Anti-SLAPP Conference



Maria Ordzhonikidze

Director, Justice for Journalists Foundation

Maria Ordzhonikidze is a Director of the Justice for Journalists Foundation. Over the course of her international career, Ms Ordzhonikidze has designed and managed a number of public awareness, advocacy, human rights and crisis management campaigns. As a Secretary General of the EU-Russia Centre she oversaw its research and lobbying efforts in Brussels and wider Europe. She ran the international litigation communication and advocacy campaign as the Head of Khodorkovsky Press Center in Russia. A visiting professor in International Communications at Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, she conducted training programmes for corporations, NGOs and individuals. Ms Ordzhonikidze has authored research and articles and regularly speaks on subjects including sociological and political trends, international relations, freedom of speech and global security. She holds an MA in Sociology from the Moscow State University and an MA in Intelligence and Security from the London Brunel University.


David Davis MP

David Davis has been a Member of Parliament for 35 years. During that time, he has served in both the Cabinet Office and Foreign Office, then as Conservative Party Chairman, Shadow Deputy Prime Minister, Shadow Home Secretary and Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union. Since leaving Government, David has retaken his position as a leading figure on the Conservative backbenches, campaigning on issues including civil liberties, educational reform, foreign affairs, tax fairness and social mobility matters.

Lord Cromwell

Lord Cromwell

An independent peer and Vice Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Fair Business Banking

Godfrey Cromwell has a combined business and NGO background. This has included working in both capacities in Africa, Asia and, for the last 20+ years, across the countries of the former Soviet Union. Since 2014 he has been a CrossBench (independent) Peer in the House of Lords, where he is an advocate for legislation that addresses issues of ‘lawfare’/SLAPPS. Previous roles have included wealth management for UK High Net Worth clients; increasing competition in SME finance as executive chair of a company providing funding to challenger banks and fintechs; and running international election monitoring missions. He is Vice Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Fair Business Banking and a member of the House of Lords Industry and Regulators Committee.

Deputy Director, Foreign Policy Centre and co-chair of the UK Anti-SLAPP Coalition and author of London Calling report

Susan Coughtrie is Project Director at the Foreign Policy Centre, leading the Unsafe for Scrutiny project, which examines risks and threats to journalists investigating financial crime and corruption. Susan is one of the co-chairs of the UK anti-SLAPPs working group, established in January 2021. She is also long term advisor to the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) and a committee member for the Campaign for Freedom of Information in Scotland (CFoIS). Previously Susan worked at the international free expression organisation ARTICLE 19 from 2012-2018.  

Gill Phillips

Director of Editorial Legal Services, Guardian News & Media Limited

Gillian Phillips is the Director of Editorial Legal Services for Guardian News & Media Limited (publishers of the Guardian and Observer newspapers and She is a qualified solicitor and has been with Guardian News & Media since 2009, advising on phone-hacking, Wikileaks, super injunctions, the Leveson Inquiry, the NSA leaks (Edward Snowden), the HSBC files, Cambridge Analytica and the Panama, Paradise, Pegasus and Pandora Papers.

Rupert Cowper-Coles

English-qualified litigator at the law firm RPC specialising in media defence

Rupert Cowper-Coles is an experienced litigator specialising in media and data disputes. Rupert defends a wide range of publishers and data controllers, including media organisations, online platforms, broadcasters, NGOs, book publishers, freelance journalists and charities. He is an expert in defamation, data protection and privacy law as well as other media and information rights, including malicious falsehood, harassment and freedom of information. He is well-versed in advising clients both pre and post publication and, where disputes cannot be resolved consensually, representing their interests before regulators and the courts. Rupert has experience in litigating complex and developing areas of law, including interim non-disclosure injunctions, foreign jurisdiction issues, intermediary and website host liability, and the exercise of GDPR data rights. Rupert writes regularly about media law issues and is published in The Lawyer and The Law Society Gazette.

