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Read this: Johnny Depp and the libel trial of the century

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Johnny Depp and the libel trial of the c…

BBC sounds music Radio podcasts from BBC Radio 4 hello now on we like to look at every bit of a vast Media ecosystem, every little called that keeps the big wheels turning and today we're going to celebrate a role that is really celebrated.

These are the guys working day to make Media happen or not happen as the case may be because I'm talking about the lawyers Media lawyers.

Yeah, it's been a big year for our periwig friends Johnny Depp Harry and Meghan suing the Mail on Sunday the drama of wagatha Christie so I've got with me some of the most respected legal brains in the country because the story behind the story on this show is more entertaining Jenny after is a partner at shillings and has been representing Johnny Depp in that libel action against the sun firm is also representing the Duke and Duchess

Sussex building is Harry Meghan is some of their legal actions that celebrities have spent this year lockdown means fewer kiss and tells this misbehaviour for the tablets specialises in defending The reputations of the rich and famous.

Have you noticed a change in the type of legal work coming your way no other than increased.

I think everyone's been so depressed and fed up and concerned by covert stories the appetite for celebrity tittle-tattle has increased which is just made privacy lawyers like me a lot busier.

I love you.

So become more aggressive aggressive.

They certainly are very very aggressive as are the paparazzi supply them with photos and the holes of machinery that goes into producing content about people in the public eye is pretty Ferocious celebrities.

On famous people who have made money out of covid-19 at those people being got out as well for quite a while.

We call them business celebrities.

So people who enter because they've been really successful in their commercial life then become the new source of celebrity and are vulnerable to just the same sort of Media intrusion comes to mind Chinese good to see you.

Thank you very much.

Did Louis Charalambous is the head of the press law team at Simon's Muirhead and Burton is the lead advisor for the lawyers defending the sun in that case I guess who's been depicted in an ITV drama and you also pay and a Netflix documentary about Madeleine McCann you represented one of those wrongly accused of being involved.

Is it a good sign when a client lawyer because part of the drama or would you prefer to be operating behind-the-scenes well, I'm usually in the Shadows but I

Shown up on that because it's such an important case if the man went from the most notorious man in Britain to someone who needed to have champion vindication because he was falsely accused and it was all about the facts on Fleet Street Legend can apply to lawyers that it applies to any young and that's for sure that for years.

He was the legal advisor at the male part of associate with David English a few years and input data for many years you have received dozens of letters from firms like shillings over your career warning you offer story.

What did you do with the letters themselves well Liam depends on the level of seriousness that we see in the complaint and as you say we had lots of letters from shillings and other firms in media business and we treat them seriously we we deal with them.

We we look at the complaint.

We check with the journalists on the

The story or whatever is the company about and and then I suppose I'd of the front begins or we go down and negotiating group, but that's a job once it wants it in the paper and we get completely job is to defend it obviously to make sure that the newspaper comes out of an either with the victory or with the least possible damage is that a more important part of the job? That's stopping itself in the wrong information getting to into the newspaper in the first place so I think I think the main job is to help get storage into the paper.

I'm in any newspaper lawyer vs.

Told will want the paper 1 stories go into the paper and it's very easy to sit there and loads of coffee, but that's not a long career in Fleet Street so yeah, the idea is really to work with a journalist.

Story with a journalist make sure that what does in the paper is what he wants what the editor wants without undermining the integrity of our of the stories that he originally wrote the song The Right sit perfectly well probably sometimes there are things in it which need to be changed and it's the job of lawyer really to help with those changes.

Thank you.


Tony is done and also that is Jill Phillips director of editorial legal services at the Guardian dual you've also worked at the news of the world and and at the Times and Sunday Times be honest which Newsroom brought you the trickier stories so definitely the Guardian the Guardian it's been a sort of roller coaster of stories.

I mean I got there in 2009 April 2009 phone hacking traffic and you never be back Snowden WikiLeaks WikiLeaks

Presents you with you know I can't really complain at all about that, but I also did a stint at the BBC as well.

So you know I've covered by a covered my basis by the BBC but that was that was my first introduction to media law and back in those olden days in the sort of late 1980s Media sort of baby in the lawefield.

You know that you can do a degree in media law or whatever like you can now and I helped out of the city which I wasn't enjoying into the litigation department of the BBC and again.

