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Beth is a specialist in media and employment, equality and discrimination law.

She regularly appears as sole counsel in the High Court as well as in the County Court, the Employment Tribunal and the Employment Appeal Tribunal. Her clients include national newspapers, production companies, campaigning groups, major businesses, financial services institutions, religious organisations and private individuals. She provides re-publication advice for The Telegraph and The Sun and for NGOs and campaigning groups. Her media expertise also spans commercial media disputes.

Beth is a member of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s Preferred Panel of Counsel (C Panel).

Beth was shortlisted for Advocate’s Young Pro Bono Barrister of the year in 2018 for her judicial review work.  She is a member of the Right to Care Panel, operated by Mencap, providing advice and representation to disabled people and their families in disability-related judicial review and human rights claims. In 2019, the panel won the Advocate award for Pro Bono Team of the Year.

Before coming to the Bar, Beth worked in the Civil Service and in the NGO sector in a variety of roles which spanned policy-making, law, strategic litigation and senior management.

Media and Information Law

Beth’s practice spans defamation, privacy, data protection, confidence, contempt and copyright law and harassment, and reporting restrictions. 

Beth also has expertise in commercial media and sports law, including advising broadcasting and distribution companies on options purchases, and breach of contract and regulatory claims arising out of agreements between performers/sportsmen and women and their agents.

She is currently instructed as sole counsel by two defendants (a campaigning group and its CEO) resisting a claim brought by companies under the well-known Spearmint Rhino brand and nine performers for misuse of private information and breach of the GDPR, so far  successfully resisting applications for anonymity and an urgent trial ([2019] EWHC 2525), in ongoing proceedings which have attracted substantial media attention.

In April 2019, she delivered training on freedom of expression litigation for the International Senior Lawyers’ Partnership and the Media Institute of Southern Africa in Zimbabwe. She has been appointed by the Council of Europe to its panel of experts for Kosovo, and delivered training to members of the judiciary of the Western Balkans in Pristina, Kosovo in December 2019 (further events scheduled but cancelled due to coronavirus).

Beth provides pre-publication legal advice for the Sun, the Telegraph and Jewish News, and for NGOs and campaigning groups, and has successfully advised journalists on claims brought against them personally. 

Privacy, Confidence and Data Protection

  • H v Various: preventing the publication of commercially sensitive information and allegations of corruption during a procurement process on behalf of a group of companies worth £44m annually (March 2020).

  • JKL v VBN: for the Defendant in a trial listed for June 2020 in privacy/breach of confidence arising out of an allegation of rape against a celebrity (led by Geoffrey Robertson QC);

  • Lupu, Spearmint Rhino Companies and others v Rakoff, Not Buying It and others [2019] EWHC 2525: (unled) counsel for the first and second defendants in a reported case for misuse of private information and breach of the GDPR in which she resisted applications for an injunction, anonymised proceedings and an expedited trial successfully.
  • L v B, successful “court door” negotiations in respect of committal proceedings arising out of a claim for harassment and misuse of private information
  • A and B v C, for the successful claimants in a “revenge porn” claim in misuse of private information and defamation also brought against A’s former employer. negotiating a settlement agreement of £40,000, delivery up and undertakings.
  • B v Channel 4, for the claimants (a convicted criminal and his wife), successfully obtaining undertakings prior to the broadcast of a police documentary.
  • AW v HH, for the claimant in a commercial breach of confidence case brought by rival solicitors’ firms.
  • Advising Police in relation to applications for the deletion of data, records and caution.
  • D v Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police: judicial review arising out of the decision to delete a caution. 

Defamation

  • R v BT, for the successful Claimant in a Norwich Pharmacal application in harassment, privacy, libel and fraud.

  • Rochester v Ingham House: for the Defendant in proceedings in libel and malicious falsehood involving a former staff member and complaints to regulatory body; Beth successfully obtained relief from sanctions, resisted strike out (and struck out part of the Claimant’s case) and resisted the Claimant’s contended meanings in three reported judgments ([2018] EWHC 3599; [2019] EWHC 464 (QB); [2019] EWHC 847 (QB).

