Martin Soames

Media and Communications Disputes

+44 20 3206 2715
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Martin is a Partner in the Media & Communications Disputes and Dispute Resolution teams. He is a litigator specialising in publishing disputes, who runs cases at all levels up to and including the Supreme Court. He has a keen understanding of the commercial pressures of publication, deadlines and the need to balance editorial aims against legal risks.

He originally worked as a commissioning editor in book publishing and his clients include national and international book publishers, magazines, authors and content providers.

Martin is highly ranked in Chambers UK: “a highly experienced publishing lawyer who maintains a vibrant publishing practice”. He is described as “a go-to practitioner for pre-publication publishing matters’: ‘he’s a speedy, careful, meticulous reader.  He’s calm in a crisis and offers very balanced, measured advice”. Previous recommendations note that he gives “brilliant libel advice: succinct, cost-efficient, often entertaining and genuinely diligent”. Chambers commends his “invaluable insight into the media industry. Clients value his skill in assessing risk and negotiating his way through seemingly unwinnable situations.”


“Martin Soames gives direct advice that is spot-on.” Chambers and Partners, 2022

“He is very sensible, very astute and has a trusted client base.” Chambers and Partners, 2022

“He’s an incredibly experienced media litigator and he’s able to dispose of disputes quickly and efficiently.” Chambers and Partners, 2022

“He’s scrupulous, meticulous, knowledgeable, precise and has a realistic but very reassuring approach to risk. I trust him implicitly.” Chambers and Partners, 2021

“Very thorough, quick to respond and very knowledgeable.” Chambers and Partners, 2021

“Martin is a very efficient lawyer whose clients really trust his advice.” Chambers and Partners, 2021

“He is really responsive and nothing is too problematic.” Chambers and Partners, 2021

“Potential libel issues in the text are resolved constructively, always trying to ensure that the author’s original text is preserved while making sure that the risks are minimised as much as possible. He provides an efficient service and is flexible enough to respond to ultra-urgent deadlines when they arise.” Chambers and Partners, 2020

“He is reassuring, knowledgeable and a joy to work with.” Chambers and Partners, 2020

“He’s thoughtful, very clever and popular with clients.” Chambers and Partners, 2020

“Partners Martin Soames and Stephen Shotnes – former book editor and journalist respectively – add their in house expertise to deep legal knowledge offer a high level of service.” Legal 500, 2023

“I work with Martin Soames and Maninder Gill. Both have a wealth of expertise in the subjects of IP and contracts. Moreover they have an understanding of the practical realities of the publishing industry and this makes this advice not only legally correct but cognizant of the commercial realities of our business.” Legal 500, 2022

“Martin Soames and Gordon Clough offer exceptionally clear, constructive and timely advice. What is more, they seem to genuinely enjoy finding a way through challenging media law issues and share journalists’ passion for a good story.” Legal 500, 2022

“Martin Soames offers swift, knowledgeable and commercial advice, with a good understanding of our business and our industry.” Legal 500, 2021

“Renowned for his knowledge of publishing, defamation and privacy law.” Legal 500, 2020

“Excellent.” Legal 500, 2018

“Knowledge is incredibly detailed.” Legal 500, 2018

  • “Extremely good. Martin is very practical, plain-speaking and provides sensitive, nuanced advice.”

    Chambers and Partners, 2024
  • “Martin provides very solid advice and support dealing with editorial issues, particularly pre-publication advice on news.”



    Chambers and Partners, 2024
  • “He is expert, very quick with responses and a great sounding board for a tricky matter.” 

    Chambers and Partners, 2024
  • “Really knows his stuff, has great judgement and provides a good service.”

    Chambers and Partners, 2023
  • “Martin Soames is excellent – really practical, truly expert and gets back to us very quickly.”

    Chambers and Partners, 2023
  • “Martin Soames is extremely experienced. He has a background in publishing which is invaluable alongside his technical know-how of the law.”

    Chambers and Partners, 2023
  • “Martin is excellent, really practical, softly spoken and a true expert who gets back to us very quickly.”

    Chambers and Partners, 2023
  • “Martin Soames is exceptionally good. He is responsive, calm, pragmatic and I have absolute confidence in his excellent judgement.”

    Legal 500, 2023
  • “We work most closely with Martin Soames who is a class act – calm, extremely clever, thoughtful and responsive. He’s always our first choice.”

    Legal 500, 2023