Who? Graham Atkins, 46, founding partner of media specialists Atkins Thomson.Why is he in the news?
Represented psychic Sally Morgan in her successful libel action against the publisher of the Daily Mail. The newspaper had accused her of using a hidden earpiece during a Dublin show to receive instructions from her team which she then repeated on stage. The newspaper accepted this was untrue and settled for £125,000 just prior to trial – one of the largest ever pre-action awards.
Thoughts on the case: ‘As a psychic, you will always get sceptics and people questioning your integrity, but that is far from a newspaper with enormous circulation saying you have cheated, which can ruin your reputation entirely. The allegation came from a radio phone-in when two ladies said they heard instructions through an open window at the rear of the theatre being repeated on stage. But there was no proof despite the Mail spending 18 months trying to uncover evidence.’
Dealing with the media: ‘The general media were reasonably fair and careful about what they printed. It was the bloggers who caused more of an issue. They accused Sally of being a fraud and a cheat and effectively said "come and sue us". It’s a free-for-all but we can’t pursue everyone – we’ve done everything we could to vindicate her to the millions who read the Mail and Mail Online.
‘I had a few emails or tweets criticising me for representing her, to put it politely. It was quite unpleasant at times.’
Career high: ‘Suing Arnold Schwarzenegger [and two aides] when he was governor of California following allegations made against my client by the governor’s publicist in the Los Angeles Times. The case was brought in London, on the basis that the paper is available here online. We were working for three years on this claim, so it was great when it settled to the satisfaction of all parties.’
Career low: ‘I lost a case once in the mid-90s when a client lied at trial. Hopefully never again.’