Grapevine

Media boutique Schillings has been growing its client base again.

A few months ago we found them acting for GlaxoSmithKline against animal rights extremists on an unusual emergency injunction against persons unknown. Now name partner Keith Schilling is acting for the Law Society on its last-minute ex parte injunction on the new disclosure rules for court documents.

Big Keith will be fronting up with Richard Spearman QC at the hearing tomorrow; Spearman has been Schilling’s silk of choice on a whole number of ex parte injunctions recently and was counsel on the Collins Stewart and Lance Armstrong libel cases.

You wouldn’t normally see Schilling hanging around Chancery Lane, but celebrities – his usual clients – have more to fear from the proposed new rules on disclosure than most. So why are media claimant firms getting hot under the collar?

The new rules mean that particulars of any prospective claim be made available. So far, so transparent. However, a recent communication from Her Majesty’s Courts Service apparently made the process retrospective, which means that media organisations would be able to see details of claims which had up until now been under wraps.

It’s a celebrity’s nightmare; reams of documents that have thus far been shielded from the public will become accessible. The Law Society is involved as a point of principle, but it’s Schillings which has been making the running.

And Keith will be facing some old Fleet Street foes in the shape of The Times, which is heading up the opposition. The Independent, The Guardian and The Telegraph are all joining in, having instructed Andrew Caldecott QC.

The hearing is tomorrow. Expect a fight.