Tom Burgis

Investigative Reporter, The Financial Times and author of Kleptopia: How dirty money is conquering the world

Tom Burgis is an award-winning investigative reporter. Based in London after years as a foreign correspondent in South America and Africa, he was a long-standing member of the Financial Times’ investigations team. He has exposed major corruption scandals, covered terrorist attacks, coups and forgotten conflicts, and traced dirty money from the Kremlin to Washington. His journalism has won awards in the US and Asia and twice been shortlisted at the British Press Awards, the British Journalism Awards and the European Press Prize. His first book, The Looting Machine, was published in 2015. It revealed how the exploitation of Africa’s vast natural resources condemns the continent to corruption, conflict and poverty. Kleptopia: How dirty money is conquering the world, Burgis’s second book, was published in September 2020. It exposes the hidden connections that link a massacre on the Kazakh steppe and a stolen election in Zimbabwe to the City of London and, ultimately, the White House.

Jim Fitzpatrick

Jim Fitzpatrick

Investigative reporter, openDemocracy

Jim Fitzpatrick is an investigative reporter with openDemocracy focussed on exposing dirty money in politics and the scourge of SLAPPs. A journalist with more than two decades experience in broadcasting, covering politics and business in Ireland and beyond. He was presenter of The Politics Show, the BBC Sunday programme and presenter of political output at Stormont. He held the post of Economics and Business Editor for the BBC in Ireland and in recent years has been presenter and reporter for Spotlight, BBC Northern Ireland’s investigative current affairs programme. His investigation into the downfall of Ireland’s richest man and the asset chase that followed – Sean Quinn’s Missing Millions – won Spotlight an Irish Film and Television Award. His investigation into the largest political donation in Northern Ireland’s history – Brexit: DUP and Dark Money – was nominated for a Royal Television Society Award. During his career he has interviewed many senior political figures at length from Bill Clinton to Tony Blair; John Major to Leo Varadkar.

Nik Williams

Policy and Campaigns Officer, Index on Censorship

Nik is a the Policy and Campaigns Officer at Index on Censorship. At the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), he coordinated the inaugural year of the Media Freedom Rapid Response, which responds to violations of media freedom in Europe. Previously, Nik led Scottish PEN’s campaigning and advocacy, focusing on anti-SLAPP, free expression, digital rights and surveillance policy. Nik is also a reader director of the investigative journalism co-op, The Ferret and a journalist protection advisor at The Coalition For Women In Journalism.

Rosalind McInnes

Legal Director, BBC Scotland

Rosalind graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1991 with an LLB (Hons) and Diploma in Legal Practice. She worked in Edinburgh in private practice before joining the BBC in 1997, where she is Legal Director (Scotland). Her publications include “Scots Law for Journalists”, “Contempt of Court in Scotland” and “Media Law and Practice”. Rosalind annotated the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 for Sweet & Maxwell. She has taught, lectured and spoken widely, including a period of judicial training in Ukraine. She is a Fellow of the RSA and a member of the UK Media Lawyers Association, the International Media Lawyers Association and the CMLA. Rosalind holds a Dip BA from Leeds Bradford University and a Diploma in UK, EU and US Copyright Law from King’s College.

Sam McBride and Darragh McIntyre analyse the Northern Bank robbery

Sam McBride

Northern Ireland Editor of the Belfast Telegraph & Sunday Independent

Sam McBride is the Northern Ireland Editor of the Belfast Telegraph and the Sunday Independent. He also writes about Northern Ireland for The Economist. His 2019 book Burned: The Inside Story of the Cash-for-Ash Scandal and Northern Ireland’s Secretive New Elite became a Sunday Times and Irish Times bestseller and was shortlisted for the Christopher Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize. The book was published despite a plethora of legal threats from powerful figures in Northern Ireland. If they had won, he would have lost his home. He is a regular presence on radio and television, giving analysis of events which impact on Northern Irish politics, and has advocated for reform of Northern Ireland’s libel laws.

Mike Nesbitt

Mike Nesbitt

Member of the Legislative Assembly of Northern Ireland

Mike has served Strangford since May 2011, topping the poll in 2016. He Chairs the Board of Governors of Movilla High School and is a member of the Ards Suicide Awareness Group and the Ards Peninsula Coastal Erosion Group. With colleagues Jean, Naomi, and Richard, he runs a full-time constituency service from Newtownards. Mike was Ulster Unionist Party Leader from 2012 to 2017. Currently, he represents the Party on the Policing Board and previously Stormont’s Ad Hoc Committee in a Bill of Rights. Mike is a former broadcaster, private sector CEO, and Commissioner for Victims and Survivors.

