A giant on the British legal scene for more than three decades, Keith Schilling is credited with groundbreaking rulings and changing UK privacy law. He and his firm have achieved many firsts since its founding in 1984 — not least the landmark House of Lords decision in favour of Naomi Campbell’s claim to breach of privacy by the Daily Mirror in 2004. But it has had to adapt to stay in play. ‘Success has changed,’ Schilling says. ‘Whereas in the past the power to dethrone the successful lay in the hands of a well-resourced few, today anyone with an iPhone and a Twitter account can start the ripple that turns an incident into an indictment.’ He’s hardly fazed: ‘I started this business over 30 years ago because I felt such invasions of privacy and unjust damage to reputation weren’t right. It didn’t feel fair. Today, that feeling hasn’t changed. It’s just got stronger. Where others seem content in allowing the new norm of digital tittle-tattle to see the white flag waved for privacy and reputation, I see it as a more exciting beast to tame.’ Highlights include representing hedge-fund manager and philanthropist Louis Bacon on numerous international defamation claims following an online smear campaign, and also acting for JK Rowling in a successful libel action against the Daily Mail.
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