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CHAMBERS AND PARTNERS 2016

Defamation/Privacy - London (Bar) 
THE SET

One Brick Court offers market-leading experience and quality across all aspects of defamation and privacy law. Commentators see the set as "the first port of call for media law issues." It also receives instructions in a range of contentious data protection cases and draws praise for "the sheer number of brilliant and reliable practitioners on offer."  

Client service: 

"The clerking team are absolutely top-notch. They're really good, extremely helpful and very understanding." Senior clerk David Mace leads the team and "delivers a truly fantastic service."

SILKS 

Andrew Caldecott QC 

Highly sought after and widely considered to be the leading silk in this field. He has unparalleled expertise in defamation, libel and privacy. He is regularly instructed in the complex and cutting-edge Supreme Court cases.

Strengths: "He is the king of defamation - intellectually, he is in his own league." "He is a shrewd lawyer whose submissions are treated with great respect by all tribunals from the Supreme Court down." "He is a genius who never fails to impress."

Recent work: Acted for the former chairman of the FA, Lord Triesman, in successfully resisting an appeal brought by the head of the Thai Football Association against a decision to strike out a libel action. The case raised novel issues of Parliamentary privilege and Article 9 of the Bill of Rights 1689.

Manuel Barca QC 

Popular and successful silk with a practice encompassing a wide range of defamation and privacy matters. He is regularly instructed on the most high-profile, important and time-sensitive matters.

Strengths: "He is pragmatic and good at fighting the client's corner. He's aggressive when he needs to be, and nuanced when a subtle approach is required." "He is robust, gutsy and user-friendly."

Recent work: Acted for the BBC in resisting an urgent application by the claimant undercover journalist Mazher Mahmood to prevent the broadcast of a BBC Panorama documentary. The claim was successfully resisted both initially and in the Court of Appeal.

Richard Rampton QC 

A leading libel silk who has appeared in many of the most critical decisions in the last three decades. He continues to lead on high-profile matters and authors key commentary within the practice area.

Strengths: "He's brilliant and has the senior courts eating out of his hands. He has a slightly mischievous air to him, with a sharp mind and brilliant advocacy skills." "He is a firm favourite with clients who like his gravitas and easy-going manner, behind which lurks fierce intelligence and tremendous experience."

Recent work: Appeared for the defendant in Flood v Times Newspapers. Successfully levied a Reynolds defence of responsible journalism for the majority of issues in 2009 and he continues to represent Times Newspapers in subsequent appeals as to costs orders.

Heather Rogers QC 

Prominent silk for defamation and privacy matters who advises both claimants and defendants. 

Strengths: "She has formidable forensic skills, provides cogent advice and is a pleasure to work with." "She is a really awesome intellect." "She is very thorough, very knowledgeable and very bright."

Recent work: Represented the intervener, Media Legal Defence Initiative, in Axel Springer v Germany (No 2) in the ECHR. The case raised issues of Article 10 protection and restrictions on political speech.

Sir Edward Garnier QC 

Highly regarded media specialist whose profile at the Bar has been augmented by his political career which included a period serving as Solicitor-General. He has also been called to the Northern Ireland Bar and is praised for his expertise and experience in both jurisdictions.

Strengths: "He is absolutely charming, very down-to-earth, very eloquent with judges and makes complex issues straightforward." "He is very approachable and his political knowledge is a real asset."

Recent work: Acted for the publishers of the Belfast News Letter, defending a high-profile claim brought by the former head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service.

JUNIORS 

Catrin Evans 

Extremely well-regarded junior with a busy and varied defamation and privacy practice. She is particularly sought after for cases with a data protection crossover.

Strengths: "She's hugely busy for a reason - she's the first-choice senior junior for libel." "Her reputation as the top junior at the Defamation Bar is fully merited. She is clever, hard-working and calm with extremely good tactical awareness and judgement."

Recent work: Appeared as junior counsel for PC Rowland, the police officer who successfully sued Andrew Mitchell MP for libel. These proceedings were highly publicised and received widespread media coverage.

Aidan Eardley 

Respected junior who represents national newspapers, celebrities, public authorities and businesses, as well as co-authoring leading commentary within the field.

Strengths: "He has an exceptional brain combined with a first-class work ethic." "He has a superb knowledge of the law and good judgement." "He is very well regarded - he's feisty, extremely nice and provides very good advice on privacy."

Recent work: Appeared as junior counsel for the defendants in Cruddas v Calvert. This highly publicised claim for libel and malicious falsehood concerned allegations of 'cash for access' based on a secretly recorded interview.

David Glen 

Leading media junior noted for his defamation and privacy work on behalf of high-profile clients including the BBC, the Guardian, Associated Newspapers and Google.

Strengths: "He has a superb intellect, is very commercial and is top of the senior junior tree."

Recent work: Instructed on behalf of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to defend a major libel action brought by the former deputy chief executive, Jill Finney. The case attracted widespread media attention following an independent report into the CQC's historic regulation of the Morecambe Bay NHS Trust.

Ian Helme 

A popular choice for complex and cutting-edge media disputes. He has co-authored a number of leading media law textbooks.

Strengths: "He's outstanding - very reliable and easy to deal with, with a very clam and measured advocacy style." "He is frankly brilliant; he is diligent, thorough, imaginative and really inspires confidence."

Recent work: Appeared as sole counsel for the defendant in Liberty v Primark, resisting a defamation claim concerning the alleged loss of the claimant's business in Bangladesh following Primark's cessation of business in the region due to safety concerns. The claim was struck out as an abuse of process.

Jane Phillips 

Respected junior with an extensive defamation practice, who has made frequent appearances in the higher appellate courts. She is noted for her authoritative authorship and contributions to leading commentary within the practice area.

Strengths: "She has an ability to quickly grasp the key issues and deliver constructive advice. She's highly experienced, approachable and good at managing expectations." "She is very effective and provides great strategic insight."

Recent work: Acted for the Premier of Bermuda in his libel action against the Leader of the Opposition. The claim concerned certain statements posted on Facebook.

Caroline Addy 

Known for her judgement and ability, particularly in the most sensitive cases. She is instructed on behalf of both claimants and defendants and covers a wide range of libel, privacy, data protection and freedom of information work.

Strengths: "She is a very impressive barrister and a pleasure to deal with." "She is very sharp and always manages to provide the right angle."

Recent work: Represented the claimant in Stocker v Stocker. The case raised novel points of law concerning posts allegedly made by the defendant on the Facebook page of a third party.

Sarah Palin 

Reputable barrister whose expertise covers both defamation and privacy cases. She has been involved in a number of the practice area's key cases, including Spiller v Joseph in 2010. She regularly acts for high-profile media outlets, including Associated Newspapers.

Strengths: "She's enormously hard-working and provides sound advice." "She is clear, concise, reliable and gets things out on time."

Recent work: Acted for the defendant, Associated Newspapers, in respect of a libel claim brought by the author JK Rowling. The case concerned allegations published about the claimant's life as a single mother prior to her worldwide success.

Harvey Starte 

Media law specialist with particular expertise in reputation management. He acts for both claimants and defendants and frequently provides pre-publication and pre-broadcast advice to major news outlets.

Strengths: "He is hugely experienced and his good judgement shines through in his advice, which is delivered in a client-friendly manner. He has excellent drafting skills, and really cares about his cases."

Recent work: Acted on behalf of a GP in an action against Associated Newspapers. Following an eight-day libel trial, the GP was awarded £45,000 in damages.

Kate Wilson 

Popular and highly regarded junior barrister who acts in high-profile claims at all levels, including a recent appearance in the Supreme Court in Flood v Times Newspapers. She has extensive experience in obtaining injunctions to restrain harassment.

Strengths: "She quickly gets to grips with what is important to a client and gives practical and thoughtful advice." "She is a fearless advocate and a star with the clients." "She is calm and efficient - her advocacy is of a very high standard."

Recent work: Sole counsel for the claimant, Pimlico Plumbers, in a libel action concerning anonymous reviews posted on yelp.co.uk. The case raised novel issues on interpretation of the Defamation Act 2013, as well as a number of complex cross-jurisdictional points.

Timothy Atkinson 

Impressive track record of acting on behalf of claimants and defendants in media and reputation management cases. He has particular expertise in cases concerning public authorities and has acted on several particularly sensitive matters involving the Church of England.

Recent work: Acted for one of the defendants in the high-profile group litigation concerning allegations of blacklisting within the construction industry.

Jonathan Scherbel-Ball 

Former solicitor who has successfully transferred to the Bar. He has represented a number of heavyweight clients including the BBC, Google, Trip Advisor and the Times.

Strengths: "He's very clever, very helpful and very user-friendly. He's popular and committed, and has everything you want in a junior; he's modern, pragmatic and sensible."

Recent work: Represented Google as a led junior defending a claim brought by Hong Kong-based businessman Daniel Hegglin. The claim related to defamatory materials posted by an internet 'troll' on Google and YouTube.

