- Representing Evangelos Marinakis, a Greek shipowner, member of the Piraeus City Council and owner of the football clubs Olympiacos in Greece and Nottingham Forest in England, in reputation management issues.
Taylor Wessing LLP handles the entire spectrum of matters pertaining to reputation management and privacy protection, offering legal support to both claimants and defendants. In addition to advising on traditional media liability issues, the practice is also adept at assisting with data protection and cybersecurity incidents, as well as "right to be forgotten" claims and social media take-downs. Niri Shanmuganathan is noted for his extensive experience in post-publication work. Other key lawyers include Michael Yates.
Wiggin LLP has a strong defendant practice, which brings together expertise in defamation, reputation management, content protection and media litigation. Typical mandates include defending newspapers, publishers, broadcasting and production companies from applications for injunctions, as well as privacy and data protection issues. Pre-publication matters are a core area of activity for the department, which offers round-the-clock clearance services through its specialist brand Reviewed & Cleared. Practice head Caroline Kean, who has been involved in key libel and privacy cases, boasts a strong international client portfolio, notably working with US clients. Associated Newspapers is one of Matthew Dando's most prominent clients; Dando also assists broadcasters, film studios and content creators.
Other key lawyers:
Associated Newspapers Limited
News UK (including The Sun and Dow Jones)
The Wylie Agency
Penguin Random House
Audible (an Amazon company)
- Acting for Associated Newspapers in proceedings brought by Sir James Dyson and his wife relating to a Daily Mail report of disputes between the couple and their former housekeeper.
- Defending Middle East News UK Limited and others in libel and malicious falsehood proceedings brought by Qatar Airways Q.S.C. as a result of the publication of a video which described the impact of the air blockade which came about when the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain closed their airspace to Qatar aircraft.
- Acted for Associated Newspapers in defamation proceedings brought by Usharenka Chelvendra in relation to an article published in the Daily Mail and MailOnline concerning the reporting of an incident at a rental property and the deaths of two tenants.
ACK Media Law LLP provides comprehensive legal advice across defamation and crisis management, privacy claims and data protection issues. An authority in pre-publication queries and legal clearance issues, the practice offers ongoing assistance to film, TV and theatre productions, as well as publishing companies. Post-publication matters, involving libel and privacy, contempt of court, and complaints to the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) are other typical mandates. Co-head Susan Aslan has extensive experience in crisis management and is a trusted adviser of Associated Newspapers, while co-leader Sue Charles shines in defamation and rights of privacy matters.
Other key lawyers:
E.L. James/Fifty Shades Limited
Reed Business Information Limited
DVV Media Group
Channel Four Television
Associated Newspapers 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.
- Representing ARTE TV in a defamation claim from high profile political and business figure, Isabel dos Santos.
Archerfield Partners LLP
Archerfield Partners LLP is a 'strong boutique firm for privacy, confidentiality and reputation management'. The team's eclectic client base features a blend of celebrities, talent management companies, high-net-worth individuals, as well as book publishers and film and TV producers. The broad service offering not only covers defamation and harassment claims, but also encompasses malicious falsehood, trade secrets and GDPR issues. Crisis management and pre-publication advisory are other core strengths for the team. Mark Bateman focuses on litigation pertaining to reputation protection, and acts for both individuals and media organisations. Bateman oversees the practice alongside 'standout performer' Matthew Dowd, and Paul Chamberlain, whose areas of specialist interest include issues pertaining to the online distribution of content.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team is always available and never slacks. Practitioners are much more than lawyers, they are colleagues, team players, crisis managers, confidantes, cool and calm under pressure.‘
‘Very strong boutique firm for privacy, confidentiality and reputation management. They take on difficult cases for demanding clients and achieve great outcomes. I rate in particular Mark Bateman, Matthew Dowd and Paul Chamberlain.’
‘Very approachable, calm and professional, with a wealth of experience, a real understanding of the practicalities as well as the legal issues, and a wonderful rapport with clients. Matt Dowd is a great person to have on your side: highly accessible, calm, upbeat, and striving his hardest for the client through thick and thin.’
‘The team is very attentive and you are always treated as the client with clear communication. They cover all aspects of the law that our type of industry requires. Matthew Dowd has great knowledge of the film industry and they go to great lengths to make sure we have all the facts and then presenting their recommendations. We trust their judgement implicitly as they have made it their business to get to know us as a business.’
‘This is a small team, partner led with great quality and intelligence in every employee. I know the firm very well and they are all round first class. Matthew Dowd is a standout performer. Absolute discretion, dealing all the time with the most highly confidential subject matters. He is intelligent, practical and a proper problem solver who always has his clients’ interests to the fore.’
‘One-to-one partner involvement at all stages. Excellent lateral thinkers able to problem solve and strategise at the highest level. Very personal service to fully understand a client’s needs. Dogged determination and persistence to find the right solutions and problem solve. Excellent personal touch. Matthew Dowd in particular is very impressive and has a superb ‘bedside manner’ with clients.’
Tracy Dixon & Family
Ganapati PLC and Ganapati Malta
The late Caroline Flack
- Continues to act for Sam Allardyce following a complaint to IPSO on his behalf in respect of a series of articles (15 in total) published by the Daily Telegraph accusing him, inter-alia, of corruption and breaking FA rules.
- Representing former model Tracy Dixon and her family in a privacy claim brought against the Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police in respect of unlawful surveillance and filming of the claimants at their home on a substantial number of occasions by means of the equipment on board the South Yorkshire Police helicopter.
- Acting for the late Love Island star Caroline Flack following her arrest in relation to an alleged assault in respect of issues of defamation, privacy and contempt against various newspapers/media organisations.
Bates Wells advises charities, newspaper publishers, student unions, politicians, regulators and faith-based broadcasters on reputation management issues pertaining to harassment, data protection, and freedom of information requests. Defamation via social media is a key area of expertise, evidenced by its credentials acting on disclosure actions to identify anonymous online posts. Head of media litigation Rupert Earle is 'very good at ensuring that his advice is tuned to how the client thinks'. Commercial litigator Alex de Jongh is a name to note for defamation involving campaigning groups.
