Set Profile > 5RB > London, England

Chambers of Desmond Browne QC and Justin Rushbrooke QC
5RB
5 GRAY'S INN SQUARE
LONDON
WC1R 5AH
England

London Bar > Defamation and privacy Tier 1

The ‘first port of call for any defamation, privacy or data protection matter’,  5RB 's members represent high-profile clients on leading cases in the practice area. In Johnny Depp v News Group Newspapers, Adam Wolanski QC and Clara Hamer were part of the team that successfully defended NGN; Depp was refused permission to appeal by the Court of Appeal. Justin Rushbrooke QC and Jane Phillips acted for the claimant in Duchess of Sussex v Associated Newspapers, obtaining  summary judgment against the Associated Newspapers for its misuse of a letter the Duchess sent to her father. In WM Morrison Supermarkets plc v Various Claimants, Jonathan Barnes QC represented the claimants before the Supreme Court appeal concerning the laws governing data protection and vicarious liability in the event of a mass data breach. In addition, Adrienne Page QC represented the claimant in the trial of liability and the continuing defamation case Lachaux v Independent Print Ltd & Evening Standard Ltd, which went to the Supreme Court in 2019 on the definition of "serious harm".

Rising stars

Ben Gallop - 5RBBen is a rising star at the Bar. He is hard working, intelligent; understands that practical advice is as important as a knowledge of the law.
Ranked: Tier 1
John Stables - 5RBJohn has an impressive depth of knowledge. He provides clear advice to clients, is collaborative and approachable.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Silks

Ranked: Tier 1
Andrew Caldecott QC - 5RBHe contributes formidable intellectual capability and persuasive advocacy.
Ranked: Tier 1
Adrienne Page QC - 5RBShe has a good sense of judgement and is meticulous.
Ranked: Tier 1
Ranked: Tier 2
Adam Wolanski QC - 5RBHe has a fantastic breadth of media law expertise and well as experience. His knowledge of the media law is second-to-none and his easy and listening manner is a winner for clients.
Ranked: Tier 2
Jonathan Barnes QC - 5RBGets to the heart of a matter very quickly and what is necessary to present the best case. Excellent before a judge.
Ranked: Tier 3
William Bennett QC - 5RBWilliam's courtroom, and particularly, his trial experience is unrivaled at the media Bar. He can very quickly separate the good points from the superfluous, and can invariably predict the judicial response to an issue.
Ranked: Tier 3
Ranked: Tier 3

2020 Silks

Adam Speker QC - 5RBAdam is always responsive and friendly, and provides excellent advice. He is a go-to junior silk in all areas of media law.

Leading Juniors

Jacob Dean - 5RBJacob is fantastic to work with. He is extremely bright, very responsive and considers problems from every angle. He is diligent and has a forensic eye for detail. He is my go-to Senior Junior.
Ranked: Tier 1
Aidan Eardley - 5RBAidan is extremely clever, conscientious and responsive. He always exudes a calm approach and is a highly effective advocate who judges clearly trust.
Ranked: Tier 1
Clara Hamer - 5RBShe is extremely bright, able to offer practical advice and hugely hard working. She is already one of the best juniors at the media Bar.
Ranked: Tier 1
Jane Phillips - 5RBShe has as excellent in-depth knowledge and experience which is used with a pragmatic attitude. A pleasure to work with.
Ranked: Tier 1
Ranked: Tier 1
Kate Wilson - 5RBKate is invariably a decisive, steady and calming influence through the challenges of high profile media proceedings. Whilst extremely knowledgeable, she is also highly respectful of all members of the team and you know she will have your back at all times. Absolute class act and fun to work with.
Ranked: Tier 1
Ranked: Tier 2
Richard Munden - 5RBAbsolutely top junior - both on legal issues and strategy.
Ranked: Tier 2
Jonathan Scherbel-Ball - 5RBVery tenacious, willing to work extremely hard. Very knowledgeable. Receives instructions from top media clients.
Ranked: Tier 2
Ranked: Tier 3
Ranked: Tier 3
Ranked: Tier 3
Victoria Jolliffe - 5RBVictoria provides careful advice on the fine detail of a case, but she is also great at strategy and assessing the big picture.
Ranked: Tier 3
Julian Santos - 5RBVery hard working, knowledgeable and user friendly.
Ranked: Tier 3
Chloe Strong - 5RBChloe has a preeminent understanding of the pitfalls in relation to both defamation and privacy. She has accumulated much experience in her time in practice; she is a master of detail and quite remarkably assiduous. She gives her cases all she's got.
Ranked: Tier 3
Felicity McMahon - 5RBIncredible attention to detail. Always willing to go the extra yard. Excellent communicator and superb knowledge of the law.
Ranked: Tier 4
Victoria Simon-Shore - 5RBA very smooth advocate in court; works extremely well with judges and delivers the best outcome for clients.
Ranked: Tier 4
Ranked: Tier 4

Testimonials

Set

‘5RB is at the top of the media law bar. They are highly specialised, and always have counsel available.’

