Richard Munden

Richard Munden

Richard is renowned as a leading specialist in defamation, privacy, and data protection law. His practice encompasses all aspects of media and communications law, including harassment by publication, copyright, contempt, and media-related contractual disputes.

Praise from Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 for Richard’s defamation, privacy and data protection work includes:

  • “Exceptional on paper and in court”
  • “Absolutely top junior – both on legal issues and strategy”
  • “My first choice when it comes to this sort of work because he is incredibly user-friendly”
  • “Excellent analytical and drafting skills, impressive experience for his seniority, good with clients, and a pleasure to deal with all round”
  • “Respected by clients and the media industry in general”
  • “Very practical, commercially focused and easy to deal with”
  • “Incredibly personable and user-friendly”
  • “Clear and commercial in his approach, and always provides spot-on advice”
  • “Brilliant attention to detail”
  • “Tenacious with impressive attention to detail”
  • “A great person to have on your side – very clear and has great judgement”

A recent Who’s Who Legal named Richard as one of the two most highly regarded juniors practising in defamation and privacy law, describing him as “superb” and “one of the standout juniors in the area, consistently impressing clients by ‘always going above and beyond when instructed’ and delivering results thanks to his ‘technical expertise, responsiveness and commercial approach’”.

Richard is a member of the Media and Communications List Users Group Committee (whose judicial members include Mr Justice Nicklin and Senior Master Fontaine), which worked on the new Pre-Action Protocol and Practice Direction for the Media and Communications List, and which works to improve practice and procedure in claims for defamation, privacy, data protection and harassment by publication.

He is a contributing author to the leading professional texts on the Defamation Act 2013, privacy and misuse of private information, and reporting restrictions and contempt of court.

Richard is hugely experienced in defamation claims, for both claimants and defendants. Libel and slander claims in which he has acted include:

  • acting for Wayne Rooney and HarperCollins Publishers in the libel claim brought against them by Rooney’s former manager David Moyes;
  • Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman v ARY Network Ltd, a libel claim relating to 25 television broadcasts, securing £185k damages and the first ever publication order under s.12 of the Defamation Act 2013;
  • Dar Al Arkan & Anor v Al Refai & Ors, a complex US$500m claim in the Commercial Court for libel, malicious falsehood, breach of confidence, conspiracy and various foreign law claims, involving a freezing injunction and numerous interlocutory orders;
  • acting for JK Rowling in her libel claim against the publishers of the Daily Mail, obtaining permission to make a disputed unilateral statement in open court following an offer of amends;
  • acting for Shahbaz Sharif, Pakistan’s opposition leader, in a libel claim over an article in the Mail on Sunday accusing him of embezzlement and money laundering;
  • a number of claims overlapping with unfair dismissal and Employment Tribunal claims, including Parris v Ajayi and Kostakopolou v University of Warwick;
  • Prince Moulay Hicham of Morocco v Elaph, acting for the 3rd in line to the Moroccan throne in respect of allegations of disloyal and underhand plotting against his King (including succeeding in the Court of Appeal on defamatory meaning);
  • acting for former Conservative Party co-treasurer Peter Cruddas in his successful libel and malicious falsehood claim against the Sunday Times;
  • successfully striking out claims brought by a family in relation to their exclusion from Exeter Mosque, on the basis of ‘reply to attack’ and duty-interest qualified privilege, in Abdulrazaq v Hassan;
  • obtaining substantial damages for a number of professional footballers falsely accused of involvement in match-fixing;
  • acting for Amazon in successfully striking out a claim brought by an author over user comments in a discussion forum;
  • successfully obtaining damages and apologies from The Spectator and Melanie Phillips over an article libelling the President of the British Muslim Initiative, and from the same magazine for Islam Expo Ltd;
  • obtaining an award of substantial damages and injunction for Professor AC Grayling in a libel claim over false allegations on Twitter;
  • acting for the defendants in My Distance Learning College v NCFE, a complex libel, malicious falsehood and breach of contract claim valued at more than £5.5million;
  • Mond v Mason, a successful claim for libel, malicious falsehood and causing loss by unlawful means by a group of accountancy firms involving numerous interlocutory applications;
  • acting for Liverpool FC footballer Harry Kewell in his libel claim against Gary Lineker and the Telegraph;
  • acting for boxing promoter Frank Warren in his successful libel claim against boxer Herbie Hide;
  • acting for dressage trainer Andrew Gould in relation to claims about his relationship with Katie Price; and
  • advising the charity Shelter in relation to a threatened claim over a report into rogue landlords.

