Who? Katy Colton, associate at Mishcon de Reya, London.
Why is she in the news? Successfully obtained a defamation injunction against ‘persons unknown’ to stop an online ‘fake news’ campaign against a British businessman, in what is thought to be the first fake news injunction. The man was the target of a concerted campaign of defamation involving false and doctored stories distributed by the respondent(s). The respondent(s) ceased the campaign following service of the injunction via email.
Thoughts on the case: ‘The injunction has had an interesting journey alongside technological developments which have made its use almost obsolete. But this latest example bucks the trend. The rise of fake news defaming individuals, as well as crimes such as revenge porn, may well see the revival of the old-fashioned injunction if used wisely. This could be the next frontier of injunctions, and may represent an increasingly important legal tool as we enter the ‘‘post-truth’’ world.’
Dealing with the media: ‘Clearly the use of injunctions is a controversial area for journalists. However, in my experience through applications to court, the media has played a fundamental role in ensuring that the court properly balances freedom of expression against the right to privacy and the rights of individuals not to be defamed.’
Why become a lawyer? ‘I have been fortunate to work on a wide variety of cases to meet the particular issues faced by clients. No two cases are the same, which keeps the job interesting and intellectually stimulating.’
Career high: ‘Working on the Gina Miller Article 50 case and winning the appeal before the Supreme Court. I felt honoured to play a role in a case which was of great constitutional importance.’
Career low: ‘When I lost a judicial review as a newly qualified lawyer. I learnt a lot from that and now realise that you can salvage something positive from a loss.’