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.
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.
Helena Kennedy QC is a barrister at Doughty Street Chambers and Director of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute. 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.
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. Lady Kennedy sits on the House of Lords’ EU Committee and chairs the EU Justice Sub-Committee. She formerly sat on the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights, and formerly chaired the British Council and JUSTICE, a leading all-party human rights and law reform organisation in the UK.
Nick Cohen is a columnist of the Observer and a writer for a wide variety of newspapers and magazines. He is the author of What’s Left and You Can’t Read This Book.
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 coordinates 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.
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.
Jessica Ní Mhainín is policy and campaigns manager at Index on Censorship. She is one of the co-chairs of the UK anti-SLAPPs working group, and has been involved in the work in the Coalition against SLAPPs in Europe (CASE) since its inception. Working closely with journalists and civil society organisations, she has sought to shine a light on dozens of individual SLAPP cases and increase awareness of SLAPPs in the UK and EU.
Lady Nancy Zuluaga Jaramillo joined the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre in December 2019 as a Legal Researcher with the Civic Freedoms & Human Rights Defenders. Since then, she has been leading the global project on SLAPPs at the Resource Centre. Before joining the organization, Lady Nancy was a staff attorney at the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) and has been a lecturer on international law and human rights.
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.
Bob Seely has served as the Member of Parliament for the Isle of Wight since 2017 and sits on the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee. As a reporter living in Russia in his early 20s, he covered the collapse of the USSR. He served in the British Army in the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns, among other conflicts, and was awarded a Military MBE in 2016 for his service. He has held a Research Associate position at the Changing Character of War Programme at the University of Oxford. In 2018, Bob Seely wrote one of the few peer-reviewed definitions of Contemporary Russian Conflict Strategy available in the West for the Henry Jackson Society and has written extensively on the threats posed by Russia and China.
Stelios Orphanides was born in Cyprus in 1965. He has worked in the past decades for several local and international media organisations reporting mainly on business and finance. In 2016, he ventured into investigative journalism. He works exclusively for OCCRP since and specialises in financial crime in Cyprus. He speaks Greek, German and English.
Cirman started his career in the editorial office of Novi Tednik and continued it in the largest Slovenian newspaper Delo. In 2007 he moved to Dnevnik, and in 2016 he started working with the web portal Siol.net.
In 2017, he published his book Disappointed: the investment of the century or the robbery of the century? He analytically and critically presented the background of the TEŠ6 project and the political and interest groups involved in it.
Subir Ghosh is a Bengaluru-based independent journalist, writer and researcher who writes about crony capitalism, corporate corruption, sustainable fashion, environment, conflict and cinema. He is the author of three books, and has co-authored three with others. Subir is also the lead author of ‘Sue the Messenger: How legal harassment by corporates is shackling reportage and undermining democracy in India’, published in May 2016.
Steve Cannane is the ABC’s Europe bureau chief in London. Previously he was a reporter with the ABC’s Investigations Unit and had been a Europe correspondent from 2016-2018. He is the author of Fair Game: The Incredible Untold Story of Scientology in Australia.
Carlos Gaio joined Media Defence as Senior Legal Officer in 2020. Prior to joining MLDI, he worked for 10 years as senior lawyer at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. He also worked for human rights foundations and NGOs in the UK and in Brazil, specialising in human rights law, UN mechanisms and international litigation on issues such as due process, extrajudicial executions, arbitrary detention, torture, violence against women, human rights defenders, right to food, slavery and freedom of expression. Carlos holds an MA in International Relations from the University of Essex, UK, and an LLB from the Federal University of Paraná, Brazil. He has been called to the Brazilian Bar
João Paulo Cuenca is a Argentine-Brazilian writer and filmmaker born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He is the author of six books and some of his novels have been translated into eight languages. “I found out I was dead” won the Machado de Assis Prize of best novel of the year, awarded by Brazil’s National Library in 2017. In 2007, he was selected by the Hay Festival and by the organisers of the Bogotá World Book Capital as one of the 39 highest profile Latin American writers under the age of 39. He has also been selected for the very first ever issue Best of Young Brazilian Novelists of the literary magazine Granta in 2012. Juan Pablo Madrid-Malo is a Colombian lawyer focusing on Human Rights Defense. Since 2019 he has been a researcher at the Fundación para la Libertad de Prensa (FLIP) and currently he is coordinator of the Center of Studies on Freedom of Expression. Juan Pablo has worked in field around various issues related to Human Rights such as prisons, social protest, historically marginalized population and freedom of expression in Colombia. Likewise, he has given workshops on different issues on freedom of expression in the country and had a particular experience giving a workshop for the creation of protection networks for journalists in Mogadishu, Somalia. Pedro Cárdenas is currently the Protection Coordinator at ARTICLE 19 – Mexico and Central America Office. From documenting human rights violations to political advocacy and legal analysis, he is dedicated to protection of the press and human rights activists in Mexico and Latin America. Prior to ARTICLE 19, he worked with Peace Brigades International accompanying human rights defenders in Guatemala, served as an international business representative at the Mexican Embassy in Colombia, and became a teacher while volunteering to support families of the disappeared in Mexico. Morgan Simon has close to two decades of experience making finance a tool for social justice. In that time she has influenced over $150B and is a regularly sought out expert on impact investing. Her book, Real Impact: The New Economics of Social Change has been featured everywhere from Harvard Business School to the United Nations. She is a regular voice in media and an active investor as Founding Partner of Candide Group, a Registered Investment Advisor. Candide Group works with families, foundations, athletes and cultural influencers who want their money working for justice.