Other key lawyers:
‘Rupert Earle has been consistently excellent. He has always been available to advise fully regardless of the hour or the day. This is an area where specialised advice from someone who also knows how the press operate (not just the law) is of paramount importance. Rupert’s advice is practical and strategic – focusing on the end game and guiding a client on how to work with and not necessarily against the media. It’s particularly helpful that he knows the players in media and thus can adapt advice accordingly, including when an investigative journalist is involved – it’s certainly not a case of one size fits all.’
‘Rupert has provided rock solid advice on handling disputes with investigative journalists that reach the Information Commissioner’s Office, including candid views on the strength of a case and how to position cases depending on their strength. In an area in which few of us possess serious experience and there are so many traps for the unwary, it’s invaluable to have Rupert on your side. Rupert is very good at ensuring that his advice is tuned to how the client thinks and would be prepared to act, as well as explaining alternatives and the consequences of each.’
Times Newspapers Limited
National Union of Students
Muslim Charities Forum
Faber & Faber
Advertising Standards Authority
- Acting for Times Newspapers in a ground-breaking case on whether success fees should be claimable from publishers in defamation and privacy cases.
- Acted for Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in litigation to secure temporary and final injunctions against anti-bank campaigner Neil Mitchell, who took out several billboards criticising RBS.
A leading player in human rights law, Bindmans LLP also 'provides a unique service to claimants in media law'. Charities, barristers, NGOs, and journalists feature on the practice's client roster, which is also well-equipped to undertake defendant work. Bringing together cross-departmental expertise in media, crime, employment and family law, the team advises on the full-array of matters pertaining to a reputational crisis, such as defamation, misuse of private information, breach of confidence, and non-disclosure agreements. Cases involving allegations of sexual harassment and protection of whistleblowers are some of its key legal specialisms. Tamsin Allen is 'a superb advocate' and leads the media and information law group.
Other key lawyers:
‘Bindmans is invariably a pleasure to work with. It attracts interesting clients and cases and gives a top class service. The lawyers are brilliant and the degree of care they provide to clients is exceptional.’
‘Bindmans are well known and highly respected in the reputation management legal market. They have appeared in many high profile and groundbreaking cases over the years and continue to do so. They surpass many other firms in terms of expertise and value for money. They are friendly, down to earth, approachable and sympathetic.’
‘Tamsin Allen is widely known and respected in the field as a star. She was the lead solicitor in the first stage of the NGN phone hacking litigation; represented the Core Participant Victims in Leveson module 2; and has continued to appear in groundbreaking cases.’
‘A highly expert team who go the extra mile. Tamsin Allen is a superb advocate to have on your side. She has a rare combination of professionalism and warmth and has been across every detail of the case. I trust and rely on her judgement and her ability to liaise with counsel and challenge them where required. She’s always available and takes time to explain the detail.’
‘Years of experience in media litigation work including in particular defamation and misuse of private information. Tamsin Allen is extremely well respected in the field. She has an excellent understanding of the law and is brilliant with clients – really fights their corner.’
‘Bindmans provides a unique service to claimants in the media law field. Their clients are private individuals, NGOs and civil society groups rather than celebrities or business people. Tamsin Allen, the Head of the Media and Information Law team, is a highly experienced media lawyer with a very good knowledge of the law, first rate judgement and client skills. She provides a premium service to her clients at highly competitive rates.’
Solidarity Not Silence group
New Statesman Limited
Mohammed Salman Butt
Frank Bennett, Honor Robson, Barbara Shaw and others
Michael Garrett Associates/Global Artists
Christopher Williamson (Former Member of Parliament)
- 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.
- Representing three women who are defendants in libel proceedings brought by Jonathan Fox, the lead singer of the King Blues.
- 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.
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
The defamation, media and privacy team at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP is adept at advising on pre-emptive reputation management strategies, as well as on the protection of data and confidential information. Recent areas of growth include crisis management and legal advice following cyber security incidents and data breaches, as well as freedom of information issues. Politicians, senior management in financial institutions, and a wide roster of celebrity clients, including entertainment and sports personalities, seek practice head Graham Shear's legal support in relation to reputational issues within the UK and other jurisdictions, while senior associate Sarah McAtominey regularly acts for institutions and high-net-worth individuals.
Other key lawyers:
Charles Russell Speechlys LLP 's reputation management and privacy team handles matters on behalf of both claimants and defendants. Practitioners advise a diverse client roster, including global corporations and high-net-worth individuals. With strong links to the commercial TV sector, the team is extremely experienced in advising TV companies, talent and executives on defamation, privacy actions, regulatory issues and pre-broadcast clearance. Duncan Lamont leads the team, which also offers reputation management advice to sports personalities. Claire Greaney is acting alongside Lamont in several ongoing phone hacking cases. Hannah Kent is proficient in misuse of private information claims and data breaches.
‘The team is very patient and understanding, and always helps to guide you in the right direction. They give practical advice and are available at all times to answer questions and provide insight. It makes me feel very safe and secure, putting trust in CRS to handle our issues.’
‘Claire Greaney is amazing. She is very relatable, and I feel comfortable speaking freely with her. We always get understandable advice, which is easy to digest, thus making it easier to make the right choices.’
Channel 4 News
Antony Cotton (Dunn)
Samantha Womack (nee Janus)
- Advising 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 clients.
- Advised Katy Ashworth in relation to defamation and privacy proceedings against Associated Newspapers Limited (Mail Online).
- Providing pre-publication advice to ITV News concerning compliance, libel, privacy and general commercial litigation.
Clintons focuses its privacy and reputation management team almost entirely on the claimant side, acting for TV and sports personalities, as well as musicians and corporate entities. The firm is able to advise across a range of areas including defamation, malicious falsehood, breach of confidence, data protection and harassment. Roddy Chisholm Batten continues to have a pivotal role in the phone hacking proceedings against News Group Newspapers Limited and MGN Limited, which is also a key area of activity for Caroline Hrabi.
‘Honest and helpful at all times. Roddy Chisholm Batten is always really helpful at all times, even out of office hours for emergencies.’
‘My experience of working with Clintons has been absolutely first class, particularly the way additional partners with expertise in other areas are drafted in as needed – the process has been seamless.’
‘Roddy Chisholm Batten is great at making a new (to me) and technical area easily understandable, with various clear courses of action presented well.’
‘Andrew Myers has endless patience with impatient clients.’