Hannah Ready 

Popular junior whose impressive and diverse practice has developed far beyond the expected level for her year of call. She has acted on behalf of a range of high-profile clients, including Trip Advisor, Total Jobs Group, the Times and the Sun.

Strengths: "She's great; fantastic and willing to roll her sleeves up. She's very clever, but approachable and user-friendly." "She's very bright and gives good commercial advice."

Recent work: Acted as junior counsel on behalf of the publishers of the Huffington Post in a case concerning an article on Afsana Lachaux.

 

Data Protection - London (Bar)

THE SET

Offers nuanced and knowledgeable representation in a number of areas within information law, and has an array of accomplished juniors accompanying leading silk Andrew Caldecott QC. The set offers particularly adept counsel on information issues for both applicants and defendants and houses a number of talented juniors on the Attorney General's Panel of Counsel. Its members are well versed at representing a diverse range of significant clients including national healthcare providers and the BBC.

Client service: "The clerking there is very good. I know David Mace and Melvin Warner, and have always found that they've always been very receptive and very helpful in getting stuff sorted out and hearings listed."

SILKS 

Andrew Caldecott QC 

A leading figure in the field of defamation and privacy, with a well-respected practice in the related field of information law. He has noted expertise in relation to the operation of data protection law with respect to internet intermediaries such as Google.

Strengths: "He is one of the best. Very clever, very practical, very clear and very concise." "He is a superstar - a lovely guy and an amazing advocate."

Recent work: Continues to act for 26 major construction companies in a high-profile case addressing the maintaining of a blacklist of hundreds of construction workers in the 1990s.

JUNIORS 

Catrin Evans 

Has a growing reputation for her expertise in a wide range of issues regarding information law. She has acted on behalf of government departments, multinational internet companies and media organisations, particularly in relation to the developing area of the field in relation to digital technology.

Strengths: "A very capable senior junior with a strong intellect. She is in demand."

Recent work: Appeared as junior counsel for Google in a case addressing the use of third-party cookies in the Safari browser to track users' internet activity.

Aidan Eardley 

Accomplished junior counsel with a well-respected practice focused on media and entertainment law, and the publication and information based issues central to it. He often appears on behalf of The Guardian in freedom of information actions, and also provides advice to local authority organisations.

Strengths: "He is very sensible, very shrewd and tactically aware." "Aidan is very clever and very competent."

Recent work: Acted for the claimant journalist in a high-profile case challenging the decision of the Attorney General to veto the disclosure of certain letters between the Prince of Wales and government members.

David Glen 

Has a fast-developing reputation among peers and instructing solicitors for his intelligent and adept representation in a range of data protection and freedom of information matters. He has represented government departments as well as regulatory bodies and media organisations in an array of proceedings in the area.

Strengths: "He is a superstar in this area. He is genuinely on top of the issues in data protection, and is extremely bright and very personable." "An absolute star - he has a superb intellect, and is very commercial."

Recent work: Defended the Care Quality Commission in an action brought by its former CEO, Jill Finney, alleging defamation and contravention of Article 8 ECHR. The claim was settled following mediation.

Jonathan Scherbel-Ball 

Former solicitor with an increasingly impressive information law practice that spans data protection, freedom of information and EIR proceedings. He most often acts for media organisations, and has additional experience in representing health trusts.

Strengths: "He is extremely technically accomplished, imaginative and really on top of his brief." "Very solicitor-friendly and ferociously hard-working."

Recent work: Represented the BBC in a First-tier Tribunal hearing addressing the organisation's refusal to disclose information about the television licensing position of the royal household. 

THE LEGAL 500 2015

DEFAMATION AND PRIVACY – LEADING SETS - RANKED: TIER 1

One Brick Court is ‘the go-to chambers for media law’, with particular expertise in defamation, privacy and data protection matters. It is ‘a high-quality set’ with ‘strength at every level’, meaning ‘a suitable barrister can always be instructed’. Solicitors appreciate the barristers’ ability to ‘act as a sounding board for each other’s cases, so they are always totally up to speed with the law and the marketplace’. The service from the clerks is ‘always responsive and spot on’. In particular, David Mace and Melvin Warner are ‘just brilliant: responsive, sensible with fees, and understanding of commercial needs’.

One Brick Court maintains ‘a well-deserved stellar reputation’ and is for many a ‘first-choice set for defamation work’; ‘there is strength at every level and the helpful clerking team understands clients’ needs very well’. Chambers recently welcomed former Solicitor General Sir Edward Garnier QC in his return to practice, and also Heather Rogers QC from Doughty Street Chambers.

Andrew Caldecott QC -  ‘A cerebral master, team player and outstandingly persuasive advocate.’

Manuel Barca QC -  ‘A top-level advocate with a sure sense for the killer points at trial.’

Heather Rogers QC -  ‘Tremendously supportive and pragmatic.’    

Richard Rampton QC -  ‘Rated very highly by solicitors.’

Sir Edward Garnier QC -  ‘He has a first-class legal brain and excellent judgement.’

Catrin Evans - ‘Superb analysis and an eye for detail which produces excellent performances in court.’

Aidan Eardley -  ‘He is very experienced, has good commercial instincts and looks for sensible solutions.’

Caroline Addy - ‘She is responsive and user-friendly, and takes a measured approach.’

Ian Helme - ‘Very sensible and practical, and easy to get along with.’

Jane Phillips - ‘She has very sound judgement and immense knowledge, and is a pleasure to work with.’

David Glen - ‘The perfect combination of intellectual power, strategic nous and sound judgement.’

Harvey Starte - ‘Highly experienced with splendid judgement and drafting skills.’

Timothy Atkinson - ‘Gives very clear and focused advice, and thinks outside the box.’

Kate Wilson - ‘Applies fresh thinking to situations which initially seem intractable.’

Sarah Palin - ‘She is hugely experienced and talented, and offers practical rather than academic solutions.’

Hannah Ready - ‘A confident and robust junior, and a strong team player.’

 

IT AND TELECOMS (INCLUDING DATA PROTECTION)

DATA PROTECTION – LEADING SETS - RANKED: TIER 2

One Brick Court is ‘full of outstanding barristers’ who act for clients including publications and public bodies. Several members have appeared for Google in various data protection matters.

Andrew Caldecott QC -  ‘A solution-driven silk with a deep understanding of client needs.’

Aidan Eardley -  ‘A very sound junior.’

Catrin Evans -  ‘A keen eye for complex, technical detail.’

Ian Helme -  ‘He is very sensible and practical.’

 

MEDIA AND ENTERTAINMENT

Andrew Caldecott QC -  ‘Excellent on complex issues of law on which he gives elegant and persuasive tutorials to the judges.’

Heather Rogers QC - ‘She is wonderfully down to earth, and works with her instructing solicitors as a real collaborative team.’

Catrin Evans -  ‘One of the top libel juniors.’

 

CHAMBERS AND PARTNERS 2015

Defamation/Privacy - London (Bar) 
THE SET 

Consistently recommended as a market-leading set housing some of London's finest and most experienced defamation and privacy experts. From silk to junior, the quality of its barristers is consistently high. One commentator says of the individuals here: "

Client service: "Senior clerk David Mace is very good; he runs a tight ship. There always seems to be a unity of purpose." He is assisted by Melvin Warner, who "takes a down-to-earth, no-nonsense approach and is very easy to work with."

SILKS 
Andrew Caldecott QC 

A true leader in the marketplace, he routinely acts on landmark cases representing broadcasters, celebrities and government departments. Commentators consistently name him the "best silk at the Libel Bar." 
Expertise: "He has a brilliant mind, and is a bit of a phenomenon really." "He is a shrewd lateral thinker, a very good team player and a forensically astute advocate." 
Recent work: Acted on the well-documented Makudi v Triesman case, which involved an appeal by the head of the Thai Football Association to the denial of his libel action against the former head of the English FA. Caldecott aided in the successful rejection of this appeal. 

Richard Rampton QC 
Admired by solicitors for his confidence in court and his ability to effortlessly persuade a judge and jury of his case. He is a dominant presence in the defamation, privacy and data protection arenas, and has acted in some of the most prominent cases of recent times. He often appears in the Court of Appeal. 
Expertise: "He's hugely experienced and really engages in the case on behalf of the client." "Supremely confident and reassuring." 
Recent work: Acted as leading counsel for the defendants in the ongoing Cruddas v Calvert & Others case regarding a libel claim made against the Sunday Times by the former co-treasurer of the Conservative Party. 

Manuel Barca QC 
A trusted adviser and advocate, who handles the full range of defamation and privacy cases. Clients praise him for his easy style and formidable advocacy skills. 
Expertise: "Tremendously good at gauging what the court needs." "His advocacy is very direct but it's also calibrated towards his audience. He's good at pitching it at the right level." 
Recent work: Led an application for an injunction to prevent the publication by The Times and the Oxford Mail of an arrested individual's name. The arrest had been made in relation to an investigation into child sex offences. 