Morgan Simon and her company Candide Group were sued by private prison company CoreCivic for defamation, for her activism related to the US’ family separation crisis.
Peter Geoghegan is an Irish writer, broadcaster and investigations editor at the award-winning news website openDemocracy. He led openDemocracy‘s investigations into dark money in British politics that were nominated for a 2019 British Journalism award and the Paul Foot award.
His journalism has appeared in numerous national and international titles including New York Times, The Guardian, London Review of Books, The Irish Times, The Scotsman and many other publications. He has made documentaries for BBC Radio Four, worked on investigative TV programmes for Channel 4 and regularly appears on British and international broadcast outlets.
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. Gillian Phillips is the Director of Editorial Legal Services for Guardian News & Media Limited (publishers of the Guardian and Observer newspapers and theguardian.com). 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. 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. 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. 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. Clare Rewcastle Brown is a UK investigative journalist, born in Sarawak, Malaysia. In 2010, Rewcastle Brown founded The Sarawak Report (sarawakreport.org) 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).
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.
Oliver Bullough is a journalist and author from Wales, who specialises in writing about financial crime and how it hides in the global financial system. His latest book, Moneyland, was published in 2018. His next book, Butler to the World, will be published in March. Emanuel Delia is a blogger and freelance journalist working in Malta, focusing on anti-corruption and good governance journalism. He runs Truth Be Told (manueldelia.com) which is a daily account and commentary of political and institutional issues in Malta with specific attention to mafia crime, migration and human trafficking, corruption and bribery and the erosion of democracy. Emanuel is also a free speech and human rights activist in Malta. He is one of the founders of Repubblika, Malta’s foremost pro-democracy NGO for which he works as its Executive Officer. Emanuel is co-author of Murder on the Malta Express: Who Killed Daphne Caruana Galizia? which was awarded the prize for non-fiction literature by Malta’s National Book Council.
Cherese Thakur is the advocacy coordinator at amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism, a non-profit investigative journalism hub.
Her current role involves advocating for media freedom and access to information. This includes making submissions in legislative processes in respect of laws affecting the media, advising on amaBhungane’s public interest litigation, sharing knowledge in discussions and conferences, and writing articles to raise awareness regarding media-related issues.
Prior to joining civil society, Cherese was a corporate lawyer and served as a law clerk to two justices of the South African Constitutional Court. She holds LLB and LLM (Constitutional Litigation) degrees from the University of KwaZulu-Natal and a Bachelor of Civil Laws from the University of Oxford. She is currently working towards her PhD, where her thesis examines the judiciary’s response to cases of corruption and egregious public maladministration.
Franz Wild leads the Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s team looking into how London enables corruption and wrongdoing around the world. 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. Authorities in the UK, US and elsewhere have opened criminal investigations into some of his subjects after his articles were published. Nicola Solomon is Chief Executive of the Society of Authors, the UK’s largest trade union for authors. Nicola’s role encompasses protecting authors’ interests in negotiations/disputes, advising individual authors and campaigning for authors’ rights, as well as for the wider cultural environment. Before joining the SoA Nicola was a solicitor in private practice for 26 years Nicola is an expert in the publishing industry and the associated law, from copyright and defamation, to privacy, data protection and contract. She is a Deputy District Judge and sits on the board of the International Authors’ Forum and the British Copyright Council and the European Writers Council. Ben leads Transparency International UK’s research and investigations into Britain’s role as a hub for the proceeds of international corruption. This encompasses working to highlight the country’s shell company industry to give criminals nowhere to hide, strengthening Britain’s defences against dirty money and ensuring the UK offers no impunity to corrupt individuals. He has researched and written seven reports including “At Your Service” which analysed the role played by UK businesses and institutions in laundering the money and reputations of corrupt individuals and regimes. Henri Thulliez is a lawyer and member of the Paris bar. He graduated in Law School at University of Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, and holds a LLM from the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London) as well as a Master in International administration from the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. He was the coordinator at Human Rights Watch of the Hissène Habré case, the former president of Chad who was tried before a special court in Senegal. Henri Thulliez has written numerous articles in Le Monde, Libération, Huffington Post US, Huffington Post France and Newsweek Europe. Anneke Van Woudenberg is the Executive Director of RAID, which she joined in March 2017. Previously she was the Deputy Africa Director at Human Rights Watch where for 14 years she led in-depth factfinding on human rights violations across sub-Saharan Africa, especially in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Africa’s Great Lakes region. She has testified at international war crimes trials, briefed the UN Security Council, the US Congress and the British and European parliaments, and is a frequent commentator in the international press. Tom Burgis is an award-winning investigative reporter. Based in London after years as a foreign correspondent in South America and Africa, he is 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.
