Preserving your privacy and privacy planning

In a crowded world you need the time and the space to live out your private life without fear of intrusion from the increasingly information and gossip-hungry media, as well as from other individuals and organizations.

With the immediacy of social media and the rise of ‘fake news’, your reputation and privacy have never been at greater risk. Domestic laws in numerous jurisdictions offer legal means for keeping private and confidential information safe.

Whether or not you live in the public eye, you are entitled to respect for your private life. Under English and European law, an individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy and may restrain the publication of private information by third parties prior to its unauthorized disclosure. Further, confidential information that the recipient knew or ought to have known was confidential can be protected from disclosure without consent. Private and/or confidential information may include that relating to health and medical matters, children, intimate relationships, sexual matters and financial and business affairs.

Privacy planning services

Every individual has the freedom to decide how much of their life they feel comfortable with sharing. But this should be an informed decision. Because it is not possible to ‘put the genie back into the bottle’, every decision a person makes regarding disclosure about one element of their life might have an impact collectively on how easy it is to protect their private life more generally. Decisions about what ‘private life’ looks like to each client should not be left until a time of crisis. We work with high-profile individuals, families, and family offices to provide advisory services which complement our clients’ other activities.

Privacy decisions are constantly evolving as stages of life change. We can help with privacy planning services when a client may be thinking about:

• Having children and how to allow them to grow up with their privacy protected
• Engaging nannies, PAs and others who might acquire private information
• Dealing with public bodies such as planning authorities
• Completing legally required filings such as Companies House or SEC
• Being a witness or a party in a dispute
• Making arrangements for what should happen to digital assets, such as social media accounts, after death.

We carry out privacy audits for our clients to understand what information is already in the public domain and whether they are comfortable with what is there.

Breach of privacy

You should be aware that private and confidential information must be carefully protected, or risk losing its private or confidential status forever. If you fear the exposure of private or confidential information – by a former lover, partner, spouse, business colleague, unknown and anonymous third party – do not delay in getting help.

We are experienced in advising clients on the protection of private information and its disclosure by individuals, the mainstream media and via social media, across the world. We are discrete and swift to initiate intervention – including where necessary via the authorities and/or courts – where it is needed.

For further help or information

Get in touch

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2019 Legal Community Awards: Studio dell'Anno Food

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Stonewall Diversity

eprivate client: Top Law Firms 2019

Meet the team

How the media and reputation team can help

How to keep confidential information, confidential


Withers’ media and reputation team offer some key tips on how you can keep your confidential information, confidential.

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