Skip to content

5RB

Defamation/Privacy

27 ranked barristersBand 1All CircuitsUK Bar 2022 View ranking table
chambers review
Ranked Barristers
chambers review
Ranked Barristers

Chambers Review

Chambers Research is conducted by 200 Research Analysts, across 200 jurisdictions and provides nearly 6,000 rankings tables. Annually we collect hundreds of thousands of responses from clients, the majority via in-depth interview. Learn more about our methodology.

5RB is described by interviewees as "the pre-eminent set" in the world of defamation and privacy. The chambers houses a deep bench of barristers who are noted for their expert handling of libel and privacy claims and related data protection matters, as well as emergency injunctions. Its members are instructed by claimants and defendants in the most prominent cases at all levels, including in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. In recent years, they have acted in a number of important cases on the interpretation of the Defamation Act 2013, the most notable being the case of Lachaux v Independent Print. They have defended media outlets including The TimesThe Sun and the BBC, and have acted to protect the reputation and privacy of numerous high-profile individuals such as the Duchess of Sussex and Johnny Depp.

Client service:

"They are very on top of who are the right barristers for a matter." "They are very responsive even with urgent matters, and go above and beyond in getting things moving quickly." "Senior clerk Andrew Love knows his job inside out – both for the clients and for his barristers."

Strengths:

Adam Speker QC
Adam Speker is a superb barrister with a broad media practice encompassing all aspects of reputation management, privacy and media defence. He has appeared before the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court and the Privy Council.
"His written work is very good and is able to see the big picture." "He is very client-friendly, very robust in his advice, and carries a lot of gravitas and authority."
Recent work: Defended the Campaign against Antisemitism against claims relating to libel, data protection and misuse of private information.

Strengths:

Adam Wolanski QC
Adam Wolanski QC is a leading defamation barrister who is valued by instructing solicitors for his client management skills and well-honed advocacy style. He acts for and against the major media organisations and newspapers in high-profile cases concerning libel, privacy and reporting restrictions.
"He is a calm and authoritative advocate who is very good under pressure." "He has such a knowledge of the law and applies it practically."
Recent work: Successfully defended News Group Newspapers against a high-profile libel claim and appeal brought by Johnny Depp.

Strengths:

Adrienne Page QC
Adrienne Page QC is a leading silk with particular experience acting for claimants in a range of matters relating to defamation, malicious falsehood and harassment. She has led the Bar in the interpretation of the 'serious harm' requirement for claims under the Defamation Act 2013.
"Adrienne’s ability to forensically examine a case and forcibly present it at trial is very impressive." "She comes up with solutions not problems, using extremely clever ideas that no one else has thought of."
Recent work: Represented Jan Serafin in a Supreme Court appeal, the first time the Court considered the public interest defence under Section 4 of the Defamation Act 2013.

Strengths:

Aidan Eardley
Aidan Eardley is a barrister with an outstanding reputation for media law matters and a strong track record of acting both for and against the media. He draws praise for his understanding of the DPA and his strong advocacy skills.
"He is always commended by judges for the quality of his submissions." "His advocacy is understated yet very effective." "Aidan impresses with his clarity of thought and judgement."
Recent work: Acted for Associated Newspapers in a data protection and privacy claim concerning its identification of the complainant in an allegation of rape against Luc Besson, the film director.

Strengths:

Alexandra Marzec
Alexandra Marzec has an enviable reputation in the area of libel and privacy litigation. She is particularly proficient in media defence, having acted for newspapers, private investigators and other members of the press in phone hacking claims.
"Her submissions are clear and concise." "She is a fantastically bright and energetic barrister."

Strengths:

Andrew Caldecott QC
Andrew Caldecott QC is a star of the Defamation and Privacy Bar, widely regarded as the leading silk in the area. He has unrivalled Supreme Court experience and is continually instructed in high-profile, precedent-setting cases concerning defamation, privacy and malicious falsehood.
"He is measured, conscientious, and has gravitas even in front of the most senior judges." "He is hugely cerebral, encyclopedic and an absolute heavyweight in the area." "He has a very nice courtroom manner and is very charming."

Strengths:

Ben Gallop
Ben Gallop is an esteemed junior barrister building a strong reputation for defamation and privacy work. His recent practice has focused on defending a number of major newspaper publishers, including the proprietors of the Daily Telegraph, the Mirror and Mail Online, in high-profile libel claims. Before joining the Bar, he worked at the Independent Press Standards Organisation.
"His drafting skills are perfect; he is always available and is very creative with his solutions." "He has excellent knowledge of this area."
Recent work: Represented Telegraph Media Group in a data protection and libel claim against the founder of easyJet.

Strengths:

Chloe Strong
Chloe Strong represents clients in defamation, privacy, confidence and copyright claims. She represents both individuals and companies, and frequently provides pre-publication advice to major publishers.
"She gives clear robust advice and is very engaged."
Recent work: Represented a Russian businessman and one of his companies in a defamation claim concerning allegations made in the Trump-Russia dossier, that the claimant was involved in hacking Democrat computers before the 2016 US elections.

