Defamation/Privacy Department

London (Bar)
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5RB boasts an excellent reputation in the fields of defamation and privacy, with observers concurring that it is "the leading set for media law matters where privacy and reputation are in play." Its members act for claimants and defendants including major publishers, broadcasters and newspapers, as well as many high-profile individuals and companies, and can offer expertise in matters relating to libel, harassment, breach of confidence and misuse of private information. Its already impressive bench was further enhanced in recent months by the addition of seven new barristers from a former rival. Members have been centrally involved in the leading case on the interpretation of the 'serious harm' requirement in the Defamation Act, as well as successfully representing Sir Cliff Richard in his privacy action against the BBC.

Client service:"The clerking service is absolutely first rate." "5RB's clerks are very helpful and handy, and they're knowledgeable about who's available at what time." Andrew Love is the senior clerk.

Adam Speker QC
Superb barrister with a broad media practice encompassing all aspects of reputation management, privacy and media defence. He has appeared in the Privy Council unled, and led by top silks before the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal.
Strengths: "A very experienced, solid and committed junior, and a pleasure to work with." "He's very client-friendly and bright, and is a tough opponent."
Recent work: Acted for Richard Burgon MP in a libel, malicious falsehood and data protection claim against News Group Newspapers, relating to the publication of a story in the Sun that he knowingly joined a band that used Nazi images.

Adam Wolanski QC
Leading defamation lawyer 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.
Strengths: "An expert in privacy matters and a pleasure to work with." "I appreciate his intelligence, his flexibility and his ability to work with us as a team."
Recent work: Acted for the Sun in the defence of a libel claim brought by Johnny Depp concerning allegations it published of domestic abuse.

Adrienne Page QC
Highly rated silk with particular experience in 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 in defamation.
Strengths: "She's one of the best silks I have worked with. She delivers really good advocacy and I think she's just incredible in the courtroom." "A wonderful adviser and an advocate at the top of her field."
Recent work: Acted in the Supreme Court appeal of the Lachaux claim against the Independent and the Evening Standard, which was the first case to consider the meaning of the 'serious harm' requirement under the Defamation Act 2013.

Aidan Eardley
Has 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.
Strengths: "Exceptionally bright, but combines that with a first-class work ethic and the ability to provide decisive advice." "Superb judgement and knowledge of the law."
Recent work: Acted for the Home Secretary in defending a High Court and Court of Appeal libel action brought by an individual claiming to have been defamed by a government press release, which labelled them as a hate speaker.

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.
Strengths: "An excellent, clever junior and a fantastic advocate."

Andrew Caldecott QC
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.
Strengths: "A true expert in his field and a brilliant advocate who leaves no stone unturned. When he talks everyone listens carefully." "Explains complex, multi-jurisdictional issues with clarity and never forgets the broader strategic objectives of the client."
Recent work: Represented Linklaters LLP in securing an urgent interim injunction to restrain a breach of confidence by Frank Mellish, the firm's former marketing director.

Chloe Strong
Junior barrister specialising in representing clients in defamation, privacy, confidence and copyright claims. She represents both individuals and companies and frequently provides pre-publication advice to major publishers.
Strengths: "Tenacious, thorough and determined, and has a brilliant grasp of her specialist subject." "Very thorough and great with clients."
Recent work: Acted for Arcadia Group, Topshop and Sir Philip Green in breach of confidence actions against the Telegraph, after it threatened to publish information which was covered by NDAs signed by former employees.

Christina Michalos QC
Specialist media silk who has additional expertise in IP and sports law. She has expert knowledge of defamation, freedom of information, the DPA and online issues.
Strengths: "A good legal and strategic thinker." "Incredibly efficient and good at forcing the client to make difficult decisions."
Recent work: Acted for Express Newspapers in successfully defending a defamation and malicious falsehood action brought by a married couple about whom the Express and Daily Star had published articles.

Clara Hamer
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.
Strengths: "Hard-working and sensible, certainly one to watch."
Recent work: Acted for the BBC in a libel, privacy and data protection claim brought by a GP who the broadcaster alleged had acted fraudulently in the running of a surgery.

David Hirst
Highly lauded defamation and privacy junior 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.
Strengths: "He's very good on technical issues such as internet publications and getting disclosure."
Recent work: Acted for a winner of The Apprentice in a privacy and libel dispute concerning a Sun article about abortion.

David Sherborne
Star junior 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.
Strengths: "An excellent lawyer for claimants, who is calm in a crisis." "Great with clients, sees the bigger picture and is at the top of his game."

Desmond Browne QC
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.
Strengths: "Very thorough and a pleasure to work with. Knows which pressure points to push and thinks outside the book. An excellent advocate."

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.
Strengths: "She is personable, makes herself available despite her full diary, and is super intelligent."
Recent work: Acted for the claimants in the High Court and Court of Appeal, in a privacy case relating to the appearance of footage showing them being evicted in the Channel 5 show Can’t Pay? We’ll Take It Away!.

