Stars in their files

NO one could accuse Razi Mireskandari of name-dropping – despite the fact that he has just casually mentioned Liam, Noel, Paula and Jarvis.

As the Simons Muirhead & Burton partner reels off a a few of his clients, he names a showbiz celebrity A-list. A solicitor to the stars, Mireskandari probably knows a few secrets that would have the tabloid press salivating.He acted for pop star Jarvis Cocker after the infamous 1996 Brit Awards affair, when Cocker upstaged an evangelically-posed Michael Jackson, and has represented Paula Yates in her court wrangles with former lover Bob Geldof over custody of their children.

But Groucho Club member Mireskandari denies his life is glamorous and points out that while his clients are celebrity icons to most people in the UK, to him they remain simply clients. “To a shipping lawyer, the head of a shipping line is probably as glamorous as a celebrity is to anyone else,” he explains. “I do go to press launches, screenings and lunches with clients, but shipping lawyers probably go to shipping association clubs with theirs and find that exciting.”

He claims media lawyers have a “cultural awareness, an interest in the wider issues and have to be tuned in to what people are watching and thinking”.

Stephens Innocent senior partner Mark Stephens (pictured left) is renowned for his flamboyant, larger-than-life character. His clients include a number of well-known comics, including Julian Clary, Lee Evans, and Rory Bremner, as well as presenters Anthea Turner and Des Lynam.

Asked why his glamorous clients, who after all are used to the pressures of life in the public eye, bring actions, Stephens offers the classic media lawyer line: “They hurt the same as anyone else.”

And, like Mireskandari, Stephens is prosaic about his client list: “Everybody, including my taxi driver last night, thinks that a little bit of tinsel rubs off on you, but my clients are just the same as everyone else.”

Perhaps not surprising considering their high profile reputations in the media law sector, both Stephens and Mireskandari eschew the tabloid showbiz columns, and prefer to do their own research when called upon. They admit, however, that they hear of stories about their clients shortly after the hacks write them.