Olivia O'Kane - Partner
Olivia graduated with a first class honours degree from Queens University Belfast (QUB) in 2004 and qualified as a solicitor in 2006 from the Institute of Professional Legal Studies QUB. She later qualified as a solicitor advocate in September 2012. Her extensive Court of Appeal and High Court work includes privacy, data protection, harassment, anonymity, journalistic privileges and confidential sources, libel law, contempt of court, data privacy, consumer law, interim injunctions, e-commerce regulations and super injunctions. She acted in a case which obtained the first Norwich Pharmacol Order in Northern Ireland and also the second in the Republic of Ireland. Acting as solicitor advocate on behalf of media organisations she has been involved in legal precedents regarding challenging and applying to set aside an anonymity orders in criminal proceedings. This resulted in the first known written judgment in this jurisdiction expressly acknowledging the right of the media to challenge anonymity orders in accordance with the Supreme Court judgment in Application by Guardian News and Media Limited and Others  UKSC 1. Olivia also acted as solicitor advocate in defending an independent court reporter who was confronted with interim injunction proceedings arising out of the intended reporting of criminal proceedings. Olivia provides content clearance advice to print and broadcast media and works closely with documentary makers. She is local counsel to a variety of international clients such as Bloomberg News, CNN International, Twitter, Inc, Facebook Ireland Limited, WordPress and many others. Olivia provides in house legal training to most of Northern Ireland’s media organisations including UTV, Mediahuis and Irish News. She is a member of the Law Society of Northern Ireland, the Law Society of Ireland and the Society of Editors, and is a past Chair of Northern Ireland’s largest solicitor association, the Belfast Solicitors’ Association.
Olivia has been described as a solicitor advocate who quickly gained a strong reputation for her work both in and outside court. Clients note that she is "well prepared for every case," she "clearly knows her stuff" and is praised as being "very comprehensive, sharp, on the ball and reassuring." She is "attentive, perceptive and quick to respond with practical advice" and is described as a "fantastic" solicitor who continues to build an impressive reputation in the field, handling work for high-calibre media publishing clients. More recently she was described as a dedicated media lawyer capable of tackling matters in all fields ranging from privacy and libel, to social media and regulatory concerns. Olivia regularly attends as a speaker at legal events in Belfast and Dublin, lectures at Queens University Belfast, commentates in the media on discussions regarding novel areas of social media law and has attended as an expert legal contributor on podcasts.
Olivia is ranked Band 1 by Chambers UK 2021. Impressed sources remarked: "She is an excellent lawyer - incredibly helpful and client-centred. She's passionate, committed and skilled." "She is very calm and measured and puts me at ease in a crisis."
Interviewees state: "Olivia has a deep and wide-ranging understanding of media law, freedom of speech issues, and privacy and data protection matters. It is always a pleasure to work with her." "Olivia is extremely helpful, conscientious, accommodating and insightful."