UK Bar: Defamation & Privacy 2019

In this chapter we highlight 17 silks and 17 juniors for their leading expertise in advising and litigating on behalf of high-profile clients in a range of matters, including libel claims, breach of privacy and confidentiality issues.

Most Highly Regarded
Silks
1. Desmond Browne QC  5RB 
2. Adrienne Page QC  5RB 
3. James Price QC  5RB 
4. Gavin Millar QC  Matrix Chambers 
Juniors
1. Sara Mansoori  Matrix Chambers 
2. Alexandra Marzec  5RB 
3. David Sherborne  5RB

Silks

5RB stands out for its top-tier offering in the defamation and privacy space, and sees six silks highlighted here.
Desmond Browne QC is “a leading practitioner in this field” and “an absolutely consummate advocate at the top of his game”, according to peers. They add, “He stands out as one of the senior figures of the libel world.”
Adrienne Page QC is a “standout” figure at the Bar who “gives clear and thorough advice and is known for leaving no stone unturned”.
James Price QC is highlighted for his “particular expertise in acting for high-net-worth claimants”. He is “very experienced” with “a rigorous eye for detail”.
Justin Rushbrooke QC is well recognised for his extensive experience handling libel claims, disclosure orders and freezing injunctions across the media and entertainment sphere. He wins high praise from sources who say, “He doesn’t back down in contentious cases.”

Matrix Chambers performs well with six silks recognised this year.
Gavin Millar QC is highlighted as “a confident advocate who specialises in defendant freedom of expression cases”, comment peers. They add: “He gives clear and robust advice to clients and instils confidence as a result.”
Hugh Tomlinson QC wins praise for his impressive claimant-focused practice, which encompasses defamation and freedom of information matters. Sources say Tomlinson is “a trailblazer with encyclopaedic knowledge and unparalleled experience”.
Anthony Hudson QC impresses market respondents with his top-tier media and information law practice, where he stands out for his expert handling of large-scale litigation.
Antony White QC is “a senior name” at the UK Bar who is recognised as “an information and data protection expert with particular expertise in acting for online and tech companies”.

At Ely Place Chambers, William McCormick QC is “a phenomenal advocate” who “gives thoughtful advice” and is “a good tactician”, say peers. They praise his impressive experience in defamation and privacy claims across the media and entertainment industry.

Andrew Caldecott QC at One Brick Court is “a star performer who remains the go-to QC for many media organisations involved in major litigation” according to peers. He is highlighted as “a great tactician and compelling advocate”.

At 39 Essex Chambers, Richard Spearman QC enjoys a great reputation among peers and clients who consider him “a cerebral barrister with particular expertise in privacy injunctions”. 

Juniors

5RB sees nine juniors recognised this year for their excellence in the field.
Alexandra Marzec has “enormous experience” representing clients in libel and privacy matters. Peers say she “gives effective and measured advice, and rarely misjudges the realities of her case”.
David Sherborne is “a top claimant lawyer with particular expertise in privacy litigation”. Sources praise his “phenomenal practice” and “stellar client list”.
Jacob Dean is recognised as “a clever advocate” with “sound legal judgement” and is praised for his superb work on privacy, data protection and defamation claims.
Adam Speker “gives clear and robust advice” to clients, whom he regularly represents on privacy, defamation and harassment matters across the media and communications space.
Jonathan Barnes focuses his practice on media and entertainment law, where he enjoys a strong reputation for his impressive claimant-side work and “significant successes” on complex privacy and confidentiality claims.  
Greg Callus is “a hard-working and fluent advocate” who stands out for his “excellent legal knowledge” when it comes to defamation and confidentiality proceedings.  

Matrix Chambers sees five juniors listed in this chapter.
Sara Mansoori is recognised as a specialist in defamation and privacy work including harassment and freedom of information cases. Sources say she is “well liked by clients who find her clear and sensible advice very helpful”.
Lorna Skinner is well regarded by peers who consider her “a calm and assured lawyer who cultivates confidence in clients through sensible advice”.

At One Brick Court, Jane Phillips is “a libel specialist with significant experience” in the field. She stands out for her “excellent judgement” and “strong knowledge of the law and practice”.
Kate Wilson is “thorough, clever, thoughtful and delightful to work with” say peers who note she is “hugely clever”, “masters the details” and “is not afraid to take on difficult cases”.
Aidan Eardley “has it all” say sources, who commend his “fierce intellect” and “succinct advocacy”. One peer effuses: “He is the best of the juniors by a distance.”

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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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