Greg Callus

Greg Callus

Greg Callus joined 5RB in 2015. He specialises primarily in defamation, data protection, freedom of information, privacy, confidentiality, and contempt of court. He acts for both claimants and defendants. He frequently appears at hearings concerning the open justice principle (anonymity, reporting restrictions & access to court documents) both for and against the media. He also practises electoral law.

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 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); 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). He assisted his judges in leading cases in the UK Supreme Court, both divisions of the Court of Appeal, the Court Martial Appeal Court and the Divisional Courts of the Queen’s Bench Division.

Since the closure of the Press Complaints Commission in September 2014, he has been the Editorial Complaints Commissioner at the Financial Times.

Greg is also an Editor of The White Book (Contempt of Court: commentary on CPR Part 81 and Section 3C), and writes an occasional column for Press Gazette. He is particularly interested in conflicts of law and jurisdiction in relation to digital technology.

Greg is listed as a Leading Junior in the Legal 500 (2017, 2018 & 2019) and in Who’s Who Legal (2019) for Defamation & Privacy, and is a Ranked Junior in Chambers & Partners (2017, 2018 & 2019) in both Defamation/Privacy and Data Protection.

Follow Greg on Twitter: @Greg_Callus

RECENT CASES

Appellate Courts

  • Cartier International AG & ors v British Telecommunications plc [2018] UKSC 28; [2018] 1 WLR 3259; [2018] EMLR 22, in the UK Supreme Court on appeal from the Court of Appeal in Cartier & ors v BSkyB & ors [2016] EWCA Civ 658; [2017] 1 All ER 700; [2016] EMLR 23 – sole counsel for Open Rights Group (Intervener) at both appellate stages in a case concerning the jurisdiction and costs-burden in web-blocking injunctions;
  • Vladimir Bukovsky v Crown Prosecution Service [2017] EWCA Civ 1529; [2018] 4 WLR 13; [2018] 1 Cr App R 15; [2018] EMLR 5 – sole counsel in the Court of Appeal, concerning meaning in libel & the test for appellate review of meaning;
  • Howard Kennedy v National Trust for Scotland [2019] EWCA Civ 648; [2019] 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 non conveniens in favour of the Scottish courts;
  • Re J (Children) [2019] EWCA Civ 1335 (led by Benjamin Williams QC in the Court of Appeal), on costs arising from Children Act 1989 proceedings in the Family Division;
  • Upcoming appeals in the Court of Appeal in:
    • EuroEco Fuels (Poland) Ltd v SSSA (led by Adrienne Page QC) on the lis pendens provisions of the Brussels Recast Regulation, heard on 16 & 17 October 2019.
    • DSM SFG Group Holdings v Kelly (led by David Sherborne) on appeal of a judgment of Murray J  [2019] EWHC 2082 (QB) on release from undertakings (to be heard 10/11 December 2019).

High Court Trials

  • HM Attorney General v Tina Malone [2019] 3 WLUK 255 – 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 [2017] EWHC 433 (QB); [2017] 4 WLR 68; [2017] EMLR 16; and [2017] EWHC 645 (QB); [2017] 1 WLR 3587  – acted for successful claimant (led by William Bennett) at a libel trial concerning publications on Twitter;
  • Keith Singh v Joseph Weayou [2017] EWHC 2101 (QB) – sole counsel at trial for successful claimant, who was awarded damages for libel and malicious falsehood, and indemnity costs;
  • Vladimir Bukovsky v Crown Prosecution Service [2016] 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 – sole counsel for the Claimant in a libel claim: the case settled first day of trial before Sir David Eady.

