Data protection in London Bar
As 'a leading set in the field with class-leading experience and strength in depth', 11KBW is 'a first choice for information law matters' and is 'pre-eminent in the data protection world'. Chambers' presence in complex and high-profile data work continues, fielding top-choice barristers for the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) and other public authorities alongside notable expertise handling private-sector work. The 'bright, responsive and hardworking' Anya Proops QC and Rupert Paines are defending Morrisons in the Supreme Court in a Data Protection Act 1998 claim arising from a data incident in which a rogue employee uploaded the payroll information of employees to the internet. Timothy Pitt-Payne QC remains a key silk in the arena, while Christopher Knight, David Glen and Robin Hopkins are dominant juniors. Glen and Hannah Ready joined following the closure of One Brick Court in 2019.
Leveraging its 'unparalleled knowledge of defamation and reputation management issues', 5RB is 'a go-to set for data privacy matters and a pre-eminent media set'. With particular strength at the junior level, recent highlights include Jonathan Barnes, who 'has no equal in the junior Bar', acting for various Morrisons employees in the Supreme Court against Morrisons relating to the unauthorised publication of their payroll information on the internet; Jonathan Scherbel-Ball acting for the defendant in Cooper v National Crime Agency relating to the processing of personal data following the claimant's dismissal; and Clara Hamer defending Bloomberg in ZXC v Bloomberg, a case analysing the media's right to disclose information about suspects in criminal investigations. Key silks include Andrew Caldecott QC and Justin Rushbrooke QC, and the 'completely unflappable' Aidan Eardley is regularly instructed by media organisations.
As 'a great chambers to work with' and 'a highly user-friendly media set', Matrix Chambers is a key name in the market for claims spanning data protection and media law, acting for media organisations, public authorities, companies and private individuals. According to clients, 'there is no one better in this field' than Antony White QC, who is acting for Google with Edward Craven in Lloyd v Google LLC, the first representative action for data protection damages relating to the setting of cookies on iPhone devices; 'leading expert' Hugh Tomlinson QC is acting for the claimants. White and Tomlinson also continue to represent the defendant and claimant respectively in NT1 & NT2 v Google LLC, the first right to be forgotten claim to be tried in the UK. The 'fantastically smart' Catrin Evans QC also represented the National Crime Agency in Cooper v National Crime Agency.
39 Essex Chambers utilises the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) expertise of Eleanor Grey QC and Rory Dunlop QC to act for a high volume of public sector clients. In a recent highlight, Dunlop acted for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in Maurizi v ICO and CPS in the Upper Tribunal relating to the CPS' refusal to disclose its emails with the Swedish Prosecution Authority regarding Julian Assange; he also represented the Department for Transport in an appeal considering how public authorities should consider documents with a mixture of environmental and non-environmental information.
Blackstone Chambers has continued its increasing focus on data protection and freedom of information law mandates with James Eadie QC, Thomas de la Mare QC, Kate Gallafent QC and Ravi Mehta as notable figures contributing to the set's data work. Mehta's recent work includes acting for the claimants in Big Brother Watch and ors. v United Kingdom in the European Court of Human Rights challenging the UK's legislation governing the surveillance of communications.
Monckton Chambers is 'a wonderful, adept and flexible set', which is 'a leading name for data protection and information rights'. 'Housing some of the best legal minds for data issues', key practitioners include Gerry Facenna QC, Julianne Kerr Morrison and the 'very thorough and able' Laura Elizabeth John. Facenna and Morrison are key names for the ICO and are currently acting for the regulator in the first two GDPR penalty decisions against British Airways and Marriott Hotels. John is representing the ICO as defendant against the Department of Transport in an appeal relating to whether information can be severed and dealt with partly under FOIA and partly under the Environmental Information Regulations.