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Head of Chambers: Desmond Browne QC, Justin Rushbrooke QC
Senior Clerk: Andrew Love
Clerks: Jamie Clack, Antony Braeger, Sam Groom, Olivia Smith, Mollie Adams

THE CHAMBERS There are 33 resident members, including seven silks. Members of Chambers have wide experience in all divisions of the High Court and in the appellate courts. They also appear regularly in the criminal and family courts and the Employment Tribunal, usually in reporting restrictions matters, and before regulatory bodies such as Ofcom. The Chambers often receives instructions from overseas. There are two accredited mediators, and most members of 5RB undertake public access work. In addition to their work in litigation, members of chambers provide pre-publication advice, usually to newspapers, media organisations including TV and film producers, book publishers, public authorities and companies.

WORK UNDERTAKEN 5RB enjoys a pre-eminent reputation where there is or may be a clash between freedom of expression and other rights, and members have been involved in the majority of leading cases of this kind. The set specialises in defamation, malicious falsehood, privacy, breach of confidence, contempt of court, reporting restrictions, data protection, harassment and other related causes of action.

Members have been involved in cases which have resulted in the development and recognition of new areas of media and communications law, such as those involving the tort of infringement of privacy and the use of data protection law. Although the chambers has long been a dominant force in work relating to print and other traditional media, an increase in work relating to publication online has led to members frequently being involved in cutting-edge litigation relating to the disclosure or threatened disclosure of information on the internet, often by individuals who seek to remain anonymous. Members of Chambers are very familiar with the issues relating to jurisdiction, service, disclosure and the identification of wrongdoers which arise in these circumstances.

Some members specialise across a broader spectrum of media, entertainment, and IP law, including copyright, passing off, and broadcasting regulatory work. Chambers is also involved in group litigation such as phonehacking, construction industry black-listing, and claims relating to large data protection breaches.

RECENT CASESA-G v Yaxley-Lennon; ZXC v Bloomberg; Butt v Home Secretary (CA); Cooper v National Crime Agency; NT1 v NT2 v Google; Serafin v Malkiewicz; Simon v Lyder (PC); Monir v Wood; Sir Cliff Richard OBE v (1) BBC (2) Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police; Alexander Economou v David de Freitas (CA); Various Claimants v WM Morrisons Supermarket PLC; Choudhrie v Choudhrie; Tinkler v Ferguson; Clarkson Plc v Person or Persons Unknown; Lachaux v Independent Print Ltd (SC); (Khuja) PNM v Times Newspapers Ltd (SC); Brevan Howard Asset Management LLP v Reuters (CA); Monroe v Hopkins; (1) Pippa Middleton (2) James Matthews v Persons Unknown; PJS v News Group Newspapers (SC); Al Alaoui v Elaph (CA); Coventry v Lawrence (SC); OPO v MLA (SC); Pinard-Byrne v Linton (PC); Gulati and ors v MGN (Mirror phone-hacking) (CA); Various Claimants v NGN (News Group phone-hacking litigation); Axon v Ministry of Defence and A-G v Conde Nast.

5RB’s barristers are frequently called upon to advise out-of-hours, or to seek or oppose emergency injunctive relief. There are out-of-hours contact arrangements and an on-call rota for advice over weekends and public holidays. 5RB is sensitive to the fact that, as a leading specialist set, different members are often instructed on opposing sides of the same dispute. There are robust arrangements in place to preserve client confidentiality.

PUBLICATIONS Members of the set write or contribute to the principal textbooks in their field: Gatley on Libel and Slander; Duncan & Neill on Defamation; The Law of Privacy and the Media; Clerk and Lindsell on Torts; Blackstone’s Guide to the Defamation Act 2013; Arlidge, Eady & Smith on Contempt; Libel and Slander and Malicious Falsehood chapters in Bullen & Leake & Jacob’s Precedents of Pleadings; The Family Courts: Media Access & Reporting and The Law of Photography and Digital Images.


Desmond Browne QC (1969) (QC 1990) A

Justin Rushbrooke QC (1992) (QC 2013) A

Adrienne Page QC (1974) (QC 1999)

Andrew Caldecott QC (1975) (QC-1994)

Christina Michalos QC (1994) (QC-2019) A

William Bennett QC (1994) (QC-2019) A

Adam Wolanski QC (1994) (QC-2019)

Tom Blackburn SC (1988) (SC Australia - 2003)

Jane Phillips (1989)

Alexandra Marzec (1990)

David Sherborne (1992) A

Jonathan Barnes (1999) A

Godwin Busuttil (1994) A

Jacob Dean (1995) A

Adam Speker (1999) A

Aidan Eardley (2002)

Richard Munden (2003) A

David Hirst (2003) A

Victoria Simon-Shore (2005) A

Victoria Jolliffe (2005) A

Kate Wilson (2005)

Jonathan Scherbel-Ball (2010)

Felicity McMahon (2008) A

Julian Santos (2008) A

Chloe Strong (2010) A

Gervase de Wilde (2012) A

Greg Callus (2012) A

Clara Hamer (2013)

John Stables (2014)

Aled Maclean-Jones (2016)

Ben Gallop (2017)

Ben Hamer (2017)

Lily Walker-Parr (2018)

Patrick Milmo QC (1962) (QC-1985) *

Patrick McCafferty (2008) (QC-2018)*

Professor Tony Smith (1992)*

Yuli Takatsuki (2007) *

* Associate member A Direct/Public Access