Strengths:

Clara Hamer
Clara Hamer is a rising talent, with a practice covering all aspects of media and information law. She acts in privacy and defamation matters for national newspapers, publishers and broadcasters.
"Her mastery of detail is extraordinary and she has a very easy manner with clients." "She is very pragmatic, knows what needs to be done and doesn't leave it until last minute."
Recent work: Successfully represented News Group Newspapers in defence of the high-profile libel claim brought by Johnny Depp, concerning an article that labelled him as a 'wife beater'.

Strengths:

David Hirst
David Hirst is a highly lauded defamation and privacy barrister with a niche focus on online matters such as internet harassment, tracing and disclosure orders against ISPs. He also advises corporate entities and media organisations on pre-publication.
"David is very thorough and will be working on a solution as soon as he identifies an issue." "He is technically very good."

Strengths:

David Sherborne
David Sherborne is a stellar defamation specialist barrister who wins unanimous praise from peers for his privacy practice. He remains at the forefront of phone hacking litigation and continues to receive instructions in landmark libel and privacy cases.
"David has an excellent rapport with clients and is very good at making them feel at ease in often uneasy situations; he also has a very good grasp of the client’s ultimate objective." "Strategically he is very astute." "He is not afraid to roll his sleeves up."

Strengths:

Desmond Browne QC
Desmond Browne QC is a former Chairman of the Bar and joint head of chambers. He has a phenomenal reputation in defamation and privacy circles. He continues to be instructed in cutting-edge cases, and frequently appears in privacy injunctions and libel claims.
"He is hugely experienced and provides clear and robust advice." "His analysis of problems is superb." "He is a first-class all-rounder."

Strengths:

Felicity McMahon
Felicity McMahon enjoys a growing reputation in the area, thanks to her successful work for both claimants and defendants in matters relating to privacy, libel and harassment.
"She is an excellent junior barrister who is both diligent and very user-friendly."
Recent work: Represented Emilie Oldknow OBE against the Labour Party in a privacy and defamation claim after the leak of a report to the media.

Strengths:

Gervase de Wilde
Gervase de Wilde focuses on representing newspapers, broadcasters and private individuals in disputes concerning defamation, privacy, harassment and court reporting. His previous experience as a journalist for a national newspaper gives him considerable insight into the sector.
"He presents excellent arguments in court." "Gervase is an approachable, proactive and conscientious barrister." "He is exceptionally bright and very eloquent."

Strengths:

Godwin Busuttil
Godwin Busuttil is a top defamation barrister, offering a raft of expertise in privacy, conspiracy, data protection, online harassment and libel. He acts for both claimants and defendants and has co-authored much of the leading commentary on the practice area, and has appeared in some of the leading defamation and privacy cases of recent years.
"Godwin has an encyclopedic knowledge of media law and a very eloquent writing style." "He is very diligent, providing detailed arguments that cover every point."

Strengths:

Greg Callus
Greg Callus has a superb reputation as a barrister with a flourishing data protection and libel practice. He is instructed by both claimants and defendants, and counts high-profile publishers and broadcasters among his clientele.
"He is incredibly detailed in his submissions and very highly thought of in multi-jurisdictional cases." "He has an amazing breadth of law in his head."

Strengths:

Jacob Dean
Jacob Dean is a premier barrister in the media sector who frequently appears in major cases, both as sole counsel and under the direction of leading silks. He has appeared before the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal on a number of occasions. He has particular expertise in online and cross-jurisdictional matters.
"His written work is top-class and he has obscure points of law at his fingertips." "He is extremely responsive and brilliant at cross-examination."

Strengths:

Jane Phillips
Jane Phillips is a well-regarded barrister specialising in media litigation. She acts for a number of high-profile celebrity clients and media organisations in sensitive disputes. She also provides pre-publication advice to book publishers and broadcasters.
"She is very good at juggling all the different demands of stakeholders in a case. Her drafting is always clear; every line is there for the purpose of furthering the strategy, and her advocacy in court is very effective." "She is very approachable, gets on top of facts quickly, and where there is an issue, she resolves it."
Recent work: Represented the Duchess of Sussex in her breach of copyright and misuse of private information claim against Associated Newspapers after the publication of a private letter to her father.

Strengths:

Jonathan Barnes QC
Jonathan Barnes QC is a highly experienced barrister who acts mainly for claimants in actions concerning reputation, including libel and privacy proceedings. He is well regarded for his expertise in data privacy matters and his previous experience as a solicitor practising in the field.
"His knowledge of defamation is encyclopedic; he really rolls his sleeves up and clients really love him." "He is extremely conscientious and hard-working and his advice is spot-on."
Recent work: Represented the Duchess of Sussex and Archie Mountbatten-Windsor in a data protection and privacy claim concerning the syndication of paparazzi photographs.