Flutura Kusari

Flutura Kusari

Legal Advisor at ECPMF and member of the Council of Europe Expert Committee on SLAPPs

Flutura Kusari works as legal advisor at the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) in Leipzig, Germany. She leads the legal support programme of the ECPMF which enables journalists facing legal actions to cover lawyer’s fees. Ms Kusari represents ECPMF at the CASE platform, an international coalition working on fighting SLAPPs in Europe. She is also a member of Anti-SLAPP Expert Group established by the European Commission. Ms Kusari holds a Ph.D. in Media Law from Ghent University, Belgium.


Charlie Holt

English Pen and co-chair of the UK Anti-SLAPP Coalition

Charlie Holt advises on UK campaigns for English PEN and on legal strategy for Greenpeace International, where he leads the organisation’s SLAPP resilience strategy and sits on the European Commission’s Expert Group on SLAPPs. He co-chairs the UK Working Group on SLAPPs and sits on the Steering Committee the Coalition Against SLAPPs in Europe (CASE). Since 2016, Charlie has advised on the response of Greenpeace International to two aggressive large-scale SLAPPs targeting Greenpeace entities in the USA, and in 2018 helped to set up the US anti-SLAPP coalition Protect the Protest.


Dario Milo

High Level Panel of Legal Experts and partner at Webber Wentzel attorneys in Johannesburg, South Africa

Professor Milo is a partner at Webber Wentzel attorneys in Johannesburg, South Africa. Since 2019, he has been a member of the High Level Panel of Legal Experts on Media Freedom, an independent body that was convened in July 2019 at the request of the UK and Canada to provide advice and recommendations to governments to prevent and reverse abuses of media freedom. He has acted as lead attorney in a number of free speech and media freedom cases in courts and tribunals in South Africa, including on issues such as civil and criminal defamation, open justice, access to information, prior restraints, disinformation, hate speech, surveillance, intimidation of journalists, national security and privacy. He acted for the world-famous cartoonist Zapiro in the defamation claim brought by former president Jacob Zuma. Professor Milo is Adjunct Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and the author of Defamation and Freedom of Speech published by Oxford University Press. He is an expert at Columbia University’s Global Freedom of Expression initiative and is on the editorial board of the Journal of Media Law.


Professor Chris Tollefson

Professor of Law, Faculty of Law at University of Victoria and Executive Director, Pacific Centre for Environmental Law and Litigation

Chris Tollefson is a professor of law at the University of Victoria, and principal at Tollefson Law a boutique law firm specializing in complex public interest litigation. He is also founding executive director of the Pacific Centre for Environmental Law and Litigation, a charity that runs a national training and mentorship program for aspiring public interest environmental litigators. He published the first scholarly analysis of SLAPPs in Canada in the early 1990s and has played a leading role in advocating for and developing Canadian anti-SLAPP legislation ever since. In 2022, Tollefson Law secured dismissal of the first environmental/land use-related lawsuit to be litigated under the new BC anti-SLAPP law.

Laura Prather

Laura Prather

Partner, Haynes and Boone, LLP, United States

Laura Prather is a head of the Media Law Practice Group at Haynes Boone. She has spent more than 30 years defending the human rights of freedom of expression and access to information. In court, she represents journalists and media and entertainment companies in defamation, privacy, anti-SLAPP and intellectual property matters. At the legislature, she advocates for free speech and government transparency. Prather has been instrumental in the passage of a reporter’s privilege, anti-SLAPP statute, retraction law, and neutral reportage privilege in Texas. Her anti-SLAPP work extends well beyond Texas: serving as an Advisor to the Uniform Law Commission in the development of their model Anti-SLAPP law (the Uniform Protection of Public Expression Act) and through her work with the Public Participation Project in their efforts to obtain passage of a federal anti-SLAPP law. She is currently working in Paris as a Fulbright Scholar researching the EU, UK and US efforts to advance freedom of expression and information rights through the passage anti-SLAPP laws.

Dan Neidle

Dan Neidle

Founder, Tax Policy Associates

Dan Neidle spent almost 25 years as a tax lawyer, and was head of tax at Clifford Chance’s London HQ. During his career, Dan advised corporates, governments, regulators, central banks and NGOs on tax and tax policy.
Dan founded Tax Policy Associates in May this year to bring the depth of his experience and specialist expertise to improving tax policy, and shaping and informing the debate around tax.

