Partner and Head of Media Litigation


Rupert has for some 30 years specialised in media, public/regulatory, advertising and consumer law, contentious and non-contentious. He has experience in the following:

Defamation and privacy law: pre-publication advice to, and defence of claims against, media organisations, campaigning groups, regulators and trade associations; and advice to business and individuals whose rights are infringed, including applying for disclosure orders in relation to social media, seeking injunctions, conducting complaints under IPSO and Ofcom codes.

Information law: disputed requests for personal data under the Data Protection Act, and for information under the Freedom of Information Act.

Public and regulatory law: advising on regulatory codes and procedures of public authorities and associations; and judicial review and procurement challenges; election law. 

Trading, marketing and consumer law: advertising, image rights, copyright, trade marks, data privacy, lotteries, labelling, safety, counterfeiting and unfair commercial practices; and defending Trading Standards prosecutions. Trade sectors include home furnishings, jewellery, telecoms, airlines, hotels, electronic products, foods.

Examples of recent work

  • Defamation and privacy: cases include Ashcroft v. Times Newspapers, Chohan v. Oxford University Press, Sovcomflot v. Lloyds Fairplay, Hardcash Productions v. Crown Prosecution Service, Prince Turki v. Hachette Filipacchi, Prince Nayef v Independent, Cruddas v Times Newspapers., Flood v Times Newspapers. Also several defamation/harassment disclosure actions to identify anonymous postings and false profiles on social media (e.g. against Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, Yahoo, BT), including Takenaka v. Frankl, the first anonymous email libel tracing case to reach trial. Copy clearance for biographies of Prince Charles (the Rebel Prince, Harper Collins) and Jann Wenner (Sticky Fingers, Canongate). Advising on risk intelligence databases.
  • Information law: acting for Jonathan Ungoed-Thomas, The Sunday Times journalist, in the Information Tribunal and High Court action to obtain disclosure of details of MPs’ expense claims; and for Dominic Kennedy, The Times journalist, up to the Supreme Court in relation to access to Charity Commission statutory inquiry information. Also contested FOI cases involving DfID, the Cabinet Office, a University. 
  • Public law: acting for the Advertising Standards Authority in numerous investigations (including re property mis-descriptions, planning battles) and judicial reviews (eg Coys of Kensington v ASA 2012, Sainsbury’s v ASA 2014); challenging Transport for London’s ban on advertising for North Cyprus, challenging Ofcom's procurement process for the telephone preference service; Challenging for the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust the Charity Commission's press releases concerning the funding of CAGE; defending Airport Coordination against proceedings by the administrators of Monarch airlines concerning the allocation of slots at UK airport; acting for the regulator of the marketing of alcoholic drinks; and advising broadcasters in Ofcom investigations concerning compliance with the Ofcom Broadcasting Code. Advising Britain Stronger In Europe in the 2016 EU referendum, and other participants in the 2017 general election.

Qualifications and career

  • Cambridge University, BA History, 1982
  • Admitted as a Solicitor in 1988
  • Solicitor and partner, Theodore Goddard and Addleshaw Goddard, 1988
  • Partner, Bates Wells Braithwaite, 2007

Pro bono, memberships and appointments

  • Adviser, South West London Law Centre (SWLCC)
  • Co-editor and author, Crown, Bray and Earle, Advertising Law & Regulation, Bloomsbury Professional 2010
  • Contributing author, Institute of Practitioners in Advertising’s guide to advertising law, Ad Law, 2016
  • Radio and TV appearances on libel and adverting law issues, numerous press and journal articles
  • Lecturing for C5, Lexis Nexis Butterworths, Informa
  • Member of the Administrative Law Bar Association
  • Member of the Advertising Law Group
  • Member of the Society for Computing and the Law