Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation

Gillian Phillips, Director Editorial Legal Services , Guardian News and Media Limited , UK

SLAPP lawsuits are a strategic litigation tool where the aim is more often than not, not so much to win or get a remedy, as to silence or discourage criticism or opposition. They are seen as a weapon of deterrent by those who threaten or use them. SLAPPs seek to exploit the burdens of litigation that will be familiar to all litigation lawyers, including the risk of winning or losing inherent in any litigation, the time and costs thereof and the discovery obligations.

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United Kingdom Litigation General February 2021 Vol.14, No. 54, Winter 2021

Gillian Phillips

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Gillian Phillips is a solicitor and in-house lawyer for Guardian News and Media Limited. She was educated at Selwyn College, Cambridge and qualified as a solicitor in 1984 with the law firm Coward (now Clifford) Chance. She has worked in-house since 1987 advising on pre- and post-publication legal issues, including around defamation, open justice, contempt of court, privacy and national security. Since being at GNM, she has advised on phone-hacking, Wikileaks, the Leveson Inquiry, the NSA leaks from Edward Snowden, the HSBC files and the Panama and Paradise Papers. She is a non-resident fellow of the Centre for Media, Data and Society at the Central European University School of Public Policy and holds an honorary law doctorate from London South Bank University.

Guardian News and Media Limited

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GNM is the publisher of the Guardian, Observer and Guardian weekly papers and the guardian.com website.

United Kingdom Litigation General February 2021 Vol.14, No. 54, Winter 2021