Smith, who literally wrote the book on reputation management, penning Image, Media and the Law in his spare time, has amassed some stunning victories for his clients (see story).
In December he won an injunction against the publication of photos of Tiger Woods – photos that may not have even existed in the first place. It’s like that picture of the hand drawing the other hand or a set of Esher stairs … mind boggling.
But, that said, there had been comments made by Smith of late that were difficult to reconcile with his firm’s creed of ‘reputation management’. In particular during his 17 December appearance on BBC Radio 5 to debate privacy.
Fellow panellist and Observer sports writer Will Buckley – himself a former lawyer – was shocked by one of Smith’s comments about Tiger Woods:
“Smith saying ‘obviously Tiger’s got problems’, doesn’t really fit in with reputation management,” argued Buckley.
But when asked about Smith’s departure, Schillings business director Christopher Mills gave a quote befitting the firm’s legendary renown for keeping the private just so.
“There were no problems,” said Smith, “it was just that after 14 years with the firm he [Smith] decided to move on to some new challenges.”
Now that’s how you manage a reputation.