Who? Lucy Middleton, 34, senior associate at City media firm Atkins Thomson.
Why is she in the news? Acted for Big Brother winner Brian Belo, Sassy Films and Massive Television, who claimed that ITV and Lime Pictures copied their programme idea to create reality TV show The Only Way Is Essex (TOWIE).
The claimants say they approached ITV and Lime Pictures in 2008 with a pilot film clip of a new reality TV series to be called Totally Essex. The clip featured four actors who two years later emerged on the cast of TOWIE, a TV drama which, according to the claimants, is similar in tone and content to their pilot for Totally Essex.
The claimants issued a claim for copyright infringement and breach of confidence. The case was scheduled to be heard at the High Court on 11 October but was settled. The terms are confidential.
Lime Pictures and ITV deny copying the format and the breach of confidence.
Thoughts on the case: ‘Protecting lucrative TV formats is a difficult area of law. There can be no copyright of an idea and the format needs to be sufficiently developed to be performed. Reality shows pose particular problems because there are no scripts or stage directions. Nonetheless, legal action is possible, as this case shows.’
Why become a lawyer? ‘Media law is so diverse you unwittingly become an expert on subjects that previously held no interest – in my case, match-fixing in cricket and Russian politics.’
Career high: ‘Acting for Russian businessman Boris Berezovsky and winning him £150,000 in libel damages.’
Career low: ‘As a trainee, and Italian speaker, I was sent to Milan to serve some papers. I missed the last flight home.’