Harbottle gives Pop Idol personal touch

Harbottle & Lewis has been appointed as personal legal adviser to Pop Idol winner Will Young in response to press revelations about his sexuality. Harbottles has a longstanding relationship with his management company, Simon Fuller's 19, but has only been appointed to handle Young's media work. Charles Moore at Denton Wilde Sapte is handling his music-related work.
“We were appointed by Young himself to be his personal lawyers and have been working for him since he won Pop Idol. He went to Dentons for his music stuff because there was a conflict,” said Harbottles litigation partner Gerrard Tyrrell.
Harbottles was already acting for 19 on negotiating Pop Idol's recording contracts, including that of runner-up Gareth Gates. So naturally, Young and Gates would need their own lawyers to look after their side of the agreement. However, this did not prevent Harbottles being called in to do Young's media work.
The story that Young was gay began to emerge at the beginning of March when a piece appeared in the Daily Mail hinting at it. Harbottles then sent letters to other papers warning them of infringing Young's privacy.
Tyrrell invoked Article 8 of the Human Rights Act and Article 3 of the Press Complaints Commission Code to get undertakings from newspapers that they would not publish dubious articles about Young. “His sexuality was never a story,” said Tyrrell. “It was the other untrue allegations said to be floating around that would have been the problem.”