HRH The Duke of Sussex
Danny Cipriani (England rugby international)
David Walliams (actor, comedian and children’s author)
Lily Allen (singer and songwriter)
Jay Kay (lead singer of Jamiroquai)
Daisy Lowe (model, fashion designer and TV personality)
Paul Weller (singer and songwriter)
Jessie Wallace (EastEnders actress)
Shane Richie (former EastEnders actor)
Danny Dyer (EastEnders actor)
- Acting for three separate claimants for misuse of private information in the mobile telephone voicemail interception litigation against News Group Newspapers Limited.
- Represented Danny Cipriani in a misuse of private information and breach of GDPR claim against Soho Friday Media Limited (SFML) arising out of its publication of Lizzi Cundy’s biography ‘Tales from the Red Carpet’, which contained a chapter on her private relationship with the claimant.
- Acted for Aurelie Eboue, the ex-wife of former Arsenal footballer, Emmanuel ‘Manu’ Eboue. in a defamation claim against the Mail Online arising out of the publication of an interview that Mr Eboue had given French TV channel, Canal Plus, in which it was wrongly suggested that the claimant had left Mr Eboue financially destitute following their divorce and was refusing him access to their three children.
The 'reliable, responsive and helpful' media disputes practice at Hamlins LLP provides 'sound and balanced advice' in relation to libel and privacy rights claims. The team primarily represents claimants, demonstrating notable strength in high-profile reputation and privacy cases involving politicians. The firm, which has been involved in the high profile phone hacking litigation, is also well-equipped to assist with pre-publication reputation management issues. Department head Christopher Hutchings acts for both individuals and corporate clients, while Callum Galbraith is regularly retained by celebrities in libel and privacy matters. Alex Cochrane specialises in defamation and harassment claims.
‘Christopher Hutchings, Callum Galbraith and Andrew Stephenson are experts in this field and are highly committed to ensuring that the best judgements are made in their clients’ interests, which means no slavishly being prepared to do anything the clients want. They weigh the options very thoughtfully and give sound and balanced advice.’
‘They are friendly and made what could usually have been an unpleasant situation much more bearable. They put my mind at rest, and explained everything every step of the way. They were always there for me, and made me feel safe and supported the whole way through. They felt like an extended family. I also felt like they listened, and when I had to make a decision, they told me all the facts and although advised me, let me make my own decision. I didn’t feel pressured to make any choices that I wasn’t comfortable with. All in all, they were exactly the right mixture of friendly and professional, and did an amazing job for me.’
‘Each individual that I dealt with was friendly and approachable. I never felt talked down to, by anyone. If I didn’t understand something, they would explain it simply without making me feel like a fool. I have a particularly good relationship with Callum Galbraith, and he has taken me through a successful case, and he was always available to explain what was going on.’
‘The attitude of the partners and staff at the practice is always extremely friendly and they go to great lengths to provide proper guidance which includes the pro and cons of the issue. They inspire confidence by their expertise and attitude.’
‘The partners at the practice work effectively as a team and are always courteous to the client. The service they provide is first class and they are always prompt in sending out correspondence and returning phone calls. My claim against a major newspaper group was successful and I attribute this to the expertise and action of Hamlins.’
‘The team is reliable, responsive and helpful. They strive to find a way to make things work. Simon Gallant is by far the best defamation lawyer I have dealt with. He is practical and helpful and understands how newspapers work. He always seeks to make a story possible.’
Anna Turley (former Labour MP)
The Jewish Chronicle
Justin Hawkins (The Darkness)
Jacqueline Gold (CBE)
- Advising longstanding client Lord Sheikh in libel proceedings against the publisher of the MailOnline website.
- Successfully acted for the former Labour MP, Anna Turley, in her claim for libel, breach of the Data Protection Act, misuse of private information and breach of confidence.
- Overseeing and steering litigation against NGN in relation to the phone hacking scandal, since 2016.
The media litigation team at Howard Kennedy LLP offers legal support on a wide array of matters, such as defamatory content, publication of confidential information on social media, imposter accounts, as well as privacy and data protection issues, which are increasingly a mainstay of the practice. International clients from the sports and media sectors, corporations and governmental entities seek the team's advice on reputation protection, media intrusion and free speech matters. Practice leader Mark Stephens CBE regularly assists high-net-worth individuals. Elizabeth Morley is a name to note for defendant work; she is experienced in acting for media organisations and publishers.
Other key lawyers:
Democratic Press S.A.
Paul Gait & Elaine Kirk-Gait (the Gatwick Drone Couple)
Zelda Perkins (former personal assistant of Harvey Weinstein)
- Represented Vernon Unsworth in relation to his claims against Elon Musk, following defamatory comments made by Mr Musk about the claimant on Twitter and via email to a media organisation following the Thai cave reserve.
- Advising Paul Gait & Elaine Kirk-Gait following the publication of false accusations in a number of news outlets and social media accounts relating to the flying of drones at Gatwick Airport.
- Advising former MP Harvey Proctor in relation to false accusations made by Carl Beech, who claimed that Mr Proctor was part of a non-existent “VIP paedophile ring” of powerful figures linked to the UK government and that he was personally responsible for the murder and sexual abuse of multiple children.
Kingsley Napley LLP's reputation and media team advises corporates and high-profile individuals, with experience across politics, sports and the entertainment industries. The team regularly works alongside the firm's criminal practice, able to advise clients on every aspect of their case from arrest, to charge and trial reporting. Practice head Charlotte Harris 'is a very shrewd and experienced litigator', who regularly leads on matters involving a political or religious component. Helen Morris specialises in data protection law, and also showcases a strong track record in libel and privacy litigation.
Other key lawyers:
‘Charlotte Harris is truly exceptional – she has an outstanding client base, and is a very shrewd and experienced litigator.’
‘Always quick to respond and very reliable. Truly have clients’ best interests at heart.’
‘Charlotte Harris always makes herself available when we need her. She is practical and highly knowledgeable in her field. She fills us with confidence with her well planned out approach to cases.’
- Acting for Rebekah Vardy, the wife of Premier League footballer Jamie Vardy in her high profile dispute with Coleen Rooney relating to defamatory content in a widely circulated Twitter posting.
- Advising British businessman Arron Banks, a political donor and the co-founder of the Leave.EU campaign, in relation to a dispute with the Electoral Commission arising from a press release and report published on 1 November 2018.
- Acting for high-profile former England player and football pundit Rio Ferdinand in respect of his privacy and confidentiality.