  • Thandi v Basra and Gill (ongoing) for the Defendants in this libel claim involving a Sikh temple (trial of preliminary issue, including evidence in respect of innuendo, in February 2020, judgment pending).

  • X v County Council, for the Defendant in a libel, privacy and misfeasance claim in respect of a former child in care.

  • Balint v Downham and others, for the successful defendants (a vicar and two congregants), in obtaining summary judgment in a claim in slander.

  • Hayden v Linehan, for the successful Defendant, a television writer, in a claim in libel, harassment and misuse of private information relating to the Gender Recognition Act 2004.

  • K v M, for the Defendant successfully settling a claim on the basis of an honest opinion defence, regarding a claim brought by a solicitor over a review.

  • KS v T, for the Claimant successfully obtaining an offer of amends.

International

  • Advice on media regulation reform in line with the Constitution for civil society organisations in Zimbabwe.

  • Eighteen Degrees North: advice (with Lord Gifford QC) on Reynolds/public interest defences relating to the prospective broadcast of a documentary in Jamaica;

  • Beth is the co-author (with Heather Rogers QC) of two reports into hate speech, hate crime and freedom of expression in Myanmar.

  • Advice (with Heather Rogers QC) to Dr Stella Nyanzi a Ugandan activist sentenced for insulting the president in graphic poems published on Facebook, pursuant to her successful appeal in February 2020.

Commercial

  • In the matter of X Production Company, advice on image rights, data protection, last matching rights and other contractual matters relating to a popular prime-time comedian and an international production company.

  • SBM v TN, contractual dispute involving issues of reputational damage and confidential information between an international sports player and his former agent.

  • A v N, a multi-million pound claim arising out of the Commercial Agents regulations concerning an international broadcasting company (led by William McCormick QC).

  • Advice and representation in film finance litigation, including insolvency litigation, arising out of the failure to distribute funds pursuant to a distribution agreement

Employment Law

Beth acts for both claimants and respondents in the full range of employment matters, and has also appeared in the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

Her current and recent instructions include

  • S v I (trial in March 2020, part heard), for the Respondent, the service company of a solicitors’ firm, for a claim in sex and race discrimination and harassment.

  • A v A Bank: for the Claimant, a former director of a major financial services institution in a discrimination and whistleblowing detriments claim (settled on eve of trial for £1m).

  • Sood v British Airways, for the successful Claimant in a four-day trial for unfair dismissal relating to sick leave of over 100 days a year for 19 years with no underlying cause.

  • T and Ors v CS, for the successful Claimants in a redundancy/TUPE claim brought by a large number of non-English speaking security staff.

  • B v TFL, an equal pay claim (ongoing).

  • K v R, Employment Appeal Tribunal, for the Claimant, a disabled person, in a successful appeal.

  • Essop v Home Office: “junior junior” instructions on behalf of the Government (indirect discrimination in recruitment and promotion procedures, involving a large number of claimants) as remitted to the Employment Tribunal following judgment in the Supreme Court.

Beth has a particular interest and expertise in issues where employment law engages privacy, reputation and freedom of expression.

Her recent work in this area includes:

  • Newman v Jabac, for the Respondent, a private bank, obtaining a stay on the eve of a seven day trial in a claim for disability discrimination and whistleblowing pending High Court determination of a related claim in breach of confidence.

  • SJ v T: for the Claimant in a claim involving harassment and unlawful surveillance by her former employer;

  • Advising on and obtaining reporting restrictions in the Employment Tribunal; and advising as to the means of preventing and handling publication of material outwith reporting restrictions orders;

  • X v Local Authority, advising as to the implications under FOIA of a settlement prior to an Employment Tribunal of the Claimant’s legal costs only.

  • Advising as to the use of subject access requests in employment law claims, and as to breaches of the Data Protection Act 2018/GDPR as a head of damage in an employment tribunal claim.