Hugh Tomlinson QC - Matrix Chambers
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Hugh Tomlinson QC
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Hugh Tomlinson QC

"A doyen of media law, razor-sharp and one of the most respected and revered barristers in this area."

Legal 500 2021
Called: 1983 | Silk: 2002

Hugh has a wide-ranging practice in both private and public law. He is a noted specialist in media and information law including defamation, confidence, privacy and data protection. In addition to his media and human rights work, Hugh has been regularly instructed in substantial commercial, and civil fraud cases.

He has appeared in many high profile cases, including MPs’ expenses (Corporate Officer of House of Commons v IC), the phone hacking litigation, construction workers blacklisting litigation, the Prince of Wales’ case against the Mail on Sunday as well as many leading data protection, libel and privacy injunction cases.

He is joint author of the leading practitioner texts on the law of human rights and on civil actions against the police. He is a visiting Professor of Law at the London School of Economics. He has regularly participated in Council of Europe human rights judicial training seminars.

Hugh is a “Star Individual” in Chambers & Partners 2021 and Tier 1 in Legal 500.  His defamation practice includes leading cases on public interest (Loutchansky v Times Newspapers; Bonnick v Morris), qualified privilege (Clift v Slough BC) and the first case on “serious harm” under the Defamation Act 2013 (Cooke v MGN).  His recent defamation clients include Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, Rebekah Vardy, Mike Ashley and Roman Abramovich.  He is generally regarded as the leading claimant lawyer, and has appeared in numerous privacy injunction cases and trials.  Most recently, he represented the claimant in Sicri v Associated Newspapers, the first case in which misuse of private information damages were awarded against a national newspaper for the publication of the identity of an arrested suspect.

Hugh is a Band 1 silk in Chambers & Partners 2021 and Tier 1 in Legal 500.  He acted for the claimant in the leading case of Vidal-Hall v Google – which resulted in the striking down of the provision of the Data Protection Act 1998 which prevented the recovery of damages for distress.  He appeared in the first “right to be forgotten” case (NT1 v Google). Most recently he has acted for the representative claimant in the pioneering opt out group action, Lloyd v Google.

  • Online Publication Claims: A Practical Guide, joint editor with Guy Vassall-Adams QC (Matrix, 2017)
  • Lenders Claims, with T Grant (Sweet & Maxwell, 2010)
  • The Law of Human Rights, with R Clayton, (Oxford University Press, 2nd Edition, 2009).
  • Civil Actions Against the Police, with R Clayton (Sweet & Maxwell, 3rd Edition, 2004)

Hugh is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. In order to provide legal services to his clients, including advice and representation services, Hugh needs to collect and hold personal data. This includes his client’s personal data and the personal data of others who feature in the matter upon which he is instructed. To read Hugh privacy notice in full, please see here.

Hugh is regulated by the Bar Standards Board and accepts instructions under Standard Contractual Terms. To find out more information on this and the way we work at Matrix, including our fee transparency statement, please see our see our service standards.

DIRECTORY RECOMMENDATIONS

"A fount of knowledge and a formidable advocate."

"A superstar; a doyen of the media law world. Always available to share his wisdom."

"Very good at applying the law to real-world problems that clients are contending with and thinks creatively to come up with workable solutions."

Chambers & Partners 2021

"A doyen of media law, razor-sharp and one of the most respected and revered barristers in this area."

"He is the leading expert in [the data protection] field. He has a phenomenal breadth of knowledge and experience. He is highly intellectual but approaches issues in a practical way, cutting to the heart of problems. He is at the forefront in developing the application of data protection law, and is innovative in his approach."

Legal 500 2021
Matrix Chambers
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+44 (0)20 7404 3447
Hugh Tomlinson QC
Called: 1983 | Silk: 2002

"A doyen of media law, razor-sharp and one of the most respected and revered barristers in this area."

