Greg Callus joined 5RB in 2015. He specialises primarily in defamation, data protection, freedom of information, privacy, confidentiality, and contempt of court. Under the Cab-Rank Rule, he acts for both claimants and defendants, and frequently appears at hearings concerning the open justice principle (anonymity, reporting restrictions & access to court documents) both for and against the media.
Greg has particular expertise in jurisdiction and conflicts of law in relation to digital technology and non-contractual liability, and has appeared in many of the recent cases on jurisdiction in the Court of Appeal and High Court. He advises frequently on data protection class actions. He is also one of a handful of junior barristers to specialise in electoral law.
Greg is also an Editor of The White Book (Contempt of Court: commentary on CPR Part 81 and Section 3C).
Since the closure of the Press Complaints Commission in September 2014, following the Leveson Inquiry, Greg has been the independent Editorial Complaints Commissioner at the Financial Times.
Before becoming a barrister, Greg was a Fulbright Scholar at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. On his return from New York, he worked full-time in community moderation at The Guardian during full-time law school. He was awarded Lord Haldane and Lord Denning Scholarships by Lincoln’s Inn, where he was called to the Bar in 2012.
After pupillage, Greg worked for the senior judiciary at the Royal Courts of Justice: first as the Judicial Assistant to the President of the Queen’s Bench Division (the Rt. Hon. Sir Brian Leveson P); then moving into Private Office as acting Legal Advisor to the Lord Chief Justice of England & Wales (the Rt. Hon. The Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd CJ). He assisted his judges in leading cases in the UK Supreme Court, both the Civil and Criminal divisions of the Court of Appeal, the Court Martial Appeal Court, and Divisional Courts of the Queen’s Bench Division.
Since 2017, Greg has been listed as a Ranked Junior in Chambers & Partners in both Defamation/Privacy and in Data Protection. He features as a Leading Junior for Defamation & Privacy in the Legal 500 (also since 2017) and in Who’s Who Legal (since 2019).
Greg is qualified to accept instructions on a Public Access basis, but now does so only in relation to cases he is undertaking pro bono.
- Instructed in the Court of Appeal (leading Ben Hamer) for the claimant/respondent in all three appeals arising from Soriano v Forensic News & ors. The two appeals by the defendants concern s.9 of the Defamation Act 2013, the 1st to 5th defendants/appellants having been given permission to appeal by Arnold LJ against the decision of Jay J, and the 6th defendant/appellant having been given permission to appeal by Johnson J against his own order. Arnold LJ has also given the claimant permission to cross-appeal the refusal of permission to serve-out the claims under the GDPR and in malicious falsehood (Loutchansky malice only);
- Canary Riverside Estate Mgt Ltd v Coates  EWHC 1505 (Ch): instructed for the Intervenor (led by Philip Rainey QC) in three conjoined appeals before Michael Green J, including of a confidentiality club order;
- Lownie v (1) Information Commissioner (2) Foreign & Commonwealth Office; (3) National Archives  EWCA Civ 599 – sole counsel for the appellant, seeking permission to bring a second appeal to the Court of Appeal in respect of ss.23 and 24 FOIA and Article 10 ECHR (post-Magyar), refused by Dingemans LJ after an oral permission hearing;
