Godwin is a leading junior specialising in all areas of media law and acts for both claimants and defendants. He has practised at 5RB since 1995. He acted for J.K. Rowling and her family in the landmark privacy claim Murray v Big Pictures (UK) Ltd and for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in their succesful 'false privacy' claim against the News of the World. More recently he represented the claimant in Tamiz v Google Inc on his appeal against Eady J's decision to put a stop to his libel claim, partly on the basis that Google was not a publisher at common law, for the defendant in Cammish v Hughes, another libel case which went to the Court of Appeal on a Jameel v Dow Jones Inc issue, for the claimant in the privacy injunction cases of Gold v Cox, STU v UVW and Hirschfeld v McGrath, and for the defendant in Zinda v ARK Academies. He is accredited to work on a public access basis.
Godwin is a Contributing Editor of Gatley on Libel and Slander, the leading practitioners' work on the subject, and the Co-Editor (with former member of chambers HH Judge Richard Parkes QC) of the Entertainment and Media Law Reports. He contributed to the first edition of The Law of Privacy and the Media. Last year he became a visiting Senior Fellow of the University of Melbourne, Australia, teaching the LLM Defamation Law course there in November 2012. He was recently appointed a panel member of the Bar Disciplinary Tribunal and Adjudications Service (formerly the COIC Disciplinary Panel), the regulatory tribunal that adjudicates on complaints of professional misconduct against barristers. He is also an accredited mediator.
He also has a sports law practice. He has represented the Jockey Club (now the British Horseracing Authority) at several Enquiries and Appeals and has also appeared on a number of occasions before the Disciplinary Commission of the Football Association.
Godwin regularly writes and gives talks on media law issues. He has published articles in the Journal of Media Law and the Entertainment Law Review. He has also contributed to television and radio broadcasts on media law topics including BBC Radio 4's Law in Action. He edited 5RB's contribution to the defamation section of LexisNexis's new ®PSL IP & IT project.
Godwin has a special interest in medical issues having been the BMJ Publishing Group's main pre-publication legal adviser for over 10 years. He is a member of the Cochrane Library Oversight Committee whose role is to resolve disputes related to the content of the Cochrane Library. The Library consists of a database of systematic reviews of medical research and is recognised globally as a key resource in evidence-based medicine.
1994 Called to the Bar
Jesus College, Cambridge (BA, MPhil); Foundation Exhibitioner
City University, London, (Diploma in Law - Commendation)
Lincoln's Inn; Mansfield and Hardwicke Scholar
Inns of Court School of Law, London; BACFI Prize for Best Performance in Company & Commercial Law
Pegasus Scholar to USA
Senior Fellow in Law, University of Melbourne
Accredited Mediator (ADR Group)
Panel member, Bar Disciplinary Tribunal and Adjudications Service
Areas of work
- Privacy and Confidence
- Sports Law
- Data Protection
- Reporting the Courts
- Pre-publication Advice
- Public Access
- Foreign Jurisdictions
- Human Rights
- Injunctive Relief
- Malicious Falsehood
- Media Law
- Professional Negligence
"...offers 'thorough opinions on tricky matters'." Chambers and Partners 2013
"Very conscientious and meticulous, and doesn't cut any corners." Chambers and Partners 2012
"'Always thorough and proactive'...'rated very highly for his technical skills' and 'ability to judge what a case is really about'." Legal 500 2012
Recommended consistently as a Leading Junior in Defamation by Legal 500 and in Defamation / Privacy by Chambers and Partners
"Highly industrious and a man who knows his stuff" Chambers and Partners 2010
"an extremely astute junior who provides thorough and analytical advice...excellent on his feet" Chambers and Partners 2009
"Excellent...a good man to have in the ring with you" Chambers and Partners 2008
"Conscientious...good on detail" Chambers and Partners 2007
"totally reliable...offers good judgement and an incisive legal mind...technically first class" Chambers and Partners 2006
"...earned respect for his clear understanding of the practice area" Chambers and Partners 2005
"a dedicated barrister who 'puts in all the hours needed' for his clients" Chambers and Partners 2003-4
French; some Italian
(17 Oct 2002)
(6 Dec 2008)