Who? Peter Singfield, partner in the dispute resolution team at Foot Anstey.
Why is he in the news? Acted for Croydon Advertiser chief reporter Gareth Davies in judicial review proceedings against the Independent Police Complaints Commission (with the Metropolitan Police an interested party).
Davies had received a harassment warning for making enquiries of someone alleged to have been involved in a dating website scam in March 2014. The Police Information Notice (PIN) was revoked, without any admissions of liability, by the Metropolitan Police following the court’s approval of a settlement last week.
Thoughts on the case: ‘The case involved an important issue of principle relating to freedom of expression. There was also the risk that complaints of harassment against a journalist could be made in such a way as to stymie freedom of speech, when a journalist is making proper enquiries in the public interest.
‘A PIN, which is an anti-harassment warning, can appear on a criminal record check – and can be imposed without a full formal investigation having taken place.
‘As part of the deal, it was agreed that the IPCC and Metropolitan Police will notify the College of Policing in order that they can revisit the guidance on the use of PINs against journalists.’
Dealing with the media: ‘I’ve had it easy, because Gareth’s employers (first Local World and then Trinity Mirror) are publishers with whom Foot Anstey has long had relationships.’
Why become a lawyer? ‘At my school, if you were doing well there was an expectation you went into medicine or law – and I’m squeamish! More seriously, I did work experience with a barrister when I was 17 and found [this] really interesting.’
Career high: ‘We acted for the National Farmers Union in obtaining an anti-harassment injunction which was legally innovative and high-profile.’
Career low: ‘Spending a night as a trainee in the City signing off a disclosure bundle on a big transaction. The lawyer on the other side just wrote a single letter on each page, whereas being young and keen I proudly wrote the firm’s name in a flourish on the first page. It dawned on me when signing the fourth or fifth file with an aching wrist that the other side had it right.’