Jane Phillips

Jane Phillips

Jane is a highly experienced and effective practitioner in all areas of media law, in particular defamation, privacy, breach of confidence, data protection, reporting restrictions, production orders, contempt and harassment. She is often called upon to apply for, or resist, emergency injunctions.

Jane has appeared at first instance, the Court of Appeal and in the Privy Council in numerous leading cases and has been at the forefront of developing the law in her field. Jane acted on behalf of numerous claimants in phone-hacking litigation against The News of the World and in News International’s Voicemail Interception Compensation Scheme.

In addition, Jane regularly advises in non-contentious matters where reputational issues arise such as employment and company disputes and other high-profile and press-sensitive controversies. She also provides high-level pre-publication advice to major publishers.

Jane advises in relation to claims in other common-law jurisdictions, including Hong Kong, Singapore, Jamaica and the Isle of Man. She has advised on substantial libel litigation in Northern Ireland.

Notable cases:

Defamation and malicious falsehood

Mionis v Demokratia (2017) – Acted for the successful claimant on appeal to the Court of Appeal on issue of enforcement of Tomlin Orders.

Citation Plc v Ellis Whittam Ltd (2013) – Acted at first instance and in Court of Appeal for the successful defendant in a strike out application for abuse of process.

Trafigura v BBC (2009) – Acted for the defendant in libel action arising out of Newsnight programme.

Taranissi v BBC (2008-9) – Successful libel claim on behalf of the claimant arising out of a Panorama programme “IVF uncovered”.

Bunt v Tilley, AOL and others (2006) – Successful application on behalf of AOL that ISPs were not publishers at common law. Important rulings on section 1 of the Defamation Act 1996 and the E-Commerce regulations.

Strachan v The Gleaner (2005) – Acted for the successful defendant in Privy Council case on default judgments and jurisdiction.

Bonnick v The Gleaner (2002) – Acted for successful defendants in Privy Council case on qualified privilege.

Khalili v Associated Newspapers (2000) – Acted for claimant in successful appeal to Court of Appeal against dismissal of his case for want of prosecution.

Adams v Associated Newspapers (1999) – Acted for the defendants in their appeal to the Court of Appeal on third party proceedings in libel.

Mori v BBC (1998) – Acted for the defendant at trial in the first contested case concerning a live broadcast defence under section 1 of the Defamation Act 1996.

Allason v BBC and Hat Trick Productions (1998) – Acted for the defendants at trial who successfully pleaded fair comment arising out of a “Have I Got News For You” annual which alleged that conservative MP was a “conniving little shit”.

C v Mirror Group Newspapers Ltd and others (1997)  – Acted for the defendants on claimants’ unsuccessful appeal to the Court of Appeal against strike out on limitation grounds.

Lloyd v Express Newspapers (1996) – Acted for the claimant in the Court of Appeal on issue concerning severable allegations in libel.

Ashby v Times Newspapers Limited (1995) –Acted for the defendant in five-week trial in successful defence of justification concerning allegation that Conservative MP was gay. .

Upjohn v BBC and Professor Oswald (1994) –Acted for the defendant in three-month trial arising out of a Panorama programme which made allegations of drug fraud.

Walker and Cartmell v Central Television (1991) –Acted for the claimants in six-week trial arising out of an episode of The Cook Report making allegations concerning animal experimentation.

Privacy/breach of confidence, data protection & harassment

Croydon Borough Council v Dodsworth (2017) – Obtained injunction for claimant in breach of confidence.

Universal Tax Solutions Ltd v BBC (2017) – Successfully opposed claimant’s application for an emergency injunction.

News International Voicemail Interception Compensation Scheme (2013-2014) – Independent Barrister to the Scheme representing applicants bringing claims for compensation for phone hacking under the scheme established by News International.

Allan v Mawer (2013) – Acted for defendant doctors in successful application to strike out claim under the Data Protection Act 1998.

Robertson v Rogers (2012) – Acted for defendant in application for harassment injunction.

Law firm v Employee (2012) – Emergency injunction obtained to restrict breach of confidence.

Mills v Associated Newspapers & News Group Newspapers (2007) – Acted for Heather Mills in her privacy and libel claims against the Daily Mail and The Sun.

A v B (2007) – Emergency privacy injunction obtained for the claimant against national newspaper.

A v B (2007) – Acted for claimant in privacy claim against a private individual.

Media, reporting restrictions & production orders

BBC and Press Association v Secretary of State for Transport and British Airline Pilots Association (2019) – Acted for the BBC and PA in an application for permission to use cockpit footage relating to the Shoreham Air Crash

West Midlands Police v BBC (2017) – Acted for the BBC in an application for a production order in relation to a programme entitled “Who Bombed Birmingham?”.

Commissioner of Police for the Metropolitan Police v BBC (2012) – Acted for the BBC in an application for a production order arising out of a Panorama programme entitled “Tabloid Hacks Exposed”.

In re Al-Alas (2012) – Acted for The Times in a successful application to lift reporting restrictions in family court proceedings.