- Cruz v Gibraltar Financial Services Commission & ors (2021/GCA/01 and 2021/GCA/02) – appeared for the appellants (led by Desmond Browne QC) in the Court of Appeal of Gibraltar (Sir Maurice Kay P; Sir Patrick Elias JA; Sir Colin Rimer JA) in a 3-day appeal on strike-out of particulars of malice;
- Felstead & ors v Post Office Ltd  EWCA Crim 25 – (led by Edward Henry QC and Richard Bentwood) acting for a barrister in proceedings relating to an allegation of contempt of court;
- Craig Wright v Magnus Granath  EWCA 28;  4 WLR 24: (led by Adam Wolanski QC) – a successful appeal on Article 27 of the Lugano Convention, and whether a claim for Negative Declaratory Relief in Norway prevents a libel claim from proceeding in England & Wales;
- Craig Wright v Roger Ver  EWCA Civ 672;  1 WLR 3913;  ILPr 10;  EMLR 28 (led by Adam Wolanski QC), the first appeal on the jurisdiction provisions in s.9 Defamation Act 2013;
- EuroEco Fuels (Poland) Ltd v SSSA  EWCA Civ 1932;  4 WLR 156;  EMLR 9 (led by Adrienne Page QC) – a successful appeal on the lis pendens provisions of the Brussels Recast Regulation (whether defamation and nuisance claims were ‘related’ under Article 28 BRR);
- Howard Kennedy v National Trust for Scotland  EWCA Civ 648;  QB 663;  2 WLR 275;  EMLR 19 – sole counsel for both appeals in the Court of Appeal, acting for the claimant in a libel, negligent misstatement and DPA claim, stayed on grounds of forum conveniens in favour of the Scottish courts;
- Re J (Children)  EWCA Civ 1335;  3 FCR 556 (led by Benjamin Williams QC in the Court of Appeal), on costs arising from Children Act 1989 proceedings involving the media in the Family Division;
- DSM SFG Group Holdings v Kelly  EWCA Civ 2256;  EMLR 10 (led by David Sherborne) on release from undertakings pending trial of a breach of confidence claim;
- Cartier International AG & ors v British Telecommunications plc  UKSC 28;  1 WLR 3259;  All ER 373;  EMLR 22, in the UK Supreme Court on appeal from the Court of Appeal in Cartier & ors v BSkyB & ors  EWCA Civ 658;  1 All ER 700;  EMLR 23 – sole counsel for Open Rights Group (Intervener) at both appellate stages in a case concerning jurisdiction and costs-burden in web-blocking injunctions brought against Internet Service Providers;
- Vladimir Bukovsky v Crown Prosecution Service  EWCA Civ 1529;  4 WLR 13;  1 Cr App R 15;  EMLR 5 – sole counsel in the Court of Appeal, concerning meaning in libel & the test for appellate review of meaning;
- R v Peckam (James)  EWCA Crim 2430 (led by William Hughes QC) – application to appeal against sentence.
High Court Trials
- HM Attorney General v Tina Malone  EWHC 3726 (QB) – junior counsel for Tina Malone (led by Adam Speker) in an application before the Divisional Court (the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Burnett of Maldon CJ & Warby J) for committal for contempt for breach of the Venables & Thompson injunction;
- Jack Monroe v Katie Hopkins  EWHC 433 (QB);  4 WLR 68;  EMLR 16; and  EWHC 645 (QB);  1 WLR 3587 – acted for successful claimant (led by William Bennett) at a libel trial before Warby J concerning publications on Twitter;
- Keith Singh v Joseph Weayou  EWHC 2101 (QB) – sole counsel at trial for successful claimant, who was awarded damages by Nicola Davis J for libel and malicious falsehood, and indemnity costs;
- Vladimir Bukovsky v Crown Prosecution Service  EWHC 1926 (QB) – sole counsel at trial of meaning as a preliminary issue in a libel action before Warby J;
- Jake Wallis Simons v Craig Murray (2017)- sole counsel for the Claimant in a libel claim: the case settled first day of trial before Sir David Eady (7 November 2017).