Sir Edward Garnier QC 
A highly revered and respected politician-barrister, Sir Edward Garnier is fully active in the marketplace following his retirement from his role as Solicitor General. Peers note that he has "got both feet firmly back in chambers." 
Expertise: "He's a very competent guy and very down to earth." 
Recent work: Represented the publishers of Belfast News Letter in the defence of a claim brought by Northern Ireland Civil Service's former head. 

JUNIORS 
Catrin Evans 
Has a superb reputation and is consistently engaged on the most significant and contentious cases in defamation and privacy law. Clients know her for her determination and tactical approach to cases. 
Expertise: "She shows very good attention to detail, is level-headed and is good with clients." "Very calm, assured and analytical." 
Recent work: Acted as junior for Associated Newspapers in an action brought against it by Paul Weller. The case concerned the publication of images and misinformed content published about his children. 

Aidan Eardley 
Has acted in cases of substantial weight and significance in the defamation field in the last year. Solicitors instruct him not only for his impeccable legal knowledge but also for his affable manner when dealing with clients. 
Expertise: "Superb knowledge of the law." "He has an exceptional brain combined with a first-class work ethic. His advice is commercial yet carefully measured." 
Recent work: Represented singer Tulisa Contostavlos and footballer Danny Simpson in relation to a libel action brought against three newspapers and numerous websites owned by News Group Newspapers. 

David Glen 
Has expertise in defamation law, and is a well-known name in the media and entertainment sector. Has acted on myriad high-profile cases that have been making waves in the industry in recent times. 
Expertise: "He's good at seeing the wood for the trees and giving very clear advice." "Exceptionally bright, he's someone you would want fighting your corner." 
Recent work: Acted as counsel for Guardian News & Media in relation to a claim brought by Sheikh Nasser bin Al-Shathri, a cleric and theologian, who insisted an article had presented him in a denigrating light.

Jane Phillips 
A strong performer, recognised for her dedication and her enthusiasm for her work, who has been involved in the phone hacking cases that have stirred up the media industry in the recent past. She often provides pre-publication advice to major newspapers and magazines. 
Expertise: "She's highly personable, approachable, responsive, helpful and knowledgeable." "She's very effective and provides great strategic insight." 
Recent work: She successfully acted on behalf of the BBC in defending a defamation claim made by an international geologist. The case has been held up in Parliament as an indicator as to the need for libel law change in Northern Ireland.

 
Harvey Starte 

Co-author of a seminal defamation law textbook, he is very good on black letter law but also a gifted advocate. In parallel with his litigious work he often advises magazines and newspapers on pre-publication legal requirements. 
Expertise: "Incredibly analytical in terms of examining how a claim looks and how a defence looks. Very good on heavy-duty technical issues." 
Recent work: Acted for a GP in a libel claim concerning an article published by the Daily Mail which quoted a patient accusing him of misdiagnosis. 

Caroline Addy 
Has particular expertise in harassment cases, specifically those protecting the privacy of families and individuals. She acts both as claimant and as defender in an extensive range of defamation and privacy cases. 
Expertise: "She's very good at demystifying technical, complicated law, and has great empathy with clients." 
Recent work: Acted for the claimant in the case of Evans & Others v Ritch, which involved allegations of privacy invasion, harassment and defamation in the form of publications on the internet. 

Ian Helme 
A strong player in the field, who has acted in a number of cutting-edge media cases in recent times. He represented the late Lord McAlpine of West Green in relation to the airing of false allegations about him. 
Expertise: "Outstanding, very reliable and easy to deal with, he has a calm and measured advocacy style." "He thinks very carefully; he's a good tactician." 
Recent work: Acted for the claimant in Waterson v Lloyd & Another, which involved an allegation of libel with regard to pamphlets containing content about the Eastbourne Liberal Democrat MP's expenses claims. 

Sarah Palin 
Enjoys a strong reputation, and is instructed by solicitors for her detailed knowledge of the newspaper industry and her ability to tackle heavyweight disputes. 
Expertise: "Her advice will always take into account the realities of what in-house lawyers do." "She's reliable and produces good drafting and clear advice." 
Recent work: Represented the Daily Mail as defendant to a claim brought by author JK Rowling regarding material published about her life before the Harry Potter series was written. 

Kate Wilson 
Distinguishing herself as an up-and-coming barrister in the market, who is recognised as having experience and knowledge beyond her year of call. 
Expertise: "She has the ability to deliver even the most difficult arguments with charm." "She shows bags of confidence when on her feet." 
Recent work: Acted as junior counsel in the Lord McAlpine of West Green and Sally Bercow case concerning a defamatory remark made on Twitter by Bercow. Specialist knowledge was needed due to the social media aspects of the case. 

Jonathan Scherbel-Ball 
Has specialist expertise in media restrictions and political extremism cases. He is dual-qualified as he is called to the Bar in Northern Ireland. 
Expertise: "He was at the BBC – because of his background he really understands what the clients want." 
Recent work: Acted as second junior counsel for the BBC in the well-documented Morrice v BBC case in Northern Ireland. 

Timothy Atkinson 
Has a sweeping client base that takes in claimants and defendants from many areas, including the education, defence and political sectors. He also has a strong international practice, and represents clients from Hong Kong to Turkey. 
Expertise: "He's very good with clients, and is conscientious, sensitive and also very open about the pros and cons of a case." 
Recent work: Appeared in the Court of Appeal representing the claimant in Cammish v Hughes. This matter involved decisions which relied on precedents set in the pivotal Jameel abuse of process case. 

Hannah Ready 
Has quickly become a rising star in the sector since her 2010 call, and has built up a substantial client base. Peers predict she will be a market-leading barrister in the future. 
Expertise: "She's marvellous, as she's careful and clear in her delivery." "She's very good, quick to respond, and quite firm in her advice." 
Recent work: Recently worked as junior counsel acting for the claimant in PNM v Times Newspapers. 

Clare Kissin 
Clients praise her confident advocacy and technical knowledge. Sources report that she punches above her weight and experience, and displays a charming attitude in court. Reporting restrictions cases are a particular specialism. 
Expertise: "Very personable and easy to deal with, she's receptive to different ideas, grasps details quickly and provides succinct and decisive advice." "She truly is a force to be reckoned with. Very bright and very effective, she is a really courageous advocate." 
Recent work: Acted alone for a media publication that wanted to release a video and names of three marines who allegedly murdered an insurgent in Afghanistan. She was successful in lifting anonymity of the individuals and the video was in the most part released. 

Data Protection - London (Bar) 
THE SET 

A set well used to appearing for applicants and defendants in the First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights), the County Court and the High Court. Its impressive roll call of clients includes the BBC and various national health trusts, and it also has experience of representing the government as it has a number of juniors on the Treasury Solicitor’s Panel of Counsel.

SILKS 
Andrew Caldecott QC 

Extremely strong defamation and media silk who is fully au fait with data protection and information rights cases. He has handled a number of high-profile FOIA cases and matters concerning journalistic ethics. 
Expertise: "A barrister who produces extremely high-quality pleadings." "He is dazzling." 
Recent work: Appeared as leading counsel for claimants in the formal arbitration proceedings for damage claims arising from the conduct of News International. The case concerned phone hacking, unlawful surveillance and related breaches of privacy and data protection rights.

JUNIORS 
Catrin Evans 

A member of the Attorney-General's ‘A-list’ of counsel, she advises the government on information law matters, whilst simultaneously undertaking work on behalf of media organisations. 
Expertise: "Clever, efficient" and "a great strategic thinker." "I've been very impressed with her client handling when faced with a difficult claimant." 
Recent work: Appeared as junior counsel for Google in Vidal-Hall v Google Inc, a high-profile case concerning the application of data protection and privacy law when looking at Google's use of cookies to analyse users' browsing habits. 

Aidan Eardley 
A widely acknowledged expert in high-profile FOI and data protection-related media matters. His recent conspicuous cases include appearing for Katie Price in a data protection claim against her former management company, and acting for The Guardian on successfully overturning the veto on disclosure of the Prince of Wales’ correspondence with the government. 
Expertise: "Aidan has a modest, unassuming and understated presence, which works well in a tribunal environment, but he is also robust and knows the points he wants to argue." 
Recent work: Represented Guardian journalist Ian Cobain in Home Office v ICO and Ian Cobain. This was an appeal against the ICO decision requiring disclosure of the names of a number of individuals deprived of citizenship on counter-terrorism grounds. 

Jonathan Scherbel-Ball 
Has experience as a former media solicitor and public body FOI request reviewer. He specialises in work with public bodies, counting various NHS trusts and the BBC amongst his eminent clients. 
Expertise: "He's really diligent, committed, responsive and engaged. He bounces with ideas, and has masses of enthusiasm." 
Recent work: Junior counsel for the BBC in the First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights), successfully defending journalistic exemptions to FOIA requests surrounding an environmental training seminar.

