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DEPARTMENT PROFILE

Carson McDowell

Defamation/Reputation Management

3 ranked lawyersBand 1Northern IrelandUK 2021 View ranking table
chambers review
department information
Ranked Lawyers
chambers review
department information
Ranked Lawyers

Chambers Review

Chambers Research is conducted by 200 Research Analysts, across 200 jurisdictions and provides nearly 6,000 rankings tables. Annually we collect hundreds of thousands of responses from clients, the majority via in-depth interview. Learn more about our methodology.

What the team is known for

Superb defamation practice focused on media defence. Acts for a number of leading Northern Ireland publications, as well as broadcasters, social media providers, high net worth individuals and politicians. Also provides comprehensive brand management advisory and pre-publication services, and is noted for its work challenging reporting restrictions and anonymity orders.

Strengths

One client refers to the firm as "market-leading in their areas of speciality," further describing the team members as "responsive, top-rate solicitors who combine technical expertise with sensible real-world advice."

Another describes Carson McDowell as "a very professional and reputable firm."

Work highlights

Defended journalist, author and documentary maker Edward Moloney in libel proceedings involving a tweet about alleged money laundering.

Notable practitioners

Fergal McGoldrick is a well-regarded associate noted for his considerable expertise in advising clients in the media industry on a wide range of matters relating to libel, privacy and data protection. He acts for both local and national media companies.
"Highly professional and attentive to client requirements, he is excellent technically and also very commercial and pragmatic."

Laura Cunningham offers notable experience representing private individuals in defamation and privacy claims, especially in relation to online and social media networks. She also regularly provides pre-publication advice to news publications and broadcasters.
"Laura is an exceptional solicitor with an in-depth knowledge of the law and experience handling cases. She is extremely personable and offers rounded advice on all possible outcomes." "She's amazing and absolutely terrific. Her academic ability is wonderful, she's very commercial and very client-focused. She is very gifted in her communications and keeps a cool head in a crisis."

Olivia O'Kane is a highly experienced practitioner instructed by leading newspapers, publishers and broadcasters to provide advice on a range of privacy and defamation disputes. She regularly challenges reporting restrictions on behalf of clients.
"Olivia has a deep and wide-ranging understanding of media law, freedom of speech issues, and privacy and data protection matters. It is always a pleasure to work with her." "Olivia is extremely helpful, conscientious, accommodating and insightful."

Department Information

This content is provided by Carson McDowell.

Overview

The Media, Defamation and Entertainment law department is a market leader, headed by Chambers ranked Partner Olivia O’Kane, who heads a team of media lawyers. The team provides a wide range of media and entertainment law services including contentious and non-contentious advice to their diverse client base.  The media department, provides services on all media related matters.  

We recently represented HBO in respect of an unauthorised leak of the popular series “Game of Thrones”. We were successful in securing the details of the individual responsible for the leak and preventing any further leaks from occurring, which was of huge commercial significance to our client.  We were recently successful in Fulton v SNL [2017] NICA, a harassment and Articles 2, 3 and 8 ECHR case. The Court of Appeal dismissed the Plaintiff’s claim upholding the newspaper article as a “robust expression of press freedom which the courts have a duty to protect”.  We won a landmark journalistic sources case, Duffy et al v SNL, the High Court refused to order the disclosure of the name and employment status of our client’s journalistic source.  We also recently won a landmark libel defence of reportage and fair comment in Coulter v SNL [2017] NICA 10.   The Appeal Court overturned the damages award of £50,000 previously granted in the High Court, together with costs in favour of our client.

Members

O'Kane, Olivia (Head of Department)

Cunningham, Laura

McAllister, Katie

McGoldrick, Fergal

Clients

Alpha Group

Associated Newspapers

Bauer Media Group

BBC NI

Below the Radar

Facebook (Ireland) Ltd

Facebook Inc

Fine Point Films

Firmus Energy

HBO

Independent News and Media (NI)

INM Plc

Irish News

News Corporation UK and Ireland

Ronin Films

RTE

Sunday Newspapers Limited trading as Sunday World

The Detail.tv

Twitter International Company

Twitter, Inc

Wordpress.com

Industries

Advertising

Authors

Bloggers

Broadcast

Communications

Corporates

Documentary

Entertainment

Film

Filming

Internet Giants

Media

Newspaper

Print

Programming

Radio

Script writers

Technology

Telecommunications

Theatre

TV

Websites

Websites

Defamation/Reputation Management

Carson McDowell

firm
Location

Murray House

Murray Street

Belfast

County Antrim

UK

BT1 6DN

View Firm Profile

Ranked Lawyers

Chambers Research is conducted by 200 Research Analysts, across 200 jurisdictions and provides nearly 6,000 rankings tables. Annually we collect hundreds of thousands of responses from clients, the majority via in-depth interview. Learn more about our methodology.

Northern Ireland

Defamation/Reputation Management


Fergal McGoldrick
Associates to watch
Laura Cunningham
Associates to watch
Olivia O'Kane
Band 1