Top Ten Reputation Lawyers
Amber Melville-Brown had completed her media law master’s on sabbatical but was preparing for the New York Bar exam when Spear’s rang. ‘It’s a bastard,’ she says laughing.
If successful, she’ll become the reputation management world’s first ‘transatlantic-qualified’ lawyer. ‘I’m quite excited about it,’ she says, ‘but the pressure’s on.’ And it will get more intense, with her recent promotion to lead Withers’ global media and reputation team.
But 2016’s Spear’s Reputation Lawyer of the Year is up for the challenge.
‘If you only have domestic capabilities, then your advice stops at the mid-Atlantic somewhere, or at the border of Northern Ireland.’ Drawing from her experience advising the likes of the Duke of Marlborough, Novak Djokovic, blue-chip corporations and UHNWs, she stresses that information does ‘cross borders’.
And if it reaches America, she says, lawyers have to be up to speed with the inner workings of the First Amendment: ‘Although Trump is banning people from press conferences – it’s incredibly ironic.’
With the advent of GDPR, Melville-Brown stresses that education is important, especially when it comes to protecting clients from the risks of Big Data and the internet of things. ‘People don’t understand that if they ask Siri to turn their lights on at 8 in the evening six days in a row, somebody out there might realise they’re away on holiday.’