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Carter-Ruck partner and media litigation veteran Alasdair Pepper has been busier than ever this year, much of it on the case of media mogul Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, CEO of Pakistan’s largest media group, Jang. The battle ensued when rival network, ARY Network Ltd, published 24 libellous programmes. ‘It was a good result,’ Alasdair Pepper says of the £185,000 worth of damages the case resulted in for the claimant, and subsequently ARY’s licence was withdrawn by Ofcom. With a long track-record representing royals, CEO s, UHNWs and celebrities, Pepper has seen many changes, not least the spread of media battles from traditional newspaper and television onto digital platforms, with an increasing volume of internet-related complaints. The seasoned litigator, a Carter-Ruck man since 1984, has recently been inundated with clients’ takedown requests relating to false and/or private online content, from Google search tabs to pornographic sites. ‘It’s a real problem for victims,’ he says, ‘if they don’t get online material taken down, they may find it’s there to be found for years and years.’ He recounts the particular case of a well-known young artist who found intimate photographs of herself on the internet. ‘We had to persuade newspapers not to publish even the story about the photographs,’ he says, which he managed to do, and then to get the photographs on the internet taken down. It is cases like these that can be most satisfying. ‘You get a result for somebody that makes a real difference to them and their lives,’ he says. The litigator, who has a no-nonsense attitude but not one without good humour, believes everyone should have access to justice and is strongly committed to Carter-Ruck’s no-win, no-fee scheme. One of his experiences was with a cab driver who was wrongly identified as a paedophile by a national paper. He was touched by the difference he was able to make to the client. ‘I managed to sort it out with the newspaper in short order and, as for the compensation, my client was able to buy a limousine and start a limo company.’

Alasdair Pepper