Defamation and other claims involving the publication of false information
Privacy and breach of confidence
Freedom of Information
Contempt of Court
Media-related human rights law
Aidan has a broad practice encompassing all aspects of media and information law. His clients have included national newspapers, broadcasters, magazines and book publishers, MPs, celebrities, trade unions, police officers, public authorities, website operators, regulatory bodies and large and small companies. His work has included appearances in courts and tribunals at every level of seniority.
Aidan is a member of the Attorney General’s B Panel of Counsel.
Recommended as a leading junior in Chambers and Partners 2015 Defamation/Privacy & Data Protection and The Legal 500 2014 Defamation & Privacy and Data Protection. Nominated for Junior of the Year in Defamation/Privacy in 2011 and winner of Defamation/Privacy Junior of the Year 2013 at the Chambers and Partners Bar Awards.
Aidan has acted in cases of substantial weight and significance in the defamation field in the last year. Solicitors instruct him not only for his impeccable legal knowledge but also for his affable manner when dealing with clients. "Superb knowledge of the law." "He has an exceptional brain combined with a first-class work ethic. His advice is commercial yet carefully measured." Chambers and Partners 2015 – Defamation and Privacy
Aidan is a widely acknowledged expert in high-profile FOI and data protection-related media matters. "Aidan has a modest, unassuming and understated presence, which works well in a tribunal environment, but he is also robust and knows the points he wants to argue." Chambers and Partners 2015 – Data Protection
‘Head and shoulders above most in his field.’ The Legal 500 2014 - Defamation and Privacy
‘Recommended for his information law and media/privacy expertise.' The Legal 500 2014 – Defamation and Privacy
A supremely confident lawyer, who is lauded for his technical ability. Sources are quick to point out, however, that his obvious scholastic ability does not mean he is unaware of the realities of commerciality, and praise his understanding of clients' needs. "Always gives sensible, commercial and timely advice." "He has exceptional brainpower and a first-class work ethic. His advice is commercial yet carefully measured." Chambers and Partners 2014 – Defamation and Privacy
Represents a wide range of clients in matters in this field, as well as in wider media law. These clients include national newspapers and broadcasters, well-known personalities and trade unions. "Aidan is very responsive. I trust his judgement completely and he is very easy to deal with. You know what you are getting from him: first-class service. Also, he is very client-friendly." "He is strategic, bright and extremely hard-working. He is good to have on-side." "I would describe him as a quite cerebral lawyer. He is very thoughtful and measured and inventive legally. Very much a lateral thinker, he thinks outside the box." Chambers and Partners 2014 – Data Protection
Top-rated junior Aidan Eardley is “head and shoulders above most in his field” The Legal 500 2013/14
offers "an exceptional brain combined with a first-class work ethic." "Depressingly clever," according to peers, he leavens his obvious intelligence with "a good dollop of common sense." Chambers and Partners 2013
Consistently praised for his "incredible brain" The Legal 500 2012/13
Aidan Eardley presents as "a subtle, concise advocate" who is "highly dependable." His recent cases include acting for Tata Steel and Macmillan Publishers. Chambers and Partners 2012
Aidan Eardley is "a class act". The Legal 500 2011/12
Aidan Eardley is "a good junior who gets his head round the issues of a case with ease." He acted as junior to Andrew Caldecott QC for the defendant in Timtchenko v The Economist Newspaper Ltd. Interviewees praise Eardley for his intellectual prowess and his talent for dealing with detailed matters. "He has a super brain and will have a really rosy future," said one. Chambers and Partners 2011
recognised as "conscientious", "bright" and "hardworking" . The Legal 500 2010/11
Aidan Eardley is another firm favourite with instructing solicitors, who agree that he is "a rising star in the privacy and defamation field as he is incredibly user-friendly, an excellent pleader, and he gets things down beautifully in writing." Chambers and Partners 2010
Freedom of information expert Aidan Eardley‘ produces excellent paperwork’ The Legal 500 2008/9
“Others to garner market approval include the “phenomenally bright”Aidan Eardley whose “incredible brain masters the technical aspects of libel work with ease” Chambers and Partners 2008
ACADEMIC AND PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS
B.A. (Hons) (First Class) French and Philosophy, Merton College, Oxford
Distinction, CPE (postgraduate law diploma) City University, London
Outstanding, BVC (Bar Vocational Course) Inns of Court School of Law
Awarded Scarman Prize (for 2nd highest BVC results at ICSL, 2002), Student of the Year award and Buchanan Prize (for highest BVC results at Lincoln’s Inn, 2002), Denning Scholarship (Lincoln’s Inn, 2001), Hardwicke Entrance Scholarship (Lincoln’s inn, 2000)
Pupil at One Brick Court 2002-3
Tenant at One Brick Court from 2003
REPRESENTATIVE CASES OF INTEREST
- Contostavlos v News Group Newspapers (2014) – junior counsel for successful claimants in trial of meaning as a preliminary issue.
- Cruddas v Calvert & Others (2013) – junior counsel for defendants in libel/malicious falsehood claim against the Sunday Times and two of its journalists, including successful interlocutory appeal:  EMLR 5. Appeal against decision on liability pending.
- Desmond v Healey (2013) - counsel for public authority defendants in successful summary judgment application.
