LAYING DOWN THE LAW

Nicola Cain, lawyer, originally from Blackpool, who was the Times Lawyer of the Week

Nicola Cain, lawyer, originally from Blackpool, who was the Times Lawyer of the Week

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NICOLA Cain has a very interesting job.

She has been involved in advising popular motor show Top Gear on the BBC’s injunction against HarperCollins Publishers, concerning the identity of The Stig.

She handled a threatened claim brought in Jordan by the daughter of Sadam Hussein, over the mini-series The House of Sadam.

She also defended the right of the BBC to broadcast an interview with a US detainee after the Justice Secretary tried to block the interview.

And she advised BBC investigative show Panorama on issues relating to the programme Undercover Care: The Abuse Exposed, broadcast in May 2011, which revealed the abuse of vulnerable patients at a care home in Bristol.

Not bad for a 29-year-old!

And she recently featured as The Times Lawyer of the Week.

Fylde coast born and bred, Nicola is now a barrister in the litigation department of the BBC.

Her role sees her regularly advise programme-makers and senior managers at the broadcaster on legal issues.

The former Arnold School pupil has also co-authored the fourth edition of Defamation: Law, Procedure and Practice, published in 2009.

Nicola, who was born in Blackpool and grew up in Cleveleys – where her parents still live – joined the BBC’s media and commercial litigation department just over three years ago.

She was approached by the company when she was in chambers and found the idea of having the chance to work on big cases at such an early stage in her career appealing.

She studied law at Brunel University and did work placements at law firms including Matrix Chambers.

After completing the Bar Vocational Course, she was called to the bar, then joined the civil servant’s graduate programme, working at what was the Department for Constitutional Affairs (now the Ministry of Justice) as an advisor to the Director General of Finance, and latterly as a policy advisor at the Home Office.

Nicola, who now lives in London, said: “I had always wanted to be a lawyer, for as long as I can remember, although quite what got me into it I don’t really know.

“I suspect television played a part, particularly film adaptations of John Grisham books featuring Tom Cruise and Matthew McConaughey.

“I got into media law when I did the placement at Matrix Chambers and worked with the barristers who were representing Naomi Campbell in her claim for damages over the publication of a photograph of her at Narcotics Anonymous.

“It seemed glamorous, exciting and, most importantly, relevant, in that I regularly read in the papers about the cases I’m working on, compared to other areas of law.

“The furore about super-injunctions, particularly following Ryan Giggs’ injunction, is a good example of this.

“The lawyers who worked in the area also seemed fun and interesting and didn’t resemble the fusty image lawyers are often perceived as having.

“The job can also be a source of intrigue, particularly when we are served with court orders which identify information which we are prohibited from publishing, often relating to the private life of a celebrity – although of course one has to remain tight-lipped, since to tell anyone would be a contempt of court.”