Complex issues


Defamation and privacy

Top ranked by Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 for our defamation and privacy work, RPC consistently delivers results for our clients at national and local newspapers, broadcasters, publishers and new media companies.

Described by the Legal 500 as "the pre-eminent defendant practice" we have been involved in some of the highest profile defamation and privacy cases in recent years. Frequently working for multiple newspapers and publishers, we are well-equipped and confident in taking on the largest of cases from the High Court to Strasbourg.

The Media Group is highly experience at tackling defamation and privacy actions, both after proceedings have been served and when injunctions are threatened. We work closely with in-house lawyers at major media organisations and are trusted advisors to the largest organisations in the business. As a result of our in-depth knowledge and experience in the sector, our lawyers are regularly invited to speak at seminars and conferences and have recently been asked to give evidence to the Committee on Culture, Media and Sport, and to the consultation on Costs in Civil Proceedings carried out by Lord Justice Jackson.

With the proliferation of online content, the team is dealing increasingly with defamation and privacy in the context of new media and online publication and we are adept at handling the issues that arise in this sphere.


  • "Widely recognised as a go-to firm for defending a wide range of media entities in defamation cases" - Chambers UK 2016
  • "Hugely impressive. Several lengths past any competitor on defendant work" - Chambers UK 2015
  • "Integrated, seamless service and they provide a lot in terms of general support" - Chambers UK 2015
  •  "Pre-eminent defendant practice, with a long-established reputation as a market leader in the representation of broadcasters and of newspaper, magazine, online and book publishers" - Chambers UK 2015
  • "Responsive, focused and commercial. They really cut to the chase and get on with it, give clear, punchy advice and resolve disputes economically"- Chambers UK 2014 
  • "Practical, responsive and very good listeners who adapt their style of advice to something you understand" - Chambers UK 2014
  • "A pre-eminent defendants practice" - Chambers UK 2014
  • "First-class: they are thorough and perceptive, and draw on rich experience" - Chambers UK 2014
  • "Knows the publishing industry inside out’, and ‘seems to have acted for just about everyone in the sector’" - The Legal 500, 2013 edition
  • "RPC is one of the market's leading defendant practices. Its leading status is acknowledged and supported by commentators, who note that "they are so close to the law being made, they know exactly what happens in the field of both libel and privacy; they are very good at just identifying the legal issues, and helping us deal with it through pragmatic and workable advice'" - Chambers UK 2013


Examples of relevant work


  • Various claimants v MGN Limited – acting for MGN Limited in the high-profile civil claims brought against it and its publications (Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and The People) relating to voicemail interception
  • HRH Prince Alwaleed v Forbes LLC & ors – acting for Forbes in a libel action brought by Prince Alwaleed, the nephew of the King of Saudi Arabia, in respect of several articles discussing the Claimant’s assets and the valuation of his net worth for the purposes of ranking him on the Forbes Billionaires List. Forbes was largely successful in a hearing on meaning recently decided
  • Dato Worawi Makudi v Baron Triesman – successfully struck out a defamation and malicious falsehood claim against Lord Triesman, the former Chairman of the Football Association and the England 2018 World Cup Bid, in relation to evidence he gave to the Culture, Media and Sport Committee of the House of Commons. The Claimant was the president of the Football Association of Thailand and a member of FIFA’s executive committee. RPC persuaded the court at first instance to strike out the claim, a decision upheld by the Court of Appeal. RPC successfully opposed the Claimant’s application to appeal to the Supreme Court
  • Tim Yeo MP v Times Newspapers Ltd – defending Times Newspapers in a libel action brought by Mr Yeo, former chairman of the Environmental Audit Select Committee and the House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Select Committee. The claim relates to articles published in the Sunday Times by the paper’s Insight Team, revealing a conflict between Mr Yeo’s private business interests and his public duty. At a hearing in August 2014, Mr Justice Warby (i) heard the first application for a jury trial under the new Defamation Act 2013 and (ii) determined the meanings of the articles complained of. The judgment on meaning was largely favourable to Times Newspapers
  • Raheem Brennerman v TNL & Duncan Campbell – defending Times Newspapers and a freelance journalist in a libel action brought by Mr Brennerman, concerning an article which suggested that certain offshore trusts were misusing the names of well-known British charities to avoid tax and conceal true beneficiaries
  • Robert Murat and others v Associated Newspapers, Express Newspapers, MGN and News Group Newspapers and Tapas 7 v Express Newspapers - acting for multiple publishers in an action regarding allegations published in the course of the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann
  • Polanski v Vanity Fair - acting for a magazine in high-profile libel which went to House of Lords on the issue of video evidence
  • Robert Dee v Reuters, Express Newspapers, Independent News and Media, Associated Newspapers Ltd - acting for multiple publishers in relation to stories published about a professional tennis player
  • Ivereigh v Associated Newspapers - instructed by Associated Newspapers to defend the first retrial of a libel action in recent times
  • Lord Brown v Associated Newspapers - securing the first victory by a newspaper in a privacy case in recent times



For more information please contact Keith Mathieson ( or David Hooper ( You can read RPC's Privacy Law Blog by clicking here.

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