The reputational damage resulting from a criminal trial, or even just an arrest, is significant for anyone. However, for individuals with a high public profile there is an additional factor - the very success of the case can depend on effective handling of the media.
We have extensive experience advising and acting for senior politicians, high net worth individuals, and high profile players in the entertainment sector. We are also involved in many major corporate criminal and regulatory investigations.
These types of cases involve a heightened degree of interest both from the press and from the authorities. This brings an added layer of complexity for both the individual under investigation and the solicitors they have instructed. Accurate and strategic advice is needed not only on the law but also on how to handle the press, when to respond and when to stay silent, and how to minimise the adverse publicity that can start to appear.
Failure to handle this effectively can have disastrous consequences for both individuals and corporations, as evidenced by the Thomas Cook tragedy. Expert advice and representation from solicitors experienced in operating under the eye of the press is therefore essential.
We have acted for some of the most high profile defendants imaginable in recent years. A successful tactic in suitable cases is a judicial review of the decision to make an arrest in the first place. Many of our clients have seen their cases closed at the investigation stage without it ever coming to press attention. Where the authorities have proposed to release or leak details to the press we have often negotiated successfully to prevent this happening.
But if that is not possible, we work closely with our client to develop a bespoke media strategy for each case and to generate a flow of information ensuring our client exerts some control over the press agenda. We can work closely with media specialists to limit damage, and at every stage we will tailor the defence to ensure that the client minimises collateral media damage.