The two are not mutually exclusive.
We recognise the vital importance of freedom of information and freedom of expression in a free society; we also recognise that reputation and privacy may need defending, in particular against unduly intrusive reporting and against fake news.
In relation to freedom of speech we act for authors, journalists, academics, campaigning orgaisations, membership bodies, book and newspaper publishers, broadcasters, and citizen bloggers – keeping them out of trouble, or resolving disputes when they are in trouble. We also assist businesses, people in the public eye and charities protect hard won reputations. We’ve handled landmark Freedom of Information Act cases and we specialise in new media and internet litigation. In 2000 we took the first ever case against a libellous, ‘anonymous’ emailer to court. We’ve broken ground ever since.
How we help
If defamation threatens your name, your privacy’s been
compromised or your copyright’s been infringed, we’ll protect your reputation –
in public, in print and online. We aim to give you fast, robust advice. We will
seek to get material taken down, and to secure corrections and apologies. And
if going to court is the only way to prevent publication or clear your name,
we’ll start proceedings.
If you’re a publisher, we’ll support your right to speak out, to obtain information (including from public authorities and the courts) and report on the issues you uncover. We will seek to clear what you want to put out, against the law and any relevant regulatory codes (including the Ofcom Broadcasting code), and seek to give you realistic practical advice on the risks. If things have gone wrong we will defend you in court or before the regulator.
We recognise that whoever you are, we may need to move very swiftly to protect your position.
We acted for The Sunday Times and its journalists, David Walsh and Alan English, helping recover money the newspaper paid Lance Armstrong during the cyclist’s 2004-6 libel action against the paper and its journalists.
We represented the prince in High Court litigation when the Independent and Robert Fisk accused him of ordering the police to shoot protestors in the Arab Spring. The newspaper apologised and paid damages.
Fake social media profiles and harassment imperilled our client’s reputation and family life. We got disclosure orders against several internet service providers, to trace the culprit. The evidence was provided to the police, who we able to recover the culprit’s computer and prosecute. Subsequently we brought a successful civil action for defamation, harassment and false attribution to obtain an apology and recover all the client’s costs.
Before charities or campaign groups publish articles exposing controversial practices, they talk to us. We help to ensure their reports are accurate, in the public interest, and won’t lead to costly defamation or IP infringement claims.