Gervase de Wilde

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.

Notable instructions include: acting for the successful claimant at trial in the County Court and on appeal in the High Court (Basuta v Dhemrait [2017] EWHC 1126 (QB)) 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 (in R v Alexander Blackman), the Crown Court (including the Old Bailey), the High Court (Queen’s Bench, Chancery and Family Divisions), and the Employment Tribunal.

In 2017 his reporting restrictions work included appearing: on behalf of various media organisations on a successful application to identify the then 15-year-old defendants in R v Markham and Edwards following their conviction (a decision upheld by the Court of Appeal in R v Markham (Stan Lucas) [2017] EWCA Crim 739; [2017] 2 Cr App R (S) 30); on behalf of the Financial Times on the hand-down of judgment in Director of the Serious Fraud Office v Eurasian Natural Resources Corp Ltd [2017] EWHC 1017 (QB); [2017] Lloyd’s Rep FC 330; and in R v Jemma Beale [2017] EWCA 1012 (Crim) (led by Adam Wolanski), an appeal on the anonymity of a complainant of sexual offences who was later prosecuted for perjury.

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, Christ Church, 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

Data Protection and Information Law
Defamation and Malicious Falsehood
Pre-publication Advice
Privacy and Confidence
Reporting the Courts and Contempt


“Gervase de Wilde is proactive and solution-focused. He’s a great help to his instructing solicitors.” “Extremely industrious, and he gets more involved in the nuts and bolts than I would expect of a barrister.”
Chambers & Partners 2020 (Defamation/Privacy)

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); [2017] EMLR 4 27/07/2016

Al-KO Kober Ltd & Anor v Balvinder Sambhi

[2017] EWHC 2474 (QB) 06/10/2017

Basuta v Dhemrait

[2017] EWHC 1126 (QB) 10/02/2017

All cases

Defamation and Malicious Falsehood

Spicer v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis

[2019] EWHC 1439 (QB) 07/06/2019

Alexander Economou v David de Freitas

[2016] EWHC 1853 (QB); [2017] EMLR 4 27/07/2016

Privacy and Confidence

BVC v EWF (No. 2)

[2019] EWHC 2506 (QB) 27/09/2019

R (oao TT) v The Registrar General for England and Wales

[2019] EWHC 1823 (Fam) 17/07/2019


[2018] EWHC 2674 (QB) 16/10/2018


BVC v EWF (No. 2)

[2019] EWHC 2506 (QB) 27/09/2019

Reporting the Courts and Contempt

R (oao TT) v The Registrar General for England and Wales

[2019] EWHC 1823 (Fam) 17/07/2019

RJ v Tigipko 2

[2019] EWHC 448 (Fam) 01/03/2019

RJ v Tigipko

[2019] EWHC 105 (Fam) 25/01/2019

R v Jemma Beale

[2017] EWCA 1012 (Crim) 17/07/2017

Injunctive Relief


[2018] EWHC 2674 (QB) 16/10/2018

Al-KO Kober Ltd & Anor v Balvinder Sambhi

[2017] EWHC 2474 (QB) 06/10/2017

General Common Law

Basuta v Dhemrait

[2017] EWHC 1126 (QB) 10/02/2017



The Law of Privacy and the Media 3rd Edition

By Gervase de Wilde. 22 Jan 2016

In 5RB News

17 Jul 2019

Transgender man who gave birth loses anonymity

26 Apr 2018

5RB Podcasts on Interim Injunctions

Seeking and defending an interim injunction application

2 Nov 2017

“The pre-eminent set”: Chambers UK

5RB and members recommended for Defamation & Privacy and Data Protection in 2018 Chambers UK Bar Guide

19 Oct 2017

5RB Podcast on the Lachaux decision

Round Table discusses the ramifications for Serious Harm

17 Jul 2017

Perjury defendant loses anonymity

Appeal leads to ruling by Court of Appeal on key provision in Sexual Offences Amendment Act 1992

12 Jun 2017

Court of Appeal rejects anonymity challenge

Trial judge’s decision to identify 15 year olds upheld

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