Finnian & Columba, K. De Deckerstraat 20A, 2800 Mechelen, Belgium

Contact: Bart Van Besien, Lawyer at Finnian & Columba

Tel.: +32 486 626 355

Geographic area served: All Europe (including EU-member states and candidate countries), Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, UK

Type of organization / entity: Private law firm; private lawyer

Serves: Staff journalists, editors, media outlet; freelance journalists; civic media/bloggers; NGOs that provide legal, financial or advocacy support for journalists/media outlets, and/or journalist associations

Type of support: Legal, advocacy

Types of legal support: Direct litigation of cases involving journalists/media outlets in domestic and/or international courts; filing amicus briefs to domestic and/or international courts in specific cases; providing supporting legal briefs and case law  to NGOs or journalist associations that are directly litigating cases involving journalists/media outlets facing legal proceedings; providing general legal advice / counsel to journalists/media outlets; providing pre-publication legal advice / counsel to journalists, media outlets; legal advocacy for specific cases and issues.

Types of cases: Cases involving defamation/libel brought against a journalist/media outlet; freedom of information claims brought by a journalist/media outlets; cases involving issues of source protection and/or whistleblowing; contractual/labor disputes between staff journalists and employers; contractual/labor disputes between freelance journalists and media outlets; disputes between journalists and media outlets over violations of professional codes of ethics.

Fee structure: Litigation assistance provided to journalists/media outlets as part of annual journalist association dues; contingency basis; hourly fees; fixed rates; sliding scale.

Type of advocacy support: Leading or participating in public-awareness campaigns in support of a journalist/media outlet facing legal proceedings or court challenges; leading or participating in public-awareness campaigns around specific policy or regulatory issues that impact journalists’ reporting practices and rights; issuing alerts to domestic and international media; advocacy support for labor issues or disputes.