Nearly 20 years of experience in commercial litigation, media and entertainment law
Olivia O'Kane has dedicated her career as a commercial litigator specialising in media law. With nearly 20 years' experience, she has solidified her reputation and is now the leading media law practitioner in Belfast and Dublin at DWF. Her ability to craft strategies and approach disputes creatively has earned her the respect of both colleagues and clients alike.
Her notable achievements include acting successfully in landmark Court of Appeal judgements which established the law on legal principles such as qualified privilege defences, privacy and harassment law. She has acted in strategic deployment of Norwich Pharmacal Orders concerning social media misuse under the cloak of anonymity thereby exposing wrongdoing. Olivia has advocated for libel law reform and has had the privilege of representing a variety of clients, including high profile individuals, journalists, book publishers, newspapers, broadcasters, social media platforms, educational institutions, celebrities and international corporations.
In 2012, her dedication to her profession led her to qualify as a higher 'Advocate' so she could represent clients in emergency injunctions over weekends. Her successful legal advice has resulted in favourable Court decisions in high profile legal actions, including reporting restrictions challenges. In 2015, she was elected President of the Belfast Solicitors' Association and organized the first Northern Ireland Media Law Conference in the historic Stormont Parliament Buildings, reflecting her status as a respected figure in the legal community. Her pursuit of excellence drove her to obtain a Postgraduate Diploma in Intellectual Property Law and Practice from the prestigious University of Oxford in 2021.
Olivia frequently shares her expertise as a guest speaker at leading institutions such as Queen's University Belfast. She is a member of the Law Societies for Ireland and for Northern Ireland, a member of the Royal Television Society of NI and she is Ireland's Expert for the European Commission on Anti-SLAPP law, demonstrating her deep involvement in shaping media law which is testament to her commitment to seek justice for her clients.
Her prowess in commercial litigation is remarkable, but her role as a media and entertainments law specialist is outstanding. Her extensive knowledge covers all aspects of media law, including defamation law, pre-broadcast advice, contempt of court, copyright infringement and fair dealing exemptions, court reporting restrictions, trade secrets, data protection disputes, publication restrictions, harassment, online harms and the digital services provisions, breach of confidentiality, emergency injunctions, e-commerce law, content and product liability as well as social media law generally.