Simon Steeden
Partner & Joint Head of Politics, Elections and Campaigning

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Simon is joint head of the Elections, Politics and Campaigning team and a partner in the Charity and Social Enterprise Department. He has been retained by the Green Party of England & Wales to provide advice on its constitutional arrangements and was appointed by the Cabinet Office to provide legal advice to Lord Hodgson’s statutory review of third party campaigning, following significant changes to the regulation of electoral campaigning introduced by the “Lobbying Act”. Simon has played a leading role in developing BWB’s leadership position advising on the new regulatory regime concerning electoral campaigning and in 2016 was extensively involved in advising businesses, charities and campaigning organisations on regulation of EU referendum campaigning and finance, including the designated lead campaign group for a ‘remain’ vote in the EU referendum (In Campaign Ltd t/a Britain Stronger in Europe), having also advised extensively in relation to the 2015 General Election.

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Rosamund McCarthy
Partner & Joint Head of Politics, Elections and Campaigning

Rosamund is joint head of the Elections, Politics and Campaigning team. She has a particular interest in the campaigning and political activities of not-for-profits and has advised numerous campaigning groups and charities on their legal obligations. She has provided advice on electoral law rules concerning non-party campaigning, across general elections in 2010 and 2015, and in numerous by-elections, mayoral elections and devolved national elections. In the run up to the EU referendum, Rosamund provided extensive advice to Britain Stronger In Europe (the designated lead for the Remain campaign) and other entities such as Universities UK and the National Union of Students.

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Rupert Earle
Partner & Head of Media Litigation

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Rupert is a partner with over 20 years of experience in media, public/regulatory and advertising law. Rupert has advised the media and politicians (including MPs) of all parties and none on political stories for many years, and has defended defamation actions brought by former Conservative Party treasurers Lord Ashcroft and Peter Cruddas. He acted for journalist Jon Ungoed-Thomas in the 2009 freedom of information case which exposed the MPs expenses scandal. He also advises on advertising regulation, including what constitutes political advertising (clients include the Advertising Standards Authority), on data privacy issues, and on public law challenges to political decisions (eg challenge to Transport for London’s ban on advertising for North Cyprus).

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Melanie Carter
Partner & Head of Public and Regulatory

Melanie is the head of Public & Regulatory law at BWB and is joint head of BWB's Electoral, Political and Campaigning group. She has been involved with the campaign against the Lobbying Act from the outset and has advised various clients on its effect. Most recently, she advised on the possibilities of judicial review of the Electoral Commission Guidance. Her electoral practice has also recently involved the drafting of the Recall of MPs Bill for 38 Degrees, a bill which aims to put the power of recall into the hands of constituents, rather than a select committee of MPs. Previously she has advised on purdah policies for public authorities and the public law implications of taking decisions during this ultra sensitive period. She is retained by the compliance officer for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority and was formerly a tribunal judge for the Adjudication Panel for England, which oversaw standards of conduct of locally elected councillors. Her broader public law practice includes representing a variety of campaigning clients, including the Ramblers. She has a particular interest in the way in which public law can be used by the third sector to achieve its aims..

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Lawrence Simanowitz
Partner & Head of Culture + Creative/IP & Trade Marks

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Lawrence has 14 years of specialist experience in advising on charity law and has also spent several years working as a parliamentary assistant to a backbench MP, and then as a broadcast journalist and documentary-maker. He has broad experience of advising and training charitable companies, charter bodies, trusts, associations, and public benefit clients throughout their life cycle. His clients range from campaigning organisations to major national institutions and international networks. He is chair of 38 degrees charitable trust and a board member of The Elders – a charity founded by Nelson Mandela to address intractable issues of conflict, internationally.

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Alex de Jongh
Senior Associate

Alex photo Alex handles a wide range of contentious matters. He has extensive experience of High Court litigation, including specialist lists (Commercial Court, Technology and Construction Court and Companies Court), and of alternative methods of dispute resolution, including mediation. Alex specialises in defamation, with with particular emphasis on pre-publication advice to charities and campaigning organisations.

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Mairead O'Reilly

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Mairead has experience in data protection (including advising on subject access requests, data sharing, cross-border data transfers, data protection audits, data security, and data protection statements); e-marketing and fundraising; IT software and hardware agreements; website design and development agreements; website issues including social networking and interactive content, privacy policies and website terms and conditions; commercial contacts; charity formations, corporate restructuring and mergers; advice to trustees on regulatory and governance matters; fundraising agreements; and lotteries, competitions and free draws.

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Tom McNeil

Tom is an associate in the Charity and Social Enterprise team. His experience includes advising charities and NGOs on their political campaigns, including regulation under electoral, referendum and charity law. He also advises trade unions and students’ unions in relation to campaigns and legal issues more generally. Tom also has significant political involvement outside of work: he stood as a parliamentary candidate in the 2015 general election; provides policy advice to political advisors and politicians; and engages with human rights campaigning.

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