- Privacy and Breach of Confidence
- Media Injunction
- Reporting Restrictions
- Contempt of Court
- Freedom of Information
- Data Protection
- Malicious Falsehood/Trade libel
- Media-related Judicial Review
- Human Rights Law, particularly articles 8 and 10 of the ECHR
Sarah has a wide-ranging practice encompassing all aspects of media and information law for both claimants and defendants, including local authorities, corporations, trade unions and the police. Sarah regularly gives pre-publication advice to national newspapers, broadcasters and major publishing houses.
Sarah is recommended as a leading junior in defamation and privacy in Chambers UK, The Legal 500 and Legal Experts and a leading junior in Media, entertainment and sport in The Legal 500.
Maintains a broad practice, but is particularly noted for her work representing newspapers. She was recently involved as sole junior counsel for Associated Newspapers in the Leveson Inquiry. "She is hugely impressive, excellent with clients and very strong in her field"
Chambers and Partners 2014
Sarah Palin is ‘a real star of the junior media Bar’,and ‘really understands the workings of journalists and the importance of freedom of speech issues’ The Legal 500 2013/14
Sarah Palin boasts "impressive intellectual dexterity," and provides "great strategic thinking and solid tactical input." Chambers and Partners 2013
"very impressive" The Legal 500 2012/13
Sarah Palin's recent sorties have included appearing in defence of Associated Newspapers in a libel action brought by Nicola Horlick, as well as acting in a number of other high-profile libel and privacy cases. She is known not only for her knowledge of the media industry, but also for the "drive and enthusiasm she brings to each and every case."
Chambers and Partners 2012
Sarah Palin is “calm, bright and diligent”.
The Legal 500 2011/12
The set also includes Sarah Palin, who "grasps complicated issues swiftly and provides practical, commercial advice."
Chambers and Partners 2011
recognised as "conscientious", "bright" and "hardworking"
The Legal 500 2010/11
"proactive and impressive" Sarah Palin, is "very balanced and able to take things in her stride without being fazed by unexpected things happening." Her noteworthy work has included acting as junior counsel in a successful reporting restrictions judicial review brought by Paul Dacre and Associated Newspapers against Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
Chambers and Partners 2010
The Legal 500 2009 Described as a “well-regarded junior”…and “technically very able”.
“Sarah Palin is rated for being “committed, passionate and client-friendly."
Chambers and Partners 2008
“Sarah Palin, a name on many people’s radar who is “amazing for someone so junior”
Chambers and Partners 2007
“Solicitors say that the Hon Victoria Sharp QC is ‘set apart by her commerciality and strategic advice’. Leading well-regarded junior Sarah Palin, she acted for the defence in Lowe v Associated Newspapers, a case which resulted in clarifications to the media defence of fair comment which were perceived as significant for press freedom”
The Legal 500 2007
“Media solicitors also watch with great interest the career development of Sarah Palin, who acted in The Hutton Inquiry as second junior alongside Andrew Caldecott QC”
The Legal 500 2006
REPRESENTATIVE CASES OF INTEREST
Defamation and Privacy
- Mohammed Dahlan v Al Jazeera Satellite TV  EWHC 923 – junior counsel for the Claimant, a leading Palestinian politician, in a claim over a broadcast on Al Jazeera. Trial set for March 2010. Led by Andrew Caldecott QC.
- Nicola Horlick v Associated Newspapers Limited – counsel for the Defendant.
- Terry Edwards v Paul King – counsel for the ABA's chief executive in a claim brought by the former GB boxing head coach.
- Fraser v The Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust – counsel for the Defendant NHS Trust in a claim brought by a locum social worker.
- Ali Dizaei v Associated Newspapers Limited – junior counsel for the Defendant. Led by Andrew Caldecott QC.
- Inayat Bunglawala v Express Newspapers Limited (2008) – counsel for the claimant, the assistant secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain. Settled with substantial damages paid to Claimant.
- Gorbakhsh Singh v National News Agency & Ors (2008) – acted for the claimant police officer in proceedings for libel against various media organisations.
