Lawyers are preparing to represent parties in the Phillip Schofield controversy, with reputation and privacy key potential battlegrounds.

Television presenter Schofield has apologised for the fact he 'misled' his lawyer and the Daily Mail over the fact he had a relationship with a much younger male colleague - he said the relationship was 'unwise, but not illegal'.

'I am deeply sorry for having lied to them, and to many others about a relationship that I had with someone working on This Morning,' he told the paper.

Schofield is currently being represented by Jonathan Coad, a PR professional and media lawyer who worked as a partner in firms including Schillings and Lewis Silkin. Coad’s high-profile cases include an injunction he obtained for the Duchess of York to prevent tampering with the first draft of a book which chronicled her affair with her financial adviser, and an injunction he obtained for X Factor judge Tulisa over a sex tape.

He also sued Lloyds Bank for £65m on behalf of Noel Edmonds, who reached an agreement with Lloyds worth a reported £5m after his former business was destroyed following fraud at one of its branches.

Phillip Schofield

Schofield is currently being represented by media lawyer Jonathan Coad

Source: Alamy

Schofield’s former lover, who worked as a production assistant at ITV, is understood to be represented by Mishcon de Reya. The firm was reportedly hired by Schofield to represent the man, now aged in his 20s.

Emma Woollcott, a partner and head of reputation protection and crisis management at Mishcon, is one of those representing the man. 

Woollcott trained and qualified at Clifford Chance LLP before rising through the ranks from solicitor to partner at her current firm. She founded Mishcon’s Pride Network, and set up the firm’s sponsorship of Pink Law, a pro bono legal advice service for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. 

ITV itself is facing questions over the affair and what senior executives knew, after reports that the male employee received a financial settlement from the broadcaster.

It has been reported that executives will be questioned by members of the Commons culture, media and sport select committee next week over the broadcaster’s handling of the issue.

ITV has said both parties to the affair had 'categorically and repeatedly denied' it, but MPs could order an inquiry if channel bosses do not provide an acceptable answer.

When asked whether in-house counsel or external lawyers were being asked to advise the channel’s executives ahead of the DCMS select committee, ITV failed to respond. 

However, in a letter, seen by the PA news agency that came to light on Wednesday, ITV's chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall says the broadcaster has instructed a barrister to conduct an external review of how it has handled Schofield's affair. She adds that Jane Mulcahy KC, of Blackstone Chambers, will "carry out an external review to establish the facts".

 Mulcahy is co-Head of Blackstone Chambers and head of the employment group in Chambers.

She previously acted for the former BBC China editor Carrie Gracie and also advised other women as to potential equal pay claims against the BBC.