It was sort of like old fashioned libel cases, so it was great fun and you had a bit of time back in those days more time then you probably have now that's certainly true the journalism as you say mediately was growing and growing as why I'm glad we're doing it on the show today before we Delve into some of the big issues at stake.

I think it'd be helpful if you understand what I Media lawyer.

Does a summary of alluded to already Jenny happier? When do you find out what point in the process? Do you find out the newspapers going to run a story on one of your clients? It's always possible time for clients might be when they dispatch be boarding a flight or that's kind of first rule of Media law the press will typically give my view as shorter Notice Period as possible in order to satisfy their obligations are responsible journalism, but in the hope that the story won't get spiked to reduce the chance for individual stopping it in my face a very short notice typically if it's a weekend newspaper.

He might be looking at Friday the basic features.

Isn't it? Which is the the idea that you morally bound offer right of reply has there been a trend special pets with tabloids of offering less and less right?

Sufficient notice absolutely that still happens depressing the often there's major case at the moment where and that's one of the issues the subject the story wasn't given any rights to any opportunity to protect their rights privacy which is so serious because of course once your right to privacy have been violated.

They just can't I can hear the voice of many a tabloid friend saying we know what is the rise of injunctions gagging orders and so on the rise of powerful is stopping you trying to print stuff, so it's no wonder that right reply finishing time.

I'm injunctions haven't actually increased save declined over the last 5 years or so, I'd like to think lawyers and more powerful than we are but only dealing with the law and the opposition are incredibly well resourced and Powerful so I think of rice reply as a fundamental human rights and it should be it.

Used a lot more everyoung.

Would you go along with that trendline that Jenny's describing there where the right reply which is a moral obligation if you want there a journey from York to allow people you're writing about to come.

Do you create the train line is very shocked me towards less and less time play the right to comment on that whatever story.

They're proposing the publish the coursing in long time ago when I started.

I mean I started in Fleet Street as it's usually called the late 60s and there were times when lawyers or attending junctions without getting any notice to the newspaper so the position is reversed.

I remember one particular night sometime sometime in the 90s Rihanna names.

We had a story of about Cherie Blair and her nanny.

Which of the Mail on Sunday and gave her story and we actually told Cherie Blair we told Downing Street time that we were proposing to run the story this was on her I think this is on a Saturday and we can get any reaction from featuring at all.

So we're on it and I was out with some friends in a restaurant about 10:00 at night Saturday night and I got a call from the papers saying that she's got an injunction Cherie Blair regarding injunction against this stopping us running the story which I wished I'd already gone out in the lorries and for delivery anyway, so I had to go but leave the restaurant freezing cold night for a few drinks went back to my friend's house to have the live near the restaurant and I'm ringing the judge it already made the injunction but the injunction in place.

Ring him and try and persuade him to change his mind as not 11 tonight what I'm doing that I'm watching a news broadcast which is actually telling me the story I mean the real and in the end the judge refused to reverse the decision and so we had to stop stop distribution, but meanwhile 400000 copies of the Mail on Sunday and gone out.

Did you tell them to change that you're a bit tipsy? He never got an impression.

I wouldn't I wouldn't that tipsy and the cold winter are they would you have a little bit right that that was that practice was definitely a long time ago.

Not only do we not go to restaurants and have a few drinks with mates nowadays, but we also now.

I think the scales have shifted so

Say that if someone is thinking of applying for an injunction not only do you have to give notice to the the pub in the chef, but you have to give notice her any publisher you think might be interested in the story or might be served with injunction ultimately so your face this horrid position of deciding whether or not to stand up for your rights to privacy and go for an injunction that has the media the very private information.

You're trying to prevent unlawful publication of right just me and Jill on that subject.

You would presumably first thing you have to carry out when you get these calls and later on a Friday night when your clients back to board a flight whenever you got to find out with another story is true.

How do you go about having that conversation with your clients are often celebrities this conversation.

Do you find me some off to ring them up to say there's something you read on here, but I got to tell you this happening so horrid horrid situation for them to be in often.

Goes along following lines to save as a story if it's true it engages your rights to privacy so we could try to stop it on that basis if it's false then we're in defamation, so which route do you think we should be going down but they're really sensitive conversations and no one ever wants to be in that position your personal your favourite if your celebrity in Chinese calling it.

I got here we go again Louis Charalambous Charalambous forgive me you feel about this action for individuals as well as newspapers.

