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UK Bar: Defamation & Privacy 2017

A new section in this year’s edition, the defamation and privacy chapter focuses on barristers with expertise either assisting clients, who are often high-profile individuals, with obtaining damages or securing injunctions, or defending media entities, companies or individual defendants in relation to privacy or libel claims. We list 26 of the leading counsel in this area.


Two sets stand out in the research – 5RB contributes 13 listed barristers, while Matrix Chambers features eight.

5RB’s reputation as a leading set for defamation and privacy matters is borne out in our research this year. The 13 listed members of chambers combined to receive the most nominations of any set, demonstrating the breadth, depth and overall strength of its roster.
The “excellent” Justin Rushbrooke QC is praised by one peer for his “lovely manner in court”. He has more than 20 years’ experience in the area, including a slew of notable representations in prominent defamation cases.
Desmond Browne QC is highly recommended for his representation of prominent media entities, including newspapers. He has also secured a number of substantial awards for claimants in libel cases.
Matthew Nicklin QC is joint head of chambers, having accrued 20 years of experience at the set. He is best known for his work on behalf of claimants in privacy claims.

MATRIX CHAMBERS is the second set to stand apart from the competition in the area this year. Four QCs are highlighted for their exceptional abilities in privacy and defamation.
Guy Vassall-Adams QC is popular with peers and clients alike for his “crystal-clear advice and industrious nature” as well as his ability to be “calm under pressure”. He emerges from this year’s research as one of the leading barristers in the area.
Hugh Tomlinson QC is another prominent figure at the set for defamation and privacy matters. He recently acted for an individual in a prominent Northern Ireland Court of Appeal case against Facebook, concerning alleged misuse of private information.
Anthony Hudson QC is a standout practitioner noted for his work in the privacy area as well as on defamation matters.
Gavin Millar QC boasts more than 15 years’ experience as a silk and is frequently regarded as among the best defamation lawyers at the Bar.

1 BRICK COURT garners listings for four excellent barristers in this edition, including two QCs.
Catrin Evans QC’s expertise covers data privacy in addition to more traditional libel and privacy work. She stands out as one of the most sought-after junior silks in the area.
Andrew Caldecott QC is praised as “unquestionably at the top of his game” by another leading barrister. His practice covers the full range of libel, defamation and privacy matters.

At 39 ESSEX CHAMBERS, Richard Spearman QC is a consensus selection from market sources for his expertise in defamation matters.


5RB’s standout expertise also extend to its juniors.
Adam Speker is praised by a number of peers for his skilful representation of clients in privacy and defamation cases. He has appeared before both the Supreme Court and the Privy Council.
Alexandra Marzec is a recommended junior in this year’s research with her work in misuse of private information and libel cases among her many areas of expertise.

Four juniors from MATRIX CHAMBERS are also recommended in this year’s edition.
Senior junior Sara Mansoori continues to be regarded as a leading junior in the area. She counts a number of phone-hacking cases among her notable representations, acting for the claimant group.
Lorna Skinner’s practice encompasses the full range of information law, with privacy and defamation matters a major component. She is noted for her representation of media entities as well as public authorities.

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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