Who? David McClenaghan, 32, partner and solicitor-advocate at London firm Bolt Burdon Kemp.
Why is he in the news? Acted for a woman who received £25,000 in compensation in the first award of damages in a civil case involving ‘sexting’. The woman claimed damages after she had been encouraged by the vice-principal of her school to send indecent photographs of herself to him.
Thoughts on the case: ‘With the emergence of new technology, it is sadly inevitable that paedophiles will use it to gain access to groom and manipulate vulnerable children. We successfully argued that “sexting” was a form of child abuse that caused significant psychological harm. We established that even in the absence of physical contact, a claimant in such a case should recover compensation.
‘This case will allow others who suffer psychological harm as a result of “sexting” or revenge porn to recover compensation. It demonstrates how the civil courts will address these new emerging types of injury claim.’
Dealing with the media: ‘The media were a pleasure to deal with. They grasped that my client was a young, vulnerable girl who deserved a legal remedy for the harm she suffered. Oddly, it was the NSPCC which provided negative feedback by citing the “compensation culture” myth that this may lead to teenagers “sexting” and suing each other as a quick way to get cash.’
Why become a lawyer? ‘I’d love to say something profound, but the truth is as a child I adored John Grisham and legal dramas.’
Career high: ‘Winning my first trial as a solicitor-advocate in the High Court. I acted for a lady who had been sexually abused by her grandfather. I felt an enormous amount of responsibility to secure the right result for her and was elated when we won.’
Career low: ‘As a newly qualified solicitor, being asked by a court usher in front of my client whether I was the new work experience from the local secondary school.