Demonstrating strength across the technology, media, entertainment and creative sectors, Lee & Thompson LLP's reputation protection group routinely collaborates with other departments within the firm. The practice acts for a diverse claimant portfolio, including well-known Hollywood actors, musicians and reality TV stars, but has also been taking on increasing defendant work. Preventative matters are a core area of activity for the team, which is adept at advising on issues such as theft of private information, online harassment, revenge porn threats and hacking. Department head Mike Brookes, who had an active role in the phone hacking litigation, is seasoned in clearance and libel work. The highly regarded Leo Dawkins is skilled in pre- and post- publication matters.
Other key lawyers:
‘They are professional yet personable. It’s the first law firm I’ve used where I have been treated like a human being rather than a client or another number to file for targets.’
‘They are simply a great bunch of very intelligent, talented, charismatic lawyers, and even in tough times (as is often the case when you need a lawyer) it’s always pleasure to work with them.’
‘Leo Dawkins has gone over and above on every single case. He is fair, realistic, really knows his stuff, and manages to be a great guy, through some very tough, stressful situations. He has also achieved brilliant results and successes for his clients. He’s quite simply better than any other lawyer I’ve ever worked with.’
‘The firm is unusual for its working for both claimants and media defendants, and for its extensive involvement with the creative arts.’
‘Leo Dawkins is thoughtful and hardworking.’
‘Mike Brookes is a terrific litigator.’
AC Grayling CBE
Channel 5 Broadcasting Limited
Jewish Chronicle / Markel International
Various high-profile Film and TV Productions companies and broadcasters
- Advising actor Jude Law in relation to various reputation protection matters against the tabloid press.
- Defending Channel 5 in a privacy claim brought against the client.
- Acting for Harry Styles in various reputation protection matters against the tabloid press.
Housed within the commercial dispute resolution department, the reputation management offering at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP covers defamation and misuse of private information advice. The team is often called in to assist other departments, such as family law, employment, private client and charities, handle highly sensitive cases in which reputational and privacy issues are likely to arise. Crisis management around sexual harassment allegations and data protection incidents are making up an increasing amount of the team's workload. Jeremy Clarke-Williams is a solid performer in high profile libel cases; he is often instructed by corporate clients both as claimants and defendants. Adele Ashton assists clients with issues prior to publication, as well as in litigation arising from breach of privacy rights.
Other key lawyers:
‘Good competences and spread in the handling of cases.’
‘Each individual carefully points out the pros and cons of each option, resulting in the client gaining solid basic legal advice to choose how to proceed. All members of the team are highly responsive.’
Drawing on its global footprint, the 'well-established' media and reputation practice at Withers LLP offers legal services to UK and overseas clients, including corporations, charities and a large number of high-net-worth individuals. Dual-qualified Amber Melville-Brown is now based in New York and heads up the global media, privacy and reputation protection group. She excels in defamation, harassment and data protection issues. Sitting in the London office, Jo Sanders, who 'has great judgement and experience', leads the UK practice. Andrew Fremlin-Key is a seasoned practitioner in sports-related matters, advising well-known sports personalities in reputational issues and privacy.
Other key lawyers:
‘They give you the security that you are in the best hands for your problem. Amber Melville-Brown is very professional and easy to work with. We feel that our case is being fought for, in the best way possible. Unlike other firms, we get answers to all our queries in short and clear language.’
‘Very good at knowing what clients need and delivering results. Jo Sanders has great judgement and experience.’
‘The availability and speed to deploy in what were periods of crisis for me was absolutely outstanding. I really felt I had 24/7 access to support and advice in a rapidly moving situation. The outcomes achieved were excellent and first staunched and then prevented further reputational damage. The cool, calm practical approach adopted by the Withers team helped me immensely at a time of intense stress.’
‘I had never been through anything like this but the team acted in an assertive yet supportive way and with rapid, effective action regained control of a situation that appeared to be spinning away. The thought that these were individuals who were on my side helped me so much with my mental wellness in a very stressful period. The human touch was as important as the very effective legal actions.’
‘ Jo Sanders is simply superb – she is able to assess a mass of information very quickly and identify not only the key issues, but the answers as well. Amber Melville-Brown is similarly excellent and now working in New York.’
‘Well-resourced and well-established firm that attracts some of the best lawyers and clients. Jo Sanders and Amber Melville-Brown are very supportive colleagues, who like to work collaboratively and can see beyond the purely legal aspects of a case to the wider communications and operational considerations.’
‘Excellent at drafting, especially of letters, good up-to-date knowledge of the law as it applies to the constantly shifting media landscape. Jo Sanders is excellent, easy to deal with and very smart.’
Vistry Group (formerly Bovis Homes)
The late Sir Roger Scruton
The Family of His Exalted Highness the 8th Nizam of Hyderabad
Laurence Fox (actor)
Harriet Green CBE
The Board of Trustees of the Tate Gallery
- Acted for renowned UK philosopher and academic the late Sir Roger Scruton in his high profile battle against political and cultural magazine, The New Statesman.
- Acting for numerous international individuals (including two ultra high-net-worth Russian individuals) in relation to inaccurate or out-of-date profiles on World Check and other international due diligence databases.
BLM 's media client base includes publishers, insurers, local authorities, as well as police forces, educational institutions and sports bodies. Head of department Tim Smith focuses on matters involving defamation, breach of confidence and malicious falsehood. Acting mainly for corporates, Steve Kuncewicz is experienced in defamation proceedings. Associate Hannah Pilkington specialises in reputation protection issues within the healthcare sector.
‘Tom Double is a future star. He is very bright and easy to deal with and has a cool, calm approach to litigation.’
Medical Protection Society
- Representing the Anglo-Portuguese Society in the defence of a claim for defamation brought by its former chairman and members of his family in relation to a range of statements/publications.
- Acting for the Police Federation of England & Wales in relation to a claim for defamation stemming from statements made at a meeting of Branch Boards regarding the removal of the claimants from the Police Federation’s Panel.
- Representing City of Hackney Carers in relation to a claim for defamation.
Brett Wilson LLP stands out for its practice advising in relation to online defamation and harassment matters. The 'experienced' firm has traditionally handled claimant media and defamation work but is also increasingly taking on defendant mandates, and has a proven track record in data protection claims against search engines. Privacy, breach of confidence and data leaks are other notable areas of practice for the team. Iain Wilson 'is a superb lawyer' and is sought after by politicians, corporates, celebrities and high-profile individuals. Max Campbell 'is a rising star' in the field of media litigation. 'A fantastic addition to the team', Elisabeth Mason recently joined the firm from Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP.