The many privacy and confidentiality matters Richard has acted in have included:

  • acting for numerous celebrities, sportsmen, businesses and individuals in respect of the publication of private and confidential information online and in newspapers and magazines;
  • acting in the leading decisions on privacy and freedom of expression,  Von Hannover v Germany (No 2) and Axel Springer v Germany in the European Court of Human Rights, for the Media Legal Defence Initiative, the International Press Institute, and The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers;
  • acting for Mirror Group Newspapers in the on-going phone hacking litigation, relating to hundreds of claims from celebrities and others in respect of phone hacking and other unlawful information gathering activities. This has raised numerous complex issues, in particular as to the protection of journalistic sources, legal professional privilege, disclosure, and Part 36 offers, as well as privacy issues more generally;
  • acting for Ian Edmondson, former News of the World Assistant Editor, in the News Group phone hacking litigation and at the Leveson Inquiry;
  • acting for former boxer Ricky Hatton in respect of photographs and articles about his private life;
  • obtaining injunctions against Google and Facebook in respect of private and confidential information published online; and
  • acting for a child rape victim indirectly identified in a local newspaper.

Data protection is a significant part of Richard’s practice. Matters on which he has acted include:

  • the landmark case of Prince Moulay Hicham of Morocco v Elaph, before both the High Court and Court of Appeal, on bringing claims for inaccurate personal data alongside libel;
  • advising Cheryl Fernandez-Versini in respect of inaccurate sensitive personal data published online;
  • advising a number of organisations, including the Bar Standards Board, on their obligations under the DPA, GDPR, PECR and ePrivacy Directive;
  • various data breach claims, acting for both data subjects and controllers;
  • claims relating to operators of databases provided for Anti-Money Laundering and Know Your Client purposes, including ‘Politically Exposed Persons’;
  • ‘right to be forgotten’/right to erasure requests and applications to Google and the ICO (Richard led the seminar on the implications of the Google Spain ‘Right to be forgotten’ judgment at Conference5RB);
  • subject access requests under the DPA and GDPR, advising individuals and organisations;
  • successfully defending a police force in a DPA and HRA claim in respect of an Enhanced Criminal Record Certificate; and
  • acting for music festival organisers in respect of a substantial ICO monetary penalty.

Richard also has great experience of making and resisting applications for injunctions in harassment in cases relating to actual or threatened publication, online or offline, including:

  • SPA v TAS, obtaining an injunction against a former employee spreading damaging allegations online;
  • successfully resisting a claim for an injunction brought by actor and author David Walliams and his ex-wife against a well known photography agency;
  • McNally v Saunders, successfully striking out a harassment claim brought by a local government officer over repeated blogs critical of her (‘The Sandwell Skidder’);
  • Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman v ARY, in respect of a campaign of vilification carried out on television, raising jurisdiction issues;
  • obtaining injunctions and damages for a businessman, the subject of an anonymity order, in respect of a vicious campaign of vilification by leaflet, post and email;
  • acting for a photographer sued for harassment by One Direction singer Harry Styles;
  • acting for organisations, including a well-known healthcare provider and a betting exchange, to obtain anti-harassment injunctions to protect their employees and clients; and
  • acting for a well-known author whose emails were hacked and who was harassed and impersonated on social media, obtaining undertakings which ultimately led to the harasser’s imprisonment.

