Greg Callus

Greg Callus

Greg Callus joined 5RB in 2015. He specialises primarily in defamation, contempt of court, confidentiality, data protection/privacy (including class actions), and freedom of information. 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 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), and is contributing to the chapter on jurisdiction in the forthcoming edition of Law of Privacy & the Media.

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 October 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 Secretary to the Lord Chief Justice of England & Wales (the Rt. Hon. The Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd CJ). He assisted his judges in devolution cases in the UK Supreme Court, appeals in both the Civil and Criminal Divisions of the Court of Appeal and in the Court Martial Appeal Court, and judicial reviews in Divisional Courts of the (then) 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.

Greg is Direct Access qualified, but is not generally accepting new instructions on this basis in the immediate future.


Appellate Courts

High Court Trials

Jurisdiction Challenges

Interim Injunctions

Heavy Strike-Out/Summary Judgment

Election Law & Judicial Review


Family Division

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 (Jury Trial) [2021] EWHC 3463 (QB); [2022] 4 WLR 77; [2023] EMLR 4; and a consequential decision on admissibility of context: [2022] EWHC 2726 (QB). The 3rd claimant’s claim was dismissed by the Court of Appeal [2023] EWCA Civ 1000, and the remaining two claims and three counterclaims were tried by Collins Rice J DBE CB [2024] EWHC 146 (KB);
  • Acted for Craig Wright (with Tim Grey) in the contempt proceedings brought of the Court’s own motion under CPR r.81.6. The contempt summons was discharged by the Divisional Court (Warby LJ & Nicklin J): [2023] EWHC 1030 (KB);
  • Sarah Ferguson v Mazher Mahmood & News Group Newspapersinstructed 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).

All cases