David Glen 
Noted for his representation of private and public figures in data protection matters, he has extensive experience of acting for News International phone-hacking victims. He also provides regulatory advice for Ofcom. 
Expertise: "He marshals his arguments well and presents them coherently." 
Recent work: Represented the BBC in Gee v Information Commissioner and BBC in a series of appeals before the Information Tribunals upholding significant rulings on the BBC's journalistic exemptions from the FOIA. 

Media & Entertainment - London (Bar) 
Manuel Barca QC of One Brick Court 

Advises on media and information law matters, and is experienced in internet publishing matters and literary copyright disputes. 
Expertise: "He has an excellent brain and takes an analytical and pragmatic approach to his work." "A superb advocate who is very approachable and down to earth." 


The Legal 500 2014

One Brick Court houses specialists in media and information law, and many ‘would not willingly look elsewhere for expertise in defamation and privacy'. Members also advise on data protection and freedom of information legislation, and related human rights issues, both in the private law context and in the context of media-related judicial review. Instructing chambers is ‘a pleasure', and it is praised for its ‘very user-friendly' approach. David Mace leads the ‘excellent' clerks’ room, where individuals ‘go out of their way to help and have a really good understanding of the market'. Melvin Warner is another recommended clerk.

Defamation

Andrew Caldecott QC - ‘He is every bit as excellent as he is reputed to be.’ 
Richard Rampton QC - ‘He has tremendous gravitas, and is good with clients.’ 
Manuel Barca QC - ‘He has considerable experience in internet publishing issues'
Aidan Eardley - ‘Head and shoulders above most in his field.’ 
Catrin Evans - ‘An exceptional barrister and a delight to work with.’ 
Caroline Addy - ‘Recommended for pre-publication advice relating to biographies and autobiographies.’ 
Sarah Palin - ‘She applies academic knowledge and practical intelligence to great effect.' 
Jane Phillips - ‘She exudes confidence.’ 
Harvey Starte - ‘An expert in media and human rights law.’ 
Timothy Atkinson - ‘He shows clear expertise in media and libel law.’ 
David Glen - ‘He is exceptionally responsive and has a friendly approach.’ 
Ian Helme - ‘He is unflappable, patient and has a great eye for detail.’ 
Clare Kissin - ‘She has very strong advocacy ability for someone of her call.’ 
Kate Wilson - ‘She is thorough, commercial and also creative in her approach to problems.

Data Protection

Aidan Eardley - ‘Recommended for his information law and media/privacy expertise.'

Media and Entertainment

Andrew Caldecott QC - ‘Fantastic.’

Catrin Evans - ‘Expertise in internet and social media publication matters with an international angle.’ 

Sarah Palin -‘Particularly noted for her experience representing newspapers.’

 

Chambers and Partners 2014

Defamation/Privacy

Buoyed by the presence of a number of heavyweight practitioners at silk and junior level, this set enjoys a justified position in the very upper echelons of the market. One commentator said: "One Brick Court is one of the top sets, and a first choice for any libel work. It is one of the best in terms of strength and depth, and has a good choice of experienced barristers." The individuals here are skilled at handling cases concerning all aspects of defamation, privacy and information law.

Client service: "David Mace is a fantastic clerk who has been in the game for such a long time that he knows exactly what needs to be done on every occasion."
"The clerks are extremely efficient and very easy to deal with. Libel work is often out of hours and they understand that and are consequently always available to pass you on to someone."

SILKS

Andrew Caldecott QC
An undisputed titan in the field, he earns universal admiration for his written work and his advocacy skills. He is generally involved in the biggest and most important defamation cases, and is seen by many as the best libel barrister of his generation.
Expertise: "He's brilliant, as he is incredibly intelligent and strategic, and has a way of pulling strands of a case together to make it winnable." "An outstanding silk with every skill you could wish for, he is someone judges just absolutely love."
Recent work:Represented former cricketer Chris Cairns in a libel claim against Lalit Modi. This was the first libel case about comments made on popular microblogging site Twitter heard in the UK.

Richard Rampton QC
Has a busy practice of exceptional pedigree, and has frequently appeared in matters before the Court of Appeal. He is praised for his manner around clients, who find his immense knowledge and confidence extremely reassuring.
Expertise: "Hugely experienced, he really engages in the case on behalf of the client." "He's dependable, instinctive and a pleasure to work with."
Recent work: Was instructed by the publisher of The Times in a libel claim brought by a Metropolitan Police officer that was heard before the Supreme Court. The Court restored The Times' defence of responsible journalism that the Court of Appeal had dismissed.

Manuel Barca QC
Has quickly settled into his silk's practice and is a greatly admired lawyer whose principal strength is his superb advocacy. Sources further laud his ability to quickly get to grips with complicated, heavyweight cases.
Expertise: "Robust in his advice, he stays true to his beliefs and his beliefs are always correct." "One of those barristers you can trust to bring up difficult issues from the outset, so we have everything ready for trial. He's very approachable, has a very warm manner, and builds relationships with clients."
Recent work: Was brought in at late notice for the claimant, Andrew James Miller, in his libel claim against the publisher of the Daily Mail. The judge rejected the Daily Mail's defence of justification, and found in favour of the claimant, awarding significant damages.

Sir Edward Garnier QC
Has re-engaged with private practice fully following a stint acting in the government as Solicitor General. A man of great standing, he has attracted some substantial work recently, one very notable example being his representation of Lord McAlpine of West Green in various cases against the media and individuals who had made unfounded allegations against the peer. He is noted for the wide scope of his practice, and handles cases in Northern Ireland and internationally.
Expertise: "He is a delight. He has held high office but is absolutely approachable." "In court he's a polished street fighter who carries clout."
Recent work: Represented Lord McAlpine of West Green in three trials against ITV, the BBC and various users of Twitter including Sally Bercow, the wife of the Speaker of the House of Commons. He won substantial damages.

JUNIORS

Catrin Evans
Enjoys a sensational reputation and is the pre-eminent junior at the set. She has carved out a substantial practice around social media defamation cases, and is particularly praised for her knowledge of the law. Solicitors admire that she is able to think creatively and construct novel arguments.
Expertise: "She has very good attention to detail, is level-headed and is good with clients."
"Her style of advocacy is very effective – clear, not pompous; confident, not arrogant. Clients like her."
Recent work: Acted as sole counsel defending Google in the first case heard at the Supreme Court to consider the potential liabilities of online publishers.

Aidan Eardley
A supremely confident lawyer who is lauded for his technical ability. Sources are quick to point out, however, that his obvious scholastic ability does not mean he is unaware of the realities of commerciality, and praise his understanding of clients' needs.
Expertise: "Always gives sensible, commercial and timely advice." "He has exceptional brainpower and a first-class work ethic. His advice is commercial yet carefully measured."
Recent work: Was the junior defending the publishers of the prestigious science journal Nature in a claim brought by the editor of another science journal.

David Glen
A prominent libel and privacy specialist who is seen as a future star by many commentators. He is a strong all-rounder, who receives much praise for his drafting, analysis of a case, and fine courtroom performances. Solicitors particularly praise the calm manner with which he approaches even the most turbulent of cases.
Expertise: "Exceptionally bright, he's someone you would want fighting your corner."
"Has in-depth knowledge of libel and privacy laws, and can effectively apply that knowledge to any type of dispute
."
Recent work: Instructed by Associated Newspapers as publishers of the Daily Mail in the successful defence of a libel action brought by financier Nathaniel Rothschild.

Jane Phillips
Has developed a reputation for working on matters involving an online libel element. She also spends a substantial portion of her time in an advisory capacity, helping media clients with pre-publication issues. Of late, however, she has been heavily involved in News Group Newspapers' voice mail interception compensation scheme.
Expertise: "She has an ability to quickly grasp the key issues and deliver constructive advice. She's approachable and good at managing clients’ expectations."
Recent work: Acted for the BBC defending in relation to a production order brought by the Metropolitan Police Service.

Timothy Atkinson
Maintains a broad defamation practice that includes non-contentious reputation matters and pre-publication advice, but is best known for his work for public authority defendants.
Expertise: "He's a hard worker who is scrupulously careful and considered about the advice that he gives."
Recent work: Was instructed by London Borough of Lambeth in a case alleging libel brought by the management of a London school. The matter concerned three e-mails and a briefing paper sent by the Borough's Chief Internal Officer.

Kate Wilson
A much-respected junior who acts for both claimants and defendants. Sources comment upon her previous career in the City, noting that it really adds another dimension to the advice that she gives.
Expertise: "She is hard-working, very conscientious and careful. She pays a lot of attention to detail, and is sympathetic to clients." "Precise and thorough, she always has a valuable perspective and is a brilliant wordsmith too."
Recent work: She was junior counsel representing Lord McAlpine of West Green in his recent libel action against the BBC and various Twitter users.

