Our team is renowned as leaders in the field for defending reputations, privacy and confidentiality wherever and whenever problems arise. Clients tell us they value the speed of our response, the rigour with which we fight their corner and the creative answers we deliver in difficult situations.
The ways in which reputations and privacy can be challenged continues to evolve, far beyond the discipline’s origins in media law. As technology advances, an ever greater cast of people have the ability to use wider and more open sources of information with less regard for territories and far fewer limitations than ever before. Often that has a powerful effect for good; but too often it can be with a carelessness or even intent to damage the reputation, the privacy or the commercial confidences of others. Be it investigative journalists, NGO activity or malicious behaviour of short sellers, our team is experienced in understanding the tactics deployed against you, and the rights that you have to push back against these challenges.
What sets us apart from others is that we start by looking at your objectives and quickly assessing what strategy will work, taking into account our vast experiences of how issues pan out and how parties involved are likely to behave. Our advisory approach to our practice means we will adapt the best solution to achieve your outcomes, using creative approaches and averting harm as deftly as possible. Allied to our paramount focus on delivering excellent service and building long-term relationships with clients, this achieves far stronger results than through other firms.
Often our approach to handling reputation and privacy problem dovetails with our work helping clients understand and resolve the substantive underlying issue to effect a long-term resolution of a problem.
What is reputation management?
What falls under reputation management can differ from business to business, but at Himsworth Scott it means:
- A client that has a serious, often urgent, threat that will impact its reputation, privacy or confidentiality. The threat can come from a wide range of sources, including:
- Questions posed by a journalist;
- Undercover reporting or documentaries being made;
- Activities or investigations carried out by an NGO;
- A disgruntled employee or purported whistleblower;
- Statements or publications from activist shareholders or short sellers;
- Negative results in financial due diligence, WorldCheck databases or compliance issues;
- Handling allegations appearing in blogs, social media or elsewhere online;
- Dealing with blackmail and extortion threats, and preventing their execution;
- Another business’ activities take advantage of your brand and goodwill;
- Harmful and unfair comparative advertising;
- Leaks, hacking and data loss incidents; and
- Threats of external investigation or sanction.
- Devising a strategy with the client across jurisdictions, disciplines and areas of law to achieve the outcome that the client needs.
- Executing the strategy, undertaking the necessary legal steps and overseeing the delivery of the objectives.
- Learning the lessons of the incident that occurred, taking steps to avoid repetition and putting in place plans to monitor for similar risk.
- Repair any remaining harm from the evidence to recover and enhance reputation or privacy.
- In businesses or sectors exposed to repeated risk of these issues occurring, or when they arise regularly in the course of dealing with a long-term issue like managing an investigation, we will work with clients over many years on strategies to defend and enhance their protections against attack.
Our focus is on achieving the outcomes our clients want and need, which is why we are responsive 24/7, wherever in the world. We pride ourselves in working with best in class partners in the right disciplines and territories who we know from experience will be effective in delivering our strategy.
Examples of work our team have been involved in include:
- Advising a listed European business on managing a long-term hostile campaign by aggressive short sellers;
- Advising a leading PLC on an array of reputation threats arising out of disclosure in its IPO prospectus over several years;
- Ongoing media advice to a prominent PLC in a contentious sector, frequently targeted by media, campaign groups and section of politicians;
- Working with a leading PLC to secure an injunction against a blackmailer to prevent the execution of a business critical blackmail threat; and
- Dealing with Panorama, Dispatches, Newsnight and other investigative journalism sources over countless dealings