TOP TEN SOLICITORS
‘The idea that our defamation laws, and Leveson in particular, would prevent investigative journalism has just not been borne out,’ says Benaim. ‘It’s scaremongering by some elements of the press. The reality is that investigative journalism is alive and well. There’s a lot more of it.’
A tier-one solicitor of choice to the likes of JK Rowling (a long term client), the partner and head of reputation is one to know. Currently acting for Sir Cliff Richard in his privacy action against the BBC and South Yorkshire Police, he has acted in some of the most interesting and influential cases and issues over the past two decades: from Leveson to Naomi Campbell and Roman Polanski. Celebrities and multinational corporations regularly call on him for his skills acting against the media and online publishers, on matters ranging from defamation to privacy, breach of confidence, anti-harassment, copyright and contract law.
It’s been the best year the likeable Benaim says he can remember — thanks in part to ‘back-to-back’ current affairs TV and radio programmes for UHNWs and corporate clients. ‘There’s a lot that’s done behind the scenes, both before and after publication, without the need to issue a formal claim for court,’ he says. Although sometimes necessary, it should only come as the last resort: ‘The last resort means you have no alternative, and you want to achieve something. That’s very important.’