Adam Speker at #AvoidtheScandal

Kingsley Napley's: Everyone loves a scandal... But what if it's about you?

5RB’s Adam Speker was one of four panellists who spoke at Kingsley Napley’s Private Lives, Public Events event on Tuesday evening. The event was called Everyone loves a scandal… But what if it is about you? and looked at the impact of the media, both traditional and social, in high-profile cases.

Adam discussed how the civil law can help deal with media frenzies and protect individuals who had been or were about to be arrested. His speech considered whether it was possible to obtain injunctive relief to stop harassment by the paparazzi and on the internet, and the reporting of arrests. He also considered the current law in relation to privacy focussing on photographs and injunctions to prohibit the reporting of extra-marital affairs.

Angus McBride of Kingsley Napley, who acted for Rebekah Brooks in the phone-hacking trial, discussed his experiences of the case. He said that there was a need to develop new methods of communication on behalf of high-profile people who have been accused and charged with criminal offences and it was “not enough to leave everything to the battle of the wigs.” New and creative strategies were needed to stop defendants being vilified in the press before cases even reached court, he said.

Fiona Hamilton, crime correspondent at The Times, discussed the difficulties for journalists reporting criminal cases, particularly in the age of social media, where orders were flouted on Twitter and the British press were bound by laws which were not respected by social media users and did not apply to foreign journalists. She said that post-Leveson the police had stopped providing any information to the media.

Dave Rowntree of Kingsley Napley and the band, Blur, gave some quick advice on what to do if arrested: say nothing; sign nothing; call a solicitor.