Kate Wilson

Kate Wilson

Kate is an experienced junior whose practice encompasses all aspects of media, communications, and information law.

She acts for claimants and defendants and is ranked in Band 1 for Defamation/ Privacy by both Chambers and Partners and The Legal 500.

Kate has substantial trial experience and has appeared at all levels of the courts. She has acted for politicians, including Anna Turley, former MP, and Lord McAlpine in their successful libel actions. She was junior counsel for Times Newspapers Ltd in the long-running case of Flood v TNL, in which the Supreme Court’s judgment in favour of the newspaper on the common law Reynolds defence provided the basis for the public interest defence under section 4 of the Defamation Act 2013.

Currently, Kate is one of the counsel team in Various Claimants v NGN Ltd. She regularly acts for public authorities facing claims for misuse of private information and breaches of data protection legislation.

Back in 2011, Kate co-authored with Adam Wolanski KC The Family Courts: Media Access & Reporting, a joint publication of The President of the Family Division, the Judicial College and the Society of Editors (2011). She has acted for media organisations and private individuals in applications concerning reporting restrictions and access to documents in the family court.

As one of the Attorney General’s panel of counsel, Kate has acted in a number of claims for applications for committal for contempt of court.

Kate is Public Access accredited.

Representative Cases

  • Persons formerly known as Winch, Re – Counsel for the claimants seeking contra mundum injunctions to protect them from being identified. One of the claimants had been a key prosecution witness in criminal proceedings arising out of serious organised crime. He and his family were at risk. The interim injunction had to be obtained at short notice as protection in the criminal proceedings was about to expire. The Divisional Court granted a final permanent injunction. See [2021] EWHC 1328 (QB) and [2021] EWHC 3284 (QB).
  • Barclay v Barclay [2021] EWFC 40 – Counsel for Sir Frederick Barclay on an application for publication of the judgment in financial remedy proceedings following his divorce and other reporting restrictions.
  • Solicitor General v Mayfield [2021] EWHC 1051 (QB) – Counsel for Solicitor General in proceedings for committal for contempt arising from breaches of a Reporting Restriction Order in criminal proceedings.
  • Al Maktoum v Al Hussein – Junior Counsel led by Justin Rushbrooke KC for Princess Haya bint Al Hussein on an application, and subsequent appeal by HH Sheik Mohammed, to permit reporting of judgments in wardship proceedings brought by the ruler of Dubai: [2020] EWCA Civ 283.
  • Tinkler v Ferguson [2021] EWCA Civ 18 – Junior counsel for the appeal only in a malicious falsehood claim by a former director of Stobart Group Ltd in respect of a company announcement published on the London Stock Exchange.
  • Junior counsel, led by David Sherborne, for Claimant, Johnny Depp, at trial of his libel action against News Group Newspapers [2020] EWHC 2911 (QB).
  • Turley v Unite the Union [2019] EWHC 3547 (QB) – Counsel for former MP, Anna Turley, in her libel and data protection claim against Unite the Union and a blogger, Stephen Walker. Unite agreed to pay £2,000 in damages in the data protection claim. Following trial of the libel action, at which defences under sections 2 and 4 of the Defamation Act 2013 were rejected, Ms Turley was awarded £75,000 damages.
  • In the matter of G(A child; transparency in the family courts) – Counsel for respondent father to applications (a) to inspect the court file of private family law proceedings, which had taken place in 2002, by an adult half-brother of the child who had been the subject of those proceedings and (b) by mother of that child seeking permission to speak publicly about those earlier proceedings (Jmt of Sir James Munby P at [2018] EWHC 1301 (Fam)).


2005 Called to the Bar of England and Wales


BA (Hons), Philosophy, Politics and Economics, University of Oxford (Magdalen College)
MPhil, International Relations, University of Cambridge (Trinity Hall)
Postgraduate Diploma in Law (Distinction), Westminster University
Inner Temple Jardine Scholarship, - 2004

Areas of work

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


Legal 500 2024 – Defamation/Privacy

“Brilliant technically, very personable and pragmatic, considered in her advice and efficient to turn work around.”