Richard has also advised and acted on various copyright matters relating to the music, television and publishing industries, including:

  • acting for Aston “Family Man” Barrett (Bob Marley & The Wailers) against Universal-Island Records in his claim for songwriting credits and royalties on well-known Marley recordings;
  • for Associated Newspapers in a privacy and copyright claim brought by singer Lily Allen;
  • for the claimants in Dar Al Arkan & Anor v Al Refai & Ors, in respect of stolen and copied documents appearing on a website;
  • for Manchester United FC in respect of misuse of a confidential database;
  • for Uri Geller in respect of footage broadcast by a national broadcaster;
  • for the estate of J.R.Tolkien in respect of unlicensed imitations of the “One Ring” from the Lord of the Rings trilogy;
  • providing pre-publication copyright advice to broadcasters, newspapers and publishers, in particular on fair dealing issues.
  • Before joining 5RB, Richard was a Research Associate at the Oxford Intellectual Property Research Centre.

In addition to the contractual elements in several of the claims referred to above, Richard has been involved in claims over music management contracts, publishing disputes and a claim relating to a series of popular music documentary films.

He has also acted in professional negligence matters relating to media and entertainment law.

In addition to litigation, Richard provides pre-publication advice on libel, contempt, copyright and other legal issues to national newspapers, broadcasters, and book publishers.


Pegasus Scholar 2007: Richard spent three months working in the media department of solicitors Mallesons Stephen Jaques in Sydney, marshalling at the New South Wales Supreme Court, and in-house at publishers Fairfax Media.

Levitt Scholar, Lord Denning Scholar, and Hardwicke Scholar of Lincoln’s Inn


2003 Called to the Bar of England and Wales


University of Warwick, LLB (1st Class Honours) - 1997 - 2001
University of Oxford (St Peter's College), BCL - 2001-2002

Areas of work

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


Bar Pro Bono Unit
Human Rights Lawyers Association

Featured cases

Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Co v Al Refai

[2013] EWHC 1630 (Comm) 12/06/2013

Murray v Associated Newspapers Ltd

[2014] EWHC 1170 (QB) 15/04/2014

His Highness Prince Moulay Hicham Ben Abdullah Al Alaoui of Morocco v Elaph Publishing Limited

[2015] EWHC 2021 (QB) 16/07/2015

von Hannover v Germany (No. 2)

(2012) 55 E.H.R.R. 15 07/02/2012

Mir Shakil-Ur-Rahman v ARY Network Limited & Fayaz Ghafoor

[2015] EWHC 2917 (QB) 27/11/2015

All cases

Defamation and Malicious Falsehood

Abdulrazaq v Hassan & Ors

[2021] EWHC 3252 (QB) 03/12/2021

Sahota v Middlesex Broadcasting Corporation Ltd & Ors

[2021] EWHC 504 (QB) 05/03/2021

Parris v Ajayi & Ors

[2021] EWHC 285 (QB) 12/02/2021

Sadik v Sadik

[2019] EWHC 2717 (QB), [2020] E.M.L.R. 7 16/10/2019

Mir Shakil-Ur-Rahman v ARY Network Limited & Fayaz Ghafoor

[2015] EWHC 2917 (QB) 27/11/2015

His Highness Prince Moulay Hicham Ben Abdullah Al Alaoui of Morocco v Elaph Publishing Limited

[2015] EWHC 2021 (QB) 16/07/2015

Associated Newspapers v Murray

[2015] EWCA Civ 488 15/05/2015

Murray v Associated Newspapers Ltd

[2014] EWHC 1170 (QB) 15/04/2014

Jackson v Universal Music Operations Ltd


Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Co v Al Refai

[2013] EWHC 1630 (Comm) 12/06/2013

Smith v Dha

[2013] EWHC 838 (QB) 12/04/2013

Wright v Caan

[2011] EWHC 1978 (QB) 27/07/2011

Bowker v RSPB

[2011] EWHC 737 (QB) 25/03/2011

Woodbridge v Stapleton

Unreported, 20 January 2011 20/01/2011

Ifedha v Archant Regional Ltd

[2010] EWHC 2819 (QB) 08/11/2010

Islam Expo Ltd v The Spectator (1828) Ltd & Pollard

[2010] EWHC 2011 (QB) 30/07/2010

North London Central Mosque Trust v Policy Exchange & Anor

[2009] EWHC 3311 (QB) 26/11/2009

Noorani v Calver (No 2 Costs)

