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UK Bar: Media & Entertainment 2017

Our media and entertainment section covers an array of high-profile and complex work. A substantial amount of work involves intellectual property issues involving prominent film, TV, music and publishing clients. Barristers issues involving defamation as well as general commercial litigation and privacy and data protection claims involving the media and entertainment sector.


Two sets of chambers stand out at the top of our research this year. MATRIX CHAMBERS secures eight listings, with notable strength at both silk and junior levels. Its practitioners are particularly known for their expertise in defamation, privacy and data protection.
Hugh Tomlinson QC is highlighted by peers as the “go-to privacy guru” for his work representing claimants in media litigation. He has substantial experience assisting clients with privacy injunctions and is also notable for numerous representations of clients in phone-hacking cases.
Antony White QC is regularly seen by sources who praise him for his expertise in defamation and privacy cases. He has been involved in recent applications for claimants concerning phone-hacking claims at The Sun newspaper.
Guy Vassall-Adams QC is an outstanding lawyer who focuses his practice on defamation, privacy and harassment cases, with regular representations for media clients. Of late, he acted for NGN in litigation concerning voicemail interception.
Recent silk Anthony Hudson QC is a standout advocate who is well known for his handling of complex defamation cases and other privacy matters.
The “absolutely superb” Alex Bailin QC frequently advises media entities including the BBC, Channel 4 and various newspapers in relation to matters involving freedom of speech, privacy and confidentiality.
Gavin Millar QC is noted for his high-quality representations in defamation and privacy matters. He predominantly acts for journalists and media entities.

BLACKSTONE CHAMBERS also maintains its position as a leading player in the market. This year 11 of its barristers are listed.
Ian Mill QC continues to be regarded as one of the very best media silks practising. He is picked out by one impressed source for his “firm, clear and confident advice and superb advocacy skills”, with his “forensic investigation of the facts and evidence” also highlighted.
Pushpinder Saini QC is an excellent practitioner who frequently acts for prominent media entities including record companies and music artists on cases involving copyright.
Lord David Pannick QC’s wide-ranging practice includes various media and entertainment representations for major clients. He is particularly well regarded for his exceptional skill as an advocate.
Robert Howe QC is described by sources as “one of the top barristers in the area”. His expertise covers intellectual property and contractual issues and he frequently represents media entities and prominent recording artists.
Robert Englehart QC is noted for his expertise on commercial matters in the media industry. With over 45 years practising as a barrister and over 30 years as a silk, he is one of the most experienced figures in the field.
Kate Gallafent QC is highlighted by fellow barristers as a “very smart” for her work in data protection and privacy matters.

Intellectual property specialist 8 NEW SQUARE continues to boast a strong roster of listed lawyers in our research. This year seven practitioners are included.
Daniel Alexander QC remains one of the leading IP practitioners in the market and he handles a range of work for broadcasters and other copyright holders.
John Baldwin QC offers some 40 years’ experience in media and entertainment law and has represented a number of major artists and writers in the music and publishing industries respectively.
Charlotte May QC is a junior silk who possesses extensive expertise in copyright and trademark disputes involving the media industry. He has represented a number of prominent clients including the BBC, Discovery and Endemol.
The “really excellent” Richard Meade QC handles a wide range of complex disputes concerning the music business.

5RB is a specialist media and entertainment set with around 30 barristers who focus exclusively on work in the area. Six members are listed in this edition, including two QCs.
Joint head of chambers Desmond Browne QC is “absolutely great” according to impressed peers who highlight his expertise in defamation as a particular strength. He is particularly known for acting for and against leading newspapers.
Justin Rushbrooke QC comes “highly recommended” for his defamation work, displaying “really good judgement” in cases, say sources.

Three notable barristers from 1 BRICK COURT are also recognised.
The “extremely smart” Andrew Caldecott QC stands out as the most-nominated barrister at the set in this year’s research. He has more than 20 years of experience as a silk and has particular expertise in privacy matters.
New silk Catrin Evans QC is another well-regarded barrister at 1 Brick Court. She focuses her practice on privacy and defamation matters, including issues concerning media reporting restrictions.
Sarah Palin is an experienced junior in media matters, with deep expertise in newspaper and broadcasting cases.

Richard Spearman QC of 39 ESSEX CHAMBERS brings nearly 40 years’ experience, including 20 as a silk, to his practice, which encompasses a range of media work. Sources highlight him as “very bright and extremely good”.


Two of MATRIX CHAMBERS’ leading juniors are recognised in this practice area.
Standout junior Lorna Skinner focuses her practice on defamation, privacy and freedom of expression cases. She was part of the team acting for PJS in the prominent and successful recent Supreme Court appeal against News Group Newspapers, concerning PJS’s extramarital relations.
Sara Mansoori has nearly 20 years’ experience as a junior, acting for claimants and defendant in privacy, defamation and IP claims.

At 5RB, two further juniors are listed.
“Really good” senior junior Adam Speker handles a range of matters relating to reputation management and defamation, including recently appearing for PJS in the Supreme Court Case against News Group Newspapers.
Alexandra Marzec leaves sources “really impressed” for her expertise in privacy and defamation claims involving the media industry. She is particularly well known for her work in relation to phone-hacking cases.

At BLACKSTONE CHAMBERS, Mark Vinall stands out as one of the leading juniors in this year’s research. He focuses his practice on the representation of artists as well as record, TV and film companies in copyright, royalty and contractual disputes.

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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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W11 1QQ, UK