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Senior barrister at BBC Nicola Cain joins RPC’s Media team

Published on 28 February 2017

Senior barrister at the BBC, Nicola Cain has joined RPC, the City law firm as a Legal Director.

Nicola will sit within the Firm's well- established Media practice and her arrival will also bring significant additional contentious data protection expertise to RPC's multi-disciplinary Data Protection Group.

As Head of Legal - Freedom of Information and Contentious Data Protection at the BBC, Nicola has over eight years’ experience as a barrister and extensive knowledge of all aspects of media and information law and data protection and regulation. Whilst at the BBC, Nicola provided both pre-publication and litigation advice on a wide range of programmes including ‘Panorama’, ‘Top Gear’ and ‘Have I Got News For You’.

Nicola had responsibility for all FOI legal advice, internal reviews, complaints to the Information Commissioner and litigation, as well as advising on aspects of data protection compliance, significant cyber-incidents and data breaches, complaints, regulatory investigations and enforcement and litigation.

Nicola holds the International Association of Privacy Professionals CIPP/E certification and has particular sectoral expertise in media and law enforcement.  

Some of the work Nicola undertook whilst at the BBC included:

  • Advising the corporation on the Pollard Review - an independent review relating to a curtailed Newsnight investigation which featured allegations of abuse by Jimmy Saville
  • Successfully defending an injunction claim to prevent the broadcast of an edition of Panorama brought by the 'Fake Sheikh' Mazher Mahmood
  • Successfully defending a claim for judicial review relating to the expiry of reporting restriction orders made in respect of young defendants in criminal proceedings
  • Conduct of the BBC's response to an appeal to the Supreme Court regarding the application of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to the BBC
  • Preparing the BBC’s response to the ICO's review, as part of the Global Privacy Enforcement Network (GPEN) Privacy Sweep, of websites and apps used by children
  • Advising on the legal and editorial issues and subsequent appeal for the Panorama ‘North Korea undercover’ documentary

Prior to joining the BBC, Nicola trained at the specialist media and entertainment law set of chambers 5RB.

Nicola has also co-authored the third edition of ‘Defamation: Law, Procedure and Practice’ and was the Assistant Editor of ‘Human Rights Practice’. She has spoken at numerous industry events including the Information Commissioner’s conference on the Right to be Forgotten in 2015.

Following the BBC’s successful judicial review of the Secretary of State for Justice’s refusal to permit the BBC to film an interview with a terror detainee, Nicola was The Times’ Lawyer of the Week in 2012.

Keith Mathieson, Partner and Head of RPC’s Media team comments: “Nicola’s appointment will help to further strengthen the media team here at RPC and in particular the Firm's contentious data protection capabilities.”

“Data protection is an increasingly important area for RPC's commercial and insurance client base, and so the vast experience and knowledge that Nicola has gained whilst working in-house at one of the world’s busiest media organisations will be invaluable to our clients.”

Nicola Cain adds: “RPC’s Media team has extensive knowledge of the media landscape and the issues that affect it.”

 "By moving into private practice, I’ll be able to take what I’ve learned from my time in house and apply it to a wider range of clients and cases.”