Jurisdiction Applications

  • Wafic Said v Groupe L’Express [2018] EWHC 3953 (QB); [2019] ILPr 20; [2019] EMLR 9 – sole counsel for the French Defendants, resisting jurisdiction of the English courts in a claim in defamation and data protection;
  • Ramona Ang v Reliantco Investments Ltd [2019] EWHC 879 (Comm); [2019] 3 WLR 161 – instructed for the claimant (led by Prof. Jonathan Harris QC & Zahler Bryan) on the data protection element of a jurisdiction challenge;
  • Azra Sabados v Facebook Ireland Ltd [2018] EWHC 2369 (QB) – sole counsel, 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 [2017] EWHC 3368 (QB); [2018] EMLR 13 – 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;
  • EuroEco Fuels (Poland) Ltd v SSSA – instructed for the appellants (led by Adrienne Page QC) in the Court of Appeal, challenging the decision of Nicol J [2018] EWHC 1081 (QB); [2018] 4 WLR 133 to decline jurisdiction in a libel and malicious falsehood claim.

Interim Injunctions

  • Workspace Commerce Ltd v Filis [2018] 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 [2015] 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.

Strike-Out/Summary Judgment

  • Tim Ireland v Nadine Dorries [2015] EWHC 2781 (QB); [2016] 1 WLR 571 – junior counsel for Nadine Dorries MP (led by Gavin Millar QC) in successful dismissal of a Parliamentary election petition (Divisional Court);
  • Rosa Malaga Cano v Beatriz Barclay & ors [2017] EWHC 1498 (QB) and [2017] 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 – 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;
  • Kevin Painter v Stephen Hirst – sole counsel for the successful respondent to a local election petition and application for a Protective Costs Order (Divisional Court).

Family Division

  • RJ v AT (Publicity) [2019] EWHC 105 (Fam); [2019] 4 WLR 68 and RJ v AT (Redactions) [2019] EWHC 448 (Fam) – 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 [2017] EWHC 3095 (Fam); [2018] 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) [2016] 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

  • R (BBC) v Newcastle Crown Court [2019] EWHC 2756 (Admin) – junior counsel for the BBC (led by Gavin Millar QC) in a Divisional Court judicial review on the power of the Crown Court to grant journalistic Production Orders under PACE;
  • R (ex parte Hassan) v BBC [2015] EWHC 4204 (Admin) – appeared as sole counsel for the BBC in resisting an application for permission to bring Judicial Review of a TV Licensing decision.

Tribunals

  • D v Information Commissioner [2018] UKUT 441 – sole counsel in an anonymity appeal from the FTT. The Upper Tribunal has given permission for a second appeal to the Court of Appeal;
  • BBC v Independent Office of Police Conduct [2019] 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;
  • Lownie v Foreign & Commonwealth Office & ors (EA/2017/0087) – 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 (heard 30 October 2019).

Crown Court

  • 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).

Other Cases

  • 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;
  • 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).

Called

2012 Called to the bar

Education

City University London, GDL & BPTC
Columbia University, MA Journalism
University of York, MA Political Philosophy (distinction)
University of York, BA History & Politics (starred first class honours)

Areas of work

Privacy and Confidence
Defamation and Malicious Falsehood
Data Protection and Information Law
Reporting the Courts and Contempt
General Common Law
Injunctive Relief
Human Rights

Testimonials

Legal 500 (2017): “A very impressive junior, who is ferociously bright and carries gravitas in court way beyond his call”

Chambers & Partners (2017): “His advocacy was excellent”;”He’s a knowledgeable data protection counsel who takes no prisoners”; “Wise beyond his years, he’s got good judgement”

Legal 500 (2018): Impossible to understand how a relatively junior barrister possesses so much knowledge”

Chambers & Partners (2018): “He knows the complexities of data law like the back of his hand, and can explain concepts in an accessible way”;”A great enthusiast for the law, who gets stuck into complex legal issues”; “He has incredible academic knowledge and is very confident with solicitors and lay clients”

Who’s Who Legal (2019): ““a hard-working and fluent advocate” who stands out for his “excellent legal knowledge” when it comes to defamation and confidentiality proceedings”.

Legal 500 (2019): “Extremely bright barrister who has developed a solid reputation”.