- Burstein v Associated Newspapers  EWCA Civ 600 – junior counsel (led by Victoria Sharp QC) for the defendants in successful application for summary judgment on a defence of fair comment. This was the first consideration of the defence of fair comment by the Court of Appeal in recent times;
- Martyn Jones MP v Associated Newspapers  EWHC 1489 – junior counsel for defendant newspaper in jury trial. Significant judgment on indemnity costs, Part 36 offers and CFA claimants;
- Lowe v Associated Newspapers  WLR 595 – junior counsel for defendant (led by Victoria Sharp QC) in significant fair comment case (“the most important decision of the past year for the development of the law of defamation”);
- Neil and Christine Hamilton v Max Clifford, News Group Newspapers and Express Newspapers  EWHC 1542 – acted for the claimants (led by Richard Hartley QC) in libel actions arising from Nadine Milroy-Sloan’s false accusations of rape. Successful application before Mr Justice Eady to strike out the defence of fair comment.
- Donal MacIntyre v Chief Constable of Kent  EMLR 9 – second junior for the claimant (with Andrew Caldecott QC and Manuel Barca). Settled with substantial damages paid to the claimant;
- Steven Bennett & Starchaser Industries v BBC  EWHC 553 second junior for defendant (led by Andrew Caldecott QC).
- Grobbelaar v News Group Newspapers – junior counsel for claimant (led by Richard Hartley QC) in the House of Lords  1 WLR 3024 (misdirection in the summing-up, excessive damages and perversity) and Court of Appeal  2 All ER 437 (Reynolds privilege; misdirection and unreasonable verdict);
Media reporting restrictions and contempt of court
Paul Dacre and Associated Newspapers v Westminster Magistrates’ Court ex parte Michael Pelling  1 All E R 639;  1 Cr App R 6 - junior counsel (led by Jonathan Caplan QC) in a successful judicial review of the City of Westminster Magistrates’ refusal to stay a criminal prosecution against the Daily Mail and its editor for breach of a reporting restriction.
In the matter of LJ AND MJ, Hedley J and Sir Mark Potter (P) (January 2009) – counsel for the local newspapers in resisting an application for an injunction by the guardian of the children of Lisa Hayden-Johnson, the mother who faked her child’s illnesses, to restrict reporting of her criminal proceedings
R v Gromwek, Cardiff Crown Court, Maddison J (2008) – acted for the BBC in successfully resisting an application on behalf of the Police Federation to postpone reporting under s4(2) of Contempt of Court Act 1981.
R v Levi Bellfield, Central Criminal Court, Rafferty J (2008) - acted for The Times in a successful application to lift s4(2) order under Contempt of Court Act 1981 prohibiting reporting of the defendant’s name and photograph at the conclusion of his trial.
R v Sawdon, Sheffield Crown Court, Andrew Smith J – successful application to lift an order pursuant to section 39 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 in respect of three teenagers guilty of murder.
Attorney-General v BBC (Spotlight) – junior counsel for BBC (led by Andrew Caldecott QC) in contempt proceedings arising from the publication of the identity of a victim of sexual abuse.
Privacy/breach of confidence/data protection/harassment
Jenkins v Sheffield Wednesday Football Club (2009) – counsel for football club in claim under Data Protection Act 1998.
Dr Hassan v General Medical Council (2008) – counsel for the GMC in an action brought by a doctor under the Data Protection Act 1998 in respect of a fitness to practise investigation by the GMC.
Sofola v Lloyds Bank PLC  EWHC 1335 – counsel for the defendant in a claim for slander, breach of confidence and for damages and rectification under the Data Protection Act 1998;
- The Hutton Inquiry – junior for BBC (led by Andrew Caldecott QC).
ACADEMIC AND PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS
BA (Hons) Modern History, Brasenose College, Oxford
CPE Postgraduate law diploma, City University
Bar Vocational Course, Inns of Court School of Law
Middle Temple Benefactors Scholar
Co-author with Catrin Evans of the 2006 Issue of Atkin’s Court Forms (Butterworths) title on Confidence, Privacy, Data Protection, Freedom of Information and Interception of Communications).
Member of the Bar Pro Bono Unit