David specialises in defamation, privacy and confidence, data protection, IP, harassment and other media and entertainment related work and is recommended as a junior barrister in defamation in directories such as Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 2015.
David undertakes a wide variety of work in the High Court and County Court and represents clients at mediations/ADR. David acts for media organisations and publishers, companies, public figures and private individuals. David is public access accredited and can be instructed directly by members of the public and companies in suitable cases and by all publishers, tv, film and theatre producers and media companies for pre-publication advice.
David has an acknowledged interest and expertise in media law cases with technological aspects.
David’s recent media law work has included:
• obtaining several harassment injunctions to protect a number of companies and individuals from internet harassment campaigns
• advising on access to documents from courts and tribunals generally, including obtaining a number of orders for The Times for access to court documents under the open justice principle in insolvency courts
• representing a genealogical research company in proceedings for pre-action disclosure in an internet libel campaign
• advising an international airline and oil company in a blackmail/libel/harassment dispute
• advising individuals on a number of claims under the Google Spain ‘right to be forgotten’ in data protection law, including appeals to the Information Commissioner and strategies for take down of information from search results and other websites
• resisting successfully a number of international requests for UK business intelligence companies to disclose confidential sources in high-profile US commercial litigation
• representing a hedge fund on civil disclosure applications against internet and software companies in response to a misappropriation of valuable commercial IP by an employee
• representing a UK publishing house in respect of a data protection claim in relation to a child abuse memoir
• representing a school in an internet defamation claim where the identity of the defendant was initially unknown, on appeal, and securing a substantial award of damages and an injunction (with Justin Rushbrooke KC)
• representing a director of a hedge fund in a privacy and harassment claim brought by her former husband over surveillance
• representing media organisations on issues of contempt of court, reporting restrictions and protection of journalistic sources
• representing a newspaper editor in relation to his evidence to the Leveson Enquiry
• representing an NGO in libel claims in relation to a landmark anti-corruption report
• representing successfully a law firm in parallel proceedings in libel (Court of Appeal) and harassment (High Court) concerned with the immunity of absolute privilege
• representing a newspaper and editor in a prosecution for breach of a reporting restriction in a high profile criminal trial
• representing a number of claimants whose photographs were wrongly used in newspapers, obtaining substantial compensation on each occasion
• representing a telecoms company in parallel breach of confidence and defamation proceedings
• obtaining a wide variety of Norwich Pharmacal disclosure orders against a number of ISPs, blogs and foreign websites including Google, BT, Twitter, Change.org, Virgin, Sky, Facebook, Moneysavingexpert, Which?, 3, Yahoo and Microsoft.
• advising book publishers, newspapers, magazines and NGOs, including many based in the US or Europe, on responsible journalism defences and confidentiality, including major works on international espionage, the arms trade and major political biographies
• representing the Mayor of a London Borough in a slander claim and in subsequent proceedings about the improper conduct of litigation under the Legal Services Act 2007 by the claimant
• a landmark appeal on the confidentiality and admissibility of irregularly acquired data on personal wealth in matrimonial finance proceedings – Imerman v Tchenguiz
• twice representing companies in libel damages assessments in which on each occasion the company was awarded £50,000
• advising national newspapers on investigative reporting series on tax avoidance, child abuse cases, the horse meat scandal, BaE Systems and FIFA corruption, and blood doping in international athletics
• representing a local newspaper and police in claims based on court reports of a harassment case which were struck out
• representing a documentary maker sued by a murderer serving a whole life tariff in respect of a film about his crimes
• acting for claimants and publishers in a large number of libel actions brought in relation to websites, emails, reports, blog and forum postings and traditional media, including extensive notification and “take down” work.
David’s work for clients on a public access basis has included a successful private defence of a harassment prosecution brought against a blogger, obtaining several awards of libel damages against former employers and club members, privacy complaints to Google and a number of Norwich Pharmacal applications tracing anonymous or pseudonymous online activity. In 2015 David represented a yacht consultant in an international libel dispute where special damages of €135m were claimed.
David has substantial experience representing media in applications for access to documents and closed proceedings in family courts and the Court of Protection, and on applications to resist or vary reporting restrictions in criminal and family cases.
For 10 years David provided pre-publication advice to The Guardian, The Observer, The Independent and The Sunday Times, principally around libel, privacy, contempt and reporting restrictions. David regularly advises a number of independent tv, film and radio production companies on pre and post broadcast legal and compliance issues, NGOs and charitable organisations on the publication of investigative reports, major publishing houses, magazines and specialist web-only publishers. He also has extensive experience of advising trade unions and public sector employees and local authorities on their liabilities in defamation, data protection and privacy. David has advised a number of companies on data protection policy and on subject access requests.
David has also conducted media law training and awareness seminars with charities, campaign groups and media organisations.
David trained at 5RB, and ever since has gained substantial experience of all Chambers’ areas of practice and has contributed to Gatley on Libel and Slander, The Law of Privacy and the Mediaand Lexis PSL on media law.
In 2007 David spent 6 months on secondment from 5RB in the media litigation team at Reynolds Porter Chamberlain LLP.
Before coming to the bar David worked at the Serious Organised Crime Agency on the legal aspects of Hi-tech crime and completing research on the news media during the Second World War at Cambridge University.