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Carter-Ruck: The firm that aims to 'nip in the bud' hostile press coverage

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Carter-Ruck: The firm that aims to 'nip in the bud' hostile press coverage

Post  Guest on Tue 13 Oct - 23:37

Carter-Ruck: The firm that aims to 'nip in the bud' hostile press coverageTrafigura's lawyers have been seeking to carve out a niche in the field of corporate 'reputation management'
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guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 13 October 2009 22.01 BST Article historyCarter-Ruck is, according to its own boasts, among the most aggressive firms of lawyers that can be hired by a corporation anxious to head off hostile media coverage. Recently, the firm has been seeking to carve out for itself a niche in the field of corporate "reputation management". This involves making use of the restrictive nature of British laws on libel and breach of confidence, and working in close concert with firms of public relations lobbyists.

The firm does not come cheap, with partners believed to charge more than £450 an hour for its services. Carter-Ruck has also been prominent, however, among firms developing the much-criticised "conditional fee agreements" as a libel weapon. Under these no-win, no-fee rules, critics allege that a client with no money can hold media organisations to ransom. If it wins a court case, the firm can charge up to double fees to the newspaper or broadcaster. But if the media organisation successfully defends itself, it will find it hard to recover its own legal costs.

The firm has successfully acted for victims of media unfairness, winning unprecedented damages for the McCann family, for example, when tabloids printed stories falsely implying that they were to blame for their daughter Madeleine's disappearance in Portugal.

In the case of Trafigura, the Carter-Ruck partner Adam Tudor has been co-ordinating legal moves with Neil Cameron of Bell Pottinger, the firm of lobbyists founded by Tim Bell, once Margaret Thatcher's favourite PR man. They have brought legal actions, complaints or threats against foreign media organisations, including the Dutch paper Volkskrant and the Norwegian state TV channel NRK. They also launched a libel suit against Martyn Day, the senior partner of the law firm which brought a class action for compensation on behalf of 30,000 Africans who say they have been made ill by Trafigura's toxic waste. Another libel case, which is still live, was launched against the BBC after a Newsnight programme on the toxic waste disaster in Ivory Coast in 2006.

On its website, Carter-Ruck promises that it can often "nip in the bud" the prospect of adverse media coverage by going over the heads of reporters to newspaper lawyers and making threats. It boasts of being able to obtain injunctions prohibiting publication of information "often in a matter of hours". It claims wide experience of working alongside PR agencies on behalf of blue-chip corporations "facing sustained and hostile media interest".

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/oct/13/carter-ruck-firm-trafigura-lawyers
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Re: Carter-Ruck: The firm that aims to 'nip in the bud' hostile press coverage

Post  Guest on Wed 14 Oct - 6:49

and working in close concert with firms of public relations lobbyists.


That would be Mitchell and his ilk.
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Re: Carter-Ruck: The firm that aims to 'nip in the bud' hostile press coverage

Post  Susan on Sat 17 Oct - 21:15

Toxic Secrets Revealed After Gag Lifted

12:46pm UK, Saturday October 17, 2009

Alison Chung, Sky News Online
Lawyers for an oil trading firm have abandoned attempts to stop the British press running a story about the dumping of toxic waste in west Africa.

Details of a report commissioned by London-based oil firm Trafigura over sludge disposed of in the Ivory Coast can now be published for the first time.

The case began with the dumping of 500 tons of waste in Abidjan in August 2006.

Official estimates said 15 people were killed and tens of thousands left sickened and vomiting as a result.

Trafigura, one of the world's biggest oil traders, has always denied any deaths took place.

The Minton report concluded that - based on the "limited" information to which it had been given access - the waste was capable of causing severe damage to human health.

Last month the firm offered £950 to each of 31,000 people affected, without accepting liability.

When it learned that The Guardian newspaper was about to publish an article based on the Minton report, the firm's lawyers issued a 'super-injunction' blocking it.

They then tried to stop the British media from revealing that an MP, acting under parliamentary privilege, had tabled a question relating to the report.

But the gagging order was dropped following a storm of protest by micro-bloggers on Twitter.

Twitter users posted so many comments about Trafigura and the parliamentary question that the issue soon became top of the site's list of popular topics.

Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger said the climbdown was a victory for "open justice" and "free reporting".

"It's now beyond doubt that parliamentary privilege will trump court injunctions and it was just wrong for the solicitors of Trafigura to assert that we were banned and couldn't report what went on in Parliament," he told Sky News.

He added that judges should think again about the use of the new 'super-injunctions' which are themselves secret.

"It's hard to understand why, with a large corporation going to court to keep something secret, those court proceedings should be kept secret, and I think the Minister of Justice should do something about that," he said.

In a statement, lawyers Carter-Ruck said Trafigura now "agrees that there is no longer any purpose in the injunction remaining in place".

It added: "Despite suggestions to the contrary in certain quarters, neither Trafigura nor Carter-Ruck has at any time improperly sought to stifle or restrict debate in Parliament or the reporting thereof."

_________________________________________________________________________________________________
\'Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.\' Abraham Lincoln
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Re: Carter-Ruck: The firm that aims to 'nip in the bud' hostile press coverage

Post  Dimsie on Sat 17 Oct - 21:36

Quote: 'Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger said the climbdown was a victory for "open justice" and "free reporting".'

'Open justice' and 'free reporting' - yes, indeed! It's time the voice of the public was heard, instead of the mad attempts at heavy-handed censorship.
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Re: Carter-Ruck: The firm that aims to 'nip in the bud' hostile press coverage

Post  Badboy on Sat 17 Oct - 21:41

I wonder if CR were behind that sipposed injuction.

The one supposedly forbidingthe ientification o the secret tapas member.
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Re: Carter-Ruck: The firm that aims to 'nip in the bud' hostile press coverage

Post  Guest on Sun 18 Oct - 0:19

Badboy wrote:I wonder if CR were behind that sipposed injuction.

The one supposedly forbidingthe ientification o the secret tapas member.

Come on, name him Badboy, you've been hinting at it for a LOOOONG Long time ?
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Re: Carter-Ruck: The firm that aims to 'nip in the bud' hostile press coverage

Post  Badboy on Sun 18 Oct - 0:28

I am not sure if it is who i think it is.
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Re: Carter-Ruck: The firm that aims to 'nip in the bud' hostile press coverage

Post  Guest on Sun 18 Oct - 0:59

Badboy wrote:I am not sure if it is who i think it is.

If you give us a "considered opinion" and state it as such, would that be Libellous ?
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Re: Carter-Ruck: The firm that aims to 'nip in the bud' hostile press coverage

Post  Badboy on Sun 18 Oct - 1:04

possibly libelious.
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