Pia Sarma

Editorial Legal Director, The Times

Pia Sarma is the Editorial Legal Director of Times Newspapers Limited in London, the publisher of The Times and The Sunday Times, and Deputy General Counsel at News UK, London. She advises the Editors of both newspapers on all content issues and leads the litigation against the publications. Significant cases include the Supreme Court decision in Flood v TNL, Hunt v TNL, Cruddas v TNL and Yeo v TNL, which have liberalised laws for public interest and investigative journalism. She has led interventions in cases such as Serafin v Malkiewicz. Pia advised on the introduction of the Defamation Act 2013, and has played a key role in other changes in law and regulation affecting journalism and free speech in the UK. Pia became the Chair of the Steering Committee of the London Media Lawyers’ Association in October 2022. She previously worked at Finers Stephens Innocent, White and Case and Slaughter and May. Pia holds a degree in Archaeology and Anthropology from Cambridge University and studied at the College of Law.

Matthew Jury

Matthew Jury

Managing Partner of McCue Jury & Partners

Matthew Jury is the Managing Partner of McCue Jury & Partners and is licensed to practice as both a solicitor of England and Wales and attorney-at-law (New York). An expert in public international law, domestic and international human rights law, litigation (counterterrorism and multi-jurisdictional), and campaign management, Matthew has a wide-ranging academic background in international humanitarian law and its frameworks, constitutional law and practice, and criminal justice. He has extensive experience in the management and gathering of complex evidence as well as practical hands-on knowledge of innocence and mitigation investigation. He is also a Ministry of Defence panel solicitor and a former Foreign and Commonwealth Office Consultant. Matthew was shortlisted for The Law Society of England and Wales’ ‘Solicitor of the Year’ as well as ‘Human Rights Solicitor of the Year’ in 2021.


Caoilfhionn Gallagher KC

Barrister, Doughty Street Chambers

Caoilfhionn Gallagher KC (formerly QC) is a barrister at Doughty Street Chambers, London, specialising in human rights law. She has acted in many landmark cases in the UK in recent years, including representing bereaved families and survivors of the 7/7 London Bombings and the Hillsborough disaster, and in a series of cases which have changed the law for children in custody. Internationally, Caoilfhionn has acted in many significant human rights cases before the European Court of Human Rights and UN bodies. She has acted for, and secured the freedom of, many arbitrarily detained journalists, cartoonists, cultural rights workers and human rights defenders around the world, including in Iran, Egypt, Tanzania, Saudi Arabia and Equatorial Guinea.Caoilfhionn has particular expertise in accountability for crimes against journalists. Her current cases in this field include leading the international legal team for Jimmy Lai, a journalist and pro-democracy campaigner imprisoned in Hong Kong; leading (jointly with colleague Amal Clooney) the international legal team for Maria Ressa, the Nobel Peace Prize winning journalist in the Philippines; leading the international legal team for over 150 BBC Persian journalists, targeted extraterritorially by Iran; and leading the international legal team for the bereaved family of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, assassinated in Malta. Caoilfhionn has given expert evidence on these issues to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (Jineth Bedoya v. Colombia), to Parliamentary inquiries in the UK, Australia and the Council of Europe, and to UNESCO (on targeting of women journalists online). Alongside her practice as a barrister, Caoilfhionn sits part-time as a Coroner in England and Wales, and is on the UK Advisory Board of RSF, Reporters Without Borders. She was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2017 for her “outstanding commitment to enabling the Human Rights Act’s protections.”

Khadija Ismayilova

Khadija Ismayilova

Independent investigative journalist, Azerbaijan

Khadija Ismayilova is investigative journalist based in Baku, Azerbaijan. She works with Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project. In the past decade, her investigative reporting has revealed a wide range of corrupt and lucrative business deals involving President Aliyev’s family members. For publishing articles on government corruption, Ismayilova has been subjected to smear campaigns, harassment and fabricated criminal charges. Despite serving one and a half years in prison and following five-years long travel ban, Ismayilova has refused to be silenced, and continued to write. In 2017 Khadija was the part of the investigative journalists team who uncovered multinational scheme used by Azerbaijani ruling regime for laundering money via European banks. Ismayilova won four cases in the European Court of Human Rights holding the government accountable for different forms of harassment, including secretly filming her intimate life and blackmailing in order to silence her.

