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Reputations are fragile. They can take decades to nurture but only seconds to destroy.

Threats are no longer confined to the mainstream press and broadcast media. Today’s online and digital world makes it easier than ever for false or malicious information to spread, posing an immediate threat to reputation, privacy and security.  

Our reputation management lawyers use their expertise and experience to protect clients from these risks.

Our reputation management services

Our team advises a very broad spectrum of clients on issues affecting their reputation. Clients range from high-profile individuals and families, corporates and financial services firms, to educational, not-for-profit and sports organisations.  Our clients include leaders in the worlds of entertainment and sport, business, politics, education and retail. Uniquely, we also continue to advise a small selection of publisher clients. We understand the media, making us well placed to assist our clients where the threat to their reputation is from news or media outlets. 

Our expertise in reputation management law

We have extensive expertise of the legal issues that arise where clients' reputations are under threat. When needed, we draw upon our close network of third-party advisers (including communications experts, digital intelligence and investigations firms, cyber and physical security advisers and specialist barristers).  We ensure that every one of our clients receives a comprehensive and bespoke service, which best protects their interests.

Our experience

Our defamation lawyers and reputation management solicitors have vast experience in protecting clients' reputations, privacy and security.  As well as media coverage, our experience ranges from family disputes to the removal of online content (including via the ‘right to be forgotten’), to corporate crisis planning and threats posed to individuals and organisations by challenging personnel (whether employees or otherwise) or obsessed/harassing individuals.

Our clients appreciate our ability to react quickly to any reputational crisis or threat and to develop a detailed understanding of their specific needs and interests. We know the urgency of reputation management and will take whatever legal steps are required to minimise risk and damage.

Adverse Media Coverage

We understand traditional media interest remains a significant concern for our clients.  We have extensive experience in advising clients on media enquiries they receive before publication, in order to prevent the publication of a story or mitigate the potential damage it may cause. If a when a story is published, we are well versed in determining the appropriate action, whether that is litigation or understanding that the matter is best resolved instead by a public relations response.

Our experience:

  • Advising The Football Association on media intrusion in respect of players and management throughout Euro 2020 and other recent major tournaments for the men's and women's teams.
  • Advising a number of leading independent schools on media coverage ensuing from the Everyone's Invited website in 2021.
  • Advising a range of individual and corporate clients on large scale investigative journalism projects involving, among others, The Guardian, The Sunday Times and The New York Times.

Privacy & Security

We help individuals and their families with all manner of legal considerations relating to their privacy and security.  These include advising high profile clients on unwanted paparazzi attention, assisting our clients with the wrongful disclosure of private information online, and working with clients to protect their privacy around major events in their personal or professional lives.

Our experience:

  • Advising a number of high-profile actors in respect of aggressive and consistent press and paparazzi intrusion and harassment.
  • Pippa Middleton & Another v Persons Unknown [2016] EWHC 2354 (QB): Advising the claimant on injunction proceedings to prevent publication of photographs unlawfully obtained from her iCloud account.

Corporate Reputation

"We are very pleased to have such a strong relationship with Farrer. When we really need them they are there for us."

We offer bespoke reputation management advice to a diverse range of organisations ranging from private businesses to multi-national corporates. We assist them in the preparation and response to the full spectrum of issues affecting their reputations.

These include:

  • advising companies on a full range of reputational issues from adverse media coverage arising from newspaper sting operations to appearances before Parliamentary Select Committees.
  • assisting institutional clients, such as charities, schools and sports governing bodies, on a diverse selection of crises, including reputation risk arising from safeguarding issues and allegations made in public concerning the conduct of the organisation.

Online Reputation Management

"It is an incredibly responsive team."

We frequently advise clients on the removal of damaging content from websites, search engines, review websites and due diligence databases which includes the use of the ‘right to be forgotten’. Our network includes intelligence firms able to conduct detailed technical reviews of clients' online profiles and identify areas of risk to enable appropriate legal action.

Our experience:

  • Glenn v Kline [2021] EWHC 468 (QB): Advising the former CEO of The Football Association, Martin Glenn, on libel and harassment proceedings concerning a concerted online campaign conducted via Twitter and other methods.
  • Advising multiple clients on 'right to be forgotten' cases against search engines, social media platforms and other technology companies.
  • Advising a number of leading businesspeople on the removal of inaccurate information from the World-Check database.

Defamation, Harassment & Blackmail

One of the most challenging areas for clients is harassment by persistent and obsessive individuals. This can involve an ex-spouse or partner threatening to expose sensitive private information or irrational actions by an individual determined to cause maximum reputational damage to an organisation.

Our defamation lawyers frequently advise clients on these issues and understand the need to balance a desire to respond quickly and to avoid any actions that may prove counterproductive. Our expertise of the laws relating to defamation, privacy, harassment and blackmail ensures that we are able to help clients with highly stressful situations. Often, such matters involve representing our clients in court in relation to litigation.  We act quickly for our clients, exploring all possible avenues to reach a swift and satisfactory outcome. This includes being able to draw upon the expertise of psychologists and psychiatrists as the need arises.

Our experience:

  • Advising a range of clients on how to respond to harassment and targeted campaigns, whether conducted directly or via digital platforms.
  • ZAM v (1) CFW and (2) TFW: Advising the Claimant over a number of years, including in two sets of High Court proceedings, on a sustained campaign of defamation, harassment and blackmail against him, and obtaining one of the very few interim injunctions in libel against the Defendants.

The Price of Fame

How can you protect yourself online? In this campaign we look at the impact of social media, trolling, harassment, negative search results, adverse press and misinformation. We explore areas of reputational vulnerability and identify the steps that can be taken to prevent reputational harm and lessen the mental health impact of these issues.

View all episodes here.

The team is the leader in the market for reputation management legal expertise and guidance for clients in our opinion. The team always seeks to bring to the disposal of the client ‘best in class’ third party partners to provide a holistic approach to their client deliverables and needs. They are by far the most transparent and flexible strategic firm that we deal with.

Legal 500, 2023

How can we help?

Contact the team about reputation management:

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