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Best & Soames: Launch of Law Firm Specialising in New and Traditional Media

1 October 2006

Best & Soames, a media law firm with an international practice and an exceptional client base, has been launched by Hubert Best and Martin Soames [photo attached]. They advise multinational and local clients on the full range of legal problems encountered in the swiftly changing digital media landscape.

By combining outstanding legal expertise with a commercial approach, they deliver focused, cutting edge advice on all areas of contentious and non-contentious media law, to media and non-media clients. Their use of new technology and flexible working methods enables them to offer City skills at competitive prices.

Hubert and Martin are leaders in the field with many years’ experience as partners in top City international firms. Both practise as solicitors in London; Hubert also practises as an EU advocate through the Stockholm firm ENN. Hubert was previously a partner at Bird & Bird and Martin was previously a partner at DLA Piper UK LLP.

Both have extensive experience of high profile matters. For example, Hubert advised the producer of the Athens 2004 Olympic Ceremonies – watched live by four billion people worldwide, and exploited in all media new and old – and the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in March 2006. Martin’s cases include Berezovsky v Forbes, a leading libel case on jurisdiction in which he defended the American magazine in a libel action brought against it by a Russian oligarch, and Hyde Park Residence v Trevor Rees-Jones, The Telegraph Group and Little, Brown, in which he successfully resisted an injunction to block publication of a book by the bodyguard to Dodi Fayed and Princess Diana.

Their earlier careers have given them a special insight into the media industries. Hubert was Cathedral Organist and Master of the Choristers in Birmingham and Jerusalem before becoming a solicitor, and continues as an international organ recitalist. Martin’s first career was as an editor in book publishing.

Notes to editors:

1. Best & Soames’s practice areas include:

Digital and electronic media
International copyright and rights management
Intellectual property litigation
Libel litigation and freedom of expression
Confidentiality, privacy and data protection
Internet, mobile and telecoms law
Contractual disputes
Plagiarism
Pre-publication clearance and Ofcom compliance
Passing off, false endorsement
Reputation management and journalistic intrusion
Contempt of court and protection of journalistic sources
Reporting restrictions
Best & Soames acts for major media businesses, artists, writers, composers, performers, high-profile individuals and for non-media companies seeking advice on reputation management or journalistic intrusion.

2. CVs

Hubert Best, partner

Hubert is an international intellectual property and media lawyer who practises as a solicitor in London and as an EU advocate through the Stockholm firm ENN. He advises clients based in many parts of the world including the USA, EU, China and Australia.

A recognised expert in international copyright law, he specialises in new media, particularly exploitation of audiovisual and music content in online and mobile environments. He is an authority on conflict of law and multi-jurisdiction issues.

He also specialises in large media events. For example, he advised the producer of the Athens 2004 Olympic Ceremonies - watched live by 4 billion worldwide, and exploited in all media new and old - and the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in March 2006.

He writes and comments in the media and is credited in Chambers Directory and The Legal 500. Hubert is also an external examiner in intellectual property law at Queen Mary College and Kings College, London University, and visiting lecturer in intellectual property law at Stockholm University.

A prize-winning graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, London, Hubert was Cathedral Organist and Master of the Choristers in Birmingham and Jerusalem before becoming a solicitor, and continues as an international organ recitalist.

Professional experience

2003-2006:

Partner, Bird & Bird

2001-2002:

Partner and International Head of Media, Hammonds

1995-2001:

Solicitor then partner, Biddle & Co

1990 to 1995

Solicitor, Taylor Joynson Garrett

Martin Soames, partner

Martin specialises in litigation for the media industry and those dealing with it. He has experience of the House of Lords, the Court of Appeal and injunctions; he is also a CEDR-accredited mediator.

His specialist areas include litigation in libel, confidentiality, privacy and freedom of expression, copyright, malicious falsehood, false endorsement, contempt of court, breach of contract, plagiarism and all areas of publishing law including pre-publication advice. In addition, he advises on Ofcom and Press Complaints Commission codes and dealing with regulatory complaints.

Having worked in book and newspaper publishing, Martin appreciates the pressures on media clients. He acts for most of the major London publishers as well as journalists, editors and agents in traditional and digital media including books, magazines, newspapers and broadcasting.

He also represents non-media claimant companies and individuals in reputation management, defamation and other media disputes. Clients in this area include financial institutions, major corporations and professional bodies.

Martin writes and comments in the media and is a recognised specialist in libel credited in The Legal 500 and Chambers Directory.

Professional experience

2001-2006:

Partner, DLA Piper UK LLP

1990-2001:

Solicitor then partner, Biddle & Co

Major cases

Berezovsky v Forbes – defending libel case brought against American magazine by Russian businessman; leading libel case on jurisdiction

Ashcroft v Times Newspapers Limited – libel action brought by former Treasurer of the Conservative Party

Al Fayed v Condé Nast – defending Vanity Fair in libel action brought by Mohamed Al Fayed

Derbyshire v Times Newspapers Limited, House of Lords – leading freedom of speech case

Bottomley v Express Newspapers – libel action leading to jury trial for member of Parliament

Upjohn v Oswald – two-year libel action leading to trial arising out of allegations of fraud published in New York Times

Sharp & Sultan v BBC – malicious falsehood action arising out of a BBC exposé of bogus AIDS treatment clinic

Hyde Park Residence v Trevor Rees-Jones, The Telegraph Group and Little, Brown – successfully resisting Al Fayed’s injunction to block publication of autobiography by survivor of Princess Diana car crash

Huddart v Express Newspapers – defamation action for consultant surgeon libelled on front page of Daily Express

Contacts

Hubert Best (partner)
hubert@bestandsoames.com
Mobile: +44 (0) 7956 339 894
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7014 3526

Martin Soames (partner)
martin@bestandsoames.com
Mobile: +44 (0) 7961 972 699
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7014 3525

Best & Soames

Clerkenwell Workshops
31 Clerkenwell Close
London EC1R OAT
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7 014 3527

Web site will be up and running by 6 October: http://bestandsoames.com