I am a solicitor and a senior consultant at Preiskel & Co LLP.
I enjoy helping clients in legal matters and providing sensible and realistic legal advice.
I often act for individuals and small/medium sized companies dealing with larger business or public bodies in both non-contentious and contentious matters.
As a lawyer, I provide advice and and consultancy in the areas of commercial law, intellectual property law, media law and public law. The matters can be simple, or they can be legally and/or technically complex and/or involve a number of jurisdictions. My areas of practice are set out below.
I am a strong believer in the importance and usefulness of a lawyer doing a balanced mix of both non-contentious and contentious work.
I also provide advice and and consultancy on public policy issues and on media issues.
In addition to being a senior consultant at Preiskel & Co LLP, I happen to be a law and policy commentator at the Financial Times and on my own blog (and on social media). I am currently writing quite a lot about Brexit.
I regularly advise on contentious and non-contentious matters covering:
- contracts and other commercial law issues;
- media law issues (for both mainstream and social media) such as defamation, copyright, pre-publication risk management, and content liability;
- fashion law and intellectual property;
- IT law;
- telecommunications law (including regulatory issues);
- public law and regulatory law;
- EU and WTO law;
- the law of public procurement;
- freedom of information law; and
- the law of confidentiality, data protection, and privacy.
I act for clients in contentious matters covering all the practice areas listed above.
I am often asked to deal with disputes at pre-action stage, especially for companies and individuals facing aggressive or unfair legal claims. Most of my litigation practice is defence work. Although some of my cases go to trial, my approach is to either close down or resolve matters at pre-action stage, when it is in my client’s interests to do so.
As a litigator, I have acted in cases before the Supreme Court, the European Court of Justice, the Court of Appeal Civil Division, various divisions and courts of the High Court, county courts, the Crown Court, magistrates’ courts, the Competition Appeal Tribunal, the Visitors to the Inns of Court, and coroners’ courts.
In contract and commercial matters, I have drafted and negotiated many forms of contracts including:
- contracts for the provision of services and/or the supply of goods;
- distribution agreements;
- franchise agreements;
- TMT wholesale agreements and retail agreements;
- agency agreements, including under the Commercial Agency Regulations;
- master services and framework agreements;
- service level and maintenance agreements;
- network agreements;
- intellectual property assignments, licences and sub-licences;
- consultancy agreements;
- IT development contracts;
- PFI and public works contracts;
- non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements;
- severance agreements; and
- settlement agreements.
My particular interest in contract drafting and negotiation is ensuring that a legal agreement properly covers all foreseeable problems and has the appropriate allocations of risk. My experience as a contract litigator assists in contract drafting and negotiation.
As a non-contentious media lawyer, I advise on defamation reading, rights clearances, and how to eliminate or manage all sorts of legal risks before publication or broadcast. This is in respect of both civil and criminal law.
I also advise on the following non-contentious commercial law areas: “soft” intellectual property such as confidentiality, copyright, passing off, and trade marks; agency; confidentiality; and tortious and equitable obligations.
Reported cases (most recent first)
Most of my cases are settled before trial, and often before proceedings are issued. But there are some reported cases.
Supreme Court  – judgment awaited
Court of Appeal Civil Division  EWCA Civ 658
Chancery Division of the High Court  EWHC 3354 (Ch)
- in the above cases I acted for the intervener The Open Rights Group in the ongoing leading case on take-down notices against Internet Service Providers in respect of trade mark infringement
Divisional Court of the Queen’s Bench Division  EWHC 2157
- for the appellant in the famous “Twitter Joke Trial” case before Lord Chief Justice, now the leading case on application of s. 127 of the Communications Act to social media and internet publications
Court of Appeal (Civil Division)  EWCA Civ 768
Competition Appeal Tribunal  CAT 18
European Court of Justice Case C-329/01 (2004)
Divisional Court of the Queen’s Bench Division  EWHC Admin 391
I have acted successfully for journalists, small publications, politicians, pressure groups, campaigners, bloggers, and tweeters on urgent media law issues.
I acted successfully for Sally Bercow against a libel claim threatened by MigrationWatch.
Other experience and credentials
I helped co-ordinate the defence campaign for Simon Singh in the British Chiropractic Association case which, in turn, led to the successful campaign for the Defamation Act 2013.
I gave evidence on media matters to both the Leveson Inquiry and the parliamentary joint committee on privacy injunctions.
As a commentator, I was given the “mainstream media blogger of the year” award in 2013. I have been shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for political writing (as a blogger) and for a London Press Club award.
And by way of academic and professional background, I was educated at a comprehensive school and a state tertiary college, and then at the Universities of Oxford and Birmingham. I was called to the Bar in 1999 by Lincoln’s Inn and cross-qualified as a solicitor in 2001. I have been with Preiskel & Co LLP since 2009 but earlier in my legal career I worked at Baker & McKenzie, Herbert Smith, and the Treasury Solicitor.
Lord Justice Leveson, Report into the Culture, Practices and Ethics of the Press
Legal 500 Europe, Middle East & Africa 2013
“very good on litigation strategies”