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. 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 High Court and Court of Appeal. 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 a contributing editor to The White Book (Contempt of Court: commentary on CPR Part 81 and Section 3C).

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 online 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 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.

From the closure of the Press Complaints Commission in September 2014 until the end of December 2021, Greg was also the inaugural Editorial Complaints Commissioner at the Financial Times. His successor in the role is now 5RB colleague Christina Michalos KC.

For those who care about such things, since 2017 Greg has been listed as a Ranked Junior in Chambers & Partners in both Defamation/Privacy and in Data Protection. He features  in the Legal 500 (also since 2017) as a Leading Junior for Defamation & Privacy, and in Who’s Who Legal (since 2019).

Greg is qualified to accept instructions on a Direct Access basis, but now almost invariably does so only in relation to cases he is undertaking pro bono.

RECENT CASES

Appellate Courts

High Court Trials

Jurisdiction Cases

Interim Injunctions

Strike-Out/Summary Judgment

Family Division

Judicial Review & Election Law

  • Nick Ramsay MS v Hacket Pain (as representative of the Monmouth Conservative Association) [2020] EWHC 3655 (Ch): (leading Ben Gallop) 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 [2019] EWHC 2756 (Admin); [2020] 1 Cr. App. R 16; [2020] Crim LR 247; [2020] EMLR 8 – junior counsel for the BBC (led by Gavin Millar KC) in a 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 respondent to a local government election petition and application for a Protective Costs Order in the Divisional Court (Supperstone & Robin Knowles JJ);
  • Tim Ireland v Nadine Dorries [2015] EWHC 2781 (QB); [2016] 1 WLR 571 – junior counsel for Nadine Dorries MP (led by Gavin Millar KC) in the dismissal of a Parliamentary election petition in the Divisional Court (Popplewell & Jeremy Baker JJ);
  • 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;
  • Instructed by a claimant 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.

Tribunals

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

  • Instructed for Laurence Fox in three libel claims and counterclaims arising out of Twitter publication: Blake, Seymour & Thorp v Fox [2021] EWHC 3463 (QB); [2022] 4 WLR 77;
  • Sarah Ferguson v Mazher Mahmood & News Group Newspapers – instructed for the claimant (led by Andrew Hunter KC & 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;
  • Acted for the daughter of Kristen Bell & Dax Shepard, setting a claim against Associated Newspapers;
  • 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) 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;
  • defended US$500,000 IFTA arbitration over movie rights, on the basis of the rule in ‘The Golden Victory’ [2007] 2 AC 353;
  • trade secrets claim (breach of confidence by commercial competitors).

Called

2012 Called to the Bar of England and Wales

Education

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

Areas of work

Defamation and Malicious Falsehood
Reporting the Courts and Contempt
Data Protection and Information Law
Privacy and Confidence
General Common Law
Injunctive Relief
Blackmail
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 (2020): “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.”

Legal 500 (2020): His encyclopaedic knowledge of media law (and law more generally) is scary.

Chambers & Partners (2021): “An astute lawyer and one to watch. He projects a level of authority beyond his level of call.”; “He’s very bright and intelligent.”; “Highly regarded and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law.” ;”He has an encyclopedic knowledge of the market and he spots things that others miss.” ;”He impresses with his innovative and lateral way of thinking.”; “He has the ability to bring novel ideas to stalled situations and he can identify the optimal way to run a case.”

Chambers & Partners (2022): “”He is incredibly detailed in his submissions and very highly thought of in multi-jurisdictional cases.”; “He has an amazing breadth of law in his head.”; “He’s a strong and efficient advocate and is very determined.”; “He’s very knowledgeable and a well-known media specialist barrister.”

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

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

[2019] EWCA Civ 1932 11/11/2019

Napag Trading Ltd & Ors v GEDI Gruppo Editoriale S.p.A & Anor

[2020] EWHC 3034 (QB) 24/11/2020

Fortescue Metals Group & anor v (1) Argus Media Ltd (2) S&P Global Inc

[2020] EWHC 1304 (Ch) 22/05/2020

Lownie v (1) The Information Commissioner (2) National Archives (3) FCO

EA/2017/0087 09/07/2019

DSM SFG Group Holdings Limited v Kelly

[2019] EWCA Civ 2256 19/12/2019

Hunter v Cooper & ors

[2020] EWHC 1105 (QB) 07/05/2020

Wright v Granath (CA)

