David Engel insists that his work is mainly behind the scenes. He offers advice, representation and negotiation and does his best to keep his clients out of court (‘although we’ve been pretty close on a few occasions’).
An Addleshaw Goddard man since 2001, Engel’s clients in 2018 included a number of major high street brands in relation to a media issue involving the BBC’s Watchdog; a member of the House of Lords; a Cambridge University lecturer; and a Hong-Kong based venture capitalist: ‘Quite a wide variety.’
Many cases have involved a data breach, a phenomenon that he has witnessed grow over the years and is ‘a big concern’. Engel observes how quickly a reputational issue for an individual can bring a business to its knees.
‘The business and the individual are now very closely linked,’ he says. ‘It’s a completely different ballpark from ten years ago – reputational issues that would have been pretty low priority back then are now at the top of the list. I mean, look what happened to Bell Pottinger.’ What does he love about his work? ‘When the phone rings, you literally do not know what the issue is going to be. Sometimes that makes it very challenging, but equally keeps it interesting.’