Athalie Matthews

Consultant | London

Athalie is a consultant in the media and reputation team.

She is a senior media law specialist who advises individuals and organisations about their rights when engaging with all types of media, the lawfulness of any coverage and how reputation can best be protected and enhanced, before or after publication has occurred.

Described by Chambers and Partners in 2015 as ‘willing and able to turn her hand to anything’, she has extensive experience of acting both for and against the media, giving her a comprehensive understanding of the relevant issues, enhanced by a previous career as a journalist.

She has obtained substantial damages and prominent apologies for defamation and infringement of privacy on behalf of individuals ranging from senior business leaders, actors, peers and members of Parliament to surgeons, teachers and refugees, and on behalf of companies, charities and other organisations in the public eye.

She has also advised websites and newspapers how to publish contentious information safely.

Her expertise encompasses defamation, privacy, breach of confidence, voicemail interception (‘phone hacking’), data protection, the right to be forgotten, social media offences, harassment, anonymous email campaigns, blackmail, ‘revenge porn’, the lawfulness of journalistic techniques such as subterfuge, restrictions on court reporting and contempt of court. She also advises on intellectual property matters including copyright and domain name disputes.

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Secretary Nikoleta Taseva

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Leader in the field and associate to watch

Chambers 2015, UK
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Athalie Matthews is a skilled media lawyer making her mark in the field of privacy and libel.

Chambers 2015, UK
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Willing and able to turn her hand to anything

Chambers 2015, UK
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High calibre and efficient and level-headed

Legal 500 UK, 2015
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Athalie is commended for her excellent client care and practical instincts.

Legal 500 UK, 2018

Track record

Admissions

Publications

Talks

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’.

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;

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.

Education


Languages


  • English
  • French
  • Spanish

Dates


Joined

2017

London

20 Old Bailey,

London,

EC4M 7AN

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