[2009] EWHC 592 (QB) 25/03/2009

Noorani v Calver (No 1)

[2009] EWHC 561 (QB) 17/03/2009

Hughes v Alan Dick & Co Ltd

[2008] EWHC 2695 (QB) 23/10/2008

Mond & Ors v Mason & Ors

[2008] EWHC 1649 (QB) 24/06/2008

SD Marine Ltd v Powell

[2006] EWHC 3095 (QB) 06/12/2006

Hussein v William Hill

[2006] EWHC 25 (QB) 20/01/2006

Privacy and Confidence

von Hannover v Germany (No. 2)

(2012) 55 E.H.R.R. 15 07/02/2012

Axel Springer AG v Germany

Application No.39954/08 07/02/2012

Reporting the Courts and Contempt

R v Swansea Crown Court, ex parte BBC

T20077088 22/01/2008

Injunctive Relief

Mond & Ors v Mason & Ors

[2008] EWHC 1649 (QB) 24/06/2008

Intellectual Property

Barrett v Universal-Island Records & Others

[2006] EWHC 1009 (Ch); [2006] EMLR 567 15/05/2006

Data Protection and Information Law

His Highness Prince Moulay Hicham Ben Abdullah Al Alaoui of Morocco v Elaph Publishing Limited

[2015] EWHC 2021 (QB) 16/07/2015

General Common Law

Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Co v Al Refai

[2013] EWHC 1630 (Comm) 12/06/2013

Mond & Ors v Mason & Ors

[2008] EWHC 1649 (QB) 24/06/2008

Barrett v Universal-Island Records & Others

[2006] EWHC 1009 (Ch); [2006] EMLR 567 15/05/2006

5RB Talks

5RB Talks: Manchester

15 May 2015
With Jonathan Barnes KC, Richard Munden, Chloe Strong & Adrienne Page KC


The Law of Privacy and the Media 3rd Edition

By Richard Munden. 22 Jan 2016

Blackstone's Guide to the Defamation Act 2013

Oxford University Press
By Richard Munden. 19 Sep 2013

Tugendhat & Christie: The Law of Privacy and the Media, Second Edition

Oxford University Press
By Richard Munden. 17 Mar 2011

Borrie & Lowe: The Law of Contempt

By Richard Munden. 1 Oct 2010

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

21 Jul 2023

GEO TV seeks summary judgment

Statutory reporting privilege claimed

9 May 2023

Phone hacking trial to begin

28 Feb 2023

Arron Banks wins Cadwalladr TED Talk appeal

Brexit businessman succeeds on serious harm appeal

3 Jan 2023

5RB cases dominate Spear’s reputation cases roundup 2022

7 Oct 2022

5RB named top set by The Legal 500

Directory rankings also released

4 Oct 2022

Apology to John Ware

Statement in open court

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

15 Jan 2020

Rare defamation decision in Chancery Division

Chancery Chief Master denies Claimants’ amendment to a defamation claim and Defendants’ application for trial of preliminary issue

18 Jul 2018

Sir Cliff Richard wins privacy claim against BBC

Judge awards singer £210,000 damages for misuse of private information

27 Jun 2018

Mail apologises to Earl Spencer

Statement in open court read after settlement of libel claim over false Diana allegation

6 Feb 2018

5RB ‘stands above the competition’

Leaders and juniors praised in new edition of Who's Who Legal

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

31 Jul 2017

Supreme Court refuses permission in DPA/libel claim

Defendant Elaph refused permission to appeal CA decision allowing Moroccan Prince to pursue DPA claim and restoring defamatory meanings

6 Jul 2017

Consultant wins Dental CPD dispute

Dr Andrew Guise awarded £28k in libel & harassment damages

27 Jan 2017

Prince wins libel and DPA appeals

Court of Appeal rules adding DPA inaccuracy claim to libel claim permissible; also finds for Prince on defamatory meaning

