Media Law and Defamation


To give but a few examples of recent work:

  • Heather Rogers QC was part of the team acting for the defendants (later, the appellants) in the claim for libel and malicious falsehood brought by Peter Cruddas against the publishers of The Sunday Times and two of its journalists. See the judgment of the Court of Appeal from March 2015 here; the decision on the recusal application here; an interim appeal decision by the Court of Appeal here; and an interim decision on evidence admissible in relation to malicious falsehood here.

  • R (on the application of Catt and T) v Metropolitan Police Commissioner [2015] UKSC 9, [2015] 2 WLR 663Jude Bunting appeared for an intervener in the Supreme Court appeal in relation to the lawfulness of the retention of data under the Data Protection Act 1998 and the protection of Article 8 of the Convention (right to respect for private life). Press summary,  Judgment.

  • R (on the application of British Sky Broadcasting Limited) (Respondent) v The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis (Appellant) [2014] UKSC 17, [2014] AC 885: in March 2014, the Supreme Court gave judgment on the “production order” appeal, in which the police had asked for power to use secret evidence (“closed material”) in applications against the media. Caoilfhionn Gallagher  was Instructed by the Media Lawyers’ Association in its intervention in the Supreme Court. Press summary,  Judgment.

  • Jonathan Price appeared at trial and in the Court of Appeal for the defendant/appellant in the cricketing libel claim, brought in relation to publications on Twitter.  The appeal decision in Cairns v Modi is the latest leading case on the assessment of damages for libel: [2012] EWCA Civ 1382; [2013] 1 WLR 1015

  • Caoilfhionn Gallagher appeared for media organisations challenging the scope of reporting restrictions orders in the family proceedings: Surrey County Council v ME (and others) [2014] EWHC 489 (Fam), City and County of Swansea v. XY and others  [2014] EWHC (Fam) 212 and A Council v M (No. 3: Reporting Restrictions)  [2012] EWHC 2038 (Fam).

  • Jude Bunting appeared for one of the claimants in the proceedings in the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (December 2014) challenging the lawfulness of the covert collection and sharing of data by various security services: Amnesty International Ltd v Security Service (and others) [2014] UKIPTrib 13/77-H, [2015] HRLR 2

  • Heather Rogers QC appeared in the Court of Appeal, 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.

  • In R (Guardian News & Media) v City of Westminster Magistrates Court GNM succeeded in establishing an important guarantee for the media to obtain access to documents used in open court. Heather Rogers QC made written submissions for the intervener (Article 19).
  • Also in defamation: Heather Rogers QC was part of TNL’s team on the successful appeal to the Supreme Court in Flood v Times Newspapers (the “public interest” defence); Jonathan Price’s work on online defamation included the successful application to strike out a libel claim in McGrath v Dawkins.
  • In privacy, Heather Rogers QC represented media clients on privacy appeals in Hutcheson (formerly KGM) v MGN and Ntuli v Donald.
  • In open justice/reporting restrictions, Geoffrey Robertson QC  persuaded the Supreme Court to strike down anonymity orders (the “alphabet soup”) and acknowledge the importance of naming litigants.

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