Caroline Addy
A strong defamation lawyer who commands respects from peers due to her calm and collected manner in even the most difficult of cases. She has a substantial pre-publication practice for book and magazine publishers in particular.
Expertise: "Has unerringly good judgement and is really prepared to get stuck into the detail of cases." "She is particularly brilliant at unscrambling complex documentation."
Recent work: Continues to advise thermal coal group Bumi on defamation and confidentiality issues that surround its boardroom battle with Nathaniel Rothschild.

Ian Helme
Has built a strong reputation amongst peers, who tout him as a future silk. He is particularly admired for his ability to engage with clients even in difficult circumstances.
Expertise: "Absolutely first-class, he has a very good manner with clients and exudes a calm authority." "Provides excellent advice and identifies the key issues immediately."
Recent work: Was junior counsel in former cricketer Chris Cairns' successful libel action against Lalit Modi. This was the first Twitter libel action heard in the UK.

Sarah Palin
Maintains a broad practice, but is particularly noted for her work representing newspapers. She was recently involved as sole junior counsel for Associated Newspapers in the Leveson Inquiry.
Expertise: "She is hugely impressive, excellent with clients and very strong in her field."
Recent work: Appeared in the Supreme Court on behalf of intervening media companies in a case which found that the defence of fair comment should be renamed honest comment.

Harvey Starte
Experienced defamation lawyer who spends a substantial portion of his time working on pre-publication issues with journalists and magazine and newspaper clients.
Expertise: "Hugely experienced, he has good judgement and his advice is delivered in a client-friendly manner. He is excellent at drafting."
Recent work: Won substantial damages for Sylvia Henry, who was wrongly targeted by The Sun's 'Justice for Baby P' campaign.

Jonathan Scherbel-Ball
Has a predominantly defence practice, and has quickly made a name for himself in the defamation field. Commentators say that, as a former solicitor, he understands exactly what clients need from counsel.
Expertise: "A good solid performer who is confident in court for someone so young."
Recent work: He has been retained by many of the country's most prominent media organisations - including the BBC, Times Newspapers and Guardian News - to advise on overturning the reporting restrictions around the trial and re-trial of politician Chris Huhne and his ex-wife Vicky Pryce.

Clare Kissin
Enters the rankings on the back of her busy practice, having appeared in numerous cases of late. Her advocacy has garnered much praise, and observers predict that she will go far in this field.
Expertise: "Her advocacy is just brilliant for someone of her call. She can just pick up on what the court needs, and assimilate the data she's got beautifully." "She's confident, and has every reason to be so."
Recent work: Acted as sole counsel for Lord Triesman in a libel claim brought by Worawi Makudi, the head of the Thai Football Association. The case revolved around allegations of corruption made by Lord Triesman.

Data Protection
Media clients are a feature of this set's work in this area, with members regularly appearing on behalf of print and multimedia news providers. Tenants have also appeared on behalf of governmental departments and taken active roles around the Leveson Inquiry. Recent notable cases for the chambers include a request by a journalist for case papers relating to Nick Griffin's prosecution for racial hatred offences. Sources say: "The set has always been one of the mainstays of this area."

Client service: "The clerks are great. We have a long-standing relationship with them and they are always accommodating and helpful. I can always get hold of them - there have been many out-of-hours calls." "The clerks are great; they are always responsive and willing to talk money." "The clerks are fantastic. They have accommodated short-notice instructions and have been helpful whenever I need to liaise with them. The set is a well-run and experienced outfit."

SILKS

Andrew Caldecott QC
Undertakes instructions in this field as part of a wide-ranging media law practice, which also takes in defamation and libel law, as well as injunctions and harassment matters.
Expertise: "Andrew brings sheer intellectual brilliance to a project, which he combines with a thorough understanding of the client base. He brings his brain as well as a great understanding of what we need. He is a unique beast. He is also an amazing advocate, who is very calm and persuasive and seems to always have the ear of the judges." "He is one of those people you wouldn't want to be against - he is pretty brilliant."
Recent work: Appeared in the Leveson Inquiry on behalf of a national newspaper.

JUNIORS

Aidan Eardley
Represents a wide range of clients in matters in this field, as well as in wider media law. These clients include national newspapers and broadcasters, well-known personalities and trade unions.
Expertise: "Aidan is very responsive. I trust his judgement completely and he is very easy to deal with. You know what you are getting from him: first-class service. Also, he is very client-friendly." "He is strategic, bright and extremely hard-working. He is good to have on-side." "I would describe him as a quite cerebral lawyer. He is very thoughtful and measured and inventive legally. Very much a lateral thinker, he thinks outside the box."
Recent work: Acting on behalf of The Guardian in the newspaper's request for The Prince of Wales' correspondence with government ministers.

Catrin Evans
Represents government departments and media bodies in this field. She is well known for her privacy work, and also undertakes human rights matters.
Expertise: "She is just brilliant. Friendly and approachable, she always makes herself available." "Catrin is one of my first ports of call. I trust her judgement and she is good and quick on her feet. You get the complete package with her." "She is somebody with an excellent grip on the issues and keeps a calm head in a storm."
Recent work: Appeared on behalf of the Department for Culture, Media & Sport in a successful appeal against a decision of the Information Commissioner.

David Glen
Practises in this area and is an expert in defamation and privacy law. Clients include the BBC, Ofcom and public figures from the world of sport and entertainment.
Expertise: "An absolute star junior. He's intellectually brilliant but combines that with pragmatism. He provides very strategic advice. His advocacy is very good too; he was very succinct whilst addressing everything we needed him to."
Recent work: Acted for the BBC in a five-day hearing in relation to a request for information concerning the television show 'Panorama'.

The Legal 500 2013

Clearly a cut above many of its competitors’, One Brick Court is home to ‘some of the top practitioners in the business’, who are noted for their ‘adaptability to the demands of any given case’. Clients also highlight the clerking, which ‘could not be any better’. The ‘phenomenal’ Andrew Caldecott QC ‘remains at the very top of his game and the profession in general’, and is ‘highly recommended for his tactical nous and strategic ability’. Richard Rampton QC ‘remains one of the best brains’ among the QCs in the field. The set has two top-rated juniors in Aidan Eardley (‘head and shoulders above most in his field’) and Catrin Evans (‘probably the junior of choice for media defendants’). Caroline Addy also impresses, and Sarah Palin is ‘a real star of the junior media Bar’, and ‘really understands the workings of journalists and the importance of freedom of speech issues’. Jane Phillips is ‘a true specialist who exudes confidence’, and is noted for her ‘intelligence and creativity’. The ‘articulate and knowledgeable’ Timothy Atkinson attracts praise for his ‘clear expertise in the area of media and libel’. David Glen is ‘very bright, and great at absorbing detail’, and Ian Helme’s ‘first-class knowledge’ makes him ‘one to watch for the future’.

Chambers and Partners 2013

THE SET One Brick Court wins through due to its combination of first-rate barristers and fantastic client service. One of the areas where it particularly excels is responsiveness, with clients noting that "members bend over backwards to get back to you." This alacrity proves particularly popular with media clients. The set also stands out due to its "superior clerking." "David Mace and his clerking team will make sure you get exactly what you need without attempting to build unrealistic expectations."

SILKS Andrew Caldecott QC is at the very pinnacle of his profession, and is admired by peers, instructing solicitors and clients alike. Described variously as a "titan" and "a brain of Britain," he is quite simply "the best libel barrister around bar none," equipped as he is with "more grey cells between his ears than you or I will ever have." The analysis he proffers is both "ingenious and forensic," and he is "a master of the bigger picture" who offers superior strategic advice. In addition to this, solicitors say that he has "a common-sense approach which means clients can easily understand him." Recent highlights for Caldecott include acting for Zac Goldsmith MP and Jemima Khan as claimants seeking to maintain an injunction to ensure the confidentiality of apparently unlawfully obtained private e-mails. He also appeared at the Leveson Inquiry on behalf of Guardian News & Media. His contribution to the Defamation Bar has been underscored by his 2011 appointment as specialist adviser to the Parliamentary joint committee reviewing the draft Defamation Bill.

Richard Rampton QC "combines gravitas and legal knowledge with formidable client-handling skills." He is "a top QC, a great team player," and quite simply "knows it all." His recent matters include acting as lead counsel for Times Newspapers in a libel case brought against it by an officer in the Metropolitan Police Service. The claim was brought in relation to an article reporting allegations of corrupt payments received for the provision of information.

Manuel Barca QC maintains a broad brief which encompasses the full gamut of privacy, defamation and reputation management cases. He has forged a fine reputation as "a very good man to turn to in a tight spot," as he is "an assertive advocate whom you can turn to for clever, measured and sensible advice." He represented the Sunday Times in a libel case brought by Elena Baturina, the wife of the former mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov. He has also been advising the CEO of the Professional Footballer's Association, Gordon Taylor, in relation to both the News of the World phone hacking affair and the Leveson Inquiry. Those that instruct Barca say that "he is always happy to take up the baton, no matter where he is." This accessibility combined with the tremendous work ethic he displays makes him a clear client favourite.

