“Revenge Porn” Solicitors

“Revenge porn” is a term used to describe the very unsavoury act of distributing non-consensual pornography, including any “sharing” with a third party i.e. not between you and the other person, of such films or photographs without the consent of the pictured individual.

Has somebody disclosed or published without consent your private sexual photographs or films online, on social media, by text, by email, or even printed and distributed them? Are they threatening to do so? Do you want to take urgent action? We can help.

We are a recognised authority in the area of breach of privacy and confidence, harassment, defamation (both libel and slander); this includes assisting clients with so-called acts of “Revenge Porn”. The media team at Magill Solicitors have particular expertise and a strong reputation for their services in these specialist areas of the law. We have a team to provide dedicated advice to individuals who have been attacked.

Pictures/films, made as harmless consensual fun during better times, may then be sent to family, friends, and/or employers. These images may have been taken by you with an ex-partner and, if not stolen, may have been freely shared with the perpetrator for their sole and private viewing in intimate moments. Sadly 90% of the individuals featured are female. It appears to be about power rather than sex, and it leaves individuals enormously distressed and traumatised. Sadly there are websites worldwide dedicated to hosting these images and films, including many dedicated websites in the UK.

Revenge porn can also result from the hacking of servers (see Sony’s issues), or even your email or your phone, and pictures/movies are frequently uploaded in revenge following relationship breakdown by ex-partners seeking to cause shame or embarrassment of the pictured individual, or by hackers. The uploaded formerly-private images may be accompanied by personal information, including your name, Facebook links and social media profiles or addresses.

What can you do?

If this has happened, or may happen to you, we can assist you.  We will be very pleased to assist with urgent advice as to your options and action. However, a word of caution…

  1. If the pictures/films published or shared, or threatened, concern someone who is not, or was not, an adult at the time of production you should first contact the Police. Such images will be deemed to be indecent and serious criminal offences may have taken place including under the Protection of Children Act 1978. The Police will be able to give you further advice on your options and take action under criminal law. This should be your primary route with non-adults.
  2. If the person was an adult at the time then you may still be able to seek assistance from the Police. You may be aware that “Revenge Porn” has as of 15 February 2015 become a specific criminal offence under the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015. This law provides that those caught by the Police sharing intimate photos or videos of a former partner without permission may face up to two years in jail and/or a fine. It applies to images shared both on and offline without permission with the intent to cause harm. The issue here is the “intent to cause harm” which must be proved for a successful prosecution.
  3. There are also several other laws which may have been broken and which the Police may be able to use to protect you against the perpetrator. These include legislation relating to the sending distressing communications contrary to the Malicious Communications Act 1988, Communications Act 2003, Sexual Offences Act 2003, and stalking and/or harassment under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 (as amended), or the Computer Misuse Act if hacking is suspected. Other laws include blackmail if threats demands have been made of you.
  4. Sadly however these laws do not always equip the Police to always take immediate and successful action. Or even the Police are not able, whether due to experience or manpower, to take the necessary action. There is a high burden of proof for a prosecutor to establish intent of the perpetrator against you to cause you harm. These can all be significant barriers to you taking the necessary urgent action to stop someone raking any threatened action or any publications staying online or even getting worse. This is where we can assist.

What we can do for you?

If you would like us to assist (whether in taking civil action or even preparing your evidence to be presented to the Police) we would be very pleased to do so. Magill Solicitors has an enviable record of success in taking decisive action for clients.

The first step we take is to acquire a detailed understanding of the matter including the background to any attacks. We can then assess and advise you as to appropriate strategies to stop these attacks, repair any damage that has been caused and prevent any attacks being made against you in the future. Depending upon the factors in your case and your attitude towards litigation, various strategies can be explored such as initial advice only, then action to  demand that a perpetrator will “cease and desist” their deplorable actions, obtaining an injunction, seeking an apology or pursuing a claim for compensation.

We would have an initial telephone consultation with you to gather some background information. This would be on a no charge basis for the first 15 minutes and at a fixed fee rate thereafter depending on requirements or if further investigation is required. We should within that call be able to identify whether we can assist you.

