Media and communications law
Max Campbell specialises in reputation and crisis management, acting for both claimants and defendants in defamation, privacy, data protection, and harassment claims. He has been recommended/ranked among the leading practitioners in these fields by the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners since the 2017 and 2018 editions respectively. Long-standing clients include C-suite executives, entrepreneurs, journalists, and other lawyers. Max is recommended for his HNWI reputation advice in the Spear's 500 directory.
Max also has a wealth of experience of both criminal and general civil litigation, enabling him to assist people in respect of a wide array of complex and sensitive disputes. His warm and engaging personality sees him hugely popular with both clients and colleagues.
Max enjoys higher rights of audience in civil proceedings, and has appeared as a solicitor-advocate before Judges in the High Court.
If you would like to contact Max directly, please send him an email.
Examples of Max’s work include: –
In 2023, Max acted for therapist Caroline Ley in the successful defence, at trial, of a claim for passing off (valued in excess of £1.4m), and in a successful counterclaim in defamation and harassment. The claim against Ms Ley was dismissed as totally without merit, with Ms Ley being awarded £75,000 in damages on her counterclaim (see Crosbie v Ley  EWHC 2626 (KB)).
In 2022, Max acted for the exiled leader of a major political party in South Asia in the successful defence of a libel claim concerning remarks made in a YouTube broadcast.
In December 2020, Max secured damages from The Times over allegations of death threats which had been made against the barrister Barbara Hewson, in an April 2017 article. The claim settled shortly before trial. Max had previously secured an apology and damages for Ms Hewson from Associated Newspapers over the publication of a similar article on MailOnline.
In November 2020, Max secured £30,000 in damages for two tutors who were the subject of a defamatory review on Facebook.
Between May 2019 and July 2020, Max acted for the barrister Jane Heybroek in her successful defence of a libel claim brought by the television personalities Rachel Riley and Tracy Ann Oberman. Following a favourable outcome in an early determination of meaning, opinion, and defamatory tendency (see: Riley & Anor v Heybroek  EWHC 1259 (QB)), the Claimants withdrew the action and agreed to pay contributions towards Ms Heybroek’s legal costs. The outcome was widely reported in the mainstream media (see, for example: Rachel Riley and Tracy-Ann Oberman drop libel claim over retweet).
In 2019, Max secured an apology and damages from Lambeth London Borough Council following false statements made to the press about the charity Life 2009.
In 2017, Max acted for the successful Claimant in Guise v Shah  EWHC 1689 (QB). The Claimant was awarded £25,000 for libel and £3,000 for harassment (arising, principally, from the publication of a malicious website) following a five-day trial before Mr Justice Dingemans.
Much of Max’s work is pre-publication, with potentially damaging articles often prevented with a simple early intervention.
Max is regularly instructed by the self-employed, SMEs, and, occasionally larger enterprises, in respect of negative ‘reviews’ posted on the Internet that are clearly intended to cause distress to individuals and/or maximum reputational damage, rather than expressions of honest opinion.
Max regularly acts in cases of both ‘traditional’ harassment (e.g. unwanted contact/stalking) and online harassment/harassment by publication. Many cases involve overlapping defamation and privacy issues. Most are resolved with the sending of a ‘cease and desist’ letter, and, where proceedings are necessary, they can often be concluded swiftly. However, there are cases which involve significant evidence gathering and result in drawn out litigation. Max acted for one claimant in a harassment claim that was over four years in the making, and required extensive investigation, contacting of potential witnesses and third parties, and representations to the police. The Defendant was eventually prosecuted and received a suspended term of imprisonment, whilst the civil claim was settled.
In 2016, Max prepared a representative action by a local authority against a disgruntled resident who had been harassing councillors, officers, and staff for some four years. The proceedings were settled before trial.
Previously, Max was an integral member of the team that acted for ‘QRS’, the then senior partner of a prominent law firm, in harassment proceedings against a disgruntled former client ( EWHC 3057 (QB);  EWHC 3319 (QB);  EWHC 1489 (QB)).
Privacy, breach of confidence and ‘revenge porn’
Max regularly acts for individuals in respect of the misuse of their private information and/or breach of their confidence, often in disputes with former partners or family members.
In 2021, Max acted for a wealthy professional in a successful claim against a sex worker who was blackmailing him by threatening to disclose details of their dealings to his family (GUH v KYT  EWHC 1854).
Max has acted for a number of Claimants in cases arising from ‘phone hacking’ (voicemail interception by journalists/Operations Weeting and Golding) and corrupt payments by journalists (Operation Elveden).
In 2017, Max appeared as advocate for a Defendant accused of contempt of court over his alleged facilitation of the breach of a confidentiality clause enshrined in a third-party consent order, by virtue of various online publications.
Max acted for a victim of revenge porn in one of the first cases of its type back in early 2014. Having initially threatened civil proceedings against the perpetrator, Max later successfully made submissions that he be prosecuted. Upon his conviction, the client was awarded £7,500 in compensation, the Court having taken into account her distress and the legal fees she had incurred. Max also secured the removal of the images from several websites, including the notorious Myex.com.
Since that time, Max has acted for a significant number of victims of revenge porn and similar breaches of privacy/confidence.
Data Protection, and ‘the Right to be Forgotten’:
Max is regularly instructed in data protection cases. He recently acted for an entrepreneur and philanthropist in a claim for breach of data protection rights in respect of his inclusion on a due diligence/AML database.
Since 2014, Max has made a vast number of requests for delisting (filtering) of adverse links from search results on both Google, and Bing, for a variety of C-Suite executives, professionals, and celebrities, as well as many ordinary citizens. Max has also secured the removal of outdated and unfair content from an array of databases and archives. Max has made many complaints to the Information Commissioner’s Office where unsuccessful with submissions to data controllers, and has even threatened to Judicially Review the regulator.
Max is extremely good at providing measured, proportionate advice. He doesn't boil the ocean. He is very, very good at seeing through noise and identifying the core issues involved.
Max Campbell is always on top of his game and his breadth of practice ensures he has every angle covered.
Max Campbell is very sharp and prompt, and has a frighteningly accurate ability to predict what the other side will do. First first-class commercial acumen and quickly grasps the issues
Max Campbell is a stand-out lawyer who provides expert advice not only efficiently, diligently and on-time but also has an extremely good client manner and reassuring way of handling cases.
Outstanding knowledge, practical approach and amazing client service
Brilliant judgement and stands out among solicitors in this area for his strategic approach
A fantastic lawyer who is completely dedicated and supportive to his client
A rising star with a deep knowledge and enthusiasm for the law
Well regarded in the market for his notable expertise
Thoughtful high-quality lawyer
Clients trust him because of his scope of knowledge and his reassuring personality
Impressive in his attention to detail and the care he takes with cases
Assiduous and competent lawyer