Gervase de Wilde


Gervase joined 5RB in October 2013 following the completion of his pupillage in Chambers. He converted to the law after working as a national newspaper journalist. His work since becoming a member of Chambers has included acting for and advising media businesses, including newspapers and broadcasters, public authorities, trades unions, private individuals, and companies in relation to a wide range of issues, including defamation, privacy, harassment and court reporting.

Recent instructions include: acting for the successful claimant at trial in the County Court and on appeal in the High Court in a malicious prosecution claim; acting for the claimant (led by Jonathan Barnes) in a landmark case on s4 of the Defamation Act 2013, Economou v de Freitas [2016] EWHC 1853 (QB); acting for the successful defendant (led by Justin Rushbrooke QC) in Lokhova v Tymula [2016] EWHC 225 (QB); striking out a libel and harassment claim arising from a dispute over the running of a Trust; obtaining a High Court injunction against the publisher of harassing websites (Rada-Ortiz v Espinosa-Vadillo [2015] EWHC 2175 (QB)); obtaining a High Court injunction to prevent harassment on social media, and a highly unusual associated order for service via the same platform; achieving the de-listing of defamatory search results by means of a claim brought under the “Right to be Forgotten”; and obtaining Norwich Pharmacal orders in relation to defamatory reviews on search engines.

Gervase also advises and acts for newspapers and other media organisations in relation to reporting restrictions, work which has seen him appear as sole counsel in a wide range of courts and tribunals, including the Court of Appeal, the Court Martial Appeal Court, the Crown Court (including the Old Bailey), the High Court (Queen’s Bench and Chancery Divisions), and the Employment Tribunal.

Gervase provides pre-publication advice to newspapers the Daily MailMetro, The Observer and The Guardian, and to the broadcaster ITN. He also advises Harper Collins, Bloomsbury and others on book publication. He writes about and has taught media law, has written extensively for the Inforrm media law blog, and is a contributor to the third edition of Tugendhat & Christie on The Law of Privacy and the Media (chapters on Copyright, and on the Internet and Social Media).

Before retraining as a barrister, Gervase worked as a writer and editor. His experience during this time included four years as a staff journalist on the Arts Desk at The Daily Telegraph. While at the Telegraph, he wrote reviews, features and opinion pieces for the newspaper, was responsible for the Culture section of the paper’s website, and worked regularly in the news room. He has also been a freelance writer and contributing editor on music and the arts for newspapers and magazines nationally and internationally.


French, Italian (reading)

Scholarships and Awards


Douglas Jerrold Scholarship (Christ Church)

Lincoln’s Inn

Lord Bowen Scholarship

Hardwicke Entrance Award

Lord Denning Scholarship

Buchanan Prize

Pupillage Scholarship



2012 Called to the bar


BA English Literature, Oxford University, double 1st
MA Issues in Modern Culture (literature and cultural studies), UCL, starred/ 1st class
GDL, City University, Distinction
BPTC, City University, Outstanding

Areas of work

  • Copyright
  • Data Protection
  • Defamation
  • Pre-publication Advice
  • Privacy and Confidence
  • Harassment
  • Malicious Falsehood
  • Human Rights
  • Media Law
  • Publishing
  • Reporting the Courts

Featured Cases

Svetlana Lokhova v Piotr Tymula

[2016] EWHC 225 (QB) 01/05/2016

Rada-Ortiz v Espinosa-Vadillo

[2015] EWHC 2175 (QB) 29/05/2015

Alexander Economou v David de Freitas

[2016] EWHC 1853 (QB) 27/07/2016



Alexander Economou v David de Freitas

[2016] EWHC 1853 (QB) 27/07/2016

Human Rights

Alexander Economou v David de Freitas

[2016] EWHC 1853 (QB) 27/07/2016

Media Law

Alexander Economou v David de Freitas

[2016] EWHC 1853 (QB) 27/07/2016


Privacy, the Internet and Social Media - Abridged Extract

By Gervase de Wilde. 22 Jan 2016

The DPA s. 32 exemption: what is journalism?

By Gervase de Wilde. 21 Jan 2015


The Law of Privacy and the Media 3rd Edition


By Gervase de Wilde. 22 Jan 2016


14 Oct 2016

Malicious Prosecution claim succeeds

Complainant is found liable after County Court trial

25 Apr 2016

Murderer named on media application

Crown Court lifts order which had anonymised 17 year old defendant

22 Jan 2016

New edition of The Law of Privacy and the Media published

Read an extract on Privacy, the Internet and Social Media

10 Dec 2015

Mail on Sunday in Bannatyne win

Judge holds false divorce evidence should be publicised

21 Jun 2015

Service of injunction via Instagram

Court permits service of privacy and harassment proceedings via photo-sharing service

20 May 2015

Harassment victim wins libel damages

Libel action which followed criminal conviction settles

17 Apr 2015

Former UN official obtains harassment injunction

Takedown of websites ordered under PHA 1997

24 Nov 2014

Apology and damages in “serious financial loss” claim

Hodge Jones & Allen LLP and Times Newspapers Ltd settle action brought under s.1(2) Defamation Act 2013

3 Oct 2013

5RB welcomes Gervase de Wilde

New tenant recruited