Defamation, privacy and harassment
Iain is the managing partner of Brett Wilson LLP and specialises in libel, privacy and harassment, heading up the firm's media law department. His clients range from private individuals and corporations, to local government and regulatory bodies.
Iain is one of the most highly-regarded solicitors practising media and communications law. He is recognised as a leader in the field of defamation/reputation management by the prestigious Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners directories.
Iain and his team specialise in preventing or limiting the damage caused by negative and/or intrusive publications, both online and in the traditional press. This may involve seeking to suppress publications (including by applying for injunctive relief) and/or seeking compensation where damage has been suffered. In addition to this, Iain acts in cases brought about to end sustained campaigns of harassment (online and offline) - typically perpetrated by disgruntled former partners or employees. Iain is also regularly involved in cases where data/confidential information has been leaked/misused. Whilst predominantly a claimant solicitor, Iain recognises the importance of freedom of expression (where it is exercised responsibly) and undertakes a small proportion of defendant libel work.
Iain regularly writes on the development of the law in these areas. He is the author of Westlaw Insight's chapters on the misuse of private information and anonymous defamation and frequently contributes to Halsbury's Law Exchange, LexisNexis LexisLibrary, Lexis PSL and the Law Society Gazette. Iain is regularly interviewed by the national and international media.
Whilst Iain now practices media law exclusively, he was also recommended in the 2013-2015 editions of the Legal 500 for his work in civil fraud and has acted for a number of parties in litigation before the Chancery Division of the High Court. He also has extensive experience of criminal litigation and regulatory work. This broader knowledge is often a useful attribute when dealing with claims that involve allegations of criminality.
Iain is popular with clients who appreciate him for his considered advice, as well as his dedicated and individual approach to their cases.
To contact Iain directly, please send him an email.
Recent examples of Iain’s work include:-
- Securing damages for a QC accused of making errors in the prosecution of England cricketer Ben Stokes in Morgan v Times Newspapers Ltd  EWHC 1525 (QB) and similar claims against The Telegraph and The Daily Mail.
- Securing £55,000 compensation after allegations of animal cruelty made on Facebook (Suttle v Walker  EWHC 396 QB)
- Securing £40,000 compensation from the police and various media outlets for an individual wrongly circulated as wanted in the press.
- Obtaining the first defamation judgment against “persons unknown”.
- Securing £10,000 compensation for an individual defamed on Facebook by a love rival.
- Securing a libel victory against a client’s former employee who had left malicious reviews on Glassdoor.
- Successfully applying for a malicious libel claim brought by a former partner to be struck out post-judgment.
Privacy/Data Protection claims
- Revenge Porn: Securing £15,000 compensation for the unauthorised emailing of intimate photographs.
- Breach of Medical Confidence: Securing £50,000 compensation for the broadcast of inaccurate information relating to an individual’s health.
- Breach of Medical Confidence: Securing £35,000 compensation following the unauthroised disclosure of medical information.
- Breach of Medical Confidence: Securing £20,000 compensation for the unauthorised use of photographs taken during a medical procedure.
- Securing £10,000 compensation and costs from an employer where a member of staff had used confidential information for personal reasons.
- Securing substantial payments in voicemail interception and ‘blagging’ claims.
- Obtaining an injunction to protect a solicitors’ firm from a five year campaign of online harassment and securing the defendant’s committal when the injunction was breached (QRS v Beach  EWHC 3057 (QB) and QRS -v- Beach  EWHC 1489 (QB)).
- Successfully bringing contempt of court proceedings against a politician’s former aide (Galloway v Ali-Khan  EWHC 780 (QB))
- Securing £5,000 for compensation from a high street retailer after an employee had sent a customer sexually explicit text messages.
- Obtaining and enforcing an injunction against an individual harassing the employees of a local authority.
- Identifying the perpetrator of a long-running campaign of online harassment by obtaining disclosure orders against various online platforms and telephone companies.
- Identifying a stalker by obtaining a disclosure order against a manufacture of bugging devices.
- Securing injunctions against a number of stalkers.
- Shutting down numerous hate campaigns orchestrated on the World Wide Web and social media
- Advising a foreign embassy on criminal and civil harassment law.
- Advising a Premier League football club on defamation matters.
Iain was the lead solicitor in several well-known cases:-
Online harassment/data protection:
Headed up a team instructed by the Law Society to bring representative proceedings on behalf of the legal profession to close down the controversial website Solicitors from Hell. The landmark judgment in the successful action (The Law Society & Ors v Kordowski  EWHC 3185 (QB)) provides important guidance on representative proceedings, online harassment and the applicability of the Data Protection Act 1998 to the publication of material on the internet.
Acted for the claimant/appellant in Tamiz v Google Inc  EWCA Civ 68, which was the first time the Court of Appeal considered the liability of internet service providers for libel. The Court held that Google Inc could be liable as publisher at common law in relation to its Blogger platform. This decision remains the leading case in this important area.
Defended the Chief Executive Officer of the Law Society in a slander claim brought by the operator of a website. The claim was struck out following a successful abuse of process application (Kordowski v Hudson  EWHC 2667 (QB)).
Iain read politics at the University of Bristol prior to attending the College of Law in London. Before establishing Brett Wilson LLP Iain worked as a solicitor in the civil/regulatory department of a Central London firm.
If you would like to contact Iain directly, please send him an email.
Iain has done extremely well to build up a successful firm in this area
Thoughtful and knowledgeable, with an excellent attention to detail and a client-friendly demeanour