RPC media litigator Keith Mathieson had a stellar 2012. Mathieson has long acted for Daily Mail publisher Associated Newspapers and in 2012 represented the company as the Leveson Inquiry progressed.
Mathieson also represented the publisher in several High Court cases and is picking up plenty of instructions from other newspaper companies and a range of other media groups, such as Google, in defamation, privacy and phone hacking claims.
He acted for former BBC director-general George Entwistle on the fallout from the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal, an affair which Mathieson says could not have been predicted.
“That’s one of the interesting things about acting for media companies - things do come out of left field,” he notes.
The impact of the Leveson Inquiry will be significant, Mathieson predicts. “If his rules are implemented in full there’ll be a big change in the way claims against the media are dealt with,” he says. “But it’s hard to know what this will mean for newspapers and online publishers at the moment.”
Mathieson predicts the Leveson Inquiry will encourage more claims against publishers, but his proposals to speed up the process might mean less work for external advisers, although the Government’s reforms to defamation laws could lead to more work.
Mathieson’s diary is already full for this year, with two Court of Appeal hearings scheduled early in the year and plenty of work expected on the back of the astonishing year in media that was 2012.