Paul Radu

Investigative journalist, Co-founder and Chief of Innovation, OCCRP

Paul Radu is co-founder and chief of innovation at OCCRP. He leads OCCRP’s major investigative projects, scopes regional expansion, and develops new strategies and technology to expose organized crime and corruption across borders. He initiated and led the award-winning Russian, Azerbaijani, and Troika Laundromat investigations, and coined the term “laundromat” to define large scale, all-purpose financial fraud vehicles that are used to launder billions of dollars.


Martin Bentham

Home Affairs Editor, Evening Standard

Martin Bentham is Home Affairs Editor at the Evening Standard and has reported on “dirty money” cases, including the unexplained wealth order imposed on Zamira Hajiyeva and the account forfeiture proceedings against Suleyman Javadov and Izzat Javadova in which he fought a long court battle to remove their anonymity. He previously worked at newspapers including the Sunday Telegraph and appears regularly on the BBC’s The Papers programme.

Dr Susan Hawley

Executive Director, Spotlight on Corruption

Dr Susan Hawley is an anti-corruption specialist who has worked on anti-corruption issues in the UK for nearly two decades. She has expertise in policy and research in UK anti-corruption enforcement. Previously she was a founder and Policy Director of Corruption Watch UK, where she led the work on monitoring court trials, tracking UK enforcement and pushing for greater court transparency.


Rebecca Vincent

Director of Operations and Campaigns at Reporters without Borders

Rebecca Vincent is the Director of Operations and Campaigns for Reporters sans frontières (RSF), which acts globally to defend the freedom, pluralism and independence of journalism. She is an American-British human rights campaigner and former diplomat with more than 17 years of professional experience. She has worked with a wide range of non-governmental organisations and coordinated many high profile international human rights campaigns. Rebecca has lived and worked in London, Paris, Washington, D.C., New York, and Baku, Azerbaijan. She holds an MA in Human Rights from University College London. She is a frequent commentator in the media and has published widely.


Carole Cadwalladr

Investigative journalist and columnist

Carole Cadwalladr is a journalist for the Guardian and Observer in the United Kingdom. She worked for a year with whistleblower Christopher Wylie to publish her investigation into Cambridge Analytica, which she shared with the New York Times. The investigation resulted in Mark Zuckerberg being called before Congress and Facebook losing more than $100 billion from its share price. She has also uncovered multiple crimes committed during the European referendum and evidence of Russian interference in Brexit.


Pádraig Hughes

Barrister, Legal Director at Media Defence

Pádraig is a qualified barrister and is the Legal Director at Media Defence. He has a wide ranging background in human rights and international law, and represents and advises journalists and media houses before international and domestic courts in cases involving unlawful killing, torture, and arbitrary detention, as well as in SLAPP cases.

Caroline Muscat

Caroline Muscat

Founder, The Shift, Malta

Caroline Muscat is the founder and Managing Editor of The Shift, a community-funded online investigative news portal. She was the former News Editor of The Times of Malta and The Sunday Times of Malta. She contributed to and co-edited the book, ‘Invicta: The Life and Work of Daphne Caruana Galizia’, a journalist assassinated in Malta in October 2017. Caroline was awarded the Reporters Without Borders Prize for Independence, among other awards. The Shift is currently battling 40 appeals filed by the Government of Malta against the news portal to limit access to freedom of information. The sheer number of cases is intended to cripple the news organisation financially as it demands transparency and accountability in the public interest.

Clare Rewcastle Brown

Investigative journalist and founder of the Sarawak Report, Radio Free Sarawak

Clare Rewcastle Brown is a UK investigative journalist, born in Sarawak, Malaysia. In 2010, Rewcastle Brown founded The Sarawak Report ( and its sister organisation Radio Free Sarawak. The Sarawak Report has been heralded for its “impact on the political debate” in Malaysia, with the New York Times calling Rewcastle-Brown “one of the most effective voices calling attention to deforestation in Malaysia”. In 2015, Sarawak Report was recognized by the Index on Censorship for being a “champion against censorship”. Radio Free Sarawak has won the IPI International Press Institute’s Free Media Pioneers Award 2013 and the Communication for Social Change Award 2014. Rewcastle Brown’s reporting has been at the forefront of exposing the corruption related to Malaysia’s 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Scott Stedman

Scott Stedman

Founder, Forensic News, United States

Scott Stedman is an investigative journalist and researcher. He is the founder of Forensic News and a Research Fellow at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab. He has written extensively about malign foreign influence in U.S. elections and politics and has experience studying disinformation and influence campaigns. In 2022, Scott became a Certified Anti Money Laundering Specialist, demonstrating proficiency in the study of financial crime.

