Since his return to Schillings Boyd has been frequently called upon before stories are published or broadcast to prevent inaccuracy and stop businesses and prominent individuals from being defamed or suffer public airing of their laundry. Managing the reputational fallout of data loss is also a forte that has seen him take on blackmailers.
The son of a newspaper man, he grew up surrounded by journalists ‘swearing to each other about the material they couldn’t write’. That initially took him to a firm defending the papers, giving him a feel for how the press works, ‘in a sense there’s no better grounding for doing what we do’.
His first stint at Schillings was in the injunction heavy days of the early Noughties: ‘It was fascinating — because of the volume of work we were doing [we were] not only driving it but refining it.’ His return as partner was inspired by the firm’s innovation in mapping online risk as well as in the law: ‘In our position we’re at the forefront of it so we can see where it’s going to develop.’
Mitigating media intrusion remains a strength: ‘If you’re asking me “Will the Daily Mail still libel people?” the answer is emphatically yes – there is still the traditional defamation field.’ But you still need Boyd’s online skill set ‘because actually the traditional media isn’t the traditional media anymore.
The Daily Mail is the world’s biggest news and media site, actually it has more hits, on a daily basis, from the US than the UK. You can’t look at it in those restrictive eyes anymore.’