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Media and Information Law

Media and Information Law

Media and Information law is undergoing a period of rapid and wide-ranging change. The processing and publication of information is covered by a complex network of statutory and common law restrictions and remedies, from defamation to data protection, from breach of confidence to freedom of information. The Matrix Media and Information Group is able to provide expertise across the entire area.

The law of defamation is slowly being transformed by the increasing sensitivity of the courts to the need to protect freedom of expression. Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, and human rights cases from Europe and the Commonwealth, have had an important influence in the development of domestic law. They have been taken into account in a range of cases, including in restricting damages awards in libel cases, in preventing public authorities from bringing libel actions, and in defining the limits of a ‘public interest’ privilege for the media.

The balance between rights of privacy and freedom of expression comes before domestic, European and international courts in a new context. Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights has given impetus to the development of a ‘right of privacy’. The law of breach of confidence has absorbed Articles 8 and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, producing a new action for ‘misuse of private information’. At the same time, the media has been adversely affected by the development of statutory rights for individuals: for example, personal data has been given greater legal protection under the GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018 and remedies provided by the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 have been used against the media.

Members of Matrix specialising in Data Protection advise public authorities, companies, media organisations and private individuals on their rights and responsibilities under the Data Protection Act and under the Freedom of Information Act where requests are made for personal data held by public authorities. Recent data protection cases include Corporate Officer of House of Commons v Information Commissioner [2009] 3 All ER 403 (the MP’s Expenses case).

Matrix barristers regularly write for Inforrm , The International Forum for Responsible Media blog, that was established to debate issues of media responsibility. Recent articles written by members include:


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Alex Bailin QC
Called: 1995 Silk: 2010
Edward Craven
Called: 2007
Catrin Evans QC
Called: 1994 Silk: 2016
Emma Foubister
Called: 2016
Ian Helme
Called: 2005
Anthony Hudson QC
Call: 1996 Silk: 2015
Darryl Hutcheon
Called: 2014
Phillippa Kaufmann QC
Called: 1991 Silk: 2011
James Laddie QC
Called: 1995 Silk: 2012
Rachel Logan
Called: 2008
Sara Mansoori
Called: 1997
Prof. Jonathan H. Marks
Called: 1992
Zoe McCallum
Called: 2016
Gavin Millar QC
Called: 1981 Silk: 2000 Called: 2010 (Northern Ireland)
Helen Mountfield QC
Called: 1991 Silk: 2010
Matthew Ryder QC
Called: 1992 Silk: 2010
Ben Silverstone
Called: 2009
Jessica Simor QC
Called: 1992 Silk: 2013
Paul Skinner
Called: 2010
Lorna Skinner QC
Called: 1997 Silk: 2021
Dan Squires QC
Called: 1998 Silk: 2016
Hugh Tomlinson QC
Called: 1983 Silk: 2002
Guy Vassall-Adams QC
Called: 2000 Silk: 2016
Adrian Waterman QC
Called: 1988 Silk: 2006
Antony White QC
Called: 1983 (England & Wales) Silk: 2001 Called: 2016 (Northern Ireland)
Aidan Wills
Called: 2015