Ana Bejarano

Lawyer, Las Volcanicas, Colombia

Ana Bejarano is a lawyer from Los Andes University in Bogotá, Colombia and a Master in Law from Harvard University. Litigator in Bejarano Abogados, a boutique law firm in Bogotá. Director of El Veinte an NGO devoted to the judicial defense of freedom of expression and information in Colombia. Procedural law professor in Los Andes University and Op-Ed writer in Los Danieles.

Baroness Helena Kennedy KC

Member of House of Lords of the United Kingdom, leading barrister and an expert in human rights law, civil liberties and constitutional issue

Helena Kennedy KC is a barrister at Doughty Street Chambers and Director of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute. Since 2019, she has been a member of the High Level Panel of Legal Experts on Media Freedom, an independent body that was convened in July 2019 at the request of the UK and Canada to provide advice and recommendations to governments to prevent and reverse abuses of media freedom. She is widely regarded as one of the leading criminal and public law practitioners in the UK, representing defendants in many landmark cases in the English courts. Baroness Kennedy sits on the House of Lords’ Justice and Home Affairs Committee. She chaired the British Council and JUSTICE, a leading all-party human rights and law reform organisation in the UK.

Meirion Jones

Meirion Jones

Editor of The Bureau of Investigative Journalism

Meirion Jones spent many years running investigations for the BBC at Newsnight and Panorama on everything from vulture funds to US election fraud. He won the Daniel Pearl award for his investigation into the dumping of Trafigura’s toxic waste in Africa and the London Press Awards Scoop of the Year for his part in the Jimmy Savile revelations. He featured in the Netflix films about the paedophile DJ earlier this year. Meirion was nominated for a Royal Television Society award for his investigation into the “fake sheikh”, Mazher Mahmood. He joined the Bureau in 2016 and became Editor in 2021.

Gabriel Pogrund

Gabriel Pogrund

Whitehall Editor, The Sunday Times

Gabriel Pogrund is Whitehall Editor at the Sunday Times, which spent most of the last five years defending his 2018 scoop that revealed the then-MP Charlie Elphicke had been accused of sex crimes. Elphicke finally dropped his lawsuit earlier this year. Gabriel specialises in investigative journalism and has covered politics and royalty – both subjects where aggressive and well-remunerated white-shoe lawyers are par for the course. He has written a book (about Corbyn’s Labour Party), covered US politics at the Washington Post, and last year won the Anti-Corruption Journalist of the Year Award at the British Journalism Awards for his work on the Greensill Scandal.

Suyin Haynes

Editor in Chief of Gal Dem

Suyin Haynes is Editor-in-Chief at gal-dem, an award-winning publication dedicated to sharing the perspective of people of colour from marginalised genders. She was previously a senior reporter at TIME magazine and was based in both London and Hong Kong.

Pao Ugaz

Paola Ugaz

Investigative journalist from Peru

Paola Ugaz is a Peruvian journalist who has spent her career investigating injustice and human rights abuses globally. Currently a correspondent for Spanish newspaper ABC and a host of’s “Diarios de Pandemia,” Ugaz has covered stories including scandals and abuse in the Catholic church, human and drug trafficking, corruption, human rights, racism, child poverty, education and culture. Ugaz began her career in 1999 as an investigative journalist for Caretas magazine, exposing election fraud and covering protests during former Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori’s second re-election campaign. In 2001, Ugaz became a correspondent for Europa Press. Ugaz later worked for Spanish news agency EFE, and was a founding member of IDL Reporteros, an investigative journalism website. She spent seven years as a correspondent in Peru for Brazilian outlet Terra Magazine. During her time as General Editor of, Ugaz led a team of journalists to win the Peruvian Human Rights Coordinator’s National Journalism Award. Ugaz has published multiple books, including Punche Perú with photographer Marina García Burgos, and Half Monks, Half Soldiers with journalist Pedro Salinas. The latter exposed physical, psychological and sexual abuse of former members of Sodalitium, a far-right Catholic organization founded in Peru, earning Ugaz and Salinas the 2016 National Journalism Award and the 2016 Human Rights Award from Peru’s National Human Rights Coordinator. When Ugaz began working on a book investigating Sodalitium’s finances, she began receiving escalating lawsuits, media harassment and death threats on social media. In October 2018, Ugaz was sued for defamation by José Antonio Eguren, the Archbishop of Piura and a member of Sodalitium. While the claim was dropped, the attacks have continued – in 2019, Ugaz was named the journalist with the most lawsuits against them in Peru. With additional lawsuits filed in 2020, Ugaz receives near-constant harassment and abuse online.


