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‘It’s been great,’ says John Kelly of the past year. He believes his team have become the go-to hit-squad when it comes to shutting down breaking (but law-breaching) news stories.He recently represented Melania Trump in her successful defamation claim against the Daily Mail. Speed is crucial: ‘A newspaper used to write to us and say, “We’ll be publishing this tomorrow.” Now the luxury of two or three hours is gone.’ Spear’s ventures the conclusion of some phone-hacking cases will help define the crossover between technology and privacy. Kelly is unconvinced: ‘It’s not a legacy, it’s a start. If phone hacking was the discovery of the wheel, we’re now into the industrial revolution.’

John Kelly