‘A niche firm with a reputation for testing legal boundaries and finding novel ways of resolving difficult legal issues. Iain Wilson is a superb lawyer with excellent client care and great strategic advice. Max Campbell has an amazing eye for detail and will do all he can to get the right result for his clients.’
‘Elisabeth Mason is an extremely impressive individual who is very hardworking and has sound judgement -the ideal team player who extracts excellent results. Also a pleasure to work with at all times, even when things get stressful.’
‘Brett Wilson are a niche claimant media law firm, specialising in internet issues, including libel and data protection. They punch above their weight and have been involved in a number of the important recent cases. They are very dynamic and focused and give excellent client care.’
‘Iain Wilson is simply brilliant. He has an amazing grasp of all aspects of media and information law and superb client care. Max Campbell is an excellent lawyer who really gives everything for his clients. Elisabeth Mason is a fantastic addition to the team, she is versatile and has an extraordinary eye for detail.’
‘Brett Wilson’s down-to-earth libel law team know their stuff backwards and forwards, and are absolutely passionate about what they do. Whilst operating at more cost effective rates than most, each step in the litigation process is carefully considered against their thorough knowledge of law and practice. Iain Wilson, the backbone of the practice, combines an easy manner with sharp intellect and an absolute commitment to the client’s cause. The combative Max Campbell is a rising star in the firm with a deep knowledge and enthusiasm for the law.’
‘From the very first interaction to the end I truly felt I had someone on my side, who understood my situation and wanted to do all they could to help me. It didn’t feel as though they were driven by me being just another case; I truly felt they wanted the absolute best for me, the best outcome possible and were working genuinely for me not just my money. The written work was outstanding and their arguments first class. They really know what they are doing, what they are talking about and the level of expertise is something all legal firms should desire.’
‘Iain Wilson & Max Campbell were both excellent. They were very personable, knowledgeable and at the top of their game. There was a level of clarity from both of them that made things easy to understand and they were able to express detail in the simplest of ways.’
Alison Morgan QC
Bristows LLP has been enhancing its offering where data protection work and traditional media work meet, taking on two lawyers from the media/data disputes team at Pinsent Masons LLP to strengthen its offering. The 'exceptional' Alex Keenlyside, now leads the practice, and joined alongside Rob Graham. Both bring a wealth of experience in defamation, misuse of private information and confidentiality, coupled with data protection disputes. The firm already had a strong practice advising in the media and technology space, with Mark Brown a name to note for advising on defamatory content on digital platforms and pre-publication work .
‘Alex Keenlyside has consistently struck the perfect balance between presenting himself to the opposition as a formidable, resilient, robust and highly professional lawyer, with superior knowledge in his field, while at the same time providing calm reassurance to his clients. He is exceptionally measured in providing advice to his clients, and I have complete confidence in his professional judgement. The depth of experience he has in his field speaks for itself, and is clearly exhibited in his carefully considered, tactical decision making.’
‘Excellent technical understanding of modern media, especially internet publishers, and social media.’
‘Alex Keenlyside is astute, fun and conscientious and I very much enjoyed working with him. He is someone to whom I would happily recommend a client.’
‘Bristows can now rightly hold itself out as offering defamation and privacy expertise alongside its tech and data protection work.’
‘Following the capture of Alex Keenlyside, they are now one of a very small number of firms who are genuinely able to combine top-tier expertise in the data protection and privacy sector with a stellar reputation management offering. Given the overlap between these two fields, they are therefore ideally placed to be at the forefront of new developments in both sectors.’
‘Alex Keenlyside is an exceptional lawyer who has enormous experience of media and reputation management work . He is widely seen as the leader of the new generation of lawyers in the reputation management field. He has a great grasp of the law and tactical considerations and is hugely liked by clients who appreciate his collegiate and calm style and his ability to see a case through both legal and commercial perspectives.’
‘The team has particularly strong expertise in the TMT sector where they represent many major national and international players. They would definitely be one of my top recommendations for advice in this area.’
Screencut Television Limited
Learn to Trade (formerly Knowledge to Action)
Kerzner International Limited
Neon Marl Limited
- Acting for Screencut Television Limited in relation to the BBC programme, “The Sheriffs are Coming”, which featured the enforcement of a debt against Sir Benjamin Slade at his property, Maunsel House. Sir Benjamin sought an injunction against Screencut to prevent the programme being broadcast, relying on trespass and Article 8 (right to privacy).
- Representing earn to Trade (formerly Knowledge to Action), which was the subject of a series of false and misleading accusations on Quora regarding the nature and propriety of their business.
High profile individuals seek Collyer Bristow LLP's legal representation on a range of reputation management matters, including litigation arising from privacy and libel claims, as well as breach of confidence matters. Steven Heffer has significant experience in the field, having acted for several claimants in the phone hacking High Court proceedings against News Group Newspapers.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is skilled at managing the reputational aspects of commercial disputes and corporate crises. Besides providing strategic advice in the context of wider incident responses and public relations strategy, the broad service further covers malicious falsehood, misuse of private information, breach of confidence, harassment and defamation matters. Practice head Alan Watts 'is one of the best litigation lawyers in the City', and is also proficient in pre-publication issues. Neil Blake is extremely experienced in acting for corporate clients on reputational crisis management.
‘The Reputation Team at HSF is excellent; knowing when and how to take action; thinking about PR as well as the legal answer. Alan Watts is one of the best litigation lawyers in the City. His experience and judgement are excellent.’
‘The key differentiators for us in choosing to work with HSF were the excellent track record in cases of our type and ability to explain very clearly the legal process, what would be required of us and what HSF would do.’
‘Alan Watts, and Christopher Cox, as part of our selection process were very good at helping us to understand our options.They helped to bolster our confidence in a situation which was unique for all of us, and they did this in a way which was supportive and collaborative.’
‘We found the team we worked with to be very supportive and good to work with in a situation which was personally challenging for all of us. Our main contacts were Christopher Cox and Angela Lui who worked well as a team and interfaced with us in an effective and efficient way. It was clear that they were highly competent and knew how to operate effectively with busy clients. They laid out very clearly what they needed us to do and were respectful of our time pressures. They ensured that our interactions with our QC and his chambers were managed effectively and arranged good review sessions with the QC . Both Angela and Chris are good communicators and managed to keep us well briefed on current and upcoming issues.’