Sarah Clarke

Head of Europe and Central Asia at ARTICLE 19

Sarah Clarke is the Head of Europe and Central Asia for ARTICLE 19. She joined ARTICLE 19 in January 2019 as Head of the Europe and Central Asia team, defending the human rights to freedom of expression and information in the region. Between 2012 and 2018, she led PEN International’s policy and advocacy work, overseeing its engagement with the UN and regional human rights mechanisms and governments. She has a particular interest in freedom of expression in Turkey, where she has led numerous advocacy missions, trial observations and the amicus interventions on the priority cases of journalists before the European Court of Human Rights. Sarah has consulted for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, OSCE and Oxford and Harvard universities on issues relating to freedom of expression, asylum and forced migration. 


Alexander Papachristou

Executive Director of the Vance Centre

Alexander Papachristou joined the Vance Center as Executive Director in January 2012. He directs the organization’s overall operations and focuses on its programmatic and institutional initiatives, as well as fundraising. Mr. Papachristou previously was president of the Near East Foundation, a participatory, community-based economic and social development organization working in Arab and African countries. For the preceding 18 years, Papachristou engaged in cross-border corporate finance in advisory and proprietary roles: he served as managing director and general counsel at NCH Capital, Inc., which invests in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, he lived in Russia from 1989 to 1993, where he opened and ran the Moscow office of White & Case. Papachristou also worked in the law firm of Clifford & Warnke in Washington, D.C. and was policy assistant to New York Governor Mario Cuomo. He served as law clerk to US District Judge Myron H. Thompson in the Middle District of Alabama. Papachristou is a member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists board of directors and the Anti-SLAPP Working Group of the European Commission, as well as the advisory board of Bard College Berlin. In 2011, The New Press published Blind Goddess: A Race and Justice Reader, which Mr. Papachristou edited.

Arabella Pike

Publishing Director at William Collins Books

Arabella publishes general non-fiction with a focus on history, politics and foreign affairs. She is the publisher of Catherine Belton’s PUTIN’S PEOPLE and Tom Burgis’s KLEPTOPIA. Both these books were subject to SLAPP actions 2020-2022. She has published books by Max Hastings, Patrick Radden Keefe, Cal Flyn, Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman, former Bank of England governor Mark Carney. She is currently working on a book by the leader of the Labour party Sir Keir Starmer. She was awarded the first ‘Freedom to Publish’ Nibbie at the 2022 Bookseller Publishing Awards for HarperCollins’ defence of Catherine Belton and Tom Burgis in the High Court.

Juliet Oliver

Juliet Oliver

General Counsel, Solicitors Regulatory Authority

Juliet Oliver is an Executive Director of the Solicitors Regulation Authority and its General Counsel. At the SRA Juliet is responsible for legal advice and support on the development of strategic and regulatory reform – leading the root and branch review of its standards and regulations – as well as matters of governance and compliance. She also leads the SRA’s legal and enforcement function, as well as the organisation’s dedicated anti money laundering directorate. Previously a partner at Fieldfisher she acted for regulatory bodies across sectors including healthcare and law. This built on her previous experience in house at the General Medical Council, which she joined in 2003. Her responsibilities included advising on high profile disciplinary cases and matters, including the Shipman and Mid Staffordshire public inquiries. She is Chair of the Investigation Committee and a Case Examiner at the General Optical Council, and sits on the Professional Standards Committee of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants as well as the Audit Committee of the Royal College of General Practitioners. She recently stood down after 10 years as a member of the Law Society’s Mental Health and Disability Committee.

Per Agerman

Journalist, Realtid

Per Agerman is an awarded Swedish freelance journalist specialised in economic research and reporting and part of the investigative team at business paper Realtid. Agerman along with two colleagues and the outlet Realtid is fighting a legal challenging in the UK.