Strengths:

Jonathan Scherbel-Ball
Jonathan Scherbel-Ball is a defamation and data protection-focused barrister who is well respected for his defence work. His practice is augmented by his previous in-house experience at the BBC. He has a significant Northern Irish practice and regularly represents publishers and broadcasters, government departments, and a range of blue-chip multinational companies.
"He is very astute to the media's needs; he understands what they want and delivers." "He is so enthusiastic, committed and determined."
Recent work: Represented Telegraph Media Group in a libel claim which occurred after the publication of an apology for defaming Melania Trump in an article. The journalist who wrote the article sued as she alleged that the apology was defamatory to her.

Strengths:

Julian Santos
Julian Santos is a highly rated barrister with particular expertise in cases concerning defamation, privacy, data protection, harassment and breach of confidence. He is active in ongoing matters arising out of the phone hacking scandal.
"He is technically very strong and has great attention to detail. He is also very good with clients." "He is very bright and judges like him."
Recent work: Represented the boxer Dillian Whyte in a claim of privacy and breach of confidence against CBS, after it published in an article that a urine sample of his was contaminated.

Strengths:

Justin Rushbrooke QC
Justin Rushbrooke QC continues to be in high demand for his strong advocacy skills and understanding of the DPA in the context of defamation and privacy law. He has niche expertise in corporate libel claims and disclosure orders.
"He is fabulously competitive, knows the law inside out and is a very tough cross-examiner." "He is strategic, has reassuringly high standards and is a pleasure to watch on his feet."
Recent work: Successfully represented the Duchess of Sussex in her privacy claim against Associated Newspapers in relation to the publication of a letter to her father.

Strengths:

Kate Wilson
Kate Wilson is frequently involved in high-profile libel and privacy claims, with recent experience in the Supreme Court. She has niche expertise in online issues and claims involving public authorities. She has additional expertise in cases concerning reporting restrictions in the Crown and Family Courts.
"She is a knowledgeable barrister, who is very calm under pressure and reassures clients." "She is fantastic with detail and will always pick up the phone to talk through problems."
Recent work: Represented Adele in data protection and misuse of private information claims against The Sun, after it published incorrect stories about a relationship between her and another performer.

Strengths:

Richard Munden
Richard Munden is an experienced barrister with broad expertise in media matters, including claims involving the DPA and traditional libel matters. He is active in a number of phone hacking and related privacy claims.
"He is exceptional on paper and in court." "He is a very committed and hard-working barrister."
Recent work: Acted for Shahbaz Sharif, Pakistan's opposition leader, in a libel claim against Associated Newspapers, after an article in the Mail on Sunday accused him of embezzling and laundering millions of pounds of British aid.

Strengths:

Victoria Jolliffe
Victoria Jolliffe is an accomplished media law barrister focusing on reputational matters for claimants and defendants. She has niche expertise in Norwich Pharmacal applications, and privacy and harassment injunctions.
"She's extremely good at spotting traps laid by opponents and turning them to her client's advantage. She's also very user-friendly and excellent on paper."

Strengths:

Victoria Simon-Shore
Victoria Simon-Shore practises in the area of media law and has expertise spanning libel, online harassment, privacy and breach of confidence. She also provides pre-publication advice to newspaper clients.
"Victoria gives excellent, commercially sensible advice and is also a really client-friendly barrister; she is seemingly effortless in explaining complicated ideas to non-lawyers and her manner also puts them at ease." "Her strength is her quick turnaround on urgent matters."
Recent work: Acted for Imran Ali Yousaf, the son-in-law of the former Leader of the Opposition in Pakistan, in connection with a libel claim alleging the embezzlement of millions of pounds of British aid.

Strengths:

William Bennett QC
William Bennett QC enjoys an established reputation in the fields of defamation and privacy. He generally appears for claimants in high-profile libel claims.
"He is extremely bright yet also takes a common-sense approach and cuts straight to the heart of the key issues." "He gives answers within moments, is really on the ball and his judgement is extraordinary."
Recent work: Acted for Rachel Riley in a high-profile defamation claim where the defendant accused her of encouraging violence against Jeremy Corbyn on Twitter.

Defamation/Privacy

5RB

firm
Location

5 Gray’s Inn Square

Gray's Inn

London

Greater London

UK

WC1R 5AH

View Set Profile

Ranked Barristers

Chambers Research is conducted by 200 Research Analysts, across 200 jurisdictions and provides nearly 6,000 rankings tables. Annually we collect hundreds of thousands of responses from clients, the majority via in-depth interview. Learn more about our methodology.

Silks (QC)

All Circuits

Defamation/Privacy


Adam Speker QC
Band 3
Adam Wolanski QC
Band 2
Adrienne Page QC
Star Individuals
Andrew Caldecott QC
Star Individuals
Desmond Browne QC
Band 1
Jonathan Barnes QC
New Silks

6 of 27 results