With a wealth of experience in all aspects of media and information law, both domestically and internationally, Doughty Street is uniquely placed in the market. Its members are equally comfortable handling complex disputes of fact as well as arguing novel points of law, having acted in many of the recent media law cases before the Supreme Court, including Cape Intermediate Holdings v Dring (open justice/access to documents), Lachaux v Independent Print Ltd (the first case on ‘serious harm’ under s1(1) of the Defamation Act 2013), Serafin v Malkiewicz (the first case on the public interest defence under s4 of that Act) and Stocker v Stocker (adapting established defamation principles to communication on social media), in boundary-testing litigation before the Court of Justice of the European Union (Google v CNIL), and in pioneering open justice cases at every level.  Doughty Street is also the home of the market-leading ‘international media defence panel’, which was awarded ‘international team of the year’ at the LexisNexis Legal Awards 2020.

Doughty Street is ranked as a leading set in defamation and privacy in Chambers and Partners 2020. Members are expert in arguing all aspects of media and information law, including defamation and malicious falsehood, privacy, data protection, access to court documents, freedom of information, harassment and contempt of court. Clients include: national and international print, broadcast, and social media organisations; publishing houses; investigative journalists; blue-chip companies and high net-worth individuals; not-for-profit organisations; and individuals and others in need of assistance to promote or defend their rights.

Doughty Street offers a one-stop shop for clients whose cases straddle media and other areas of law. Its members have expertise in areas that commonly overlap with media law, such as employment, crime, protest and police law, and public law. In addition, Doughty Street has unparalleled expertise in international media and human rights law. Its members are uniquely well-placed to advise on broader human rights and free speech issues. Members write and contribute to leading publications in the field of media and information law: examples include Duncan and Neill on Defamation, Robertson and Nicol on Media Law, and Arlidge, Eady and Smith on Contempt.

Members offer the full spectrum of legal services to clients. They have expertise in providing pre-publication legal and regulatory advice to broadcasters and publishers, as well as a wealth of litigation experience before a range of courts and tribunals. Doughty Street’s experienced and efficient clerking team has a deep understanding of the needs of media litigants: members can be instructed on an urgent basis and on a direct access basis where appropriate and necessary.

Open Justice During Lockdown: New Blog Series

The Coronavirus pandemic poses unprecedented challenges for courts in the UK and across the globe. Unfamiliar technology is being rolled out at speed, of necessity, to prevent justice systems grinding to a halt during lockdown. In many countries, journalists are no longer able to attend court hearings in person, or there are strict limits to the numbers of journalists and members of the public who can do so. Virtual attendance at hearings is working smoothly in some quarters, non-existent in others, and often somewhere in between, with reports of journalists being bumped off Skype connections and audio stopping part-way through a hearing.

Doughty Street Chambers’ media law team has a long and proud history of acting in pioneering open justice cases at every level. We consider it imperative that the vital open justice principle does not get sidelined or undermined by the sudden changes to our justice system required given this public health emergency. As journalist Catherine Baksi has put it, “when the doors of the court are closed, open justice and scrutiny by the press become even more important.” Today we are launching a blog series focused on open justice during the lockdown. Over the coming weeks we will examine how the open justice principle is faring in courts across the UK, and our members with expertise in other jurisdictions will provide comparative analysis. We hope this blog series will provide a platform to highlight concerns and to share examples of best practice.

To read the latest articles in this series, click here.

Podcasts

Heather Rogers QC and Jonathan Price deliver a podcast "Seven Points About Serafin" to tell you what you need to know about the latest decision from the Supreme Court on defamation (Serafin v Malkiewicz and others [2020] UKSC 23, [2020] 1 WLR 2455).

Heather and Jonathan represented the MLA on the appeal. Listen to the full episode below. (running time: 17 minutes).

A transcript of the podcast, with added references, is available here.


Seven Points About Serafin - by Heather Rogers QC and Jonathan Price by Doughty Street Chambers

Heather Rogers QC (HR) and Jonathan Price (JP), from the Doughty Street Chambers Media Team, tell you what you need to know about the latest decision from the Supreme Court on defamation.