18 January 2019 - Article
Athalie was previously an in-house lawyer at the Guardian, where she advised journalists and editors about stories from around the world on subjects ranging from paedophilia in football and global corruption, to restaurant reviews, fashion shoots and celebrity interviews. She also resolved reader complaints and defended litigation.
As an Associate at a leading human rights firm, between 2012 and 2015, Athalie obtained substantial damages, costs, apologies and statements in open court for victims of phone hacking from the former publishers of the News of the World, and also worked on the Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practice and ethics of the British press, representing individuals unfairly treated by newspapers.
In 2015 she was in the team which successfully represented the pianist James Rhodes in his Supreme Court battle to resist his ex-wife’s attempts to injunct his Memoir, ‘Instrumental’.
In 2007, while working for a top tier media firm, she assisted in obtaining a published apology and confidential settlement for His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos III, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, in a libel case against a London-based Arabic newspaper. As part of her work on the case, Athalie had a highly memorable visit to meet His Beatitude at the Jerusalem Patriarchate.
She also helped to obtain one of the highest damages awards of the decade for defamation for a Tunisian client after a global satellite television channel broadcast false allegations linking him with Al-Qaeda.
Before training as a media lawyer, Athalie was a national newspaper journalist, reporting for the Mirror, the Daily Mail, the Daily Telegraph, the Independent and the Guardian, and also worked as a researcher for BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme.
England and Wales, 2005
2015, seminar about information-sharing in the public sector for Capita Conference, ‘Safeguarding Adults’;
2014, seminar to the National Union of Journalists about the Defamation Act 2013;
2013, seminar on media law to Comic Relief;
2012, guest on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Woman’s Hour’ discussing the law relating to social media following the naming of a rape victim on Twitter;
2010, Lecturing media students at the London College of Communications on defamation law.
Me in a minute
I can provide prompt, practical advice in pressured situations
Whether you suddenly find yourself targeted on social media or door-stepped by a TV crew, I understand how upsetting media attention can be and will always advise with compassion and tact, no matter how sensitive the subject matter.
I can provide prompt, practical advice in pressured situations where the stakes can be high, whether for you, your family or your business, either by issuing warnings and statements on your behalf to the media, or by advising you what you might say. I can also support you from behind the scenes and help you to cope with the glare of the spotlight in times of crisis.
If negative material is published or broadcast, I can explain in clear and simple terms whether you have a legal claim and, if so, whether it is in your best interests to pursue it. I won’t spout the law at you, but I will give you a clear understanding of your rights and the potential implications of any action you may take.
I can also help you manage more insidious threats to reputation or privacy, which may be occurring in your personal life or at work.