Chambers UK Bar 2023 – Defamation/Privacy

“Kate’s work product is absolutely brilliant. She is intelligent and very hard-working and has a really good strategic eye.”

“She has a great eye for detail and is a practical problem solver.”

Chambers UK Bar 2023 – Data Protection

“Kate’s work product is absolutely brilliant. She is intelligent and very hard-working, and has a really good strategic eye. She is relaxed, friendly and a real pleasure to work with.”

“She is very bright and poised.”

“Kate Wilson has a sharp and incisive mind. She’s very good with clients, and she explains the law without too much technicality.” “Very straight-talking, incredibly well versed in the law, and a pleasure to work with.” Chambers and Partners 2020

Who’s Who Legal UK Bar 2019 – Defamation & Privacy

“She …has total mastery of the facts.” Chambers and Partners 2019

“Her attention to detail is excellent.” The Legal 500 2018

“She is a compelling advocate who is very analytical and has a keen eye for detail.” Chambers and Partners 2018

“She is tremendous – her knowledge of the law is very impressive and she is able to act on instructions swiftly and in an unflappable manner.” Chambers and Partners 2017

“She is an extremely practical and accomplished advocate, who is excellent on technical issues.” The Legal 500 2017

Highly regarded junior barrister who acts in high-profile claims at all levels, including a recent appearance in the Supreme Court in Flood v Times Newspapers. She has extensive experience in obtaining injunctions to restrain harassment. “She quickly gets to grips with what is important to a client and gives practical and thoughtful advice.” “She is a fearless advocate and a star with the clients.” “She is calm and efficient – her advocacy is of a very high standard.” Chambers and Partners 2016

“Her advocacy is very strong, as is her technical legal knowledge.” The Legal 500 2016

“She has the ability to deliver even the most difficult arguments with charm.” “She shows bags of confidence when on her feet.” Chambers and Partners 2015

“Applies fresh thinking to situations which initially seem intractable.” The Legal 500 2015

“She is hard-working, very conscientious and careful. She pays a lot of attention to detail, and is sympathetic to clients.” “Precise and thorough, she always has a valuable perspective and is a brilliant wordsmith too.” Chambers and Partners 2014

“She is thorough, commercial and also creative in her approach to problems.” The Legal 500 2014

All cases

Defamation and Malicious Falsehood

McGee v Lewis

[2023] EWHC 1813 (KB) 17/07/2023

Tinkler v Ferguson & others

[2021] EWCA Civ 18 04/02/2021

Depp v News Group Newspapers

[2020] EWHC 2911 (QB) 02/11/2020

Anna Turley v Unite the Union and Stephen Walker

[2019] EWHC 3547 (QB) 22/12/2019

Anglia Research Ltd v Finders Genealogists Ltd

[2016] EWHC 297 (QB) 24/02/2016

The Lord McAlpine of West Green v Sally Bercow

[2013] EWHC 1342 (QB) 24/05/2013

Flood v Times Newspapers Limited (SC)

[2012] UKSC 11 21/03/2012


McGee v Lewis

[2023] EWHC 1813 (KB) 17/07/2023

Anglia Research Ltd v Finders Genealogists Ltd

[2016] EWHC 297 (QB) 24/02/2016

Injunctive Relief

McGee v Lewis

[2023] EWHC 1813 (KB) 17/07/2023

5RB Talks

5RB talks - End of Trinity Term 2021

29 Jul 2021
With Adam Speker KC, Kate Wilson & Julian Santos


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

22 May 2023

NGN Ltd pays damages over criminal proceedings article

Publisher apologises for “unfair and inaccurate” report of court proceedings

7 Oct 2022

5RB named top set by The Legal 500

Directory rankings also released

25 Mar 2021

Johnny Depp loses appeal bid

19 Feb 2021

Emails about departure of former head of British Council in Italy not defamatory

Mr Justice Saini finds two of three emails not actionable as defamatory

20 Nov 2020

5RB Wins Defamation, Privacy & Data Protection Awards

2 Nov 2020

Johnny Depp loses “wife beater” libel claim

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

5 Dec 2019

Triaster Ltd v Dun & Bradstreet Ltd: preliminary issues trial

Court to determine meaning, whether statement defamatory at common law and whether fact or opinion