‘5RB is excellent. Amazing strength in depth. Without doubt the go-to set for defamation and privacy work but also for any case in the media and communications list.’

‘Definitely, the leading media and communications set. Just miles above the others. ‘

‘Unquestionably the top defamation set .’

‘5RB is a fantastic set with some of the finest legal minds. They are at the forefront of the industry and continue to impress across all areas.’

Clerking

‘The 5RB clerks are absolutely stellar – responsive, friendly, knowledgeable. ‘

‘Very strong. Andrew Love, Jamie Clack, Georgina Gills and Olivia Smith are all brilliant.’

‘Antony Braeger is very attentive and quick to respond.’

‘Andrew Love is the best head clerk that I have ever come across. Jamie Clack and Antony Braeger are very effective and the whole team is efficient and their speed of response is second to none.’

‘The clerks at 5RB are commercially minded, attentive, and never fail to deliver an excellent service.’

London Bar > Data protection Tier 2

Without doubt the “go-to” set for cases in the media and communications list’, 5RB has ‘firmly established itself as a critical port of call for the most complex and high profile defamation and data protection advice’. Jonathan Barnes QC - a 2021 Silk appointment - recently acted for various claimants in the Supreme Court against Morrisons, concerning the issue of vicarous liability after an internal auditor published the company's payroll records online. Jonathan Scherbel-Ball recently acted for Google and was successful in striking out a claim against it that related to alleged data protection breaches relating to international data transfers. Justin Rushbrooke QC, who is ‘highly intellectual in his approach’, acted for the Duchess of Sussex in her privacy, copyright and data protection claim against the Mail on Sunday.

Leading Silks

Ranked: Tier 1
Justin Rushbrooke QC - 5RBJustin is razor-sharp but can also make clients feel relaxed and confident they are in good hands.
Ranked: Tier 2

2020 Silks

Adam Speker QC - 5RBAdam is friendly, responsive, and deeply knowledgeable. He provides thorough, quick, and very reliable advice.

2021 Silks

Jonathan Barnes QC - 5RBVery bright, hardworking and a pleasure to work with.

Leading Juniors

Ranked: Tier 1
Jonathan Scherbel-Ball - 5RBA tenacious lawyer, always ready to throw himself into a case and work his socks off.
Ranked: Tier 1
Jacob Dean - 5RBHe is extremely bright, very responsive and considers problems from every angle.
Ranked: Tier 3
Clara Hamer - 5RBClara gives very clear and well presented advice, which can be easily digested by clients.
Ranked: Tier 3
Felicity McMahon - 5RBTechnically brilliant and tactically astute beyond her years.
Ranked: Tier 3
Richard Munden - 5RBExcellent analytical and drafting skills, impressive experience for his seniority, good with clients and a pleasure to deal with all round.
Ranked: Tier 3
Kate Wilson - 5RBKate is invariably a decisive, steady and calming influence through the challenges of high-profile media proceedings.
Ranked: Tier 3

Testimonials

Set:

‘They are highly specialised, and always have counsel available’.

‘Definitely the leading media and communications set’.

‘5RB have great strength in all areas of media law including data protection’.

‘Unrivalled strength in depth’.

‘5RB is firmly established as a critical port of call for the most complex and high profile defamation and data protection advice’.

Clerking:

‘The 5RB clerks are absolutely stellar – responsive, friendly and knowledgeable’.

‘The team are all very personable and helpful’.

‘The clerks are the best and most approachable that I have worked with’.

‘The clerks are extremely responsive, helpful and friendly’.

‘Very accessible, and always have been’.

London Bar > Media and entertainment (including art and cultural property) Tier 3

Very well-known for media and entertainment matters’, the experienced barristers at 5RB advise high-profile celebrities and media outlets in high-profile cases such as Johnny Depp v News Group Newspapers. For example, recently, Chloe Strong successfully represented the television personality and former mixed martial artist Alex Reid in Reid v KM Media Ltd, which concerned an allegation contained in an article published on Kent Online that he had hacked the mobile telephone of his ex-wife, the TV personality Katie Price. In addition, Justin Rushbrooke QC acted for the claimant in Duchess of Sussex v Associated Newspapers.

Media and entertainment - Leading Juniors

Ranked: Tier 1
Ranked: Tier 4
Ranked: Tier 4
Chloe Strong - 5RBA brilliant defamation and privacy specialist.
Ranked: Tier 4

Testimonials

Set

‘5RB is very well known for media and entertainment matters. Its conference rooms are of a high standard and are accessible. When we needed an additional junior, they were quick to provide options at competitive rates.’

