Guide to managing publicity
All solicitors are bound by a duty of client confidentially and court documents filed in proceedings cannot be disclosed to any party outside of the proceedings without permission of the court. However, since April 2009 the press have been able to attend all levels of court, including matters heard “in private” (subject to the court’s ability to restrict access where sensitive issues such as the welfare of children or the safety of a party are concerned). This media presence causes many politically sensitive or public figures to be nervous about letting their case get as far as the court door.
Alternative dispute resolution within family law, such as private arbitration, is becoming more common and is of particular interest to clients who wish for matters to be dealt with discretely. If you believe that your case may be of interest to the press and wish the details to remain confidential, you should take advice from a family law firm with extensive experience in high profile cases. Such firms will be able to advise you on how best to keep the matter out of the papers if that is what you want. Alternatively, such firms will be able to advise you how to speak to the press to put your side of the story, within the constraints of the duty of confidentiality in respect of information disclosed in the litigation.
Vardags has extensive experience in dealing with high profile cases and in managing the press. If you are interested in discussing how to manage publicity please see How Vardags can help with managing publicity.