Why would the sun which has its own in-house lawyers also bringing an external litigator like you because the first thing that we here once a journalist has been had approached someone like one of Janice appliances.

There's going to be a junction and you've got to agree not to use this story and we're going to give you an hour and we'll go to the to a judge and get an injunction then so not

The one in-house lawyer who might be on Tuesday that weekend is going to ask for external noise like myself and and a barrister to that position and put together the reason why a story should go out and not be killed in quite often there a public interest arguments that it's not just about celebrity sister.

That's Jenny I think it's easy probably went when you work for newspaper to forget that these are real people.

They are real feelings families being totally impacted by the stories Eddie referred to them as the subject matter story.

I think it's very easy to lose sight of the fact that we're talking about real people in real families here talking about real people talking about important issues the the rich and Powerful want to want to cover up with with the Threat of injunctions and so that's where that's the territory don't worry but you know that there's kind.

The real public interest story is not going to be covered up well.

I've over the years in which the issue can go either way we end up in the judge usually 15:00 other Saturday and and arguing the case you go to an independent arbitrator at the moment.

You do get notice.

I don't think it's the last minute notice that you depict.

It's you get notice for coming and the first thing that happens is a long letter from chilling for or similar firm and so

There's no chance for discussion and it says you're bringing forward the the case into the intercourse as quickly as possible.

You guys are arguing party.

Cos you are the reason I get through public like the dinner Johnny Depp case I just before I talk to you about that.

I want to bring this inside your experience is that must have been you many a time and date on a Friday night as you mentioned traffic were Wikipedia Snowdon phone.

You must be in the situation many many tyres wear on tight deadlines and editor Alan rusbridger.

I guess the Guardian within katharina coming to you saying I really want to run the story give me advice.

I need a quick.

I'm in one of the skills if you say we've got skills as in-house Media lawyer as it is the ability to do advise quickly and clearly and give clear advice and then get into the decision-making because he said right at the Beginning you did part of what you're trying to do is to get stories out, but you also want to get stories out in as legally a safe way as possible.

Is a balance going on but you're picking up on the the discussion that that Louis and Jenny have been having it is it is frustrating when you're on the in-house side of things that your journalist sends out there right to reply properly epically setting out what it is.

They want to publish and send it to the to the person what they get back is a sort of 10 paid that you don't give him that much notice.

I mean maybe they move the high-minded and glorious guardian with it's impeccable standard does butter and jelly Santa's getting phone calls from other publications that don't give me that much time you know it's from the perspective.

They'll be going to you know xx and I've got this long now that letter back from my lawyers and actual I want to see answer to 2 questions, so you know it gets it can get very complicated it.

Hackles raised sometimes unnecessarily and sometimes you know you get you get sidelined as a sign tractors is Louis Philippe green, Telegraph story my memory of that is that that that they got injunctions having centre right to reply and it took them 6-months to unravel all that successfully in the end.

See that whole story epi spective was held for 6-months while they were heading in the court.

So you can see why the journalists and the media lawyers on the defence.

I'd get frustrated by some of the activity that goes on around this.

I can't see how did you go about preparing the sun's case against Johnny Depp while I first looked at the court material in the United States and saw the evidence that was put forward for the violence injunction by Amber Heard and then I thing which which you have to do for a tooth defence which was to gather the evidence and most importantly speak to Amber Heard

See her get to know her and ask her to be a witness and and and we built a powerful case and we want how did you go about preparing the case of Johnny Depp well, obviously wouldn't expect me to go into much detail about it at all.

But we prepared just in the usual way, you would be actually took over the case very close towards trial trial and we did our preparation Louis beat me on that one will know we are appealing before us the long-term come back to Eddie on there.

What do you think the long-term implications might be of of Johnny Depp's case it will shake individuals confidence about standing up to protect their rights and reputation everybody wants to avoid trial.

I think it's short-term because that's always been the case no one ever knows you're insane wants to go to have litigation and go to court so there's always been that huge fear and people who been defined or have their rights infringed that if they tried to do anything about it, are they just going to make the situation worse and are the press it make it worse by the court case and then also other press going to turn on them and start attacking them even more than they were doing before if they take action so that there's I think it's little amplify the concerns, but they've always been there anyway Louis Charalambous what do you think of the long-term implications of that case I think it will it will teach people who think they can adopt Earth strategy to conduct litigation to think again because hear the case of one and lost on the facts.