Barış Altıntaş is an Istanbul-based journalist and civil society professional. Between 2005 – 2015, she worked at various mainstream news publications outlets in Ankara and Istanbul, covering politics, science and women’s rights. She is the founding president and currently co-director of the Istanbul-based Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA), which provides legal, advocacy and professional support to journalists and freedom of expression lawyers. Rebecca Vincent is the Director of International Campaigns for Reporters Without Borders, known internationally as Reporters sans frontières (RSF), which works to promote and defend press freedom around the world. She is an American-British human rights campaigner, writer and former diplomat with an expertise in freedom of expression. Rebecca has coordinated a number of high profile international human rights campaigns. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, holds an MA in Human Rights from University College London and has published widely. Matthew Caruana Galizia is the director of the Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation. He worked at the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), developing the technology that enabled major investigations such as ‘Panama Papers’ and ‘Paradise Papers’. In 2018, Matthew left ICIJ to continue working on the case around the killing of his mother, Daphne Caruana Galizia, who was assassinated in 2017 following her investigations into corruption in Malta. Since then, Matthew Caruana Galizia and his family have worked tirelessly to tackle impunity and to unveil the truth about Daphne’s death. Katie J.M. Baker is a London-based investigative reporter at BuzzFeed News. Her work has changed state law, twice prompted nationwide legislation, and forced companies and governments around the world to launch investigations. Her reporting has taken her from the jungles of Cameroon to the massage parlors of suburban America. Before she joined BuzzFeed News’ investigation desk in 2017, she was one of the first reporters in the U.S. to cover campus sexual assault. She is the recipient of several awards, including the Overseas Press Club’s Whitman Bassow Award, and she was a Livingston Award finalist. Martin Bright is the acting editor of Index on Censorship. Has been a journalist for over 30 years, working at the Guardian, the Observer and the New Statesman. He is probably best know for breaking the Katharine Gun story, which was made into the movie Official Secrets in 2019. Martin has considerable personal experience of SLAPP suits. Bob Seely has served as the Member of Parliament for the Isle of Wight since 2017 and sits on the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee.
As a reporter living in Russia in his early 20s, he covered the collapse of the USSR. He served in the British Army in the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns, among other conflicts, and was awarded a Military MBE in 2016 for his service.
He has held a Research Associate position at the Changing Character of War Programme at the University of Oxford. In 2018, Bob Seely wrote one of the few peer-reviewed definitions of Contemporary Russian Conflict Strategy available in the West for the Henry Jackson Society and has written extensively on the threats posed by Russia and China.
Sandhiya Sophie Argent is a Media Lawyer and routinely advises journalists and creatives, often producing contentious and challenging content. She has worked on high profile news investigations of significant public interest and has advised on numerous factual and scripted content, assisting clients to navigate complex legal and ethical issues from pre to post publication. Sandhiya is currently studying part-time for a Masters in Human Rights, Conflict and Justice at SOAS, which she is completing alongside her media law consultancy work.
Rupert Cowper-Coles is an English-qualified litigator at the law firm RPC specialising in media defence. Rupert acts for a wide range of publishers, including UK and foreign media organisations, online platforms, broadcasters, NGOs, book publishers and freelance journalists in defending claims brought in England in defamation, data protection and privacy law. He is well-versed in advising clients both pre and post publication and representing their interests before regulators and the courts.
Rupert has experience in litigating a number of developing areas of law, including abuse of process strike-out applications, foreign jurisdiction issues and the exercise of GDPR data rights. He acted for Clare Rewcastle-Brown in defending a number of claims brought over her reporting of the 1MDB scandal in Malaysia. Earlier this year he represented the Swedish financial news organisation Realtid Media and its journalists in challenging an English libel claim brought over six Swedish-language online articles.