The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon
Living Wage
Work 020 7551 7777
Fax 020 7551 7800

Rupert Earle

Work 020 7551 7609
Bates Wells

Work Department

Media disputes; public and regulatory.


Public law: numerous cases for the Advertising Standards Authority, including Sainsburys v ASA 2014; successful challenge to Transport for London’s ban on advertising for North Cyprus. Defamation: defending numerous libel actions for Times Newspapers and other publishers, including Cruddas v Calvert, CA 2015; Takenaka v Frankl, first anonymous email libel tracing action to reach trial; disclosure actions against Facebook, Twitter, BT, etc; libel action for Prince Nayef against The Independent. Freedom of information: several cases for journalists, including MPs additional cost allowances case against House of Commons and Kennedy v Charity Commission (Supreme Court 2014). Broadcasting: licensing disputes with Ofcom.


Trained Theodore Goddard; qualified 1988; partner Theodore Goddard/Addleshaw Goddard 1997-2007; partner Bates Wells Braithwaite 2007 to date.


Winchester; Trinity College, Cambridge (BA History).


Pottery; strange places.

London: Public sector

Administrative and public law

Within: Administrative and public law

Melanie Carter leads the rapidly growing team at Bates Wells, which has a considerable breadth of expertise across the field of administrative and public law. Of particular note is the team’s experience with public law in the third sector, with Carter and Emma Dowden-Teale advising a number of household names on statutory inquiries and engagements with the Charity Commission. The firm has an established inquiries practice, with Claire Whittle advising a number of non-departmental public bodies on their engagements with the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. The team often appears on both sides of judicial review challenges, and regular defence instructions are received by regulatory bodies such as the Advertising Standards Authority; Rupert Earle is currently defending this client against a challenge to its ruling on misleading advertising of broadband technology. The team's extensive list of claimant work includes applications against the NHS and the British Standards Institute and other regulators in the charity, education and healthcare sectors. Notable additions to the team include a number of public law practitioners from Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP, DAC Beachcroft LLP and Hogan Lovells International LLP.

[back to top]

London: Risk advisory

Reputation management

Within: Reputation management

Bates Wells' defamation practice represents clients on both sides of reputation disputes. Campaigning groups and student unions are on the firm's client roster as are national politicians and foreign royalty. Department head Rupert Earle has worked on a number of ground-breaking cases throughout his career and senior associate Alex de Jongh focuses his practice on advising campaigning groups on the defamatory risks in their material. The firm also boasts social media expertise and regularly undertakes defamation cases involving online harassment, data protection and freedom of information.

[back to top]

London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Brand management

Within: Leading individuals

Rupert Earle - Bates Wells

Within: Brand management

Bates Wells' wide-ranging expertise spans advising on advertising regulatory issues, prize draws and promotions, copy clearance, and privacy and data protection matters, and it is 'one of the few firms' with a 'tremendous amount of expertise in the third sector'. Rupert Earle, a 'well-respected figure in the advertising and marketing space', leads the practice, which also includes Mathew Healey, who was promoted to partner in April 2019 as head of trade marks, covering portfolio management, registration and enforcement matters in the UK and internationally. Senior associate Catharina Waller assists with international re-branding programmes and soft IP issues.

[back to top]

Media and entertainment (including media finance)

Within: Leading individuals

Rupert Earle (Advertising and marketing) - Bates Wells

Within: Media and entertainment (including media finance)

Bates Wells has 'strength-in-depth and commercial nous combined with the highest standards of legal and technical know-how'. The team is noted for its 'extensive' advertising and marketing expertise, where Rupert Earle is regularly instructed by the Advertising Standards Authority, as well as the Committee of Advertising Practice, the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice and the Direct Marketing Association. The team is also experienced in challenging regulators and defending regulatory investigations and prosecutions. Data protection, IP, privacy and freedom of information work are also notable strengths of the team. Elsewhere, the firm is also home to a dedicated culture and creative team, where Erica Crump is recommended. Here, the team is instructed by number of cultural and arts organisations on commercial, contracts, IP, charity and governance matters.

[back to top]

Back to index

Legal Developments in London

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to