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. He is listed as a leading junior in both Chambers and Partners (“proactive and solution focused”) and as a ranked junior in the Legal 500 (“a real rising star”). He has a diverse practice advising and acting for claimants and defendants in relation to the full range of media law disputes, including those involving defamation, privacy, data protection, harassment, contempt, third party disclosure, and court reporting.

Gervase has significant advocacy experience relative to his year of call, and regularly appears as sole counsel in the High Court, including at trial, on appeal, and in multi-day applications, often doing so against silks or senior juniors. He is frequently instructed in relation to claims for injunctive relief to restrict speech, and has obtained and resisted numerous urgent interim injunctions, in cases involving harassment, blackmail, and attacks on the reputation and privacy of both individuals and companies. He has acted in several claims for injunctions and disclosure orders in relation to online content which have involved difficult jurisdictional issues. His court reporting work has seen him appear, often at short notice, in some of the most high profile cases to take place in the Crown Court and in all divisions of the High Court in recent years, and has taken him to a very wide variety of courts and tribunals, from the Magistrates’ Court to the Court of Appeal.

Gervase is also comfortable working as part of a team with solicitors and other counsel. As well as regularly being led by senior members of 5RB, Gervase has recently provided specialist media law input into commercial, intellectual property and employment disputes.

Recent highlights of Gervase’s work include:

Defamation and malicious falsehood

Spicer v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2019] EWHC 1439 (QB) – acting for the defendant Police Commissioner, both on the trial of meaning as a preliminary issue and in ongoing proceedings.

Al-Ko Kober Ltd v Sambhi [2019] EWHC 2409 (QB) – acted for the corporate and personal claimants, and obtained summary judgment against the defendant on their claims for defamation, malicious falsehood and breach of the Data Protection Act 1998 s.10. The application followed the obtaining of an interim injunction ([2017] EWHC 2474 (QB)) and a series of committal applications which ultimately saw the defendant imprisoned for four months ([2018] EWHC 3523 (QB)).

B & G Amsterdam BV v Barber of Sheffield Ltd (2019, unrep.) – acted for the Netherlands-based claimant company and its owner in a successful claim for defamation and malicious falsehood against an English competitor.

Reay v Beamont [2018] EWHC 2172 (QB) – acted for the claimant husband in a defamation and privacy claim against his ex-wife, a comedian, who had included material about him in her show.

Economou v de Freitas [2018] EWCA Civ 2591; [2019] E.M.L.R. 7 – acted on appeal in the CA (led by Desmond Browne QC and Jonathan Barnes), at trial ([2016] EWHC 1853 (QB)) and on an interlocutory application ([2016] EWHC 1218 (QB)) (both led by Jonathan Barnes) in a key case on s4 of the Defamation Act 2013.

Harassment

CWD v MXN [2020] EWHC 1289 (QB) – acting for the claimant in an ongoing claim for harassment, defamation and misuse of private information in relation to the defendants’ dissemination online of information relating to alleged sexual misconduct by the claimant.

BVC v EWF [2019] EWHC 2506 (QB) – acted for the claimant, obtaining summary judgment on part of the claim against the defendant, the claimant’s former partner, having obtained and continued an interim injunction in harassment and misuse of private information, and having successfully resisted a challenge to jurisdiction and service ([2018] EWHC 2674 (QB) [2019] I.L.Pr. 7).

Gervase acted throughout 2019 and 2020 for one of the country’s largest trade unions and its senior leadership team in a harassment and data protection claim against a former branch officer.

GYH v Persons Unknown [2018] EWHC 121 (QB) – obtained summary judgment for the Claimant in her claim relating to a campaign of harassment published online, having previously obtained an interim injunction in the same proceedings ([2017] EWHC 3360 (QB)).

Privacy

JQL v NTP [2020] EWHC 1349 (QB) – acted at trial for the claimant in her claim for misuse of private information over a post published on Facebook by her uncle, as part of an acrimonious family dispute. The Claimant was awarded £15,000 in general and aggravated damages and an injunction.

Maxine Fothergill v Malcolm Knight (unrep.) – acted during 2019 and 2020 for the claimant in an unusual claim for misuse of private information arising from the publication of documents derived from criminal proceedings. The claim was resolved by the payment of substantial damages, the provision of undertakings, and the reading of a statement in open court.

Court Reporting/Production orders

R (on the application of TT) v Registrar General for England and Wales [2019] EWHC 1823 (Fam); [2020] 1 F.C.R. 114 – acted for two media groups on a successful application before the President of the Family Division to identify the claimant, a transgender father who had given birth to a child, and was seeking to be registered as the father.

NCA v Renegade Pictures UK Ltd (Jay J, 12 February 2019, unreported) – acted for the media defendants which successfully resisted an application for a production order by the applicant crime agency.

RJ v Tigipko [2019] EWHC 105 (Fam) – acted for the interested party media groups on an application for publicity by the father of two children, relating to the refusal of their mother and her father to comply with a Court order for the return of the children to this country, and on a subsequent application in relation to the redaction of the judgment ([2019] EWHC 448 (Fam)).

R v Carl Beech ­– acted for the media at a series of hearings in 2018 and 2019 relating to reporting restrictions applying to the Crown Court trial of the man formerly known as “Nick”, who was convicted for perverting the course of justice in relation to the so-called “Westminster paedophile ring”.

Other work and experience 

Gervase has provided pre-publication advice to all of the major newspapers, broadcasters, and publishers. He writes about and has taught media law, has written extensively for the Inforrm media law blog, and has contributed to Tugendhat & Christie on The Law of Privacy and the Media (chapters on Copyright, and on the Internet and Social Media), and McNae’s Essential Law for Journalists.

Gervase regularly acts and advises on a pro bono basis for publishers, campaigning groups and NGOs. He is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of Liberty Investigates, an editorially independent journalism unit which is part of the civil liberties organisation Liberty.

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.

Languages

French, Italian (reading)

Scholarships and Awards

Oxford

Douglas Jerrold Scholarship (Christ Church)

Lincoln’s Inn

Lord Bowen Scholarship

Hardwicke Entrance Award

Lord Denning Scholarship

Buchanan Prize

Pupillage Scholarship

Called

2012 Called to the bar

Education

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
Harassment
Reporting the Courts and Contempt

Testimonials

“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

JQL v NTP

[2020] EWHC 1349 (QB) 27/05/2020

CWD v Nevitt & Ors

[2020] EWHC 1289 (QB) 21/05/2020

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

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

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

CWD v Nevitt & Ors

[2020] EWHC 1289 (QB) 21/05/2020

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

JQL v NTP

[2020] EWHC 1349 (QB) 27/05/2020

CWD v Nevitt & Ors

[2020] EWHC 1289 (QB) 21/05/2020

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

BVC v EWF

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

Harassment

CWD v Nevitt & Ors

[2020] EWHC 1289 (QB) 21/05/2020

BVC v EWF (No. 2)

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

Reporting the Courts and Contempt

CWD v Nevitt & Ors

[2020] EWHC 1289 (QB) 21/05/2020

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

BVC v EWF

[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

Articles

Publications

The Law of Privacy and the Media 3rd Edition

OUP
By Gervase de Wilde. 22 Jan 2016

In 5RB News

12 Jun 2020

Apology given by blogger to local councillor in privacy claim

Misuse of private information claim settled with damages and Statement in Open Court

28 May 2020

Damages and injunction awarded in Facebook privacy claim

Misuse of private information claim over social media dispute succeeds at trial

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

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