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“Absolutely excellent, very conscientious, and focused on a strategic approach”

A rising star in Legal 500, Beth is a specialist in media and in employment law. She regularly appears in the High Court, as well as the County Court, the Employment and Employment Appeal Tribunal. Unusually for her year of call, she has appeared as sole counsel in heavyweight High Court applications and in trials of evidence and law, including Lupu, Spearmint Rhino and others v Not Buying It [2020] EMLR 6 and  Langley v GMB [2020] EWHC 3619 (QB), which set legal precedent. She has also advised internationally.

Beth’s clients include national newspapers, film and television production companies, campaigning groups, financial services institutions, NGOs, trades unions and private individuals. She regularly provides pre-publication advice to the Telegraph, the Sun and other publications.

Her expertise spans commercial and civil disputes related to her core practice areas, including commercial media disputes, claims involving the Commercial Agents Regulations, insolvency proceedings and professional negligence actions (in the employment context).

Beth is a member of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s Preferred Panel of Counsel, and is authorised to accept instructions on a direct access basis.

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. On the commercial media side she has expertise in options and licensing purchases, film finance, regulatory and contractual disputes.

In 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.

Defamation

  • Davies v Carter [2020] EWHC 2674, for the Claimant in ongoing  libel and harassment proceedings, including obtaining an injunction until trial and an order for an expedited trial

  • 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 on a trial of preliminary issue, including evidence in respect of innuendo, in May 2020.

  • 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.

Privacy, Confidence and Data Protection

  • 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. The matter settled in the Defendant’s favour in July 2020.

  • 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).

  • 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.

Open Justice

  • Rangzieb Ahmed v MI6 and others [2020] EWHC 3458: for the media organisations in a successful application that the majority of proceedings in a matter concerning the operation of the security services in India and Pakistan be heard in public

  • In the Matter of Fishmonger’s Hall Inquests: for The Times in submissions to the Coroner

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 a Ugandan activist sentenced for insulting the president in graphic poems published on Facebook, pursuant to her successful appeal in February 2020.

Commercial

  • C v W: defending a breach of contract claim arising out of a film finance agreement (ongoing)

  • Microsoft v K: defending a respondent in a breach of  copyright claim involving a freezing injunction

  • 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:

  • Langley v GMB [2020] EWHC 3619, for the successful defendant, a trade union, in a claim in professional negligence arising out of an employment dispute involving allegations of whistleblowing by  a trade union representative, in a trial which reviewed the law on a union’s liability and set legal precedent.

  • Fox v Jaguar Land Rover (October 2020): for the successful Claimant in a six day trial in disability discrimination

  • N v C, for the Claimant in a disability discrimination claim, successfully settling proceedings in the course of trial

  • R v An Accountacy Firm, interim relief application on grounds of whistleblowing

  • S v I, 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).

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

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.