- Svante Kumlin & anor v Jonsson & ors – acting for the defendants (leading Ben Gallop), who publish as Realtid in Sweden, on their two-day CPR Part 11 application before Julian Knowles J, in a libel claim said to be worth more than £13 million brought in England & Wales under Article 7(2) Brussels Recast Regulation;
- Walter Soriano v Silverstein  EWHC 873 (QB) – acting for the claimant (leading Ben Hamer) in an application before Johnson J to serve-out a libel claim against the US-based sixth defendant under s.9 Defamation Act 2013, within the same proceedings as Soriano v Forensic News. The sixth defendant has, like the first five defendants, been given granted permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal;
- Walter Soriano v Forensic News & ors  EWHC 56 (QB) – appeared for the claimant (leading Ben Hamer) before Jay J in a 2-day contested application to serve data protection, malicious falsehood, libel, harassment and privacy claims out of the jurisdiction. First judgment where a claimant succeeded in surpassing the s.9 Defamation Act 2013 threshold. The defendants have been given permission to appeal by Arnold LJ, who has also granted permission to cross-appeal;
- Napag Trading Ltd & ors v GEDI & SEIF  EWHC 3034 (QB);  EMLR 6 – sole counsel for the Second Defendant on a successful 2-day jurisdiction application before Jay J concerning libel claims and Article 7(2) Brussels Recast Regulation;
- Craig Wright v Magnus Granath  EWHC 51 (QB);  4 WLR 28;  ILPr 21;  EMLR 11 – (led by Adam Wolanski QC) resisting a challenge to jurisdiction under Article 27 Lugano Convention, successfully appealed to the Court of Appeal  EWCA Civ 28;  4 WLR 24;
- Craig Wright v Roger Ver  EWCA Civ 672;  ILPR 10;  EMLR 28 (led by Adam Wolanski QC) in the first appeal on s.9 Defamation Act 2013;
- EuroEco Fuels (Poland) Ltd v SSSA  EWCA Civ 1932;  4 WLR 156;  ILPr 18;  EMLR 9 (led by Adrienne Page QC) on Article 30 Brussels Recast Regulation, successfully reversing the decision of Nicol J;
- Ramona Ang v Reliantco Investments Ltd  EWHC 879 (Comm);  QB 582;  3 WLR 161;  2 All ER (Comm) 958;  1 CLC 667 – instructed for the claimant (led by Prof. Jonathan Harris QC & Zahler Bryan) on the data protection element of a successfully-resisted jurisdiction challenge;
- Wafic Said v Groupe L’Express  EWHC 3953 (QB);  ILPr 20;  EMLR 9 – sole counsel for the French Defendants, before Nicol J, successfully-in-part resisting jurisdiction of the English courts in a claim in defamation and data protection;
- Azra Sabados v Facebook Ireland Ltd  EWHC 2369 (QB);  WTLR 1361 – sole counsel, before HHJ Parkes QC (sitting as a Judge of the High Court). Obtained a Norwich Pharmacal order against an Irish-domiciled defendant for the identity of a person unknown who was alleged to have maliciously procured the deletion of a deceased’s social media profile;
- Howard Kennedy v National Trust for Scotland  EWHC 3368 (QB);  EMLR 13 then on appeal  EWCA Civ 648;  QB 663 – sole counsel for the Claimant on the Defendant’s application for a stay on the grounds of forum non conveniens in favour of the Scottish courts, heard by Sir David Eady and later by the Court of Appeal.
- Fortescue Metals Group & anor v (1) Argus Media Ltd (2) S&P Global Inc  EWHC 1304 (Ch) &  EWHC 1333 (Ch) – acted for the Second Defendant (led by Andrew Caldecott QC) successfully resisting an application for an injunction in a commercial breach of confidence & Trade Secrets Regulation claim;
- Nick Ramsay MS v Monmouth Conservative Association  EWHC 3655 (Ch): (leading Ben Gallop) successfully resisting an application (ultimately withdrawn) by a Member of the Senedd for a High Court injunction to prevent a Special General Meeting of his association to consider a petition that might ultimately lead to his de-selection;
- Workspace Commerce Ltd v Filis  EWHC 2923 (QB) – sole counsel for the Defendant, successfully resisting an application for an injunction in libel, malicious falsehood, harassment, trespass, breach of confidence and tortious interference;
- ZYT & BWE v Associated Newspapers  EWHC 1162 (QB) – junior counsel for respondents (led by Desmond Browne QC) in a privacy claim;
- AQA v Newsquest (unreported) – sole counsel, obtained a without-notice High Court privacy injunction against the media for a witness who was seeking anonymity in relation to a coroner’s inquest.
