Two entrepreneurial London law firms are involved in the latest lawsuits launched against Daily Mail publisher Associated Newspapers.
Hamlins Law and Gunnercooke are representing Prince Harry, Elton John and others in a lawsuit against the publishers of the Daily Mail, Associated Press, yet another lawsuit Prince Harry has taken against the company.
Both law firms are boutique style practices that have developed their business models around developing industries and activities. Gunnercooke is one of the fastest growing law firms in the UK, while Hamlins has established a firm reputation as a \’go to\’ law firm with high level expertise in its specialty areas.
The lawsuits against the Daily Mail includes Elton John, David Furnish, Elizabeth Hurly, Sadie Frost and Boaroness Doreen Lawrence of Clarendon, who claim they have been “the victims of abhorrent criminal activity and gross breaches of privacy by Associated Newspapers.”
Court records show three separate lawsuits citing “misuse of private information” were filed against Associated in London’s High Court today by Gunnercooke on behalf of its clients, John, Furnish, Hurley and the Baroness. Prince Harry and Frost’s lawsuits have yet to appear in court records but Hamlins said that legal action has been launched.
Gunnercooke describes itself as a \’challenger law firm\’ that built its law firm following consultation with 50 CEOs to determine what sort of law firm best suited modern legal needs. It is also a firm that has a fixed fee pricing model as part of its business, to provide clients with more certainty regarding the \’tensions\’ that can arise with fee uncertainty.
As one of the first \’lawyer-on-demand\’ business models, it has trailblazed the different billing methods adopted by law firms like Keystone and Axiom.
The firm handles considerable work in media, social media, W3, cryptocurrency and other areas of fast-developing law involving the intersection of law and technology.
Hamlins is a smaller firm of 16 partners handling a range of corporate, media and related matters like reputation management but like Gunnercooke also has an entrepreneurial business approach to its work.
Hamlins\’ managing partner Matthew Pryke (right) has a reputation for his business savvy as well as legal skills, having represented many clients in sport, entertainment, media and hospitality. He was legal counsel for A1 Grand Prix and the SailGP events organized by Larry Ellison and Sir Russell Coutts, among other projects.
The Daily Mail Case
The case against The Daily Mail and Associated Newspapers will doubtless garner major headlines with the personalities involved, although the newspaper group strongly rebukes the claims made by the plaintiffs and potential plaintiffs.
Associated Newspapers told Variety: “We utterly and unambiguously refute these preposterous smears which appear to be nothing more than a pre-planned and orchestrated attempt to drag the Mail titles into the phone hacking scandal concerning articles up to 30 years old. These unsubstantiated and highly defamatory claims – based on no credible evidence – appear to be simply a fishing expedition by claimants and their lawyers, some of whom have already pursued cases elsewhere.”
Amongst the allegations made by the plaintiffs is a claim that Associated hired private investigators to bug their cars and homes, hired people to listen into their telephone conversations, paid police for inside information, impersonated staff at hospitals and clinics to obtain information and accessed bank accounts and financial transactions “through illicit means and manipulation.”
The lawsuit will be the third such case that Prince Harry has brought against Associated Newspapers in as many years. He has sued twice previously for libel and slander.
He is currently suing the Mail on Sunday for libel over an article claiming that he had tried to keep secret details of his legal fight to reinstate his police protection, and last year he won damages from the same paper over claims he had turned his back on the Royal Marines.
Meghan Markle has also sued the publisher for copyright infringement and breach of privacy. She won her legal battle last December.