- Ansar v Groby Parish Council (2013) – counsel for public authority defendant in successful summary judgment application
- Giles v Testa (2013) – for claimant. Successfully resisting application for trial by jury.
- El Naschie v Macmillan Publishers Ltd (2011) – junior counsel for defendants in successful defence of libel claim (justification, fair comment and Reynolds privilege)
- Say v British Gas Services Ltd (2011) – for defendant in slander trial
- Khader v Aziz (2010) - for 2nd defendant at first instance and in Court of Appeal. Successful application for summary judgment/strike out of libel claim.
- Timtchenko v The Economist Newspaper Ltd (2009) - junior counsel for defendant, settled.
- Monks v Warwick DC (2009) – for defendant. Successful application to strike out parts of the Claimant’s pleadings.
- Rath v Guardian News & Media Ltd ((2008) - junior counsel for defendants, discontinued by claimant.
- Keating v Large (2008) - for claimant. Libel claim including trial on damages.
- Hidajat v Chadwick (2008) – for successful claimants. Libel claim including summary disposal.
- Samrai v Mehmi (2008) – for successful defendant. Jury trial in slander claim.
- Duncan v Goodman (2007) – for claimant. Trial on damages for slander. Claimant awarded substantial damages.
- Sheffield Wednesday FC Ltd & Ors v Hargreaves (2007) - for claimants. Successful Norwich Pharmacal application against website operator.
- Berezovsky v Fridman (2006) - Junior counsel for defendants in jury trial.
- Polanski v The Conde Nast Publications Ltd  1 WLR 637 – 2nd junior counsel for defendant in House of Lords – decision on claimant’s right to give evidence from abroad by video link - and at trial.
- Wood v CC West Midlands Police  EMLR 20 – 2nd junior counsel for defendant in Court of Appeal – appeal on qualified privilege and addition of slander claim out of time.
- Oliver v CC Northumbria Police (2004) – junior counsel for claimant in trial by judge alone.
- Price v Powell & Ors (2012-2013) – for claimant, including successfully resisting summary judgment application and application for t5rial on preliminary issue (continuing)
- WXY v Gewanter & Ors (2012-2013) - for successful claimant in privacy/harassment trial (and also in previous interim injunction applications). Claimant awarded permanent injunction and substantial damages.
- Gora v Gora (2010) - for successful claimant. Claim concerning alleged secret recording of telephone conversations. Settled at trial with payment of damages and costs.
- Lord Browne of Madingley v Associated Newspapers Ltd  3 WLR 289 - junior counsel for successful defendant in High Court and Court of Appeal. Injunction application.
- Green Corns Ltd v Claverley Group Ltd  EMLR 31 – junior counsel for defendants. Injunction application.
Freedom of Information
- R(Evans) v Attorney General  2 WLR 1334 - junior counsel for claimant in judicial review of Attorney General’s decision to veto the disclosure of Prince Charles’s communications with ministers. Defendant’s appeal to be heard by Supreme Court, November 2014.
- Home Office v Information Commissioner & Cobain (2013) – counsel for partially successful additional party in First Tier Tribunal appeal concerning statistics on deprivation of citizenship (appellant’s appeal to UT pending).
- Evans v ICO & 7 Government Departments  UKUT 313 (AAC) - junior counsel for appellant in successful Upper Tribunal appeal concerning Prince Charles’s communications with ministers.
- Cobain v Information Commissioner & CPS (2012) – counsel for successful appellant (a journalist) in First Tier Tribunal appeal concerning case papers from the prosecution of Nick Griffin.
- HEFCE v ICO & Guardian News and Media Ltd (2010) – counsel for successful additional party in Information Tribunal appeal.
- Ministry of Defence v ICO & Rob Evans (2007) – counsel for partially successful additional party (a journalist) in Information Tribunal appeal.
- Guardian Newspapers Ltd v ICO & CC Avon and Somerset Police (2007) - counsel for appellant in Information Tribunal appeal.
- Brand & Goldsmith v Berki (2014) – counsel for Russell Brand and Jemima Goldsmith in their claim for harassment, including successful application for urgent interim injunction.
- Peck & Ors v Haven (2013) – Successful county court claim for harassment injunction to protect leader and employees of a borough council.
- Ashley v CC Sussex Police  2 WLR 975. Junior counsel for intervener in House of Lords. Appeal as to whether continuation of assault claim against police force in respect of a fatal shooting was an abuse of process and/or infringed the article 6 rights of the officer who fired the shot, who had been acquitted of murder and manslaughter.
PUBLICATIONS AND SEMINARS
Contributor – Arlidge, Eady & Smith on Contempt, 4th Edition – December 2011; Supplement to 4th Edition – 2013.
Co-Author Duncan & Neill on Defamation, 3rd Edition – October 2009; 4th Edition forthcoming 2015.
Articles on media law in The Times, Entertainment Law Review, New Law Journal, Workplace Law and others.
Talks for One Brick Court external events, publishers and solicitors. Speaking on FOIA at the 2013 IBC Protecting the Media Conference.
Appointed part-time judge of the First Tier Tribunal (Social Entitlement Chamber), 2013
Speaks good French
Classical music, theatre, cinema, reading, travel