16 Dec 2016

First order made under s.12 of the Defamation Act 2013

ARY News broadcaster ordered to broadcast summary of High Court's judgment

2 Dec 2016

Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman awarded £185k libel damages

Media group chairman wins libel claim against ARY News broadcaster over 'traitor' allegations; but loses harassment claim

17 Nov 2016

29 phone hacking claims settle

Statements in open court read in claims against Mirror Group Newspapers

22 Jan 2016

New edition of The Law of Privacy and the Media published

Read an extract on Privacy, the Internet and Social Media

23 Jul 2015

Permission granted to add data protection claim

Moroccan Prince partially successful in application for permission to amend libel claim against UK-based Arab news website

18 May 2015

Mail loses JK Rowling appeal

'Harry Potter' author permitted to read statement in open court following libel settlement, including disputed reference to dishonesty

5 May 2015

5RB Talks: Manchester

5RB's Jonathan Barnes, Richard Munden and Chloe Strong spoke

31 Oct 2014

5RB tops Chambers & Partners 2015

Set and 19 barristers recommended in UK Bar Guide

19 Sep 2013

Blackstone’s Guide to the Defamation Act 2013 published

Guide to the new Act out now

31 Oct 2012

5RB Sponsors National Pro Bono Centre

Chambers continues support for Pro Bono work as Bronze Sponsor

7 Feb 2012

Media victorious in Strasbourg

Grand Chamber rejects Princess Caroline privacy claim; upholds newspaper anonymity complaint

28 Oct 2011

5RB tops Chambers and Partners 2012

Adam Wolanski wins Defamation and Privacy Junior Barrister of the Year

27 Sep 2011

‘Truly experts’

The Legal 500 review 2012

20 May 2011

Phone hacking test cases chosen

Five lead and five reserve lead cases to go forward

15 Apr 2011

Phone hacking ‘test’ cases to be tried

Vos J orders parties to identify 4 or 5 cases to go forward to determine common issues in News of the World claims

1 Apr 2011

BBC air series on media law

'See You in Court' documentary series on libel and privacy cases shown on BBC1

17 Mar 2011

New edition of privacy book published

Second edition of Tugendhat & Christie: The Law of Privacy and the Media published

25 Nov 2010

Melanie Phillips apologises for libel

Writer and Spectator apologise to Mohammed Sawalha for alleging that he made anti-Semitic statement, pay damages and costs

5 Nov 2010

5RB tops directory ranking

Chambers & Partners 2011 edition praises set

29 Oct 2010

New edition of Borrie & Lowe

Fourth edition of book on the law of contempt published by LexisNexis

28 Aug 2010

Spectator apologises for IslamExpo libel

Publisher and author apologise and pay damages and costs to Islamic exhibition company

21 Apr 2010

Mosque Trust granted permission to appeal

Permission granted to charity to appeal strike out ruling on capacity in libel claim over Policy Exchange 'extremist literature' report

24 Sep 2009

5RB’s juniors: the Legal 500 verdict

What the legal directory had to say about 5RB's junior barristers

27 Jul 2009

Frank Warren wins libel damages

Boxing promoter awarded £35,000 over allegations made by boxer Herbie Hide

23 Mar 2009

Liverpool libel trial collapses

Indemnity costs after claimant discontinues claim over malicious telephone calls

24 Nov 2008

Accountant wins ‘IVA Council’ claim

Insolvency practitioner obtains apology and damages over mis-selling allegations

31 Jul 2008

George Galloway wins libel damages

Respect Party MP awarded £15,000 for radio station's anti-Semitic slur

6 Jun 2008

Job seeker wins Express apology

Mother-of-five accepts libel damages, apology over 'scrounger' slur

3 Jun 2008

Rooney book libel case settles

Everton manager accepts apology and damages over 'leak' allegations

16 Mar 2006

Wailers royalties battle begins

Bob Marley's bass guitarist brings claim against Island Records

4 Oct 2004

5RB Welcomes New Tenants & Pupils

Richard Munden and David Hirst join 5RB