Defamation and privacy in London Bar
The 'fantastic' 5RB continues to be the 'go-to set for media litigation', offering 'an extremely efficient service' and 'the top barristers in the field' when it comes to defamation and privacy issues. Members of chambers are regularly instructed by famous individuals, the media, corporate bodies and public authorities alike. In a recent example, Adrienne Page QC and Godwin Busuttil represented the claimant in Bruno Lachaux v Independent Print Ltd & Evening Standard Ltd, a Supreme Court appeal related to the serious harm requirement of the Defamation Act 2013. Before taking silk in 2020, Adam Speker QC appeared as sole counsel for the media appellants in Simon v Lyder & Another, a case concerning reference innuendoes in libel. David Sherborne and Kate Wilson have been part of the legal team acting for Johnny Depp in the Hollywood star's highly publicised libel action against News Group Newspapers, publishers of The Sun; the paper has been represented by Adam Wolanski QC and Clara Hamer. Rising stars Ben Gallop and John Stables bring great experience to the set and clients via their previous roles at the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) and Ofcom, respectively.
'A fantastic all-round set in privacy, defamation and GPDR', Matrix Chambers 'continues to get stronger' each year. The 'well-clerked' set is known to be the home of privacy injunctions, where Hugh Tomlinson QC usually appears for claimants, while Gavin Millar QC and Antony White QC are predominantly instructed by defendants. A recent example of such work is CG v Facebook Ireland Ltd in the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal, where Tomlinson QC and White QC assumed their usual roles. In another highlight, Catrin Evans QC acted for the BBC in seeking the imposition of a privacy reporting restriction related to Samira Ahmed's equal pay case.
Having 'significantly strengthened' its defamation and privacy offering thanks to 2019 arrivals David Glen and Hannah Ready from the now-dissolved One Brick Court, information rights hub 11KBW covers cases at the nexus of data privacy and defamation. A particular strong suit is disputes in the online environment: Glen defended Facebook against a defamation claim brought by consumer affairs journalist Martin Lewis about adverts bearing his endorsement and Anya Proops QC, one of the set's 'absolutely outstanding people', was instructed by the same client to challenge an ICO penalty in connection with the Cambridge Analytica affair.
Doughty Street Chambers 'offers a wide range of services' and has a 'deserved high reputation' for domestic as well as international media and information law issues. Recent work saw a number of chambers' members, who are known to 'offer in-depth analyses in their specialist areas', appear in landmark Supreme Court cases: Claire Overman and Jonathan Price were instructed for the claimant and the defendant, respectively, in social media defamation case Stocker v Stocker. Together with Heather Rogers QC, Price also acted for the Media Lawyers Association in Serafin v Malkiewicz, the first defence of publication on a matter of public interest case based on section 4 of the Defamation Act 2013.