JUNIORS Catrin Evans is "an absolutely superb advocate who is calm, thoughtful, persuasive and highly committed." Her coolness under fire and capacity for hard graft have made her a big hit with clients. Her recent cases include being led by David Price QC on behalf of the Telegraph Media Group in Thornton v Telegraph Media Group, a case relating to claims for libel and malicious falsehood arising from a review of the claimant's book published in the Daily Telegraph. Evans also acted for the NME magazine in a libel claim pursued by Morrissey in relation to an article published by the defendant concerning Morrissey's alleged views on immigration.

David Glen was led by Andrew Caldecott QC on behalf of Associated Newspapers in a libel action brought by financier Nat Rothschild. The case concerned an article published in the Daily Mail concerning Lord Mandelson's attendance at an event hosted by Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. Those that instruct Glen say that he is "client-friendly, commercial and creative. He is a deep thinker who is able to come up with points which others might miss."

Aidan Eardley offers "an exceptional brain combined with a first-class work ethic." "Depressingly clever," according to peers, he leavens his obvious intelligence with "a good dollop of common sense." He was recently led by Andrew Caldecott QC on behalf of Macmillan Publishers in a libel case brought by the editor of a scientific journal concerning an article in the publication Nature.

Jane Phillips is noted for her adroit handling of cases for clients ranging from prominent individuals to multinational corporations. While "some counsel might be overly bullish or overly pessimistic in their diagnosis, she is always pragmatic and quick to give incisive advice," say those that use her. Of late Phillips has been acting for actress and wildlife campaigner Virginia McKenna in a libel action brought against the Daily Mail.

Ian Helme continues to impress sources with displays of legal knowledge far beyond his year of call. He is both "extremely good on technical legal points and highly commercial." Allied to this, he has a pleasing work ethic manifested by his "willingness to roll up his sleeves and be a real team player." Such is his standing that more than one commentator said that they "would consider instructing him over a senior junior." His recent efforts have included acting for News International in the civil proceedings relating to phone hacking.

Fellow junior Caroline Addy is classed as "a great all-rounder" for defamation cases as she is "highly analytical in her approach and thorough in her preparation." She is currently acting for an education consultant in advancing a claim for libel against Buckinghamshire County Council. The case concerns allegedly defamatory letters the council sent to a number of schools in the county.

Sarah Palin boasts "impressive intellectual dexterity," and provides "great strategic thinking and solid tactical input." She is being led by Jonathan Caplan QC acting for Associated Newspapers in the Leveson Inquiry.

Timothy Atkinson is a "fearsomely bright" and highly regarded junior who undertakes a great quantity of defamation cases. He is being led by Richard Rampton QC as junior counsel for the defendants in McLaughlin & Others v London Borough of Lambeth & Khan, a notable libel claim brought by the management of a school concerning e-mails written by the borough council's chief auditor.

Harvey Starte's prior career as a journalist has surely been a contributing factor to his success at the Bar. Highly sought after for his expertise in reputation management issues, he offers expert, to-the-point advice and great judgement. Recently, he acted for British actor Neil Morrissey in the successful libel claim he brought against Associated Newspapers in relation to false allegations of drunken behaviour.

Kate Wilson provides clear and client-friendly advice, which sources single out for its positive and practical nature. Clients say that "she never says, 'We can't do that' but always says, 'You might want to consider this course of action'." Richard Rampton QC led her in the Flood v Times Newspapers case.

Jonathan Scherbel-Ball makes his debut in the rankings following comments suggesting that he is "years ahead of his level of call when one looks at his experience." Prior to being called to the Bar he was a media solicitor and, as a result, "he's able to add considerable value to any case." Now every inch the barrister, he is widely expected to have a good professional future ahead of him not least because of his evident knowledge of the law. One commentator said of him: "He's both creative and a walking legal dictionary."

Legal 500 2012 – Defamation and privacy

One Brick Court is praised for the quality of its clerks and the overall service of its barristers. ‘One of the top media QCs at the moment’, Andrew Caldecott QC is ‘an undisputed leader and tremendous advocate’ who ‘remains extremely down to earth and user friendly’. His recent highlights include appearing for Associated Newspapers in its successful defence of a claim for libel brought by Nathaniel Rothschild, while ‘doyen of the libel Bar’ Richard Rampton QC appeared for the defendant in Flood v Times Newspapers. Since taking silk in 2011, Manuel Barca QC has developed a strong reputation for his ‘fantastic advocacy skills’ and ‘robust approach, which makes him particularly good at cross-examination’. The ‘remarkable’ Catrin Evans is a ‘go-to junior’, as is Aidan Eardley, who is consistently praised for his ‘incredible brain’. Sarah Palin is ‘very impressive’, and Jane Phillips is an ‘absolutely excellent advocate’. David Glen is ‘still relatively junior but will surely be a top QC one day’.

Members of Chambers are again also ranked in the Media and Entertainment listing.

Chambers and Partners 2012

One Brick Court is a true bastion of media law. No one trick pony, it does not just assist clients with defamation work, but can tackle a host of media-related questions such as breach of confidence and freedom of information issues, to name but a few. On the defamation and privacy front, it is a perennial feature in the market's most high-profile cases. As evidence of its efforts, it has appeared in a number of the major appellate and Supreme Court matters of recent times including Spiller v Jospeh, Flood v Times Newspapers, and Ajinomoto v ASDA. Besides being praised for the excellence of its members, the set is noted as being home to barristers who "rub along brilliantly with clients and are a pleasure to instruct." The clerks are also praised for being "likeable and effective."

Andrew Caldecott QC is "head and shoulders above anyone else," "just the best," and "the go-to boffin for complex defamation or privacy work," depending on which of his many adherents you listen to. Noted for both his overwhelming intellect and pleasant manner, he is "a prize advocate who always enjoys a good relationship with the Bench". According to those that use him, he is "incredibly articulate, and always adds something in conference – he just plucks propositions out of the air which enable you to win a case." His skills were recently showcased in Spiller v Joseph, the first libel case heard by the Supreme Court since its creation, in which the defence of "honest opinion" was refined as "honest comment." Richard Rampton QC attracts a similar weight of effusive praise. "Smooth and enticing, he is an effective advocate, who is great with a jury." This "first-rate, highly tenacious" performer recently led in defence of Times Newspapers in one of the few defamation trials on the Reynolds Privilege. Manuel Barca QC joined these two titans of the Defamation Bar in silk this year. "A punchy advocate who is very hard-working and intellectually robust," he recently acted for The Times in an action brought by Elena Batinura, the wife of billionaire Yuri Luzhkov. He has also been advising Gordon Taylor, head of the Professional Footballers Association, on the continuing fall out of the News of the World phone hacking scandal.

Catrin Evans, who has recently been appointed to the Attorney General’s 'A' Panel of approved counsel, is praised as "great on her feet" and "one of the best juniors at her level." She recently acted for a TV channel in a libel claim brought by a professional jockey, and, led by Andrew Caldecott QC, represented the BBC in an action concerning a radio programme about the lending policies of a particular bank prior to the credit crunch. Aidan Eardley is "basically a walking brain," and presents as "a subtle, concise advocate" who is "highly dependable." His recent cases include acting for Tata Steel and Macmillan Publishers. Eardley's fellow juniors include Jane Phillips, "a go-to senior junior, who is incredibly pragmatic, knowledgeable, and sympathetic to the client." Her talents are sufficiently manifold that she can easily switch between claimant and defendant work. Matters of note for her include acting on behalf of Barbara Broccoli against Associated Newspapers, and advising a number of celebrities on privacy issues. Also rated, Caroline Addy is "a good defamation all-rounder," while David Glen is "a very impressive, very hands-on" barrister, who "has a nice touch with clients, whilst also being good on his feet." Associated Newspapers, the BBC and Ofcom have all been recent clients of his.

Well-regarded junior Timothy Atkinson was led by Richard Rampton QC, acting on behalf of the claimant NMT Medical Research in a libel action concerning allegations of research misconduct. He gets his fair share of top-end work, as does Ian Helme, who has been representing a New Zealand cricketer suing billionaire Lalit Modi over a Tweet and online article containing allegations of match fixing. Helme also acted for the former MP for Beckenham in a libel action against the Evening Standard. Sarah Palin's recent sorties have included appearing in defence of Associated Newspapers in a libel action brought by Nicola Horlick, as well as acting in a number of other high-profile libel and privacy cases. She is known not only for her knowledge of the media industry, but also for the "drive and enthusiasm she brings to each and every case." Her stablemates include Harvey Starte, "a very safe pair of hands," who has "excellent written skills and judgement you can trust." One solicitor said of him: "When I used him, he made some decisions which turned out to be right even though two silks disagreed with him." Starte has been involved in proceedings on behalf of a Haringey social worker against NGN concerning articles in The Sun and the newspaper's petition in its 'Justice for Baby P' campaign. Finally here, Kate Wilson is noted for her ability with clients and for having "judgment beyond her call." She has recently been instructed on behalf of The Times, the BBC and a former press secretary to the Queen.