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.
Strengths: "Gervase de Wilde is proactive and solution-focused. He's a great help to his instructing solicitors." "Extremely industrious, and he gets more involved in the nuts and bolts than I would expect of a barrister."
Recent work: Acted for the ex-husband of the comedian Louise Reay in a libel and privacy action in respect of material about him she included in a show performed at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Godwin Busuttil
Top defamation junior counsel with 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.
Strengths: "Meticulous in his work and his command of the law, and a great draftsman." "Very user-friendly and pleasant."
Recent work: Acted for Sir Cliff Richard in his highly publicised privacy action against the BBC after it broadcast a police raid on his home. The High Court awarded damages to Sir Cliff and ordered the BBC to pay his substantial legal costs.

Greg Callus
Has a superb reputation as a junior 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.
Strengths: "Greg is fearless and incredibly knowledgeable: a walking encyclopaedia of the law." "He has a wisdom and judgement that belies his relatively junior level of experience at the Bar."
Recent work: Acted for the publishers of French magazine L'Express in a jurisdiction challenge relating to a libel claim brought by a billionaire businessman resident in Monaco.

Jacob Dean
Premier junior in the media sector who frequently appears both as sole counsel in major cases 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.
Strengths: "Extremely experienced and strategically brilliant. He provides clear legal advice." "A go-to barrister on tricky media issues, and a great choice for publication injunctions."
Recent work: Secured an injunction to stop the former partner of a EuroMillions winner from publishing a book containing explicit accounts of their relationship.

Jane Phillips
Well-regarded junior 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.
Strengths: "An excellent all-rounder who is bright and responsive. We trust her to provide solid advice." "Great judgement, very reliable and a pleasure to work with."
Recent work: Acted for the BBC in the defence of a historic libel action brought by the former Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko, arising from a news broadcast and online article stating that he authorised a corrupt payment of USD400,000 to Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, to arrange talks between himself and Mr Trump.

Jonathan Barnes
Experienced junior acting mainly for claimants in actions concerning reputation, including libel, privacy and harassment proceedings. He is well regarded for his expertise in data privacy matters.
Strengths: "Vastly talented, and is operating at the cutting edge of data and privacy law."
Recent work: Acted for the claimant in Economou v de Freitas, the first Court of Appeal hearing to consider the 'public interest' defence under Section 4 of the Defamation Act 2013.

Jonathan Scherbel-Ball
Defamation and data protection practitioner 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, as well as a range of blue-chip multinational companies and major health trusts.
Strengths: "Unbelievably intelligent, incredibly devoted to his work and has very good judgement. A pleasure to work with."
Recent work: Acted for the publishers of The Times in a libel claim arising from a publication relating in part to the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

Julian Santos
Highly rated junior with particular expertise in cases concerning defamation, privacy, data protection, harassment and breach of confidence. He is active in the ongoing phone-hacking disputes.
Strengths: "He's very bright, works incredibly hard and is very impressive on the detail." "Always goes out of his way to be available and consistently delivers concise but considered advice. A star in the making."
Recent work: Acted for Zahir Monir, businessman and Labour activist, in a successful libel claim against the former chairman of the Bristol branch of UKIP. The claim concerned allegations made on the organisation's Twitter account alleging links to the Rotherham child grooming scandal.

Justin Rushbrooke QC
Continues to be in high demand for his strong advocacy skills and understanding of the DPA. He has niche expertise in corporate libel claims and disclosure orders.
Strengths: "He's a superb advocate and cross-examiner." "He's very cool and very calm, and marries excellent background knowledge with a highly measured manner."
Recent work: Acted for Petro Poroshenko, the former president of Ukraine, in a historic libel action against the BBC, arising from a news broadcast and online article stating that he authorised a corrupt payment of USD400,000 to Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, to arrange talks between himself and Mr Trump.

Kate Wilson
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 restriction in the Crown Court and Family Court.
Strengths: "Kate Wilson has a sharp and incisive mind. She's very good with clients, and she explains the law without too much technicality." "Very straight-talking, incredibly well versed in the law, and a pleasure to work with."
Recent work: Acted for the father of a child in Family Court proceedings involving applications by other parties for access to documents relied upon in historic family law proceedings involving the same child, and to be released from undertakings not to speak to the media about that case. The dispute raised important points about access to documents, privacy of proceedings and the rights of third parties affected by private proceedings.

Richard Munden
Experienced junior counsel 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.
Strengths: "He's very clear and has good judgement, and I trust the views he puts forward."
Recent work: Acted for Professor AC Grayling in a successful libel claim against a blogger who had made allegations of paedophilia against him.

Victoria Jolliffe
Accomplished media law junior focusing on reputational matters for claimants and defendants. She has niche expertise in Norwich Pharmacal applications, and privacy and harassment injunctions.
Strengths: "Down to earth and pragmatic, and her experience goes way beyond her year of call." "She is incredibly diligent and always very responsive with answers on complex issues."
Recent work: Acted for Johnny Depp in a libel claim in respect of allegations published in the Sun.

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.
Strengths: "She's very approachable and agile, turns things around very quickly and is easy to work with."
Recent work: Acted for a Sudanese asylum seeker in a claim for misuse of private information in respect of a Sunday Times article by a journalist with whom he had stayed.

William Bennett QC
Up-and-coming media silk with a growing reputation in the fields of defamation and privacy. He appears for both claimants and defendants in high-profile disputes.
Strengths: "Very approachable and down to earth, and has lots of trial experience." "He's extremely good: very straightforward and excellent value for money."
Recent work: Acted for Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert.com, in a novel libel claim against Facebook concerning scam advertisements appearing on the site.