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Social Media Consultant and Lawyer

Emma Sadleir is South Africa’s leading expert on social media law. The company she founded three years ago, the Digital Law Company, specialises in educating and advising corporates, employees, schools, parents, teachers, and universities on the legal, disciplinary and reputational risks of social media.

Emma’s areas of expertise include managing the legal consequences of using social media including defamation, privacy, hate speech and intellectual property; cyberbullying and harassment; sexting and pornography offences; the disciplinary consequences of using social media; personal and brand reputation management on social media; health and social media and online safety.

Much of Emma’s work involves creating social media strategies and policies for corporates and schools, drafting social media agency agreements and providing training and workshops on social media law. Emma and her team have collectively addressed hundreds of blue-chip corporate clients and over 100,000 learners across South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Malawi, Namibia, Kenya, Nigeria and the United Kingdom through educational talks and presentations. She also teaches media law to journalists and lawyers and lectures personal reputation management on various MBA programmes.

Emma was an anchor for The Oscar Pistorius Trial: A Carte Blanche Channel where, for the duration of the evidence in the trial, she hosted a programme discussing social media, the law and court proceedings. Emma was retained as a legal commentator for the BBC (both radio and television) for closing argument, verdict and sentencing of the Oscar Pistorius trial.

In addition, Emma spoke at SXSW in March 2015 and has presented at the International Bar Association’s Initiative for Women Business Lawyers. She is a regular commentator on radio and television.

Emma is the co-author of Don’t Film Yourself Having Sex… And Other Legal Advice For The Age of Social Media, published by Penguin Random House in September 2014. The book was described by Professor Jonathan Jansen as “the most important textbook” a university student will buy.

Emma is also the co-author of the social media section of the legal textbook, “Communications Law”, published by Lexis Nexus in January 2015.
Her second book, Selfies, Sexts and Smartphones: A Teenager’s Online Survival Guide will be published by Penguin Random House this October.


  • Emma’s talks can include the following:
  • the social media landscape in South Africa;
  • the legal considerations of using social media, including defamation, privacy, hate speech and intellectual property;
  • business confidentiality in a world of over sharing
  • managing brand reputation on social media;
  • confidentiality and insider trading risks/offences;
  • straddling the personal/professional divide on social media;
  • employment law issues;
  • personal reputation management on social media; and
  • Twitter disclaimers (“tweets are not endorsements”, “I tweet in my personal capacity” etc).
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