Legal 500 2011 - Defamation and Privacy

One Brick Court remains 'one of the best sets for defamation and privacy work', with 'members that are consistently of the highest quality' and 'clerking that is first rate, prompt, experienced and efficient'.  The 'formidable' Andrew Caldecott QC 'adds a touch of genius to cases', and appeared in Spiller v Joseph for the Interveners (Guardian News and Media Limited, Times Newspapers Limited, Associated Newspapers Limited, The Financial Times Limited, the BBC and British Sky Broadcasting), where the Supreme Court relaxed the requirements for honest comment.  Richard Rampton QC is a 'leading force in the libel world' and has 'strong intellect and tremendous experience'; he appeared in McLaughlin v London Borough of Lambeth, a case brought by the management of a primary school against its local authority for libel and infringment of Article 8 for publications to the Department for Education.  Among the juniors Catrin Evans is 'clever, experienced and hardworking', David Glen is 'bright, sensible and pragmatic', Sarah Palin is 'calm, bright and diligent', Aidan Eardley is 'a class act', Ian Helme is 'very intelligent and perceptive', Kate Wilson is 'dependable, clear thinking and decisive', and the 'hardworking' Timothy Atkinson is also singled out.

Members of Chambers are again also ranked in the Media and Entertainment listing.

Chambers and Partners 2011 Defamation/Privacy

"One Brick Court is the stamping ground of a host of talented defamation and privacy law lawyers. A consistently high calibre of expertise is to be found across the set, and the lawyers on board are amongst the most popular in the market. They win through as they are 'good fun to work with and find points in cases that no one else spots.' Defamation, contempt, privacy and Data Protection Act matters are all handled by individuals who 'demonstrate great judgement and, where necessary, administer tough love.' "

"Andrew Caldecott QC is 'absolutely top-class.' Solicitors favour him as 'he is brilliant strategically and eminently reasonable at all times, and he has a very attractive manner and a very good brain.' One interviewee commented of him: 'He's unfailingly impressive in court, proving witty and anecdotal in his style. I come away enriched from having a conversation with him and confident in his skill to turn around a case that otherwise wouldn't be winnable.' Caldecott has acted on a host of major cases, acting for the likes of Deutsche Bank. The 'shrewd and charming' Richard Rampton QC has handled increasingly impressive cases for years now. Interviewees were quick to lavish praise on a lawyer who 'presents his cases succinctly and is capable of distilling matters down to their essentials.' Manuel Barca 'has a nice turn of phrase and a beguiling manner.' Coupled with this, 'he can take a tough approach in court as he is determined to get what his clients want.' His practice centres around defamation and reputation management. Barca is fearless in court and will 'try his absolute best and never throw in the towel.' Interviewees highlight Catrin Evans' diligent approach to work and her affable character. She offers creative and imaginative solutions to problems and displays 'real clarity and focus' when addressing the court. Of late, she has been working with Andrew Caldecott QC on several matters, including representing the BBC in the Bond v BBC case. Jane Phillips has also represented the BBC, acting on a libel action pertaining to Newsnight's reporting of the Trafigura case. She also does pre-publication work, as does Caroline Addy, whose extensive practice covers all aspects of media and information law for both claimants and defendants. Addy has acted for companies, entertainment and sports celebrities, and is praised for being 'bubbly, waffle-free, very bright and hugely supportive to solicitors.' Aidan Eardley is 'a good junior who gets his head round the issues of a case with ease.' He acted as junior to Andrew Caldecott QC for the defendant in Timtchenko v The Economist Newspaper Ltd. Interviewees praise Eardley for his intellectual prowess and his talent for dealing with detailed matters. 'He has a super brain and will have a really rosy future,' said one. David Glen is another tipped for great things. 'A wise head on young shoulders,' he acted for the defendant in North London Central Mosque Trust v Policy Exchange & Another. One of Glen's strong suits is the fact that he is 'excellent at identifying and then nullifying the risks in a case.' In a similar vein, Kate Wilson is praised for her good judgement in libel matters and when handing all aspects of media and information law generally. 'Committed and able,' she regularly advises national newspapers, such as the Guardian and The Times, on pre-publication matters. Timothy Atkinson undertakes a variety of work in his busy practice, and receives instructions from as far away as Hong Kong and the Channel Islands. His work comprises both claimant and defendant claims, and he has had a number of significant cases such as McFadden v News Group Newspapers. He further represented the chairman of the Bar Council of Gibraltar in a libel claim. Joanne Cash concentrates on cases involving free speech when not advising media and human rights organisations. She was active in the North London Central Mosque Trust v Policy Exchange case. Like many of the juniors at the set, Ian Helme has often been led by Andrew Caldecott QC. On one such occasion, he appeared in Rath v Guardian Newspapers, successfully resisting the claimant’s application for summary judgment. The set also includes Sarah Palin, who 'grasps complicated issues swiftly and provides practical, commercial advice.' She, too, was recently led by Andrew Caldecott QC, in the case of Mohammed Dahlan v Al Jazeera Satellite TV. Harvey Starte covers both media and relevant human rights law matters, focusing on reputation management. He acts for both claimants and defendants, including corporations and local authorities, as well as entertainment and media celebrities. He recently represented a police commander and his wife in libel and privacy claims regarding articles and photographs published in the News of the World."

Legal 500 2010 - Defamation & Privacy

"One Brick Court has a distinguished history in the field of libel and privacy, and defendants often favour the set for its expertise and industry knowledge. Solicitors credit chambers with ‘first-rate’ clerking, ‘real flexibility’, ‘accessibility’ and the commercial sense to recognise that ‘not all matters merit the full ticket price’. The set has deep expertise at all levels of seniority and a range of enthusiastic clients. Head of chambers Andrew Caldecott QC is a ‘distinguished advocate’, ‘formidable on his feet’, and ‘masters every detail’. Richard Rampton QC ‘can be devastating’ but, nevertheless, is ‘approachable’ and ‘really good to work with’; Stephen Suttle QC is ‘a top-drawer silk’: ‘tenacious’ and ‘bright’. Recommended juniors include the ‘bright’ and ‘personable’ Catrin Evans and journalist-turned-barrister Sarah Palin. Joanne Cash; Aidan Eardley; Jane Phillips; Caroline Addy; Kate Wilson; and Ian Helme are all recognised as ‘conscientious’, ‘bright’ and ‘hardworking’." 

Legal 500 2010 - Media & Entertainment

"One Brick Court’s clerks are ‘particularly good’. With a ‘pre-eminent’ defamation and privacy practice, the ‘phenomenally clever’ Andrew Caldecott QC, along with Catrin Evans and Sarah Palin, represents media clients including Associated Press and Guardian Newspapers, as well as high-profile individuals including Sir Alan Sugar."