Annelie Ostlund

Annelie Östlund

Journalist, Realtid

Annelie Östlund is an awarded Swedish freelance journalist specialised in economic research and reporting and part of the investigative team at business paper Realtid. Östlund along with two colleagues and the outlet Realtid is fighting a legal challenging in the UK.

Can Yeginsu

Can Yeğinsu

Barrister and Deputy Chair of The High Level Panel of Legal Experts on Media Freedom

Can Yeginsu is a barrister practising from 3 Verulam Buildings where he has been consistently recognised as one of the U.K.’s leading lawyers practising in civil liberties and human rights, administrative and public law, and international law. Mr. Yeginsu has appeared in numerous cases as counsel representing journalists, as well as free speech and media organisations, before a range of courts and tribunals, including the English Court of Appeal, the U.K. Supreme Court, the European Court of Human Rights, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and the ECOWAS Court of Justice. He is also Lecturer-in-Law at Columbia Law School (New York), where he co-teaches a seminar on freedom of expression and is Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown Law (Washington D.C.) and Koç University Law School (Istanbul), where he teaches international law.


Edward Lucas

Author, European and transatlantic security consultant and fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA)

Edward Lucas is non-resident Senior Fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis. Until 2018 he was a senior editor at The Economist. He writes a column for The Times and occasionally writes for the Daily Mail. Lucas has covered Central and Eastern European affairs since 1986, writing, broadcasting, and speaking on the politics, economics, and security of the region.


Catherine Belton

Investigative journalist and author of Putin's People: How the KGB Took Back Russia and Then Took On the West

Catherine Belton is an investigative correspondent for Reuters. She worked from 2007–2013 as the Moscow correspondent for the Financial Times, and in 2016 as the newspaper’s legal correspondent. She has previously reported on Russia for Moscow Times and Business Week. In 2009, she was shortlisted for Business Journalist of the year at the British Press Awards. She lives in London.

Galina Arapova

Galina Arapova

Media Defence Lawyer, Russia

Galina Arapova is an expert on media law and she has been working in the field of freedom of expression and freedom of information in Russia since 1996. She is the director and senior media lawyer at the Mass Media Defence Centre (MMDC – Russia), a prominent Russian freedom of expression and media protection NGO. MMDC was designated a foreign agent NGO by Russian authorities and in October 2021 Galina was the first Russian lawyer to be designated so individually. She is still a practising media lawyer with extensive experience in consultancy for Russian and international media, as well as defending media and journalists in domestic courts and before the European Court of Human Rights. She has defended Novaya Gazeta, Kommersant Daily, and many regional outlets, and international media groups, such as The New Times, Deutsche Welle, and Radio Liberty. She also has vast experience as a media expert and trainer, conducting training sessions for journalists, lawyers and judges in Russia (until 2015), CIS countries and Eastern Europe. Galina is a board member of several organisations, including the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom and the Media Legal Defence Initiative. She has been awarded a number of media freedom awards, among them the Anna Politkovskaya freedom of media prize ‘Camerton’ for courage in media defence.

Franz Wild

Editor, The Enablers Project, The Bureau for Investigative Journalists

Franz Wild leads The Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s project exposing how the U.K. facilitates international corruption and wrongdoing. Before that he spent 13 years as a reporter for Bloomberg, covering everything from politics to economics and mining in west, central and southern Africa, as well as London. He has led investigations into grand corruption, fraud, insider trading and everything in between. Franz’s subjects have included giant commodity corporations, New York hedge funds and a string of colourful billionaires. He has won several prizes for his work, including the British Journalism Awards, and was a Gerald Loeb Award finalist. Authorities in the UK, US and elsewhere have opened criminal investigations into some of his subjects after his articles were published.

Dame Margaret Hodge MP

Chair of the APPG on Anti-Corruption and Responsible Tax

Dame Margaret Hodge has been the MP for Barking and Dagenham since 1994. A member of the Labour Party, she previously served as Leader of Islington London Borough Council from 1982 to 1992. She served as the first female Chair of the Public Accounts Committee from 2010 to 2015 and held several government positions in the last Labour government, holding portfolios across education, work and pensions, business and culture. Margaret has been an active community campaigner for over two decades ensuring best health services, tackling rising crime, calling for an end to police cuts and promoting an online Harms Bill. And she has chaired the APPG on Anti-Corruption and Responsible Tax, being an active campaigner against dirty money, economic crime and illicit finance.