Ok? Have you mentioned that this?

This world has changed somewhat days since the 1960s both under technological way and in terms of the size of Media law examples of a sense of how much the actual practicalities what you're doing these days has changed the late 1960s when you started back, then it was done on paper lizard with Galley proofs and baskets and whatnot Eddie in 1969 God makes me so old then and then was paper Galley proofs, and I had a postal office in shoe Lane just off the street and my office and a basket in it and runners boys youngboy runners stuff in there for me to look at and we just sign it if it was ok or change it wasn't it was all done in on pay for the genus will be typing.

Emails that were computers obviously it was a completely different world completed at work when I started I was terrified what I was doing the time for a couple of months until I got used to it, but it's quite intimidating to sign a piece of paper.

So yes, this is legally ok and seeing it on the street with in about an hour you having sanctioned.

It was quite frightening thing to begin with no mobile phones are course for a long time after 9, how many cases how many questionable stories were you looking at is a 1969 compared with 2009 when you retired very few very evening Standard had I mean I was with the sound of right actually until the end.

Of course.

It was sold just after I left or just before I left but I was with them and the Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday eventually.

And I think in the it all the time.

I was there.

He'll probably about 2 cases which went to court for the evening Standard the mail was a completely different proposition in the Mail on Sunday was totally different seen as well.

So when I switched over to concentrate on the male in the late 80s and the early 90s that was that was a real joke me and enjoyed it, but it's a much more in-your-face aggressive type of journalism, which of course attracted a lot of strong but a lot of opposition from people in the right what we were saying this subject of the stories of course that James emanated from the the character of the people Dacre there's a particular tailed.

I want you to give us if you wouldn't mind if when your suit at the evening Standard I'm over the story from the time when is Allan Clarke the came after you for a rather infamous Tiree

That was interesting case actually Peter Bradshaw you know course of course the word preeminence the works with the Guardian I think yes, he very talented writer he started a column in the evening Standard mimicking the style of Alan Clark Alan Clark Diaries and it was a very very popular to lots of people for the most people.

It looks as Alan Clarke and written it although they were some saving lines.

We thought quite clear legal lines and make sure it wasn't any way then decided to publish the number of his Diaries and decided to put a stop to this what peoples confused one thing with the other so you actually asked some Max Hastings with the time he actually ask Max to stop publishing these memory Diaries and

Maksud know in a public and we're going to carry on that's that's how it went to court and I must say Alan Clarke and Haddin particularly like was the most brilliant that this is he was a terrific witness very funny and the judge from the media dislikes well QC help and Mr Gavin Justice lightman.

Gavin lightman, and was very impressive and crazy actually because it was it was Saturday I mean I didn't anybody's ever been sued for Saturday before and we asked but Bradshaws staggered and we all were actually but there is that's the way it was by accident.

Gavin lightman replying back from abroad once to properly years after this case and he didn't actually recognise Media I knew him and I catch me mention it as I say making make any comment about it and he just struggle indicated that he wasn't crazy about you.

See more details to be paid both Alison Phillips the editor of The Mirror and relation of yours.

I should say and Kath viner at your head at the garden on the program and they talked about the extraordinary case when the scooter this year about Dominic Cummings and his is the Taurus trip to Barnard Castle at the boat about getting that story and I quote over the line.

What does that mean? I used aligned and if so, what do they do to get something past you?

Quite often ultimately the judges impression, but you're trying to second-guess that on one level but you're also trying to give advice about how they might get very close to that line might be safely, so you know we talk to myself, but I'm sure Eddy is the law on the pre pub side of things you're making little tweaks to you know you might change the word layer in the sense and just say they got it wrong doesn't mean they necessarily deliberately got it wrong which lying might see you might be doing little circle things like that.

Just just Edge sings to where you think but ultimately you know lawyers advise editors decided.

That's the old what about on a fundamental issue light weather not a source is reliable or not and for instance whether not for instance WikiLeaks is reliable.

How did you get to a place where you were intellectually satisfied?

Information from WikiLeaks with strong enough to put into the public domain rememory the first story The Guardian published that was that was originated from WikiLeaks was the helicopter Collateral Damage video leak which would probably be back in 2009.

I can't quite remember when that when that story KC there was in that case I relationship developed between Alan and WikiLeaks over there are three early stories, but then lead on from memory to Nick Davies going and finding Julian Assange which then produce the wiki log store and Iraq stories gone to the wiki cable, so you know those sort of things can take quite a long time with a sauce you have to develop that level of trust that.