Legal 500 2021

MAIN AREAS OF PRACTICE

  • International arbitration
  • Commercial Law
  • Crime
  • Media and Information Law
  • Court Orders affecting the Media
  • Defamation and Privacy
  • Harassment 
  • Civil Liberties and Human Rights
  • Injunctions
  • Mediation
  • Police Law
  • Public Law
  • Public International Law
  • Sports Law
  • Data Protection
  • Public Law: Information, Data and Privacy
  • Police, Inquests and Prison
  • Commercial Public Law

Hugh Tomlinson QC

Contact Hugh: hughtomlinson@matrixlaw.co.uk | +44 (0)20 7404 3447

Contact Hugh's Practice Team (Team M): TeamM@matrixlaw.co.uk


Hugh has a wide-ranging practice in both private and public law. He is a noted specialist in media and information law including defamation, confidence, privacy and data protection. In addition to his media and human rights work, Hugh has been regularly instructed in substantial commercial, and civil fraud cases.

He has appeared in many high profile cases, including MPs’ expenses (Corporate Officer of House of Commons v IC), the phone hacking litigation, construction workers blacklisting litigation, the Prince of Wales’ case against the Mail on Sunday as well as many leading data protection, libel and privacy injunction cases.

He is joint author of the leading practitioner texts on the law of human rights and on civil actions against the police. He is a visiting Professor of Law at the London School of Economics. He has regularly participated in Council of Europe human rights judicial training seminars.

Media and Information Law

Hugh is a “Star Individual” in Chambers & Partners 2021 and Tier 1 in Legal 500.  His defamation practice includes leading cases on public interest (Loutchansky v Times Newspapers; Bonnick v Morris), qualified privilege (Clift v Slough BC) and the first case on “serious harm” under the Defamation Act 2013 (Cooke v MGN).  His recent defamation clients include Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, Rebekah Vardy, Mike Ashley and Roman Abramovich.  He is generally regarded as the leading claimant lawyer, and has appeared in numerous privacy injunction cases and trials.  Most recently, he represented the claimant in Sicri v Associated Newspapers, the first case in which misuse of private information damages were awarded against a national newspaper for the publication of the identity of an arrested suspect.

Data Protection Law

Hugh is a Band 1 silk in Chambers & Partners 2021 and Tier 1 in Legal 500.  He acted for the claimant in the leading case of Vidal-Hall v Google – which resulted in the striking down of the provision of the Data Protection Act 1998 which prevented the recovery of damages for distress.  He appeared in the first “right to be forgotten” case (NT1 v Google). Most recently he has acted for the representative claimant in the pioneering opt out group action, Lloyd v Google.

Publications

Online Publication Claims: A Practical Guide, joint editor with Guy Vassall-Adams QC (Matrix, 2017) Lenders Claims, with T Grant (Sweet & Maxwell, 2010) The Law of Human Rights, with R Clayton, (Oxford University Press, 2nd Edition, 2009). Civil Actions Against the Police, with R Clayton (Sweet & Maxwell, 3rd Edition, 2004)
Hugh's Privacy Notice

Hugh is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. In order to provide legal services to his clients, including advice and representation services, Hugh needs to collect and hold personal data. This includes his client’s personal data and the personal data of others who feature in the matter upon which he is instructed. To read Hugh privacy notice in full, please see here.


DIRECTORY RECOMMENDATIONS

"A fount of knowledge and a formidable advocate."

"A superstar; a doyen of the media law world. Always available to share his wisdom."

"Very good at applying the law to real-world problems that clients are contending with and thinks creatively to come up with workable solutions."

Chambers & Partners 2021

"A doyen of media law, razor-sharp and one of the most respected and revered barristers in this area."

"He is the leading expert in [the data protection] field. He has a phenomenal breadth of knowledge and experience. He is highly intellectual but approaches issues in a practical way, cutting to the heart of problems. He is at the forefront in developing the application of data protection law, and is innovative in his approach."

Legal 500 2021