Amber Melville-Brown

Partner | London

Amber is a partner in our media and reputation team.

She is a media law specialist operating wherever there is an interface, be it welcome or unwanted, with the media or other organisations and individuals, where she works to protect the reputation and brand, privacy and confidential information of our clients, advising on: defamation, data protection (including ‘the right to be forgotten’ and voicemail interception (i.e. phone-hacking)), harassment and blackmail. She is experienced in making applications for interim injunctive relief where necessary and assists clients through pre and post-publication situations, in negotiation and litigation.

Amber’s expertise extends well beyond black letter law and incorporates a more holistic approach, factoring in all aspects of communications and messaging, whether to the media or to her clients, their employees, shareholders, customers or to the public at large. In addition, she provides a 24/7 crisis management service, which enables clients to feel ‘very supported…at this choppy time’.

Amber is the Spear’s Wealth Management Defamation & Reputation Management Lawyer of the Year, 2017. In 2016, she was rated in The Spear’s 500 directory as ‘outstanding in field’ and rated as one of the top UK reputation management lawyers. Chambers and Partners directory 2015 quote clients as saying of her, she is "very supportive and extremely dedicated", she "knows the business inside out" and is praised for her commitment to her clients’ needs. Clients revere Melville-Brown for her empathy, availability and tactfulness, labelling her ‘absolutely outstanding’. Chambers and Partners 2014 describe Amber as ‘friendly and welcoming’ – one client comments ‘you are the lady I look up to’ - ‘incredibly sensible and practical’ and she is praised for her ability to ‘translate difficult legal concepts and then convey them to clients.’ Amber is described by Legal 500 2013 as ‘intelligent, solid, sensible and practical.’

Amber’s clients include heads of state, members of Parliament, high profile individuals in the arts, sports and music industries, professionals and entrepreneurs, family offices, charities and companies. Increasingly her clients are seeking advice on online publications, including on social media sites including Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter. That said, the nature of Amber’s work in privacy and reputation means that she and her team are discreet with our clients’ identities information as you would expect.

Amber is a respected author on media matters. She was one of the longest standing columnists for the professional magazine, the Law Society Gazette and has gone on to write articles and provide commentary for national and international newspapers as well as specialist titles and online sites where she is regularly invited to comment on media law issues. She is also regularly invited to speak at events on social media and traditional media, reputation and privacy related matters.

During her time as deputy head of the litigation and arbitration team, assisted in the management of the department through its most significant period of growth, as it broadened its international reach and range of services.

Amber is Withers’ corporate social responsibility partner, responsible for overseeing the firm’s CSR activities, initiatives and policies.

Secretary Rachel Stewart

‘‘

Reactive and robust reputational management, Invaluable guidance and support. In depth knowledge of this area of work. Early warning of possible media activity. Compassion and support on a personal level which gave me confidence.

Joy Youart - Healthcare Consultant
‘‘

Amber is ‘outstanding’ and ‘particularly highly regarded among the high net worth community… absolutely terrific and always available’.

Chambers UK, 2017
‘‘

Amber and her team are very responsive in demanding situations and work calmly and efficiently, with great skill and care.

General Counsel, Private Investment Office
‘‘

On the media side, which was a difficult experience, Amber Melville-Brown was brilliant. She handled the press brilliantly, extremely speedily and always professionally.

Belinda Steiner
‘‘

I thank you once again for the incredible job done so far. I clearly feel it was the right thing to do, and clearly you were the right person to contact. I truly thank you and all your team for the tremendous work.

ANONYMOUS

Track record

Admissions

Publications

Memberships

Talks

Friday afternoons are often the busiest in the world of crisis management. It is not unusual for reporters to call the subjects of their articles at the eleventh hour before publication, and for the Sunday papers, this can mean leaving this until late on Friday. We gear up into crisis mode at very short notice to stop the papers printing private information about our clients. While each and every time is different, media management like this is ‘bread and butter’ for our team.

Hell hath no fury like a partner scorned and our top-ranked family team are no strangers to the troubles and strife that can happen at the end of married life. It is sadly the case that we often get involved when one half of the couple launches a campaign of harassment against their former partner, or where a spurned lover resorts to blackmail.

We are still actively pursuing phone hacking cases for our clients; naturally these remain highly confidential.

England and Wales, 1995

UK privacy chapter in the Bloomberg News International Libel & Privacy Handbook alongside specialist lawyers from across the world

‘Privacy Protections - luxury goods or essential commodity’, International Bar Association’s ‘Media Law & Ethics in the 21st Century’

The Law Society

‘NetDiligence, privacy and the right to be forgotten in Europe’, guest speaker - June 2015

Minerva, Female Focus, guest panel speaker - May 2015

Young Norwood, guest introductory speaker - November 2014

Me in a minute

Words have been the mainstay of my professional life

‘Words, words, words,’ answers Shakespeare’s Hamlet when asked what it is that he is reading. Words have been the mainstay of my professional life: words that hurt and defame my clients; words to provide an antidote to the poison administered by an attacker, in print or online; words to litigate and negotiate; words to communicate to the public and to teach to others, my passion for media law.

Robert Browning’s words have also stayed with me throughout my professional - and personal - life: ‘Ah, but a man’s aim should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for’. We must always strive to achieve the best, and more, for ourselves and, in my professional life, for my clients. I am deeply aware that in my line of business - where a client may be facing an unwanted expose in a national newspaper, an anonymous attack on social media, or battling against a campaign of harassment or blackmail - that it is a very stressful and distressing time, and while the legal problem must be solved, a human must at the same time be saved. I am enormously proud therefore, that clients routinely commend me for easing the burden in such potentially stressful times, for providing sensible, practical advice.

In my role as the firm’s corporate social responsibility partner, I have instigated a system across the firm of charity of the year best to be able to focus the initiatives of the firm’s office to various charities chosen by our offices (London/Europe; USA; and Asia). During my time, my fundraising activities have included confining myself to a wheelchair to gain first-hand experience of living with a major disability for 48 hours and was part of the firms ‘Snowdon Push Challenge’ team consisting of 13 Withers employees who braved Mount Snowdon having previously taken part in the gruelling ‘Three Peaks’ challenge.

In addition to my private practice, I have taught media law at the College of Law - which gave me such a good start in my legal career - writing and teaching its professional skills media course and becoming its external examiner for media; I have also taught media law at the London School of Economics.

I write regularly on media law issues, and this is a great passion of mine seeking to show the human face of we lawyers to the public and to present our field in an interesting, educational and entertaining way. So we come back full circle to my love of ‘words, words, words’ which I suspect will always remain.

Education


Languages


  • English

Dates


Joined

2009
Partner

2011

Recognition


London

16 Old Bailey,

EC4M 7EG

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