You have to go you enter judgement if you need to trust this guy then you can't really over him on a date with with Edward Snowden will send you in MacAskill out there to to meeting to talk to him and to feedback you know Is he for real.

So you know there are you due from the old-fashioned sort of verification? You know is this document is the date on it right is the address right is very basic stuff all the way through to do.

I trust this person then going back to the Dominic Cummings story the joint one with the mirror.

They were sources for that the journalists had to check out those sources talk to them satisfy themselves that they believe them old-fashioned stuff anyway.

Look people in the Ireland team of course.

They would make a good of it right now Eddie you signed off on arguably one.

Most famous if not most famous rampage certainly that's modern history this was a very nice 97.

It was of course the day after an inquest into the unconscionable and racist murder of Stephen Lawrence that ended and the suspects refused to answer questions the Mail front page directly accuse them with their pictures and the headline and headline of course was murderers remember it very big capital letters the mail accuses these men of killing if we are wrong let them sue us you would have had that conversation with Paul Dacre can you talk through front page came to be you have to look back and remember the atmosphere about this case at the time.

There was this very vicious murder in 19-in 1993 young black teenager 5 White teenagers followed by an incompetent, please investigation which

Did eventually and two charges being made against the suspects which was dropped weather CPS that was followed by a private prosecution over 3 of these Suspects taken out by the Lawrence's parents Aided by the quite brilliant lawyer in Runcorn and that was thrown out by the courts again for lack of evidence which meant those three couldn't be charged again and then we have the inquest which she just mentioned it was she refused to co-operate with no answer any questions will need the names and I think it was that really that raise the consciousness of the general public and the level of revolt the pool data on that day.

I think decided that he will do something about it and I think generally accepted as being one of the greatest editors of the generation.

Great Talent for tapping into what people wanted to read I wanted to see so he obviously decided on this this type of front page and I was told the day art of the inquest about 1400 by the news this that this was going to be a sore head when you're running now cos I knew the background on my new looks like everybody else like I'm going to be great detail and I suppose my heart stopped for a couple of seconds and Kenya and approve this or not and so for the next 4 hours.

I had tremendous help.

I'm Steven Wright was the journalist the time junior crime reporter the time ago.

He's now any legendary crime report about the case for the beginning and he and his colleagues getting me all information and one should I store a video of this is 5 acting out there.

Dreams and information on a sore loads of stuff that have been rejected by the courts crossing for 5 hours.

I couldn't possibly couldn't possibly build a base which would justify calling them murderers not possible, but I can certainly justify that it was great of the murderers and Isis normally have to the level of Proof is based on a reasonable doubt, where is it? Where is in this case because we reduce them of major crime to be the criminal standard which is beyond reasonable doubt so anyway, I decided after all this time and I set this up to anyway.

I'll go along with that.

I said yes, it's ok.

I just want to bring new and genuine as you both nodding throughout that Jenny well, you're not in there.

Such a fantastic example of brilliant journalism, and I think this this debate as often happens is sorted comes across as a false binary that it's merci in reputation on the one hand vs.

Free speech on the other and I think that's that's misleading and two ways firstly.

I think by protecting rights to privacy and rights and reputation you actually get a better press because it means that false intrusive information isn't published without good reason.

Why it shouldn't be published at all.

I think the other way.

I was thinking that this debate is a false binary is the idea that it's always the rich and the Powerful on my side vs.

Plucky journalists newspapers on the other side where the newspapers are the incredibly powerful ones both in terms of the resources.

They have the legal budgets can frequently dwarf the budgets of the Ender

Involved and the newspapers have the printing presses so they have the microphone in a way that the individuals don't so I I think that's the picture as you're speaking a jelly as a vast grimace colour spread across his face and he started nodding side to side.

I think if we don't go along with all of it.


I was just thinking when it comes to finances just thinking about the legal costs of of claimant lawyers that we experience and Jill and Egerton I'm sure back me up on that and so there are it's that are being thought about on the newspaper side all the time when it comes to whether to stand and fight or two in their view KV Anand and agree to the demands, although I do with Jenny the sometimes a it is to black and white and it was it was a great story that the great Headland at the mall put in and then I

You have been very pleased when they when they published a podcast about the fact you don't have to call his murderers, but you said as well.

