Heather Rogers QC


Year of Silk


Year of Call

Heather Rogers QC

Heather Rogers QC specialises in media law, human rights and public law. She has been involved in many key cases in defamation and privacy/breach of confidence, from the “Spycatcher” litigation [1990] 1 AC 109 HL (breach of confidence in relation to information about the security services), through the Esther Rantzen and Elton John appeals [1994] QB 674 and [1997] QB 586 CA (limiting jury awards of damages in defamation cases) to Flood v Times Newspapers (the “Reynolds” defence) in the Supreme Court [2012] UKSC 11, [2012] 2 AC 273].  She represents both claimants and defendants, including press and broadcast media. She has appeared in many libel trials including Neil Hamilton v Mohamed Al Fayed and David Irving v Penguin Books Ltd (for the defendant) and George Galloway MP v Telegraph Group and Roman Polanski v Condé Nast (for the claimant).


  • Co-author of “Duncan & Neill on Defamation” (3rd edition) (LexisNexis Butterworths 2009)
  • Contributor to “Cases That Changed Our Lives” (LexisNexis 2010)
  • “The Media and Human Rights”:  JUSTICE Journal, volume 6, No 2 (2009)
  • “Privacy: A Tort By Any Other Name” (with Fiona Campbell): Communications Lawyer (November 2008); Volume 26, No 1
  • “Privacy and expression: Convention rights and interim injunctions” (with Hugh Tomlinson QC) EHRLR 'Privacy Issue' (2003)
  • “Privacy injunctions: reviewing the approach” (with Hugh Tomlinson QC) NLJ 818 (2003)
  • “Privacy and the Media: The Developing Law” (2002) (contributor) Matrix Media & Information Group
  • “Yearbook of Media and Entertainment Law” (contributor) 1995 to 2002 Oxford University Press
  • "Glasnost in Britain" (contributor) Macmillan (1989)
  • “Changing Contempt of Court” (with Andrew Nicol) NCCL (1981)

Media and Defamation Law

Heather’s recent defamation cases include Peter Cruddas v Times Newspapers Limited (and others); the former Conservative Party Treasurer sued for libel and malicious falsehood (see the judgment of the Court of Appeal here; the decision on the recusal application here; and the judgment at trial here). In 2012, she was instructed for Times Newspapers Limited in its successful appeal to the Supreme Court in Flood v Times Newspapers [2012] UKSC 11, [2012] 2 AC 273]. Other defamation cases include; in the Court of Appeal Hayden v Charlton [2011] EWCA Civ 791 (fresh evidence), Khader v Aziz [2011] EMLR 2 (abuse of process) and British Chiropractic Association v Singh [2011] 1 WLR 133 (comment defence); and at first instance Adelson v Anderson [2011] EWHC 2497 (QB) (Tugendhat J) (striking out defamation claim). In the Privy Council, she appeared in Harper v Seaga [2009] 1 AC 1 (whether speech made by politician at public meeting was protected by qualified privilege).

Heather appeared (with Conor McCarthy) appeared in the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) seeking to challenge a novel reporting direction under the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 in In re ITN News Ltd and others (Willis and others intervening)  [2013] EWCA Crim 773  [2014] 1 WLR 199.  Previously, she had appeared in privacy appeals in Hutcheson (formerly KGM) v News Group Newspapers [2011] EWCA Civ 808 and Ntuli v Donald [2011] 1 WLR 294 CA.  She also appeared for the publishers of Private Eye in resisting an application for a privacy injunction in  Michael Napier & Irwin Mitchell v Pressdram Limited [2010] 1 WLR 934 CA; also for the BBC in BKM Limited v BBC [2009] EWHC 3151 (Ch).

In 2012, R (Guardian News & Media) v City of Westminster Magistrates Court [LINK TO 2012 EWCA Civ 420, [2013] QB 618], a key decision assisting the media to obtain access to documents relied on in court, Heather made written submission on behalf of the intervener (Article 19)

In 2011, she defended Headline Publishing Group at trial on a number of claims arising out of a publishing contract: Smith v Headline [2011] EWHC 2106 (Ch). Other cases include Inner West London Assistant Deputy Coroner v Channel 4 Television Corpn [2008] 1 WLR 945 (production order relating to journalistic information).

Heather regularly speaks at professional conferences on media law issues. In October 2013, she participated in the Conference “Media Law and Policy in the Internet Age” at Hong Kong University.

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