[2021] EWCA Civ 28 15/01/2021

Soriano v Forensic News & ors

[2021] EWHC 56 (QB) 15/01/2021

Wright v McCormack

[2021] EWHC 2671 (QB) 08/10/2021

(1) Williams (2) Wickham-Jones (3) Lownie v (1) IC (2) FCDO

[2021] UKFTT 2019_212 (GRC) 21/01/2021

Soriano v Silverstein

[2021] EWHC 873 (QB) 13/04/2021

(1) Kumlin (2) EEW Eco Energy World plc v (1) Jonsson (2) Agerman (3) Östlund (4) Realtid Media AB

[2022] EWHC 1095 (QB) 12/05/2022

Mahmudov & Mahmudova v Goni Sanzberro & ors

[2021] EWHC 3433 (QB) 17/12/2021

Soriano v Forensic News LLC & ors

[2021] EWCA Civ 1952 21/12/2021

Dimitri Rozanov v EFG Private Bank Limited

2208031/2017 03/01/2020

Guardian News & Media v (1) Rozanov; (2) EFG Private Bank Ltd

[2022] EAT 12 23/03/2022

All cases

Defamation and Malicious Falsehood

Soriano v Forensic News LLC & ors

[2021] EWCA Civ 1952 21/12/2021

Mahmudov & Mahmudova v Goni Sanzberro & ors

[2021] EWHC 3433 (QB) 17/12/2021

Wright v McCormack

[2021] EWHC 2671 (QB) 08/10/2021

Soriano v Silverstein

[2021] EWHC 873 (QB) 13/04/2021

Soriano v Forensic News & ors

[2021] EWHC 56 (QB) 15/01/2021

Wright v Granath (CA)

[2021] EWCA Civ 28 15/01/2021

Napag Trading Ltd & Ors v GEDI Gruppo Editoriale S.p.A & Anor

[2020] EWHC 3034 (QB) 24/11/2020

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

Canary Riverside Estate Management Ltd & Ors v Coates

[2021] EWHC 1505 (Ch) 22/07/2021

Soriano v Forensic News & ors

[2021] EWHC 56 (QB) 15/01/2021

Fortescue Metals Group & anor v (1) Argus Media Ltd (2) S&P Global Inc

[2020] EWHC 1304 (Ch) 22/05/2020

DSM SFG Group Holdings Limited v Kelly

[2019] EWCA Civ 2256 19/12/2019

Alcott v Ashworth (No. 2)

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

AQA v Newsquest & ors

n/a 24/08/2016

Harassment

DSM SFG Group Holdings Limited v Kelly

[2019] EWCA Civ 2256 19/12/2019

Reporting the Courts and Contempt

Millicom Services UK Limited & Ors v Michael Clifford

[2022] EAT 74 11/05/2022

Guardian News & Media v (1) Rozanov; (2) EFG Private Bank Ltd

[2022] EAT 12 23/03/2022

Dimitri Rozanov v EFG Private Bank Limited

2208031/2017 03/01/2020

R (BBC) v Newcastle Crown Court

[2019] EWHC 2756; [2020] 1 Cr App R 16; [2020] EMLR 8; [2020] Crim LR 247 05/05/2020

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

Fortescue Metals Group & anor v (1) Argus Media Ltd (2) S&P Global Inc

[2020] EWHC 1304 (Ch) 22/05/2020

DSM SFG Group Holdings Limited v Kelly

[2019] EWCA Civ 2256 19/12/2019

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

Data Protection and Information Law

Soriano v Forensic News LLC & ors

[2021] EWCA Civ 1952 21/12/2021

General Common Law

DSM SFG Group Holdings Limited v Kelly

[2019] EWCA Civ 2256 19/12/2019

R (BBC) v Newcastle Crown Court

[2019] EWHC 2756; [2020] 1 Cr App R 16; [2020] EMLR 8; [2020] Crim LR 247 05/05/2020

AQA v Newsquest & ors

n/a 24/08/2016

In 5RB News

28 Jan 2022

McCormack refused permission to appeal PTR decision

The (late) application was today refused by Warby LJ without a hearing.

21 Dec 2021

Landmark GDPR appeal allowed in Soriano v Forensic News LLC & ors

The Claimant’s GDPR cross-appeal is allowed and the Defendants’ libel appeal is dismissed by the Court of Appeal

13 Oct 2021

Statement in Open Court in Bell Shepard v Associated Newspapers Limited

Mail Online settles privacy claim over photograph of the daughter of Hollywood actors Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard

5 Feb 2020

Court refuses strike out in Enterprise Insurance libel case

Gibraltar Supreme Court dismisses five applications by Defendants

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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