Just really struck me you sent if you lost the label claim it would cost us in costs, but it wouldn't cost us much in damages.

What did you mean by that as Luigi said whenever you're fighting any case in court.

You've got to think about the money and my policy was always at 2 to see if we were to lose this case how much would it cost us now.

I thought on this particular story these 5 had no reputation at all clear.

They had no reputation and therefore if it went to court and they won because because somebody decided that she reached the proper standard of proof.

The jury, will then be asked to decide if it wasn't it would have been Adrian that case I know Joe is not the fashion now, but they used to be I can't imagine any jury being very sympathetic towards them.

So they wouldn't have offered.

They wouldn't have awarded much in terms of money but the costs if we hadn't made some sort of Settlement approach office 100 quid or something beforehand.

We would have been vulnerable.

I suppose all costs apart from paying her own cos we may have to pay the other side costs, so that would have been quite expensive but it might view was that it was worth it was absolutely worth the risk that fascinating.

That's absolutely fascinating genuine not in that he said that these guys didn't have application whatsoever in the context of Stephen Lawrence trial not so you can say that Johnny Depp around the reasons.

I guess the detro creative so much interest was the sheer volume of personal detail that came out a lot of it very.

She's on both sides.

How do you Jenny way up the risk that taking a case to court will do more damage to your clients reputation then the original article it's really difficult and you have to go through the risks with the client help them assess what the known outcomes will be the Unknown outcomes and then really decide if it's worth fighting for court action in a payout due to change our planet remember the story because after the damage is already done well.

You got to remember that hear that the original story was Johnny Depp and and buddy picked up on it and decided that he would he would Sue because incidentally he was he was called a a wife.

So what what can happen is that if you if you feel to it with the newspaper manages to prove the allegations the outcome.

Is 100 times worse than the original story and so you know when there is this is a paradigm example of a newspaper deciding ok winning lotto results is a lot of time and take a lot of risk in order to establish the original story is true and and so there are risks being on both sides and measured by both sides celebrities who were well possibly celebrities may not shouldn't expect the same level of privacy if we're talking about celebrities in the kind of reality TV star sense, then I think that veilige estimate argument that they have given up some of their rights and privacy.

But most of the cases were concerned with actually just about people who are in the public eye because they been really successful in their professional life whether they're really brilliant actor really fancy singer artist comedian or a business leader so what you're saying there is because you are really really good at what you do, then.

You're going to give up your rights to privacy.

What about the royal family shillings is representing the Duke and Duchess of Sussex better known as Harry and Meghan at the Royal family takes a lot of public money is a part of the deal that they give up some of their privacy in return even if as in the case of Meghan Markle someone with very well established career beforehand before you married into the royal family without going into any specific if you like you can if you like to go just for Christmas Christmas present.

Thank you, but I have a mortgage to pay so I'm going to keep protecting all of my clients.

I think generally there is there is

Gree of a trade-off of if you enter the public eye I mean you're a good example.

You're in the public eye now.

There's there's an element of a trade-off where there is going to be more attention on you but again.

I'd say just because you've been successful doesn't mean you give up your fundamental human rights to a private life talk to your phone hacking briefly ok, and how much will it snow about what you're jealous getting up Tuesday produces stories.

They eventually put your desk and come to you first on this because you were working at the Gardens we mentioned when exposed the criminal use of phone-hacking at the news of the world and you previously were at the News of the World what was your involvement in the Guardian coverage and did you ever feel conflicted you so pretty much the day that the first story in to me and you know it was a big story and you appreciate that I mean in terms of the News of the World yes, I was there but all this predated.

Post-dated all this post-dated my quite short time at the sun and use the world which was about 18 months so I didn't feel I didn't feel uncomfortable and I didn't feel disloyal.

I didn't feel that I had any information that you know I shouldn't have had all was going to cause embarrassment, but I also declared to Nick and to the Guardian that you know didn't know that I had spent time there and then then you just got on with it really and would you been keen to know and get right the difference between seemingly data privacy issues and criminal activity that was one of the very early discussions that I recall we had was discussing the difference between and you know you'll have to get one of the things as an in-house lawyer.

That's great so can be quite difficult someone arrives in your desk with a subject that you don't know anything about so I've been researching know when did Ripper the regulation of hours phone hacking stuff the criminal.

