The Press Association’s media law specialist, Mike Dodd, has qualified as a barrister and been called to the Bar at Middle Temple, after 36 years as a journalist.
Dodd plays a vital role in helping regional reporters to challenge unreasonable or unlawful reporting restriction orders and is also deputy editor of Media Lawyer, the PA-owned bi-monthly legal journal.
Dodd studied part-time for his law degree at Thames Valley University and for a Master’s degree in Child Law and Policy at Brunel University. He completed his Bar Vocational Course at the BPP Law School in Holborn, London, in June.
During his studies, Dodd continued as a copy editor at PA where he had worked for 25 years and dealt with editorial legal issues.
He said: “Being called to the Bar is the realisation of a personal dream. It has been hard work, but has been well worth it. I am looking forward to the further challenges it will bring, and to using the knowledge and experience I have gained in my work at PA and at Media Lawyer.
“I also hope to be able to play some small part in defending press freedom, which I believe is under a growing threat from the courts and politicians.”
Dodd now hopes to find a pupillage under a senior practising barrister in order to finish his legal training.
Jonathan Grun, PA editor, said: “Mike’s knowledge of media law has been an asset to the Press Association for many years.
“I am delighted that he has achieved his goal of qualifying as a barrister. His legal briefings and advice are invaluable to our reporters.”
By Jon Slattery