W v M, S and a NHS Primary Care Trust [2011] – Acted for the Times in a successful application to lift reporting restrictions and a ‘non-contact’ injunction imposed by the Court of Protection.

Publications and Seminars

Contributor to Arlidge, Eady & Smith on Contempt, 4th Edition, 2011

Co-author, with Kate Wilson, of the Libel and Slander and Malicious Falsehood chapters in Bullen & Leake & Jacob’s Precedents of Pleadings, 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th Editions

Formerly co-author, Atkin’s Court Forms on Evidence

Defamation Update, Protecting the Media Conference, October 2017

Defamation Update, Protecting the Media Conference, September 2016


1989 Called to the bar


University of Oxford (Worcester College), BA Hons Jurisprudence - 1985-1988


Inner Temple Scholar, Entrance Award, Accommodation Scholarship and Bursary - 1988
Called to the Bar in the Isle of Man
Chair of Governors at the Henrietta Barnett School - 2011-2015

Areas of work

Data Protection and Information Law
Defamation and Malicious Falsehood
General Common Law
Injunctive Relief
Intellectual Property
Pre-publication Advice
Privacy and Confidence
Reporting the Courts and Contempt


Jane has been consistently recommended as a ‘Leading Junior’ in Defamation/Privacy in Chambers and Partners Guide to the Legal Profession and in The Legal 500 Directory, Legal Experts and Who’s Who Legal UK Bar. She has been described in previous editions as a ‘go-getter’ with ‘shining intelligence’ and ‘a sharp legal mind’ who ‘understands the industry well’ and who is ‘admired for her persuasive ways’.

Really impressive silk-level work; she is prepared to move mountains.’ Legal 500 2020

“An excellent all-rounder who is bright and responsive. We trust her to provide solid advice.” “Great judgement, very reliable and a pleasure to work with.” Chambers and Partners 2020

She has great judgement and is a pleasure to work with.” “Highly experienced and approachable.” Chambers and Partners 2019

Superb judgement, very thorough and a delight to work with.’ Legal 500 2019

She is very effective and is great at providing strategic insight … She got through to the roots of the issue really quickly and gave us concrete advice” Chambers and Partners 2018

A specialist media law advocate, who gives effective legal advice.” The Legal 500 2017

I would recommend her for her clear, prompt, thorough and excellent advice…She is very calm and has a sharp legal mind…She is highly experienced and has an ability to grasp the key issues and deliver constructive advice. She is approachable, versatile and good at managing clients’ expectations.” Chambers and Partners 2017


Working French and Italian

All cases

Defamation and Malicious Falsehood

Mionis v Democratic Press SA and others

[2017] EWCA Civ 1194 01/08/2017

Bray v Deutsche Bank AG

[2008] EWHC 1263 (QB); [2009] EMLR 12 12/06/2008

Bunt v Tilley & Others

[2006] EWHC 407 (QB); [2007] 1 WLR 1243; [2006] 3 All ER 336; [2006] EMLR 523 10/03/2006

Rackham v Sandy and Others

24/02/2005 24/02/2005

Privacy and Confidence

UKIP Ltd v Braine & Ors

[2019] EWHC 3527 (QB) 22/12/2019

AAA v Rakoff

[2019] EWHC 2525 (QB) 30/09/2019


Bunt v Tilley & Others

[2006] EWHC 407 (QB); [2007] 1 WLR 1243; [2006] 3 All ER 336; [2006] EMLR 523 10/03/2006

Injunctive Relief

UKIP Ltd v Braine & Ors

[2019] EWHC 3527 (QB) 22/12/2019

AAA v Rakoff

[2019] EWHC 2525 (QB) 30/09/2019

Mionis v Democratic Press SA and others

[2017] EWCA Civ 1194 01/08/2017

Human Rights

UKIP Ltd v Braine & Ors

[2019] EWHC 3527 (QB) 22/12/2019

General Common Law

Mionis v Democratic Press SA and others

[2017] EWCA Civ 1194 01/08/2017


Bullen & Leake & Jacob's Precedents of Pleadings 18th ed with 1st Supplement (Book & eBook Pack)

Sweet & Maxwell Ltd
By Jane Phillips. 6 Dec 2017

Arlidge, Eady & Smith on Contempt

Sweet & Maxwell
By Jane Phillips. 1 Dec 2005

In 5RB News

6 Aug 2020

Court rules in favour of Duchess

Five friends’ names remain private

18 Mar 2020

5RB members praised in Who’s Who Legal 2020

Five 5RB silks and 11 5RB juniors commended in Who's Who Legal Marketplace Analysis 2020

2 Oct 2019

Claimants denied anonymity in strip-club covert filming case

An application by nine lap-dancers for anonymity and expedited trial in a privacy and data protection action was refused by the High Court

18 Dec 2009

BBC apologises to Trafigura

Commodities trader accepts apology, damages and costs

8 Jun 2009

IVF doctor libel case settles

Long running battle over claims made on Panorama programme ends