When did that come into force 2004/2005 been an offence and then obviously the data protection? There's a public interest reasonable belief defence so you'll sort of having to tease out what it is.

That is being in the criminality is aimed at and making sure that you separate out the two and it was quite a lot of discussion about will hang on you saying this blagging.

Where does blagging fit and would you expect a lawyers at the news of the world to know where they are coming from your phone hacking was going to join.

This is how one reporter will that pull over the lawyers at the news of the world to know the culture in Everything Has Changed enormously but when I started back in back in the late 1980s so I'm a little junior to Eddie but you know.

There was no Laura privacy then and then and the privacy law that came in with Naomi Campbell and the mirror in MMX Douglas and hello when you know where we ended up meant that you did have to start looking at the source of the information but before that I was if it was a defamation claim.

I would want to know what the evidence was wouldn't be that bothered about where is it come from because that just wasn't a question that you asked that such a fascinating put Eddie would you go along with it that you weren't necessary until until I get until 2000 expansion of privacy law as a newspaper lawyer saying was a phone hacked it, but it was never I never asked that's not true.

I asked in certain cases, how they knew the in.

They were writing about where they got the information from said to me.

They were phone hacking or doing anything illegal actually.

I'm just getting it from a perfectly legitimate source I fine and I thought the News of the World situation was a tragedy actually was great paper and I think this on the whole I'm very bright from the very resourceful often very interesting sometimes more interesting the people they write about and suddenly I found at the male in the Mail on Sunday understand.

They were bright enough to get information through legitimate means and sometimes through crafty means by illegal means to get the information.

They wanted to make a publisher how much do you think anything at the levers link and follow from the phone hacking scandal has changed and I'm asking a question of all of you.

Train is it obviously changed to this far more careful about what they do now there is I'm not sure it's changed for the better idea Leveson Enquiry was a great great outcome.

It really really anybody we've now got the PCC the press Complaints Commission has gone you've now got it so the government-sponsored.

I think it's called the impress which nobody's for those subscribed to complete waste of time and that was recommended by Lisa so I'm not sure it's made.

It's made a difference by one said a fundamental difference this will be journalist and German will be resourceful and Janice will find things out even if they probably don't want them to Louis Charalambous do you think that phone hacking there's revelation packing and Levinson has improved Jasmine's country morally.

I think it was a truth commission but there was no reconciliation really but there was a truth commission which which shows some things have gone wrong.

During the period prior to lebberston, but it was very much a backwards looking exercise.

I think things have got a lot better a lot cleaner and what we really need to be focused on rather than the conclusions drawn by Levinson is is the future which is very much about things like data rights which have increased in the last few years and particularly.

You know this month is the publication of the online harms Bill and the duty of care.

That's been established for social media outfit such as Facebook you know those those of the big issues.

I didn't levisons in the past.

Do you think they really shouldn't need birthdays not how strong the week there.

I think I think they're they have their face morph threats to restrain the publication.

They used to use for a fixed price menu libels the normal way now.

It's liable privacy data.

It just you know that they're all sorts of restrictions that stop the story Jay Phillips you helped put phone Hacker stories in the public domain what she done to tourism emphasize and Echo Louise just said about in the olden days it used to be a question of defamation was probably the first thing you looked at and then privacy came in on the scene data protection increasingly and quite often the letters that we get these days and more about data protection and privacy than they are about defamation.

So you know that's a shift.

That's happened, but I seem to remember Brian Leveson the judge in the Leveson Inquiry said he didn't want his report to be Gathering dust on a Shelf but I rather feel that that is what's happened to it.

You know the regulatory framework that exists Now is much more complicated than it was back in the day if the BBC and the Guardian run a story together.

The mirror you've got three completely different regulatory frameworks for someone to go through to complain and to look at that that can't be that can't be a good way forward to you.

Yeah, I think it was in hindsight.

It's been a complete waste of time Leveson report.

I don't think were any better off than we were before although lots people got their hopes up.

I do agree that the most pressing concern probably now is arises from a tech big big Media social media and the different that poses for privacy and nice big four and a proper old message to finish with thank you so much that all of our guests usually appreciate your time today.

Jenny happier from shillings Gillian Phillips and the Guardian Louis Cheryl from Simon's Muirhead and Burton and Eddie young formerly at the moment.

Thank you so much for your time.

Not just today but throughout this most challenging of years.

Merry Christmas from all of us on the media show team.

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