Formerly of Mishcon de Reya, Charlotte Harris has seen the department she was brought into at Kingsley Napley go from strength to strength. ‘We’ve very much developed the criminal media-support side,’ she says, ‘and more and more HNWs and big companies find themselves in situations where the press are extremely interested in writing about company matters — any individuals associated with a firm under investigation can appear on the front cover of a newspaper.’ In such scenarios, clients appreciate her legal resolution as well as her consideration in being there, whatever the issue: ‘There are extremely serious matters at hand, but the thing that really makes people nervous is whether or not they’re going to get a knock at the door and someone’s going to take a photograph of them — it’s trying to help clients and protect them in those anxiety ridden circumstances.’ On the other side, Harris has been doing freedom of speech work with individuals who write publicly and need to be defended against ‘opportunistic’ claims. This includes shutting down those trying to harass or blackmail her celebrity clients. She credits the expansion at her firm with protecting the free speech of those clients during ‘politically divisive times’. Harris mentions the need to avoid a ‘chilling effect’ where businesses feel they can’t speak out on a subject — ‘it’s that delicate balance of rights’.
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