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Julian Darrall


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Tel: +44 (0) 20 7927 6436

Julian is a partner in our defamation and litigation practices. Julian has acted for national newspapers and other media organisations for his entire legal career. A decade spent in a senior editorial legal role within Associated Newspapers gives Julian a unique perspective among media litigation partners, and editors praise his judgment and his calm, pragmatic approach to solving difficult problems, often under intense pressure.

“I’ve always defended publishers but, after starting off in private practice, I spent a long time at the coalface for one of the UK’s successful and most influential news publishers before moving to Wiggin as a partner. That’s quite a unique career path and it’s exciting to know that I have something genuinely different to offer to clients.

Many lawyers describe themselves as ‘trusted counsel’ and like to think they really understand their clients’ business but there is no substitute to having been embedded at a senior level. Along the way I’ve shared the stresses of imminent print deadlines, taken pride in shaping ground-breaking investigations, made hundreds of high-stakes decisions, and won the hard-earned trust of editors and senior executives – not to mention navigating the super-injunction spring and the Leveson Inquiry. These are all things I am proud to have achieved while at the forefront of both traditional and digital publishing.

I’ve been involved in some very high-profile litigation along the way – my very first trial as a newly qualified lawyer was Roman Polanski v Conde Nast, and I recall sitting in court between Mia Farrow and Graydon Carter as the drama unfolded. As exciting as it can be, the truth is that’s a very small part of the job. Getting to trial is rare and often undesirable – the best results often involve complaints that are overcome or resolved on good terms before a writ is issued. The bulk of my career has been spent finding pragmatic solutions to avoid conflict and agreeing satisfactory resolutions. I love rolling up my sleeves and helping journalists create and defend great content.

Being a great media litigator is about more than just knowing and applying the law. You need to be part analyst, strategist and psychologist. It helps to have a human touch and, of course, common sense, good instincts and sound judgment. I will always take account of wider factors in play for clients including money and time cost, commercial and reputational repercussions, appetite for risk, points of principle, precedent setting and any impact on the ability to compete.”

Julian is a UK trustee of Honour Village, Cambodia and a former trustee of Pancreatic Cancer Action.