Martin Smith: journalist, media lawyer and lecturer

Scotland’s most prominent media lawyer, Martin Smith, has died of prostate cancer, aged 56.

He began his career as a trainee journalist on The Cambuslang Advertiser, then joined the East Kilbride News and the Evening Times, Glasgow, before switching to law.

As senior partner with Bannatyne, Kirkwood, France & Co, Glasgow, Martin built up one of the largest media law practices in the UK.

He spent three decades advising all sections of the media day and night on pre- and post-publication matters.

The firm’s clients have included The Herald, The Scotsman, Scotland on Sunday, Edinburgh Evening News, Scottish Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday, The Guardian, The Observer and The Independent.

Martin was also a lecturer on media law and the author of numerous articles on the subject. He was a consultant with London libel firm Peter Carter-Ruck and Partners as well as a major contributor to a seminal work on the subject -Carter-Ruck on Libel and Slander.

Campbell Dean, a colleague, described Martin as “a larger than life character”. He said: “Martin was always there to defend press freedom.

He will be sadly missed.

“As a lawyer, he was second to none and had an established and deserved reputation throughout the Scottish legal world.”

Hamish Mackay

Hamish Mackay

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