Clerking

‘The general service from the clerks was excellent. Andrew Love was extremely approachable and accessible. Jamie Clack provided excellent support.’

London Bar > Sport

Leading Juniors

Julian Santos - 5RBHe is exceptional at dealing with media and privacy issues arising in the context of sports litigation and arbitration, in particular sports disciplinary proceedings.
Ranked: Tier 4

 

5RB is widely acknowledged and respected as a leading set specialising in media, entertainment and information law, in particular, defamation, privacy, breach of confidence, malicious falsehood, contempt of court, data protection, reporting restrictions and harassment.

The set: There are presently 33 members, including eight silks and one Australian SC. 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, usually in reporting restrictions matters, and before domestic tribunals, such as OFCOM and the ICO. Chambers regularly receives instructions from overseas. Most members of 5RB undertake public access work. In addition to litigation, members of chambers provide pre-publication advice, usually to newspapers, book publishers, media organisations, public authorities and companies.

Types of work undertaken: 5RB enjoys a pre-eminent reputation in cases where there is or may be a clash between freedom of expression and other rights. Members of chambers specialise in defamation, malicious falsehood, privacy, breach of confidence, contempt of court, reporting restrictions, data protection, harassment, blackmail and other related causes of action. They are regularly called upon to advise in cases of publication online and on social media, particularly where the identity of a publisher is unknown, and to seek disclosure or apply for Norwich Pharmacal orders. Some members of chambers specialise across a broader spectrum of media, entertainment, IP and sports law, including copyright, passing off, broadcasting regulatory work and sports tribunal work. Recent cases include: PJS v News Group Newspapers (SC); Coventry v Lawrence (SC); OPO v MLA (SC); Pinar-Byrne v Linton (PC); Gulati and ors v MGN (Mirror phone-hacking) (CA); Weller v ANL (CA); Murray v ANL (CA); Lachaux v Independent Print Ltd; Sobrinho v Impresa; Yeo v Times Newspapers Ltd; The News Group phone-hacking litigation; AMC v KLJ; Lokhova v Tymula; Axon v Ministry of Defence; Burrell v Clifford; Theedom v Nourish Training; Cheshire West v Pickthall; Horan v Express Newspapers; A-G v Conde Nast; Al Alaoui v Elaph; National Farmers’ Union v Tiernan; Ashgar v Ahmad.

Members of the set write or contribute to the principal textbooks in their field: Gatley on Libel and Slander; Clerk and Lindsell on Torts; The Law of Privacy and the Media; Blackstone’s Guide to the Defamation Act; Borrie & Lowe; The Law of Contempt; Arlidge, Eady & Smith on Contempt; The Law of Photography and Digital Images and Clerk & Lindsell on Torts.

Frequently 5RB’s barristers are 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.

 

