Belfast celebrity lawyer in US first

Published Thursday, 20 May 2010
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A top Belfast libel lawyer's ability to represent American celebrities has been strengthened by a unique appointment in the US.

Paul Tweed has become the first Irishman to be registered as a foreign legal consultant by the State Bar of California.

This will enable him to practice Northern Irish law in the west coast state without having to sit the State Bar examination.

Mr Tweed, senior partner at Johnsons law firm, has recently been consulted by the singer Whitney Houston and movie star Hugh Grant.

He has also provided legal advice to Dustin Lance Black, who wrote the screenplay for Milk, the film for which Sean Penn won a best-actor Oscar.

In the past Mr Tweed has acted for the likes of Britney Speers, Jennifer Lopez, Harrison Ford and Colin Farrell.

And his new appointment is expected to further enable international celebrities to bring litigation in Northern Ireland.

It means that during any future consultations with Hollywood stars he can address a court on the laws on this side of the Atlantic.

Following confirmation of the accolade Mr Tweed, whose firm has offices in Belfast, Dublin and London, stressed its benefits.

He said: "Being registered as a foreign legal consultant with the Californian Bar will be of considerable assistance to me in continuing to act for US personalities in the UK and Northern Irish courts, notwithstanding the adverse publicity surrounding the recent libel tourism debate on both sides of the Atlantic.

"From my point of view it is business as usual and I hope to continue to provide advice to international litigants who still are perfectly entitled to seek the protection and assistance of our libel laws."

© UTV News
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