Three decades of libel, privacy, defamation and reputation

By Keith Schilling

When I started my career making tea for clients and delivering legal letters in the 1970s, wet photocopying and telex was the technology of the moment and you were considered modern if you had a 10-line telephone switchboard serving an office of 50 people.

Back then, letters would sit on your desks for a week before anyone got round to replying to them. Now it’s not unusual to email three or four letters in a day to the same person. Cases took up to seven years to reach trial and law reports would come two years after the event.

When we launched Schillings in 1984, libel law was a small but exciting part of the business. The challenge of understanding what words meant in context was something that always interested me and was never going to go away, and so we started to carve a reputation for ourselves as experts in libel in what was then an uncrowded marketplace…

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