‘Exceptional advice; clear, responsive, fast. You get a sense of buying real expertise compared to other firms where you often feel you are buying capacity or process.’
‘Direct, clear, pull no punches. Alan Watts is exceptional. Angela Liu has been brilliant.’
Iain Ferguson, Warwick Brady, John Coombs, Richard Laycock, Andrew Wood (certain directors and former directors of the Stobart Group)
Associated British Foods
Lord Alan Sugar
- Acts 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) related to alleged malicious and defamatory comments included in an RNS published by the Stobart Group in May 2018.
- Representing Wirecard in relation to the ongoing publication by the FT of articles regarding alleged accounting irregularities in Wirecard’s Singaporean business as well as more general coverage of Wirecard.
- Advised IFM Investors in relation to media coverage of tribunal proceedings involving allegations of sexual harassment made by one of their junior employees in relation to a more senior member of staff.
Reputation management sits within the dispute resolution department at Ince . The team is particularly noted for advising household names in the publishing and news media industries. In addition to providing ongoing pre-publication advice to longstanding clients, the team is also adept at handling complex contentious matters. Robin Shaw, whose areas of expertise include privacy, defamation and data protection, leads the team. Corporate clients and high-net-worth individuals seek Melanie Hart's support in reputational issues.
‘The Reputation Management team at Ince is top notch.’
Guardian News and Media Limited (publishers of The Guardian newspaper)
Telegraph Media Group (publishers of The Daily Telegraph)
Pressdram Limited (publishers of Private Eye)
Harper Collins Limited
- Advised The Guardian newspaper in its defence of a High Court libel claim brought by international business woman Yana Peel.
- Advised The Telegraph newspaper in the defence of a privacy claim brought by Sir Philip Green.
- Long-term adviser to a weekly satirical magazine, Private Eye, offering pre-publication advice and handling complaints brought against the magazine.
Manleys Solicitors is adept at advising media outlets as well as high-profile individuals in defamation cases. Managing partner Mark Manley has a solid track-record in litigation and is noted for his experience in reputation management matters. Leanne Wheeler is proficient in pre-publication injunctions and defamation claims.
Acting for both claimants and defendants, Osborne Clarke LLP offers advice in relation to litigation and crisis management arising out of libel, privacy, harassment and data protection issues. In addition to demonstrating in-depth knowledge of digital/internet platforms and contentious data privacy cases, the practice has solid credentials in handling reputational matters with an international component. Media and information law expert Ashley Hurst - 'who is destined to be at the top of the profession for a long time' - assists major tech and media companies, as well as high-profile individuals. Reputation management issues arising from cyber security incidents are one of Charlie Wedin's legal specialisms.
Other key lawyers:
‘Probably the best kept secret in the reputation management world: Osborne Clarke is ludicrously strong at online reputation management.’
‘Ashley Hurst is the standout partner. He is an industry leader in online reputation management who achieves impressive results for global clients.’
‘A very strong team, with a built-in knowledge of the media and telecommunications sector as a whole that give it an enormous edge in many cases. Outstanding client service.’
‘Ashley Hurst is an outstanding partner, who is destined to be at the top of the profession for a long time. A star.’
- Acting for Qatar Airways in relation to malicious falsehood proceedings brought against the Saudi Arabian news organisation, Al Arabiya Group.
- Represented GAMA Healthcare Limited, a global manufacturer of medical products and the leading supplier of disinfectant wipes to the NHS, in two matters in which competitors sought to disparage the client and its products to its customers through the use of false and misleading sales emails.
- Handles all pre-publication and post-publication libel and other content related matters for Verizon Media (including Huff Post, Yahoo News and Techchrunch).
With extensive experience acting for players within the entertainment, media and music industry, Russells Solicitors shines in the claimant side of work. Regular mandates include advising on privacy, libel, harassment and data protection claims brought against websites, newspapers and magazines. The team counts among its past successes a number of settled claims relating to the phone-hacking scandal, on which John Reid advised several celebrities. Practice head Steven Tregear is a seasoned practitioner in reputation management issues for a stellar cast of musicians and TV personalities.
Other key lawyers:
‘Steven Tregear is both thoughtful and hands-on, with superb knowledge of the music and sports industry.’
Modest! Management (managers of One Direction, Little Mix amongst others)
Mark Wright and Michelle Keegan
Kilimanjaro Live Limited
The Estate of George Michael
Bobby Gillespie (frontman of Primal Scream)
- Acting for former football star turned broadcaster, Ian Wright, in a major phone hacking claim against The Mirror.
- Handling a range of reputation management issues for well-known singer, former X-factor presenter, and longstanding client, Cheryl, including ensuring that incorrect, damaging and intrusive stories were kept out of the press, as well as advising her on potential hacking claims against national newspapers.
- Acting for Kilimanjaro Live, a UK-based live event promotion company specialising in music concerts, in a dispute with Viagogo, an online ticket reselling marketplace, over Kilimanjaro’s restriction on the resale of Ed Sheeran UK concert tickets (and specifically allegedly inflammatory remarks following our client’s cancellation of a number of tickets that had found their way onto Viagogo’s site).
Simmons & Simmons
The reputation management practice at Simmons & Simmons assists a stellar roster of clients, predominantly in the financial markets and asset management sectors. The team is a first port of call for fintech start-ups, and has the ability to handle cross-border reputation protection matter. Work includes actions to prevent the publication or disclosure of material in the public domain, as well as to remove defamatory content published in print and online media. Robert Allen focuses on crisis management and litigation arising from data breaches, harassment issues and right to be forgotten claims.
Grant Thornton UK LLP
- Acting for Grant Thornton UK LLP, and two of its partners, in their defence of a high-profile £multi-billion claim brought by Vincent Tchenguiz and companies associated with him, including the partners’ counterclaim in defamation.
- Acted for innovative cryptocurrency advisory and management firm, Bitstocks Ltd, in addressing the issues and risks arising from a fraudulent website posing as the company’s legitimate trading business, successfully closing down the website.
Recently-established boutique Slateford was founded by partner Chris Scott and some of the team at Himsworth Scott, following the departure of Matthew Himsworth. The firm, which specialises in reputation protection and crisis management, brings together under one roof expertise covering matters as diverse as misuse of private information, confidentiality issues, removal of defamatory and fake content on social media, as well as "right to be forgotten" claims, and pre-publication advice. Steven Hudson and Jessica Lovell are key points of contact.
