Christina is a leading specialist in media & entertainment law, reputation management and soft intellectual property law. She also specialises in related work including data protection, freedom of information and sports law. She is known as a leading practitioner in image rights work and is the author of The Law of Photography and Digital Images (Sweet & Maxwell, 2004). She has a particular interest and expertise in issues arising from internet user generated content and social networking sites. Christina also has extensive public law experience as a member of the Attorney General’s panel of advocates for 20 years (1999 – 2019) particularly in relation to prisons and the armed forces.
Christina was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2019. In the 100 years in which women have been able to become barristers (since the Sex Disqualification Removal Act 1919), she became only the fifth female QC specialising in media & defamation law to attain that rank.
Media, IP & Freedom of Information
Her high profile work includes: acting for the Met Police throughout the Leveson Inquiry (phone hacking); acting for Ministry of Defence in Axon v MoD (successfully defeating privacy claim brought by a Naval warship commander); counsel for the successful Claimant in Clift v Slough Borough Council (jury trial & Court of Appeal) the leading decision on Article 8 and qualified privilege; AW v Holland ( privacy injunction & committal application for breaches on Facebook & Twitter acting for high profile claimant); advising the Met Police regarding internet & Facebook issues arising from the Baby P case; acting for the Department of Health before the Information Tribunal in response to the Pro Life Alliance’s FOIA request for abortion statistices; and acting for Associated Newspapers Ltd in the copyright and privacy claim brought by HRH the Prince of Wales and heard before Blackburne J.
Christina has acted for many high profile celebrities and in particular premiership footballers in respect of privacy matters the details of which are necessarily confidential. She has a reputation for being particularly skilled at resolving such matters at a pre-publication stage without the need for litigation.
She acted for the Attorney General in The Board of the Tate Gallery v Her Majesty’s Attorney General in relation to reporting restrictions concerning the recovery by the Tate gallery of two paintings by J.M.W. Turner which had been stolen when on loan from the Tate Gallery to the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt following an insurance settlement and option to re-purchase for £24 million if recovered. Christina has a special interest in art and art law related matters.
She has also acted in a many ‘name change’ injunction cases including both misleading company names and website/domain name passing off cases. Christina is frequently instructed by photographic agencies, photographers and media entities in relation to copyright, data protection, privacy and other related claims involving photographs. She has advised and acted for various government departments in copyright, trade mark, licencing and other intellectual property matters, including the Cabinet Office, the Inland Revenue, the Central Office of Information and the UK Hydrographic Office.
Government Work & Judicial Review
From July 2009 until her appointment as Queen’s Counsel, Christina was a member of the Treasury Counsel A Panel of senior lawyers approved by the Attorney General to act on behalf of the Government. Appointment is by open competition and highly competitive and automatically ceases upon a barrister becoming Queen’s Counsel. She was previously on the C Panel (1999 – 2003) and the B Panel (2003 -2008).
She gained considerable public law experience acting for the government including successfully resisting applications seeking to prevent publication of public reports and acted in a wide variety of judicial review applications ranging from immigration to prisoner categorisation decisions to handling of confidential information.
She was selected by the Attorney General to act as an amicus curiae to the Court of Appeal in a contempt case, Thompson v Mitchell.
Commerical, Common Law & Personal Injury
In addition to her intellectual property and media work, she has wide experience of commercial and general common law litigation. Christina has enormous trial advocacy experience having appeared without a leader in numerous trials, in particular appearing on behalf of government departments. Prior to joining 5RB, she practiced at 17 Bedford Row (then chambers of Allan Levy QC) and gained considerable experience of commercial cases acting for the Nationwide Building Society and lenders in mortgage litigation, insurance claims and also general common law litigation. She continues to practice in the more general fields of civil litigation and did a substantial amount of defendant personal injury work for the government particularly on behalf of the Home Office/Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Defence.
Media Appearances, Lectures & Seminars
She has regularly appeared as a legal commentator on media and sports law issues on Sky News, BBC News 24 and radio. Christina has been a contributor to The Times law section since 1999. She appeared as a legal expert on The Grand Tour with Jeremy Clarkson.
For many years, Christina has been regularly invited to speak on copyright and media law issues and to chair conferences & panels including: Commonwealth Law Conference, Melbourne (2017); Commonwealth Law Conference Glasgow (2015); MBL Privacy Law Seminar (2011); Press Gazette Media Law Conference (2009, 2008); chaired the Management Forum Media Law Conference (2003, 2005); IBC Protecting the Media Conference and the IBC International Copyright Law Conference (2006).
In October 2003, she was invited to give a series of lectures in Khartoum to the Sudanese Judiciary and lawyers in the Sudan on intellectual property law as part of a Bar Human Rights Committee & British Council joint project.