Proudler leads Olswang boom

DEFAMATION lawyer Geraldine Proudler has finally taken up her partnership at Olswang as the London firm boosts its media practice with a batch of new recruits.

Proudler joins almost a year after resigning as head of defamation at Lovell White Durrant.

She declined to comment on the delay, but it is believed that there had been a failure to agree on the length of notice period she should serve.

She joins Julia Palca and Caroline Kean to become the third media litigation partner at Olswang. The firm has also recruited three new assistant solicitors as it expands and broadens the practice.

Proudler, highly rated among defamation professionals, sat at her new desk for the first time last Monday.

She says: “I am delighted to have joined.

“Olswang has a leading reputation in the media field, particularly in the new growth areas of multimedia and on-line publishing. These are areas of crucial importance to all media companies.”

Her new senior partner Simon Olswang says: “We are delighted that Geraldine is at last able to join us. Her arrival will further strengthen an already impressive team – we now have three of the profession's leading partners in media litigation.”

Olswang's media operation is seen as broader than Lovells' print-based practice. Last year, the firm recruited a series of specialists including David Zeffman and his unit from Frere Cholmeley Bischoff.

Proudler, who qualified 15 years ago and became a partner at Lovells eight years ago, is a member of the Media Society and regularly speaks at conferences and seminars on media industry issues.

Her previous triumphs include winning libel damages for High Court Judge Mr Justice Popplewell after a news agency wrongly alleged that he fell asleep during a trial.

More recently, she was hired to defend The Guardian in libel actions brought by former Cabinet ministers Neil Hamilton and Jonathan Aitken.

v Olswang has also announced the recruitment of Kay Butler, tax partner at SJ Berwin & Co. She joined the firm's corporate group as a partner last week. Before SJ Berwin she was at Richards Butler and Oppenheimers.