- Hunter v Cooper  EWHC 1105 (QB) and  EWHC 1651 (QB) – counsel for D1 (co-counsel with Tom Cross for all Ds), on a successful strike-out & summary judgment application in respect of libel and slander claims.
- Rosa Malaga Cano v Beatriz Barclay & ors  EWHC 1498 (QB) and  EWHC 3562 (QB) – sole counsel for 12 defendants, successfully striking out claims in slander, libel, breach of contract, assault & battery;
- Nick Cruz v Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (2018-ORD-091) – junior counsel for the defendants (led by Desmond Browne QC) in a heavy strike-out and summary judgment application in the Supreme Court of Gibraltar, now on appeal.
- RJ v Tigipko (Publicity)  EWHC 105 (Fam);  4 WLR 68 and RJ v Tigipko (Redactions)  EWHC 448 (Fam);  3 FCR 470 – applications for publicity in Children Act 1989 proceedings in the High Court (Family Division);
- HRH Louis Xavier Marie Guillaume, Prince of Luxembourg, Prince of Nassau and Prince of Bourbon-Parma v HRH Tessy, Princess of Luxembourg, Princess of Nassau and Princess of Bourbon-Parma  EWHC 3095 (Fam);  4 WLR 223;  2 FLR 280 – sole counsel, acted for Telegraph Media Group Ltd in application to restrict reporting of financial remedies proceedings in the High Court (Family Division);
- Alcott v Ashworth (No 2)  EWHC 2414 (Fam), sole counsel, acted for News Group Newspapers & Times Newspapers Ltd in successful applications to allow publication of reports of a Hague Convention case.
Judicial Review & Election Law
- Nick Ramsay MS v Hacket Pain (as representative of the Monmouth Conservative Association)  EWHC 3655 (Ch): (leading Ben Gallop) successfully resisting an application (ultimately withdrawn) by a Member of the Senedd for a High Court injunction to prevent a Special General Meeting of his association to consider a petition that might ultimately lead to his de-selection. A subsequent contempt application (for failure to issue the claim form as undertaken, or to pay the costs ordered) was withdrawn at a hearing before Marcus Smith J;
- R (BBC) v Newcastle Crown Court  EWHC 2756 (Admin);  1 Cr. App. R 16;  EMLR 8 – junior counsel for the BBC (led by Gavin Millar QC) in a successful judicial review by a Divisional Court (Leggatt LJ & Picken J) on the power of the Crown Court to grant journalistic Production Orders under s.9 and Schedule 1 PACE;
- Kevin Painter v Stephen Hirst (2019) – sole counsel for the successful respondent to a local government election petition and application for a Protective Costs Order (Divisional Court: Supperstone & Robin Knowles JJ);
- Tim Ireland v Nadine Dorries  EWHC 2781 (QB);  1 WLR 571 – junior counsel for Nadine Dorries MP (led by Gavin Millar QC) in successful dismissal of a Parliamentary election petition (Divisional Court: Popplewell & Jeremy Baker JJ);
- R (ex parte Hassan) v BBC  EWHC 4204 (Admin) – appeared as sole counsel for the BBC in successfully resisting an application for permission to bring Judicial Review of a TV Licensing decision;
- Instructed on a Judicial Review of a Magistrates’ Court which granted an ex parte application for an extention of time to bring a prosecution for electoral offences, under s.176 Representation of the People Act 1983. After permission was given by Julian Knowles J, the s.176 order was quashed by consent of all parties.
