Areas of work


Unlike other areas of law, the implications of publishing a story which interferes with the administration of justice or breaches a court order can render a trial unfair and result in criminal penalties. However prohibiting publication may infringe a publisher’s freedom of expression and defeat the principle of open justice.

As leaders in the area of contempt of court in relation to the media, 5RB is well placed to assess and advise on contempt issues. Barristers from 5RB regularly advise on both pre-publication and post-publication issues and have acted in many leading cases in this area, such as McCann v Bennett [2013] EWHC 283 (QB); [2013] EWHC 332 (QB) in which the Defendant was found to be in contempt of court for breach of undertakings.

Professor A.T.H. Smith is the joint author of the leading text Arlidge, Eady and Smith on Contempt (3rd edition, Sweet & Maxwell).

5 recent Contempt cases