Once agreed we can make a plan to take practical and or legal action for you. The civil law routes which are open to private individuals and which we can assist you with (if the criminal route is not an option or has proved unsuccessful) include one or more of the following:

  1. Copyright, if the photo(s) or films at issue were made by you i.e. selfies or recorded on your phone or other equipment by you.
  2. Harassment action for damages and/or an injunction.
  3. Misuse of private information (Privacy) action for damages and/or an injunction, and if necessary such injunctions can include anonymity and non-reporting restrictions so others cannot and restricted from being reported by any third party (so-called super-injunctions) which will assist to you to take pre-emptory action to protect your privacy particularly if publication or distribution has not taken place yet (whether you have been threatened or suspect it may take place due to an acrimonious breakdown etc.)

Next Steps: Dos and Don’ts?

  1. Keep calm: If possible then get in contact with us right away. Keep any evidence you have as to the perpetrator, pictures/films at risk or which have been published, and details of any websites or any third parties who may have seen, or could receive, the pictures/films.
  2. Don’t Contact the Perpetrator: If considering action and/or contacting us we would advise that you don’t contact the individual and/or website responsible, at least until you have ascertained how widely the images have been published and you have spoken to us. It may be that you have already been in contact with the website or individual but that should not be an issue if managed correctly.
  3. Keep your concerns confidential: If possible don’t tell others about what has happened. It is extremely distressing but we would advise you to only at the very most tell those one or two people wholly trustworthy and close to you, and hold them to strictest confidence. This may be key to successful next steps.

If you require any information or assistance please contact us as soon as possible at “enquiries@magillsolicitors.co.uk”. We are happy to have a no obligation conversation to see if we can help you.

Examples of what we may be able to do for you: –

Court Action without notice to the perpetrator: If the publication is threatened and that threat is real, then we can seek an injunction preventing publication (including provisions to make the injunction anonymous to continue to protect your privacy). Breach of the terms of the injunction will be a contempt of court and could result in imprisonment.

Practical action such as contacting the perpetrator, or websites and internet service providers to seek the “taking down” of any published material. We make the approach on a friendly basis however the threat of legal action is in our experience the best leverage.

We would seek in addition to “take down” undertakings never to republish what has been published or any material which relates to you whether sexual, private or otherwise. We would further seek unreserved apologies, if appropriate damages, and your legal costs incurred.

If we are unable to have the matter resolved with by way or a preemptive injunction, or by way of pre-action correspondence then you may wish to start the proceed to wards formal court proceedings for one or all of the legal wrongs set out above. We have a proven track record in pursuing proceedings to trial and settling matters before trial by agreement on substantial damages and undertakings from the perpetrator.

If so, please contact us at  if you prefer!) for further details, and we can start helping you to get justice right away.

What can we do for you?

If you, your reputation or the reputation of your business has come under attack, then Magill Solicitors can assist you. There are many ways that we can assist you and these include the following;

  1. We can assist you in immediately responding to any publications or threats that have been made, and seek their removal
  2. We can demand that the perpetrator does cease and desist, and where required threaten to issue proceedings on your behalf against the perpetrators to stop the damage as soon as possible.
  3. We can advise you on obtaining orders for third party disclosure, such as a “Norwich Pharmacal” order where the perpetrator has attempted to hide his or her identity when making acting online.
  4. We can advise you as to the merits of your case and the evidence before you proceed.
  5. We can advise you as to how to maximise the chances of successfully prosecuting proceedings against the perpetrator.
  6. We can bring the case to Court, instructing leading barristers from specialist chambers and deal with the procedural aspects of any proceedings on your behalf.
  7. We can tailor our service to suit your needs and budget. Whether you just want some advice or need to be robustly represented in Court, we can help.

What will it cost?

We often hear complaints about other solicitors and the way in which they charge especially for defamation, privacy, harassment work. At Magill Solicitors we take a proactive approach to costs.

  1. We will always consider whether or not we can act on your behalf on a no-win no-fee basis.
  2. The actual costs that will be incurred with us depend on what we are asked to do.
  3. We will agree budgets with you in advance before any work is undertaken. This way there are no “nasty surprises”.
  4. Our costs are normally charged on a time basis. However, we have extensive experience and expertise (which means we can work quickly and efficiently) and as we are based outside of London with lower overheads, we are able to pass the overhead savings onto you.