David has specialised in reputation and privacy law for almost 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 as a Leading Individual by both the Legal 500 and Chambers legal directories, and as a 'Top Ten Reputation Lawyer' by Spear's.

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.

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, unhappy customers, competitors, activists, regulatory or police investigations, 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 FOIA 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 75 such adjudications.

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

Professional memberships
  • The Law Society
  • The College of Law (now The University of Law)
  • Trinity College, Oxford

"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)

"Addleshaw Goddard's David Engel bursts into our top ten this year"
Spear's (2019)

"A bright, calm, well-rounded person who can deal with the stress of the moment and come up with the right advice and solution"
Chambers (2018)

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

"Incredibly bright, commercial and imbues confidence"
Legal 500 (2017)

"David Engel is 'among the elite practitioners in media and privacy law'."
Legal 500 (2016)

"The highly efficient David Engel continues to excel", and "He is always available and grasps complex issues almost immediately".
Chambers (2016)

"The exceptional David Engel displays in-depth knowledge and a thoughtful, considered approach."
The Legal 500 (2015)

"A real expert in his field, and is admired by sources as thoughtful, clever and a very good strategist."
Chambers (2015)

"Engel grasps things very quickly and is a real expert in his field and is admired by sources as thoughtful, clever and a very good strategist."
Chambers (2015)

"David Engel combines real intelligence with calm assurance and superb client skills."
The Legal 500 (2014)