Handling harassment & blackmail

‘I want to be left alone’

Greta Garbo

When contact from others becomes inappropriate, excessive or intimidating, it can leave you feeling distressed, upset, or even fearful. We have considerable experience in providing both practical and legal advice to clients who are being harassed and who have potential remedies under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. We also have considerably experience of dealing with victims of blackmail.


If you are being harassed whether by the media, by a colleague, by a former spouse or lover, or by someone you don’t even know via the internet, we can help.

Harassment - both a civil and a criminal offence - occurs where the perpetrator pursues a course of conduct (two or more events) which amounts to harassment and the perpetrator is aware, or should be aware, that his/her conduct amounts to the same.

We will:

  • negotiate undertakings with the perpetrator of the harassment to cease the course of conduct;
  • where necessary, apply for an injunction to prevent continued harassment;
  • liaise with our criminal specialists to provide advice on the merits and process of making a police complaint;
  • where appropriate, assist you with a complaint to the police.

View our video here on how to handle harassment


The criminal offence of blackmail occurs when a person makes an unwarranted demand with inappropriate threats in the event of non-compliance – for financial gain. This offence is commonly perpetrated by those holding private and confidential information about the victim, which they may threaten to disclose to the media or other third parties upon failure to make a payment.

We will:

  • advise on responding to blackmail threats, including acting quickly to prohibit disclosure of information, whether by applying for an injunction or negotiating an undertaking;
  • assist in minimising damage caused by any information already disseminated;
  • ensure appropriate criminal advice is provided on the merits of a police complaint;
  • assist you where appropriate, with a complaint to the police.

View our video on how to deal with a blackmail threat

If you have any reputational or privacy concerns, please contact the Media & Reputation team.

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