John Stables

John Stables

John joined 5RB in October 2015 after completion of pupillage at chambers. During pupillage he was involved with his four supervisors and others in a range of 5RB’s work. Cases with which John assisted included:

Mitchell v News Group Newspapers – the ‘Gate-gate’ libel trial of Andrew Mitchell MP’s claim against the Sun newspaper
Prince Moulay Hicham Ben Abdullah Al Alaoui of Morocco v Elaph Publishing Ltd – libel action by His Highness Prince Moulay against an online Arabic language publisher
Rufus v Elliott – libel claim between former footballers and business partners
Gulati & others v MGN Limited – trial of quantum for awards in misuse of private information by eight claimants against the Mirror titles
AG v Condé Nast – contempt proceedings brought against the publisher of GQ magazine
Tardios v Linton – libel action by proprietor of private school against online defamatory statements
The spectrum of work John undertook in pupillage was very broad, covering many areas: defamation; privacy; data protection; copyright; Freedom of Information; reporting the courts; contempt of court; and others.

Before retraining as a barrister John spent over 25 years working in media regulation across broadcast and non-broadcast media, most recently at Ofcom. His experience in the sectoral regulation of both editorial material and advertising, in both broadcast and non-broadcast media, is extensive, indeed probably uniquely so.

John’s regulatory experience includes such areas as: editorial content (offence; harm; accuracy in news; impartiality; fairness and privacy); editorial commercial content (product placement; sponsorship; undue prominence); advertising content (broadcast and non-broadcast); broadcast licensing; and sanctions against broadcasters.


John’s practice draws on this expertise. Together with the core areas of media law work – defamation, privacy, data protection, harassment, copyright etc – he advises on all aspects of media content, both in relation to the law and the applicable codes.

John does both defendant and claimant work and offers pre-publication advice in all media.



2014 Called to the Bar of England and Wales


Bar Professional Training Course LLB, Birkbeck College, University of London – 1st class


Wildys Prize for Legal Method Birkbeck College, University of London
Diplock Scholarship Middle Temple

Areas of work

Defamation and Malicious Falsehood
Data Protection and Information Law
Privacy and Confidence
Injunctive Relief
Pre-publication Advice


Middle Temple

All cases

Defamation and Malicious Falsehood

Corbyn v Millett

[2021] EWCA Civ 567 20/04/2021

Reporting the Courts and Contempt

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

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

In 5RB News

20 Oct 2023

5RB tops rankings in Chambers & Partners

5 Oct 2023

5RB named Tier 1 set in Defamation and privacy by The Legal 500

3 Oct 2023

Ghenavat and others v Simon Lyons: Defendant found liable in harassment

26 Jun 2023

Claimant awarded £30,000 damages in Myanmar ‘informer’ libel action

Retired doctor wins defamation action over Facebook allegation of being an informer for the military dictatorship in Myanmar

16 Nov 2022

Rachel Riley awarded £50,000 libel damages

Rachel Riley wins case against political blogger Mike Sivier: £50,000 damages and injunction granted

7 Oct 2022

5RB named top set by The Legal 500

Directory rankings also released

11 Aug 2022

Rachel Riley decision upheld

Laura Murray's appeal dismissed

1 Jul 2022

Libel claim in Haviland v Lownie is dismissed

Murray J grants summary judgment in favour of the two Defendants - Andrew Lownie and Mr Lownie's literary agency - in libel claim

20 Dec 2021

Rachel Riley wins libel action against Laura Murray

TV presenter wins Twitter libel case

12 Nov 2021

Permission to appeal granted in George v Cannell & Anor

9 Nov 2021

Judgment handed down in George v Cannell & Anor

Saini J dismisses claims in libel, slander per se and malicious falsehood

20 Apr 2021

Defendant’s appeal dismissed in Millett v Corbyn

Court of Appeal dismisses Jeremy Corbyn’s appeal against decisions that publication complained of consisted of statements of fact, not opinion, and defamed the Claimant

20 Jan 2021

Rachel Riley v Michael Sivier: defence struck out in libel claim

Rachel Riley secures strike out of Defendant blogger’s defence in ‘online harassment’ libel claim

22 Jul 2020

Statements in Open Court for Labour Party whistleblowers and John Ware

Pending claims against Labour Party by seven whistleblowers and journalist John Ware conclude

10 Jul 2020

Court determines meaning of defamatory statements in libel case against Jeremy Corbyn

The meaning of Jeremy Corbyn MP's statements about Richard Millett held to be statements of fact and to be defamatory at common law

24 Apr 2020

Court determines meaning in Rachel Riley v Laura Murray libel case

The meaning of the tweet complained of held to be statements of fact and opinion and to be defamatory at common law

31 Jan 2020

Statement in Open Court for Licensing Officer

Claim by Wajed Iqbal concludes

20 Sep 2017

Middle Temple Visit to Washington DC

3 Members of 5RB speak on Media Law

24 Sep 2015

5RB welcomes John Stables

New tenant from 1 October 2015