Chambers and Partners 2010 - Defamation/Privacy

"This set is renowned for its depth of experience in libel, and houses some of the most talented individuals in this field. It specialises in media law, covering defamation and privacy as well as related areas such as freedom of information, data protection and reporting restrictions, and has been involved in some of the most important defamation matters of the past year. Barristers from the set are acting on both sides of the Mohamed Taranissi v BBC case, and members have also acted in Carmen May Briscoe-Mitchell v Constance Briscoe and Hodder & Stoughton as well as Austin Ivereigh v Associated Newspapers. The set may have lost Victoria Sharp QC to the Bench but has in Andrew Caldecott QC 'a quite simply outstanding advocate and tactician' who is widely regarded as the cleverest and most formidable performer at the Libel Bar. His 'brilliant mind' makes him a top choice for very complex matters and he is regularly instructed in the most high-profile cases, having recently, for example, defended the Guardian against Tesco's libel claims. Richard Rampton QC gets his fair share of the plum work too. This 'absolute gentleman' is 'consistently excellent in the advice he provides.' Solicitors affirm that 'he is not intimidated or fazed by any circumstances he faces and is renowned for his ability to deal with large, document-heavy, complex actions.' He is currently representing Mohamed Taranissi in his libel claim against the BBC. As well as possessing 'attention to detail and thoroughness that are legendary,' Stephen Suttle QC 'also displays fierce commitment to his client's case.' His practice encompasses the full range of media law, as well as related human rights matters. Among the juniors, Manuel Barca is 'a pugnacious and skilled advocate who exercises excellent judgement.' He takes a 'calm and logical approach whilst always retaining a sense of humour,' and has been defending the BBC in the libel action brought by Mohamed Taranissi. Like Barca, Catrin Evans 'has an enviable reputation and is highly respected by claimants and defendants alike.' She possesses 'an excellent ability to focus on the key issues in her cases,' and has recently worked with Andrew Caldecott QC in defending the Guardian against the libel claims brought by Tesco. Jane Phillips is appreciated for her pragmatism and experience, and for her 'ability to see the key issues immediately.' One interviewee commented: 'I find her easy to discuss ideas or strategies with, and she gets on with clients very well.' The bulk of her practice is made up of acting for claimants, although she does also undertake defendant work. Aidan Eardley is another firm favourite with instructing solicitors, who agree that he is 'a rising star in the privacy and defamation field as he is incredibly user-friendly, an excellent pleader, and he gets things down beautifully in writing.' Harvey Starte, meanwhile, is also making waves as he offers advice that is 'always clear, pragmatic and full of common sense.' His recent work has included representing the family of a man who committed suicide whilst on holiday, in a privacy and libel claim against the Mirror Group. As 'an essential part of the team throughout the progress of a case,' Caroline Addy is viewed by clients as 'fantastically bright, and someone who really gets involved with the detail of a dispute.' She recently acted as junior counsel for Frank Warren in his libel claims against Ray Hatton and the BBC. Joanne Cash is 'dependable and assured – she's a formidable barrister with a superb grasp of media law and a very sharp mind.' One client commented: 'I'm a big fan because we've got some very good results with her.' Ian Helme is 'a bright, promising junior with good attention to detail,' whilst Timothy Atkinson receives praise for his ability to 'be tough in a polite way, and to remain quietly persistent.' David Glen 'seems indestructible. He shows total commitment and a huge capacity to absorb infromation.' His practice covers the breadth of media and information law, and he has been acting as junior counsel to the BBC in the Taranissi case. He gains plaudits along with the 'proactive and impressive' Sarah Palin, who is 'very balanced and able to take things in her stride without being fazed by unexpected things happening.' Her noteworthy work has included acting as junior counsel in a successful reporting restrictions judicial review brought by Paul Dacre and Associated Newspapers against Westminster Magistrates’ Court. Finally here, Kate Wilson 'brings a greater maturity than one would expect for her call.' She 'impresses due to the level of her skill and her total thoroughness.' "

Legal 500 2009/10 - Defamation & Privacy

"With appellate victories in defamation cases like Curistan, Jeynes and Burstein, One Brick Court has enjoyed an excellent 2008. Andrew Caldecott QC embodies the set’s best values; he has ‘a brilliant mind‘, is ‘always effective‘, and ‘valued and respected by all.‘ Richard Rampton QC and Stephen Suttle QC also remain prominent. The set’s ability to field large teams is evident - Richard Rampton QC, Jane Phillips and Ian Helme for the claimant in Taranissi v BBC, with Manuel Barca and David Glen for the BBC. Barca ‘gives people confidence and in libel, someone who inspires confidence is critical‘. He ‘produces papers when promised with spot-on advice.‘ Catrin Evans is ‘tenacious and personable‘, ‘sound and gifted‘ as a lawyer. Cases like Tesco v Guardian Newspapers and Bond v BBC illustrate the ease with which she fulfils the role of an ideal junior. Sarah Palin’s experience as a journalist gives her ‘unique and extremely helpful perspectives‘; she is ‘technically very able‘. Elsewhere, Joanne Cash is ‘dependable and assured‘; Aidan Eardley is ‘building his reputation‘ and Jane Phillips is ‘highly able, incisive and pragmatic‘. Caroline Addy is also ‘first-rate and commercial‘. Kate Wilson and Ian Helme are also highly recommended for ‘getting stuck in and giving a case their all‘. The clerking is ‘responsive and sensible on fees‘ and noted for ‘responsiveness, helpfulness and efficiency‘."

Legal 500 2009/10 - Media, Entertainment & Sport

"With a strong defamation and privacy practice, Andrew Caldecott QC, Catrin Evans and Sarah Palin at One Brick Court represent media clients including Associated Press and Guardian Newspapers, as well as high-profile individuals, notably Sir Alan Sugar."

Chambers and Partners 2009 - Defamation/Privacy

Chambers is "renowned for its efforts in handling sophisticated defamation and privacy issues, and also covers general media law and breach of confidence matters. Regularly involved in the most talked-about and challenging cases, the set fields some of the best juniors around." Every silk in chambers is recognized in this year's survey, Andrew Caldecott QC "is in a league of his own", Richard Rampton QC, "A genius of a man and a nice guy to deal with", Victoria Sharp QC "disarms even the steeliest of opponents" and Stephen Suttle QC praised as "simply spectacular". There was specific praise for a number of juniors, including Harvey Starte, Manuel Barca, Caroline Addy and Catrin Evans.

Legal 500 2008/9 – Defamation/Privacy

"Solicitors appreciate One Brick Court for its collective expertise and responsiveness, and describe the head of chambers Andrew Caldecott QC as ' the brightest brain in Britain’, who is ' streets ahead in libel law’, ' easy to get along with’ and ' trusted by the courts’. Richard Rampton QC is ' a hugely experienced jury advocate’. The Hon Victoria Sharp QC provides ' concise, robust advice covering every base’. She represented the newspaper in Curistan v Times Newspapers. Manuel Barca is praised for being ' focused and tenacious’. Well-regarded junior Sarah Palin acted in the Martyn Jones MP case. Solicitors praise Stephen Suttle QC as ' one of the cleverest advocates at the bar’. The ' fantastic all-rounder’ Catrin Evans is considered ' tough, bright and articulate’. Jane Phillips is universally appreciated as ' a safe pair of hands’, while Joanne Cash also successfully appeared in Hollingsworth. Freedom of information expert Aidan Eardley 'produces excellent paperwork’. Promising juniors include the ' clear thinking’ Kate Wilson and Ian Helme."

Legal 500 2008/9 - Media & Entertainment

"Market-leading defamation set One Brick Court is also prominent in media and entertainment law, focusing on freedom of information work. Andrew Caldecott QC, described as ' supportive and delightful to work with’, The Hon Victoria Sharp QC and Catrin Evans act for clients including Associated Press and Guardian Newspapers."

Chambers & Partners 2008 – Defamation/Privacy

"According to many, this is “the pre-eminent chambers" for high-profile defamation and privacy cases. Accordingly, it is constantly exposed to serious and interesting matters. Interviewees praised it fulsomely for the depth of experience it has and for its “clutch of sensible personalities." Its team can boast unmatched involvement in the past year’s key defamation trials. Members acted in Sir Martin Sorrell v FullSix SpA and Benatti, an action regarding defamation and privacy. In Lord Browne v Associated Newspapers, barristers from One Brick Court appeared for Associated Newspapers in a key privacy injunction case brought by Lord Browne, Group Chief Executive of BP. The case raised important questions about the extent to which information derived from a claimant`s partner is to be regarded as private or confidential. The group was also involved in Paul McKenna v Mirror Group Newspapers, Boris Berezovsky v Mikhail Fridman and Marion Henry v BBC. "

Legal 500 2007/8 – Defamation/Privacy

"Solicitors praise the 'very, very good’ chambers for its out-of-hours cover and say the clerks 'can always find the right personality for the case and client’."

Legal 500 2007/8 – Media & Entertainment

"Some of the barristers at market-leading defamation and privacy set One Brick Court also have a wealth of experience in media and entertainment law. The 'extremely impressive’ Andrew Caldecott QC maintains an active and high-profile practice. Catrin Evans is active in acting for newspapers, broadcasters and publishers in relation to matters including reporting restrictions. The Hon Victoria Sharp QC is also highly regarded."

Chambers and Partners 2007 – Defamation/Privacy

"Consistency is its hallmark. As one client pointed out: “The lovely thing is that if you can`t get who you want, there is always somebody who is just as good." The set offers “a fantastic fount of technical knowledge," and has historically been seen as “the go-to set for defamation and privacy matters." Instructing solicitors warm to the fact that “the youngsters here are constantly introduced at a competitive rate and quickly build up priceless skills and knowledge."

Legal 500 2006/7 – Defamation/Privacy

"One Brick Court’s members act for newspapers, broadcasters and celebrities, with last year`s highlights including several important cases on the Reynolds privilege, (or the `defence of responsible journalism`). “One Brick Court boasts 'a bunch of extremely talented people all of whom are ready for action.’ Clients applauded its 'great panache and professional know-how,’ with one interviewee stating: 'There is no substitute for the expertise and responsiveness that its juniors can bring to a case.’ The 'crème de la crème,’ it was also commended for its 'hard-work ethic and close ties with clients’."

Chambers and Partners 2005 – Defamation/Privacy

"A 'popular choice’ for defamation and privacy, this set boasts a 'fabulous breadth and strength’ in the field and offers clients 'some of the best advocates in the country’."

Legal 500 2005 – Defamation/Privacy

"One Brick Court has a host of excellent silks and juniors operating in the fields of privacy and defamation."