Swan Turton LLP
Privacy, confidentiality and data protection are all growing areas of activity for Swan Turton LLP , which is predominantly noted for its experience in libel and defamation. High profile individuals and corporate clients within the media (film, theatre, TV and music) often retain the team to advise on both pre- and post-publication issues. Leading the department is Catherine Fehler, who has a wealth of experience in litigation involving reputation protection. Data protection is an area of focus for Robin Blay; senior associate Anne Mannion is proficient in libel and privacy cases involving cross-border elements.
PEI Media Limited
Angela Flowers Gallery
- Dealing with various complex matters involving Refinitiv Limited’s World-Check database.
- Advising best selling crime fiction author Peter James on significant reputation management and defamation matters.
- Advising award-winning composer and conductor Ennio Morricone in relation to a number of legal matters.
A heavyweight in the sports sector, Brabners LLP's media and entertainment practice gives preventative advice and support in the management of reputational crises. The team is experienced at achieving significant settlements for sports' governing bodies and athletes against national news publications, in the context of defamation, privacy and harassment claims. Other areas of activity include regulatory complaints and online take-downs. Jointly leading the practice are Paul Lunt and Philip Steele, who have extensive experience in contentious media work in the areas of sport and entertainment.
‘Good knowledge and good customer service.’
‘Paul Lunt and Phil Steele are excellent practitioners.’
FAUN Trackway Limited and FAUN Zoeller (UK) Limited
Ifor Williams Trailers Limited
Tall Group of Companies Limited; Checkprint Limited and DLRT Limited
(1) Hugz Clothing Limited; (2) CC Liverpool Limited; (3) Mr Christopher Kavanagh
James Hall & Company Limited
International Sport Group Limited
Regatta Ltd; Craghoppers Ltd; Hawkshead Outdoor Ltd
Climbtop Limited t/a Farmer Teds
Revolution Foods Limited and Simply Design Group Limited
Corgi Services Limited
- Defended England Cricket Vice Captain, Ben Stokes, against charges of affray arising from a fight in Bristol in September 2017 and the ongoing ramifications of these charges which continued well into 2019, representing him across the range of all knock-on implications including implications with sponsors, media/ reputation management and disciplinary/ playing matters.
- Continue to be instructed by the FAUN group of companies in relation to their IP matters, particularly enforcement and protection of their brand.
Advising corporations and public sector bodies on keeping matters out of the press and avoiding expensive litigation is at the core of the defamation and reputation management practice at Burges Salmon LLP. The service offering covers assistance with claims involving published articles, broadcasts, social media posts as well as user-generated content and online harassment. IP expert Jeremy Dickerson is a solid performer in online and offline defamation matters. He oversees the team, which also includes senior associate Richard Binns, whose area of specialist knowledge encompasses reputation protection within the social media domain.
Other key lawyers:
The Met Office
The Cayman Islands Government
- Continues to advise the Met Office on reputation management, proactively managing the press, ensuring that Met Office forecasts are accurately reported, and the science of meteorology is accurately interpreted.
- Burges Salmon has been appointed by the Cayman Islands Government to advise on defamation, media and reputation management related issues in the UK.
Online defamation is at the forefront of the practice at Fieldfisher, which has notable strength in litigation pertaining to defamatory statements in user-generated content. High-net-worth individuals engage the team to assist with reputation management issues, while public and regulatory bodies tend to request advice on defendant matters. Dispute resolution head Colin Gibson has a background in high-profile contentious matters; IP leader John Linneker often acts for broadcasters and retail companies.
Other key lawyers:
- Continues to be engaged by 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.
Acting on both sides of reputation management matters, Keystone Law can field specialist practitioners across an array of work, ranging from defamation and privacy claims, to media relations, regulatory complaints, brand protection and risk management. Spanning more than three decades of experience in the field, Gerard Cukier provides legal representation to high-profile individuals, sports personalities and media clients. Nicola Thatcher focuses on advising publishers at the pre-publication stage, while Sofia Syed is regularly instructed by global brands and diplomatic families in relation to reputation protection issues. Former partner Jonathan Coad recently left the group to establish his own firm.
Syzygy Investment Advisory Limited
The Verdant Place Co. Ltd
Kul Rattan Chadha
Hodder & Stoughton – Hachette UK
Dame Shirley Bassey
Lady Colin Campbell
Hachette UK (all divisions including Hodder & Stoughton, Orion Publishing Group, Headline Publishing Group, Quercus Books, Little Brown Book Group, Octopus Publishing Group and Jessica Kinglsey Publishers).
- Continues to act for Dame Shirley Bassey in respect of all her media and reputation management issues.
- Provided pre-publication clearance for Peter Duffy’s (consultant surgeon involved in a whistle-blowing scandal) contentious and popular book, advising on the risk of claims for libel and misuse of private information.
- Keystone have over the last 9 years regularly and consistently provided pre-publication clearance for Hodder & Stoughton – Hachette UK non-fiction books, and some fiction advising on risk of claims for libel and misuse of private information.
Working closely with the employment investigations department, Lewis Silkin LLP's media and entertainment team advises on reputational issues arising from sensitive matters. Adam Glass heads up the defamation practice, and leads advice to a diverse client base comprising high-net-worth individuals, celebrities and other public figures. Giles Crown mainly assists corporate clients with defamation, privacy and data protection issues.
Other key lawyers:
The Old Vic
Deciem UK Ltd and Deciem Beauty Group Inc
Hammersmith & Fulham Council
- Acted for Dr Carpos-Young in a defamation claim following wrongful dismissal and victimisation by the Royal Academy of Music
- Advising Suzuki in relation to sponsorship and celebrity endorsement agreements, including advice on talent agreements with Ant & Dec, and sponsorship of various ITV TV programmes including Saturday Night Takeaway, and termination of various agreements in light of press coverage.
- Appointed by the global Buddhist organisation, RIGPA, to conduct a global investigation into allegations of abuse by the Tibetan Buddhist lama Sogyal Rinpoche.
