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Posted by: Laurence Simons 26/09/12

"The law is very clear - the photographs should have never been taken and they shouldn't have been published," says Lee & Thompson's Gordon Williams. Care to guess which pictures he's talking about? You have one guess. "That's clear in the UK, that's clear in France, that's clear in Europe."

For those in media law, images of the Duchess of Cambridge sunbathing while on holiday in France have triggered a Europe-wide goose chase that has seen magazine offices raided, the French legal system pushed to its very limits and, despite everything, a number of further publications printing the images. But above all, the legal response from representatives has all been a bit 'shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted'.

Or has it? French courts have ruled that Closer, the first magazine to print the images, had to hand over all original copies of the photographs or face an €10,000-a-day fine, which they did - but handing back the images after they printed them is almost a non-event. Revealing the name of the photographer is also sort of irrelevant, and also mostly impossible what with the myriad of confidentiality laws in place to protect journalistic sources.

So instead, what are the Royal legal representatives doing? They are doing their bit for the PR side of things, is what. In a way, chasing after the names of the perpetrators, going through the courts, issuing injunctions - it's all part of the mopping up routine following a scandal. And it's something those representatives of high-rolling corporations could learn from. Scandal breaks out at your company? Sue everyone in sight.