David has specialised in reputation and privacy law for more than 25 years, and has led our Reputation & Information Protection team since 2008. His practice has for many years been recognised as a market leader in the field.  He is currently ranked in Legal 500's Hall of Fame and by Chambers legal directory, and as a 'Top Flight' Reputation Lawyer by The Spear's 500.

David has acted for claimants in landmark cases such as the UK's first internet libel case (Western Provident Association v Norwich Union) and the UK's biggest ever defamation claim for US $850 million (Dar Al Arkan & Anor v Al Refai & Ors). He acted for the claimants in one of the first ever privacy and data protection claims (Douglas & Zeta-Jones v Hello!), successfully defended one of the earliest data protection damages claims in the High Court (Hughes v. British Airways), and successfully represented almost 100 victims of phone hacking in privacy claims against News International and Mirror Group.

Relevant experience includes:

  • Advising and representing numerous companies and individuals in connection with threatened or published media coverage 
  • Defending data breach claims against companies
  • Advising businesses facing #MeToo and other misconduct allegations
  • Recovering and protecting confidential information following leaks and 'insider threat' exfiltration
  • Advising companies and individual directors in relation to reputational aspects of regulatory or prosecutorial investigations
  • Advising businesses following ransomware and other cyberattacks

He advises listed and privately held companies, owner managers, family offices, and other businesses and individuals facing threats to their reputation, whether from mainstream or social media, disaffected employees, activist shareholders, unhappy customers, competitors, regulatory or police investigations, pressure groups, operational issues or sensitive litigation. 

He also advises on contentious privacy and data protection issues, including data breaches, civil claims and litigation risk under GDPR, defending ICO investigations, 'right to be forgotten' claims against online platforms, representing public authorities or private sector third parties facing Freedom of Information requests, and defending contentious data subject access requests.

His work includes crisis management, advisory, internal investigations and litigation. His legal specialisms therefore include defamation, confidentiality, privacy, harassment and data protection. He also advises on general commercial disputes, particularly in the media and tech sectors.

David adjudicates on domain name disputes as an Independent Expert for Nominet's dispute resolution service, and has made over 100 such adjudications.

He regularly speaks publicly and provides comment to the media on topical legal issues.

  • 'Reputation protection in the time of corona' Business Insider May 2020
  • 'Protecting your privacy and reputation in the digital age – a legal perspective' The International Family Offices Journal June 2019
  • 'Web of Deceit' Spear's January 2019
  • 'When Bad News Breaks – The Legal Perspective' Financier Worldwide December 2018
  • 'Earl Spencer wins defamation case' Spear's August 2018
  • 'Legal trouble in paradise for the media?' PR Week November 2017
  • 'Panama Papers: What price financial privacy?' The Times April 2016
  • 'The Panama Papers – strictly private and confidential?' PR Week April 2016
Professional memberships
  • The Law Society

"David Engel is skilled advising companies and high net worth individuals in relation to reputation management issues, including defamation and data protection"
Chambers (2020)

"Addleshaw Goddard's David Engel bursts into our top ten this year"
Spear's (2020)

"David Engel rightly holds a superb reputation. He is a highly intelligent and personable lawyer with impeccable judgement and the ability to handle matters of any size or gravity" 
Legal 500 (2020)

"Experienced reputation management specialist with deep knowledge of defamation and privacy matters. Interviewees label him "a strong negotiator" and identify his "good tactical sense" as a key strength"
Chambers (2019)

"One of the very highly regarded practices in the sector"
Legal 500 (2018)