The defamation and reputation management group at Michelmores LLP attracts instructions from the commercial and charity sectors, in addition to the firm's private wealth clients. In addition to assisting with defamation and privacy claims, the group also handles issues involving social media and user-generated content. Head of department Jayne Clemens is adept at supporting clients in getting libellous material removed from websites and online social platforms. Defamation and harassment proceedings are some of Charlotte Bolton's key areas of expertise.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team is responsive and has a genuine desire to help clients achieve their wishes, however challenging. Good knowledge of libel and litigation.’
PETA Foundation UK Ltd.
Gemalto UK Limited
Fintellect Publishing Limited
- Represented the UK arm of PETA, in relation to claims made against PETA by Loro Parque, one of Spain’s largest tourist attractions.
- Advising the successful bidder, Gemalto, in relation to a high profile procurement dispute between Her Majesty’s Passport Office and De La Rue, over the contract to manufacture the new “blue passports”; work included assisting the client in having inaccurate news headlines removed from national press.
Squire Patton Boggs acts almost entirely for corporate clients operating in sectors such as telecoms, media and sports, advising on a range of reputation management issues. Litigator Stephen Sampson and Carlton Daniel, who specialises in IP and regulatory matters, are some of the core practitioners to note. Peter Lees is experienced in handling defamation claims.
‘Plenty of people to work on cases, and not frightened of hard work.’
The media disputes team at Stewarts Law LLP attracts instructions from high-net-worth individuals and corporations in claims ranging from High Court defamation cases, to regulatory disputes and data-related issues. The department, which was formally set up in early 2019, is led by Ryan Dunleavy. With a background as a journalist, in-house counsel at national publications and solicitor at a specialist media law firm, he is praised for being 'an excellent reputation management, defamation and privacy lawyer'. Advising secret service and special forces personnel is a key area of practice for the department head.
Other key lawyers:
‘Stewarts promote themselves with justification as specialists in litigation. In the field of reputation management this means that they conduct straightforward defamation and privacy actions, but they also take such issues into account in other forms of litigation, for example, they have particular experience of matrimonial disputes involving high-value financial claims where privacy is critical to the parties. It is to their advantage and that of their clients that they are not a niche media-law firm, since they are able to draw on such expertise in other fields.’
‘Ryan Dunleavy comes from a defamation background at Carter Ruck, and shows all the knowledge and judgement that one would expect as a result. What makes him special and something of a rarity is his experience with the intricately detailed reporting restrictions in cases involving children and appeals relating to matrimonial financial awards.’
‘Ryan Dunleavy is a very experienced and focused professional, he can grasp multiple and complicated matters and can identify very quickly the most appropriate and best solution in resolving any forthcoming issue and/or problem. He is punctual, accurate and works extremely efficiently. It is a real pleasure to have him as my legal representative. He is also very “human”, the kind of a professional who has, along with high professional standards, also such passion to feel and take on all the clients’ personal feelings.’
‘I had the good fortune to work with Emily Cox over an extended period of time. She already had very impressive experience and clearly has a brilliant mind, which she was able to apply to help us come up with new ways to challenge large companies and regulators on behalf of clients. She always made herself available to respond to urgent inquiries, showing patience and a cool head in a crisis.’
‘The size and scale of Stewarts mean that it has the ability to advise corporate clients on all regulatory matters. Ryan Dunleavy is a new acquisition at partner level with very substantial expertise acting on behalf of media corporates. He is tactically and commercially savvy and has an unflappable manner which clients appreciate and like.’
‘Ryan Dunleavy is extremely hard-working and business-minded, very engaging and committed. He is an excellent networker, determined to build a strong practice at Stewarts and appears to be attracting some very good clients. He is at a firm which can provide phenomenal support.’
- Acted on privacy injunction application and reporting restrictions application in the court for a billionaire client.
- Defended social media defamation claim against a high profile, household name client.
- Used media regulations – ie, Editors’ Code of Practice – to ensure that a national newspaper did not publish inaccurate information about a corporate client that was subject to a smear campaign.
Formed in 2018, the reputation and privacy department at Vardags offers a broad service covering defamation, harassment, privacy and blackmail to a client base predominantly comprising high-net-worth individuals. The team often collaborates with the criminal and family law practices, handling sensitive reputation protection cases, which regularly involve criminal aspects and foreign jurisdictions. Securing removal of content from websites and social media platforms, as well as advising on defamatory threats from non-media sources are notable areas of activity for head of department Alex McCready.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team at Vardags have a nuanced understanding of privacy issues in relation to high-profile clients. The practice is particularly experienced in guiding clients through the processes, informing them of the practicalities and expectations of the situations. ‘
‘A small but compact and versatile team who are agile and hungry to help.’
‘The team at Vardags has broad, specialist expertise across a range of disciplines including misuse of private information/breach of confidence, harassment, defamation and related issues. The key strengths include the team’s extensive experience of privacy/data protection litigation, and their ability to straddle intersections with other areas of practice such as matrimonial law and commercial law.’
‘The Vardags team has a very professional yet approachable attitude towards both the clients and the partners firms like us. They think of the best possible outcome for the client, rather than prioritising their billable hours. Their advice is impartial.’
‘The team has a wealth of knowledge, is readily available, extremely helpful and provides realistic advice. Billing is sensible.’
‘Rory Lynch and Alex McCready are standout practitioners. They have a very approachable demeanour which allows the clients to discuss sensitive matters frankly, enabling a coherent strategy to be formed early. They both have an in-depth understanding of developments within the law which not only allows them to respond effectively but also use new changes to seize opportunities in the case. These opportunities are often missed by more lethargic practitioners.’
‘Alex McCready has a a very good manner with clients and always produces a satisfactory result.’
‘Alex McCready and Rory Lynch are both excellent litigators and very good at understanding clients’ needs.’
‘Alex McCready is an extremely capable, knowledgeable and hard-working partner with particular expertise in data protection, misuse of private information and related areas (e.g. defamation and breach of confidence). She comes from a reputation management background, which is an extremely useful complement to her data protection and privacy expertise.’
‘Rory Lynch is a very capable, affable and savvy senior associate with extensive data protection expertise. I have worked with him on a number of sensitive matters (including matters concerning publication of sensitive data regarding criminal offences and personal data issues arising in hard fought commercial litigation) and have seen how carefully and tactfully he navigates difficult data protection questions.’
‘Both Alex McCready and Rory Lynch are a joy to work with. Their professional standing, know-how and experience in their field combined with their personalities make a big difference for us in dealing with them.’