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June 14, 2023

Ex-Guardian editorial legal director Gill Phillips named co-author of journalism legal bible McNae’s

Gill Phillips will co-author McNae's with PA law service editor Sian Harrison.

By Charlotte Tobitt

The Guardian’s long-time director of editorial legal services Gill Phillips has been named the new co-author of UK journalists’ legal bible McNae’s.

Phillips will succeed Mark Hanna, who is stepping down from co-authoring McNae’s Essential Law for Journalists after 14 years.

It follows the departure of Mike Dodd last year after co-authoring five editions with Hanna. Dodd was succeeded by PA Media law service editor Sian Harrison.

Phillips will now work alongside Harrison on the next edition of McNae’s, its 27th.

Phillips said: “I am honoured to be stepping into such well respected and admired shoes.  Mark has played such a key role in the modern McNae’s and I hope I can live up to his high standards.”

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Phillips joined Guardian News and Media to manage the editorial legal team in 2009, meaning she advised on matters including defamation, privacy, data protection, contempt of court and reporting restrictions, and major stories such as Wikileaks, Edward Snowden, the Panama and Paradise Papers and the Uber Files. She stepped down from the editorial legal director role on 2 June but remains an editorial legal consultant for The Guardian.

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Before joining The Guardian she was an assistant solicitor at the BBC between 1987 and 1996 and then spent nine years at Times Newspapers. She is also currently a part-time employment tribunal judge and co-author of the University of Law Employment Law handbook.

NCTJ chief executive Joanne Butcher described Phillips as a “friend of McNae’s for many years and with an outstanding track record in media law”.

Hanna, a senior lecturer at the University of Sheffield between 1996 and 2020 whose journalism roles included investigations reporter and deputy news editor at the Sheffield Star and Northern reporter at The Observer, was described as a “walking, talking encyclopaedia of anything worth knowing about media law” in a statement about his departure from the co-authorship. He will continue to sit on the NCTJ’s media law exams board.

McNae’s is published by the Oxford University Press in partnership with the NCTJ.

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Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
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