Schillings partner Simon Smith has left the media boutique weeks after winning a controversial injunction on behalf of golfer Tiger Woods.
Smith, a former Schillings managing partner, counts Hollywood actress Keira Knightley and footballer Cristiano Ronaldo among his A-list clients.
In December, he sparked a media uproar when he won a court injunction from the UK courts on behalf of Tiger Woods banning any publication of “naked or any naked parts of [his] body or of him in any sexual activity” in the British press.
The move, critics said, further restricted freedom of the press and once again showed London to be a centre for so-called libel tourism.
Smith left the firm on 31 December but is yet to take up a position at another firm.
According to Schillings’ business director Christopher Mills: “He’s now in Scotland.”
Mills added: “There were no problems. It was just that after 14 years with the firm he decided to move on to some new challenges.
“I’m not sure at this stage what his plans are, but it’s possible that he’ll be doing some work on his own.”
Last year Smith instructed London set Cloth Fair Chambers’ Ian Winter QC to act for media magnate Richard Desmond in his libel case against journalist Tom Bower.
The case, which was lost by Desmond in July, centred on claims made by Bower in an unauthorised biography of Conrad Black that suggested that Desmond had ordered staff to write negative stories about the press baron.
According to Private Eye, Desmond has now taken his legal business to Davenport Lyons.
Schillings, which is left with five partners after the departure, has unveiled pay increases of around 20 per cent per cent for fee earners, effective from 1 January.
“The pay rises we have awarded to our fee earners are part of our continuing drive to improve competitiveness and recruit and retain the best talent,” said Mills.