Media Law Specialists Heather Rogers QC, Caroline Addy, and Claire Overman Join Chambers
Doughty Street Chambers is delighted to announce that Heather Rogers QC, Caroline Addy, and Claire Overman have accepted invitations to become members of Chambers. As of 1st May 2019 they will practise from Doughty Street’s Media, Defamation & Freedom of Expression and Data and Information Law teams. More information on their work appears below.
Heather, Caroline and Claire all have exceptional track records in media, privacy, data and information law cases, as well as in matters which involve issues of open justice, freedom of expression, or human rights. Heather Rogers QC said of the team’s arrival: “We are excited to be joining the thriving Doughty Street media and information law teams. Doughty Street is known for the fantastic work it does across the wide range of freedom of expression issues, both in this jurisdiction and internationally. We look forward to working with our new colleagues in continuing to provide a great service to clients and to being part of the unique place that is Doughty Street.”
Doughty Street Chambers CEO Mark Dembovsky said, “We are delighted to welcome Heather back to Chambers, and to welcome our new colleagues Caroline and Claire. Their outstanding record in media law speaks for itself, as does their demonstrable commitment to the values which Doughty Street holds most dear. Their arrival allows us to expand significantly not only our offering to media clients, but also to those working with our other practice teams, who seek us out for the holistic and cross-disciplinary advice we are able to offer. We are thrilled that these three exceptional women from the media Bar have chosen to make Doughty Street their professional home.”
Heather Rogers QC (Call: 1983; Silk: 2006) is a leading specialist in media and information law, who has appeared in many of the significant and high-profile defamation and privacy cases including breach of confidence litigation (e.g. “Spycatcher”), major libel actions (e.g. Elton John v MGN, Hamilton v Al Fayed, Galloway v Telegraph), and privacy / data protection appeals (e.g. Hutcheson, Ntuli and Prince Moulay Hicham v Elaph Publishing). Heather’s recent trials include Hourani v Thomson and others (harassment and libel) and Copthall Ltd v Scorched Earth (deceit claim arising out of film-financing arrangements).
Heather also has extensive experience in freedom of information, open justice and reporting restrictions, and human rights claims involving media and other issues.
For several years Heather has been ranked by the industry directories as a leader in her field. Commentators note that she is a “Superb media silk who maintains a busy libel, data protection and privacy practice”, “Considered a go-to for defamation claims and film-related litigation”, and “One of the most formidable silks in the area.”
Heather also sits as Recorder of Crown Court, is a contributing author to several practitioner texts, and a Director of the Campaign for Freedom of Information.
Caroline Addy (Call: 1991) is a senior junior with a practice encompassing a broad range of media law, information law, and pre-publication advice.
Caroline is at the forefront of developing media law in a digital age. She was involved in the first trial of a privacy action relating to a blog, and her caseload has involved issues of search engine and ISP liability. She also has a particular interest in the regulation of speech online, and through her cases she has sought to encourage the courts to safeguard free expression whilst protecting individuals and minority groups. This work dovetails with her being well-known as a leading practitioner in harassment law.
Caroline is ranked as a leader in Defamation and Privacy in both The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners, and market feedback to the directories indicates that she is “A pleasure to work with”, “Adored by those who instruct her”, “Client friendly and persuasive in court”, and “When she’s up against a tough opponent, she’s a superstar.”
Claire Overman (Call: 2014) is quickly establishing a reputation as a “rising star” in media law. She has appeared in the County Courts, High Court and the Supreme Court on behalf of clients from a wide range of industries. She has spent time working on secondment in the legal department of Times Newspapers Ltd, and she has extensive experience of providing pre-publication advice to various media outlets including The Sun, The Times and The Sunday Times, the BBC, and others.
She has gained exposure to all aspects of media, communications and information law including privacy, defamation, harassment and data protection. She has been instructed as junior counsel in a Supreme Court case arising from allegations published on Facebook, as well as in a number of strike out applications, and on several reporting restrictions applications.
Most unusually for a barrister at her level of call, she has already been recognised by the industry directories. The Legal 500’s research says of Claire that she is “Thorough in her advice [with a] good grasp of the law and detailed knowledge of key cases” and includes her in their rankings of leading Defamation and Privacy barristers.
- For many years Doughty Street Chambers has been involved in the leading cases seeking to protect the freedom of expression of the media. Doughty Street is particularly well known for its work in open justice, in challenging reporting restrictions, and in seeking access to court documents. (Key cases include Re Guardian News and Media  UKSC 1 (in which Geoffrey Robertson QC’s “alphabet soup” submissions caught the Supreme Court’s attention, in their first ever case), R (BSkyB) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis  UKSC 17 (production orders and source protection) and R (C) v Secretary of State for Justice  1 WLR 444 (anonymity of mental health litigants).
- Barristers at Doughty Street have been involved in all three media law cases to come before the Supreme Court in recent months, with Jonathan Price and Jude Bunting acting for parties or interveners in: Bruno Lachaux v. Independent Print Ltd. and Evening Standard Ltd. (heard in October 2018; judgment awaited); Ronald Stocker v Nicola Stocker (heard in January 2019; judgment awaited); and Cape Intermediate Ltd. v Dring (heard in February 2019; judgment awaited). Lachaux and Stocker will be the first defamation decisions handed down by the Supreme Court since the Defamation Act 2013 came into force. Both cases concern allegations of abusive behaviour by ex-partners. Dring concerns media access to court documents.
- Doughty Street Chambers is also widely regarded as a pre-eminent set working in defence of journalists and media organisations around the world. The barristers who comprise Doughty Street’s International Media Defence panel act for media organisations, journalists, bloggers, human rights defenders and NGOs worldwide, including in urgent cases concerning arrest, detention and seizure of equipment, and on a wide range of issues concerning freedom of expression and newsgathering. Current cases include acting for Reuters and journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, imprisoned in Myanmar (Amal Clooney); for the bereaved family of Daphne Caruana Galizia, the investigative journalist assassinated in a car bomb in Malta in 2017 (Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC, Jonathan Price and Jennifer Robinson); for the BBC Persian Service in their challenges to Iran’s harassment of their journalists and their families (Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC and Jennifer Robinson); and on the United Nations’ expert panel considering the assassination of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi (Baroness Helena Kennedy QC).
- Doughty Street Chambers is also a leader in media law in the internet age, and its members have acted in several of the key cases concerning contempt of court arising from online activity, as well as online defamation (e.g. the Katie Hopkins Twitter defamation case), and media responsibility for below the line comment threads on social media (e.g. R v F  2 Cr. App. R. 13).
- Doughty Street Chambers adopts a multi-disciplinary approach to casework, unlike many other sets of barristers’ chambers. As such instructions from clients frequently see our media law specialists working alongside colleagues who specialise in: criminal law and terrorism; inquests and inquiry law; public law; actions against the police and protest law; and employment and discrimination. Recent cases include advising investigative journalists and media organisations on mandatory reporting obligations under the Terrorism Acts; challenging NDAs which prevent victims and survivors of abuse from accessing counselling support or speaking out about their experiences; for the person formerly known as Jon Venables in a series of cases concerning lifelong anonymity; and representing the media in the Hillsborough, Grenfell and Mark Duggan inquests.