Department Name Email Telephone
Senior clerk LOVE, Andrew
Members of Chambers BROWNE QC, Desmond (1969) (QC 1990)
Members of Chambers RUSHBROOKE QC, Justin (1992) (QC 2013)
Members of Chambers PAGE QC, Adrienne (1974) (QC 1999)
Members of Chambers CALDECOTT QC, Andrew (1975) (QC 1999)
Members of Chambers MICHALOS QC, Christina (1994) (QC 2019)
Members of Chambers BENNETT QC, William (1994) (QC 2019)
Members of Chambers WOLANSKI QC, Adam (1995) (QC 2019)
Members of Chambers SPEKER QC, Adam (1999) (QC 2020)
Members of Chambers BLACKBURN SC, Tom (1988) (SC 2003 Australia)
Members of Chambers PHILLIPS, Jane (1989)
Members of Chambers MARZEC, Alexandra (1990)
Members of Chambers SHERBORNE, David (1992)
Members of Chambers BARNES, Jonathan (1999)
Members of Chambers BUSUTTIL, Godwin (1994)
Members of Chambers DEAN, Jacob (1995)
Members of Chambers EARDLEY, Aidan (2002)
Members of Chambers MUNDEN, Richard (2003)
Members of Chambers HIRST, David (2003)
Members of Chambers SIMON-SHORE, Victoria (2005)
Members of Chambers JOLLIFFE, Victoria (2005)
Members of Chambers WILSON, Kate (2005)
Members of Chambers SCHERBEL-BALL, Jonathan (2010)
Members of Chambers McMAHON, Felicity (2008)
Members of Chambers SANTOS, Julian (2008)
Members of Chambers STRONG, Chloe (2010)
Members of Chambers DE WILDE, Gervase (2012)
Members of Chambers CALLUS, Greg (2012)
Members of Chambers HAMER, Clara (2013)
Members of Chambers STABLES, John (2012)
Members of Chambers GALLOP, Ben (2017)
Members of Chambers HAMER, Ben (2017)
Members of Chambers WALKER-PARR, Lily (2018)
Members of Chambers BROWNE, Luke (2017)
Associate Member MILMO QC, Patrick (1962) (QC 1985)*
Associate Member MCCAFFERTY QC, Patrick (2005) (QC 2018)
Associate Member SMITH, Professor Tony (1992)
Photo Name Position Profile
 Jonathan Barnes  photo Jonathan Barnes Specialises in media and commercial litigation, including defamation, malicious falsehood, contract, agency,…
 William Bennett  photo William Bennett William originally practised in criminal law before moving into defamation in 1996,…
 Tom Blackburn SC  photo Tom Blackburn SC Defamation and Malicious Falsehood; Privacy and Confidence; Data Protection and Information Law;…
 Desmond Browne photo Desmond Browne Specialises in media law, privacy and defamation. Recent cases include: Berezovsky v…
 Luke Browne  photo Luke Browne Defamation and Malicious Falsehood; Privacy and Confidence; Data Protection and Information Law;…
 Godwin Busuttil  photo Godwin Busuttil Specialises in media work generally: defamation; malicious falsehood; privacy/confidence; data protection; contempt…
 Andrew Caldecott photo Andrew Caldecott Defamation and Malicious Falsehood; Privacy and Confidence; Data Protection and Information Law;…
 Greg Callus photo Greg Callus Defamation and Malicious Falsehood; Privacy and Confidence; Data Protection and Information Law;…
 Jacob Dean  photo Jacob Dean Jacob specialises in defamation and privacy, media and entertainment and sports law.…
 Aidan Eardley photo Aidan Eardley Defamation and Malicious Falsehood; Privacy and Confidence; Data Protection and Information Law;…
 Ben Gallop photo Ben Gallop Defamation and Malicious Falsehood; Privacy and Confidence; Data Protection and Information Law;…
 Clara Hamer photo Clara Hamer Defamation and Malicious Falsehood; Privacy and Confidence; Data Protection and Information Law;…
 Ben Hamer  photo Ben Hamer Defamation and Malicious Falsehood; Privacy and Confidence; Data Protection and Information Law;…
 David Hirst  photo David Hirst Areas of work include defamation, privacy, malicious falsehood, contempt, reporting restrictions, copyright,…
 Victoria Jolliffe  photo Victoria Jolliffe Specialises in defamation, privacy, malicious falsehood, harassment and other media related matters.…
 Alexandra Marzec  photo Alexandra Marzec Barrister dealing with libel and slander; misuse of private information and breach…
 Felicity McMahon  photo Felicity McMahon Media law barrister practising in defamation, privacy and confidence, data protection, harassment,…
 Christina AD Michalos  photo Christina AD Michalos Specialises in copyright, breach of confidence, privacy, passing off, trade marks and…
 Patrick Milmo photo Patrick Milmo Defamation, abuse of private information, breach of confidence, horse racing and professional…
 Richard Alexander John Munden  photo Richard Alexander John Munden Specialises in the areas of defamation, private and confidential information, harassment, data…
 Adrienne Page photo Adrienne Page Specialises in defamation, privacy and related media law generally. For recent cases…
 Jane Phillips photo Jane Phillips Defamation and Malicious Falsehood; Privacy and Confidence; Data Protection and Information Law;…
 Justin Charles Neil Rushbrooke photo Justin Charles Neil Rushbrooke Specialises in media and entertainment law, in particular libel (including corporate and…
 Julian Santos  photo Julian Santos Specialises in defamation, privacy, harassment and data protection. Provides pre-publication advice to…
 Jonathan Scherbel-Ball photo Jonathan Scherbel-Ball Defamation and Malicious Falsehood; Privacy and Confidence; Data Protection and Information Law;…
 David Alexander Sherborne  photo David Alexander Sherborne David is a media and entertainment barrister practising at 5RB who specialises…
 Victoria Simon-Shore  photo Victoria Simon-Shore Specialises in media law, including defamation, breach of confidence and privacy. For…
 Adam Samuel Edward Speker  photo Adam Samuel Edward Speker Specialises in defamation, privacy and media law; for recent and important cases…
 John Stables  photo John Stables Defamation and Malicious Falsehood; Privacy and Confidence; Data Protection and Information Law;…
 Chloe Strong  photo Chloe Strong Chloe practises across the range of Chambers’ specialties, with a particular focus…
 Lily Walker-Parr  photo Lily Walker-Parr Defamation and Malicious Falsehood; Privacy and Confidence; Data Protection and Information Law;…
 Kate Wilson photo Kate Wilson Defamation and Malicious Falsehood; Privacy and Confidence; Data Protection and Information Law;…
 Adam Wolanski  photo Adam Wolanski Specialises in media law, including defamation, breach of confidence/privacy and reporting restrictions.…
 Gervase de Wilde  photo Gervase de Wilde Gervase joined 5RB in October 2013 following the completion of his pupillage…