This content is provided by Brett Wilson LLP.
Partners: Nick Brett, Iain Wilson, Max Campbell, Chris Corney
Specialist media law and litigation firm. The firm acts predominantly for high profile individuals, professionals, HNWIs and SMEs, but also counts charities, trade bodies (including the Law Society and Association of British Bookmakers), a Premier League football club, and local authorities amongst its clients.
Principle Areas of Work
The firm boasts a renowned media law and communications department that specialises in defamation, privacy, harassment and data protection (with a particular focus on online publications). This work is predominantly, but not exclusively, claimant-focused. The firm is also well-known for its privately-funded criminal defence work (including serious fraud), regulatory/disciplinary work, asset forfeiture, litigation (with a focus on civil fraud), commercial and corporate dispute work as well as a growing family law practice.
Defamation: The firm acted in two of the most important cases involving online publication: The Law Society & Ors v Kordowski  EWHC 3185 (QB) (successful action on behalf of the legal profession to close down the infamous website Solicitors from Hell), Tamiz v Google Inc  EWCA Civ 68 (established that Google Inc could be liable as a publisher at common law in relation to material posted on its Blogger platform). Recent libel successes at trial Morgan v Times Newspapers Ltd  EWHC 1525 (QB) (a barrister accused of negligent failings in the prosecution of cricketer Ben Stokes), Suttle v Walker  EWHC 396 (QB) (a Facebook hate campaign), Singh v Weayou  EWHC 2102 (QB) (a false and defamatory complaint in the workplace) and Guise v Shah  EWHC 1689 (QB) (an attack website arising from a business dispute). Recent defendant successes include Wright v Ver  EWCA Civ 672 (a claim brought by a man claiming to have invented Bitcoin).
The firm acts for individuals seeking to prevent the unauthorised disclosure of confidential/private information or seeking redress following infringements. These cases are brought against the press, individuals and government departments. The firm is known for its pioneering work tackling ‘revenge porn’ and regularly acts in cases involving the leak of confidential medical information. Recent successes include JQL v NTP  EWHC 1349 (QB), a claim arising from the publication of private information on Facebook.
Data Protection: The firm has long been instructed in respect of data protection issues as a complementary practice to its defamation and privacy work. Over recent years the firm has acted for a large number of individuals, including many high-profile figures/business leaders, seeking to enforce their data protection rights against search engines such as Google LLC (‘the right to be forgotten’/‘right to erasure’). The firm has been at the forefront of the development of the law in this area and its partners are regularly asked to provide expert comment to the media and legal press.
Examples include QRS v Beach  EWHC 3319 (QB) (representative proceedings brought by a chairman on behalf of the workforce against a disgruntled former client) and similar proceedings brought on behalf of a local authority. Suttle v Walker  EWHC 396 (QB), as above, was brought as both a defamation and harassment claim.
The firm brings and defends High Court committal proceedings. Recent examples include Galloway v Ali-Khan  EWHC 780 (QB) (failure by the respondent to comply with undertakings to the court).
The firm advises and represents professionals in investigations brought by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, General Medical Council and General Dental Council. It also represents companies and individuals in investigations conducted by the Financial Conduct Authority, Trading Standards and other regulatory bodies.
The firms’ expertise in this area is reflected in the broad nature of its private practice. Typical clients are professionals or high-profile individuals facing prosecution for the first (and probably only) time in their lives, for whom the prospect of a criminal record and the ensuing stigma can sometimes be more terrifying than any potential sentence. The firm has particular expertise in dealing with highly sensitive allegations of a sexual nature.
NCA and asset forfeiture:
The firm deals with claims brought by the NCA under both parts 5 and 6 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (ie property freezing orders and civil recovery orders in the High Court). It has been involved in many of the most high-profile cases in this field (see, for example, Sanam v National Crime Agency  WLR 2015, National Crime Agency v Saleh  EWHC 1012).
Serious fraud (criminal):
The firm is regularly instructed in connection with allegations of serious fraud including bribery and corruption. Recent cases include the largest ever crypto-currency fraud and a corporate defendant being prosecuted by the SFO for corruption extra-territorially.
The firm acts for both claimants and defendants. It has been involved in various civil fraud claims before the Chancery Division for misrepresentation, unjust enrichment, dishonest assistance, knowing receipt, as well as claims under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. High profile examples include a claim for restitution for funds invested in an unauthorised collective investment scheme (O’Neil v Gale  EWCA Civ 1554). The firm regularly deals with cases involving freezing injunctions and, in the criminal context, restraint orders under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
Corporate and commercial litigation:
The firm acts in corporate disputes, both business to business and intra business (e.g. breaches of shareholder agreements and partnership disputes).
The firm acts for individuals in divorce proceedings and related custody and financial matters.