- (1) Williams (2) Wickham-Jones & (3) Lownie v (1) Information Commissioner & (2) Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office  UKFTT 2019_212 (GRC) – appeared for the Third Appellant in a hearing of a preliminary issue in three consolidated appeals in the First-Tier Tribunal (Judges Snelson & MacMillan). The appellants succeeded in establishing that a public authority could not rely on s.23 & s.24 FOIA ‘in the alternative’ so as to ‘mask’ which of the mutually-exclusive national security exemptions applied. Permission to appeal has been given to the FCDO to appeal to the Upper Tribunal (Administrative Appeals Chamber), to be heard by the Chamber President on 1-2 July 2021;
- Lownie v Foreign & Commonwealth Office & ors  UKUT 32 (AAC);  1 WLR 3319 – sole counsel in appeal from a Decision Notice of the Information Commissioner on a FOIA request for material from a vetting file held on a now-deceased civil servant suspected of espionage. The FTT allowed the appeal on s.38 FOIA (Health & Safety), upheld the Decision Notice under s.23 (National Security), but gave permission to appeal against its own decision to the Upper Tribunal, who refused the appeal. Dingemans LJ directed and heard an oral application for permission to bring a second appeal to the Court of Appeal, which was refused:  EWCA Civ 599.
- BBC v Independent Office of Police Conduct  UKFTT 2018_0163 (GRC) – sole counsel, succeeding in the first appeal of an IOPC Information Notice under para 19ZA of Schedule 3 of the Police Reform Act 2002;
- D v Information Commissioner  UKUT 441 – sole counsel in an anonymity appeal from the FTT. The Upper Tribunal gave permission for a second appeal to the Court of Appeal.
- R v Hamayoon & Syed (‘the Poppy Terror Trial’) acted for media (BBC, Associated Newspapers, Times Newspapers, News Group Newspapers) in lifting Reporting Restrictions (Woolwich Crown Court);
- R v Murphy & Smith – acted for The Sun in resisting witness anonymity for Danny Cipriani in the trial of his blackmailers (Richmond Crown Court).
- R v Dering & ors – acted for the BBC in relation to lifting section 4(2) Contempt of Court Act 1981 orders in linked trials at different Crown Courts (Southwark & Croydon) of conjoined fraud conspiracies;
- R v Shaw – resisted a witness summons for unbroadcast material on behalf of the BBC (Inner London Crown Court);
- R v Barnes & Wilkinson – set-aside a witness summons on behalf of the BBC (Central Criminal Court);
- R v Jones (aka Bennell) – resisting PACE Production Order applications made at-trial against The Guardian and BBC (Liverpool Crown Court);
- R v Higgins – resisting a s.4(2) order for the BBC (Salisbury Crown Court);
- R v Ormond – resisting a PACE Production Order application made at trial against the BBC (Newcastle Crown Court);
- R v Rahman – setting-aside a witness summons against the media (Minshull St. (Manchester) Crown Court);
- R v Whiddett – setting aside a s.11 order for The Sun & the Daily Mail (Croydon Crown Court).
- Sarah Ferguson v Mazher Mahmood & News Group Newspapers – instructed for the claimant (led by Andrew Hunter QC & Stephen Ferguson) in a case over the ‘Fake Sheikh’ sting of the Duchess of York;
- Instructed on a number of civil cases arising out of Image-Based Sexual Abuse (sometimes called ‘Revenge Porn’), including Chrissy Chambers v DCR & VHP (led by Alexandra Marzec) and Douglas (Administratrix of the Estate of Susanne Hinte) v News Group Newspapers (sole counsel), both of which led to settlement and a Statement in Open Court;
- Instructed by the Amec Part 20 Defendants (led by James Nadin) in respect of defamation contribution claims brought by other construction firms in the Construction Industry Vetting Information Group Litigation arising out of the 2009 ICO investigation into ‘blacklisting’;
- Alexander Perepilichnyy Inquest – sole counsel, application to the Coroner for documents on behalf of BuzzFeed News UK;
- Harper v Capita (unreported) successfully resisted an Unjust Enrichment claim for recovery of overpaid TV licence payments;
- dispute concerning s.25 Sale of Goods Act 1979 (retention of title clause) in relation to film-set scaffolding;
- prevented an auction of trademarked items in breach of licence;
- resisting enforcement of foreign judgments at common law;
- successfully defended US$500,000 IFTA arbitration over movie rights on the basis of the rule in the Golden Victory;
- trade secrets claim (breach of confidence by commercial competitors).