Chambers & Partners (2019): “Greg is fearless and incredibly knowledgeable: a walking encyclopaedia of the law.”; “He has a wisdom and judgement that belies his relatively junior level of experience at the Bar.”; “Greg Callus has incredibly deep and broad legal knowledge, coupled with huge imagination and enthusiasm.” “Greg is enormously intellectually confident, and he gets involved in everything.”

Featured cases

HRH Prince Louis of Luxembourg v HRH Princess Tessy of Luxembourg & anor

[2017] EWHC 3095 (Fam) 05/12/2017

Malaga-Cano v Barclay & ors

[2017] EWHC 1498 (QB) 30/06/2017

Bukovsky v CPS (CA)

[2017] EWCA Civ 1529 16/10/2017

Keith Singh v Joseph Weayou

[2017] EWHC 2102 (QB) 22/08/2017

Alcott v Ashworth (No. 2)

[2016] EWHC 2414 (Fam) 29/09/2016

AQA v Newsquest & ors

n/a 24/08/2016

Cartier International AG v BSkyB (CA)

[2016] EWCA Civ 658 19/08/2016

Kennedy v National Trust for Scotland

[2017] EWHC 3368 (QB) 19/01/2018

RJ v Tigipko

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

RJ v Tigipko 2

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

BBC v Independent Office for Police Conduct

[2019] UKFTT 2018_0163 (GRC) 21/01/2019

Wafic Rida Saïd v (1) Groupe L’Express (2) Guillaume Dubois

[2018] EWHC 3593 (QB) 21/12/2018

Sabados v Facebook Ireland

[2018] EWHC 2369 (QB) 03/07/2019

All cases

Defamation and Malicious Falsehood

EuroEco Fuels (Poland) Ltd & Ors v Szczecin and Swinoujscie Seaports Authority SA & Ors

[2019] EWCA Civ 1932 11/11/2019

Wafic Rida Saïd v (1) Groupe L’Express (2) Guillaume Dubois

[2018] EWHC 3593 (QB) 21/12/2018

Privacy and Confidence

Alcott v Ashworth (No. 2)

[2016] EWHC 2414 (Fam) 29/09/2016

AQA v Newsquest & ors

n/a 24/08/2016

Reporting the Courts and Contempt

RJ v Tigipko 2

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

RJ v Tigipko

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

HRH Prince Louis of Luxembourg v HRH Princess Tessy of Luxembourg & anor

[2017] EWHC 3095 (Fam) 05/12/2017

Alcott v Ashworth (No. 2)

[2016] EWHC 2414 (Fam) 29/09/2016

AQA v Newsquest & ors

n/a 24/08/2016

Injunctive Relief

Wafic Rida Saïd v (1) Groupe L’Express (2) Guillaume Dubois

[2018] EWHC 3593 (QB) 21/12/2018

Alcott v Ashworth (No. 2)

[2016] EWHC 2414 (Fam) 29/09/2016

AQA v Newsquest & ors

n/a 24/08/2016

Cartier International AG v BSkyB (CA)

[2016] EWCA Civ 658 19/08/2016

Intellectual Property

Cartier International AG v BSkyB (CA)

[2016] EWCA Civ 658 19/08/2016

General Common Law

AQA v Newsquest & ors

n/a 24/08/2016

In 5RB News

11 Jan 2018

Katie Hopkins refused permission to appeal

Sharp LJ refuses PTA against decision of Warby J; also refuses permission in Guise v Shah

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

11 Oct 2017

5RB ‘dominates the field’ in Legal 500

Chambers and members recommended for Defamation & Privacy, Data Protection, and Media and Entertainment work in legal directory

10 Mar 2017

Jack Monroe wins libel claim against Katie Hopkins

Monroe awarded £24,000 over two tweets

31 Jul 2015

Parliamentary Election Petition dismissed

Divisional Court dismisses Election Petition on grounds of defective service

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