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Claire Overman
Call: 2014

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Barristers

Catrin Evans QCCatrin Evans QC

Email: ce@onebrickcourt.com

Call: 1994

Silk: 2016

SPECIALISATION

  • Privacy Laws
  • Data protection
  • Defamation
  • Internet law
  • Media injunctions
  • Harassment
  • Contempt of court
  • Reporting restrictions
  • Protection of sources/production orders
  • Freedom of information
  • Malicious Falsehood/trade Libel
  • Human rights law, particularly relating to privacy, data protection and freedom of expression
  • Media and information related judicial review and regulatory work 

Catrin Evans QC has a wide-ranging practice in the higher courts within the media and information law fields and was for many years, before taking silk in 2016, star- or top-ranked in the legal directories as a leading junior.  In 2008 and 2015 she won the Chambers & Partners Bar Awards Junior of the Year for Defamation/Privacy. She was on the Attorney-General’s A Panel of junior counsel.

Catrin acts for claimants and defendants; media and non-media corporates including global internet companies, newspaper groups, broadcasters and financial entities; and government and other public authorities and institutions; as well as private individuals of the well known and unknown variety.

In addition to defamation and other claims involving false, intrusive or damaging publications she has particular expertise in European Convention freedom of expression and privacy laws, having been involved in many of the developing Articles 8 &10 cases since the Human Rights Act came into force. This includes the House of Lords cases of Naomi Campbell v MGN Ltd (established the modern tort of misuse of private information) and Cream Holdings v Banerjee (defined the test for injunctive relief under s.12 of the HRA), and Greene v Associated Newspapers Ltd (reaffirmed the special protection for freedom of expression against interim injunctions in libel cases) and Weller v Associated Newspapers Ltd (privacy rights of children of celebrities).

In recent years Catrin has also been dealing with the growing number of claims arising from online communications and users’ data privacy rights, particularly those with an international jurisdiction angle. Reported examples have included Metropolitan International Schools v Google Inc (search engine not liable for defamatory results), Tamiz v Google Inc (blogger host not liable for defamatory posts),  Vidal-Hall v Google Inc. (various data privacy issues related to the placing of cookies on browsers), and Hegglin v Google Inc (the first ‘right to be forgotten’ case brought in the English courts). She also advises broadcasters, newspapers and corporates on data privacy issues pre- and post-publication. 

Catrin also deals with media reporting restrictions, police production orders and related freedom of speech matters in all courts and appears in the Divisional Court on committal applications and other contempt related matters (both the media and non-media variety). 

Catrin advises on Freedom of Information Act requests and acts in appeals to the Information Rights Tribunal (again both the media and non-media variety and as appellant and respondent). She also handles media regulatory work.


RECOMMENDATIONS AND AWARDS/NOMINATIONS

DIRECTORIES

Ranked in the “Defamation/Privacy” category of Chambers and Partners 2017 where she is described as a new silk with “a phenomenal reputation at the Defamation Bar”; “frequently a top choice among instructing solicitors for sensitive libel and DPA claims”; “her reputation as the top junior at the Defamation Bar was fully merited, and has now been recognised with her appointment as a QC this year. She is clever, hard-working and calm, and has extremely good tactical awareness and judgement"; and "She will clearly do very well - she's been brilliant for years." 

Also ranked in the “Data Protection” category of Chambers and Partners 2017 where she is described as “A new silk who enjoys an excellent reputation as an intelligent advocate capable of handling the most nuanced arguments in information law”; "she is super brainy and a very pragmatic adviser. She has a great sense of what the client needs and completely understands the law and its complexities"; and "modern in her approach, easy to work with and gets to the important points very quickly." 

Catrin is ranked in the latest Legal 500 2016 “Defamation and privacy” section and described as “able to see the overall picture and give robust, commercial and legally incisive advice.”  

In the Legal 500 2016 “IT and Telecoms incl. Data Protection” she is said to be “incredibly hardworking” with “great attention to detail.” 

And also in the Legal 500 2016 “Media and Entertainment” category where she is described as “an extremely clear strategic thinker.”

Further directory epithets have included -  “Superb analysis and an eye for detail which produce excellent performances in court” (Legal 500 - Defamation and Privacy 2015). “Good with clients" and "very calm, assured and analytical” (Chambers and Partners 2015 – Defamation/privacy). “An exceptional barrister and a delight to work with” (Legal 500 2014). "Her style of advocacy is very effective – clear, not pompous; confident, not arrogant. Clients like her" (Chambers and Partners 2014 – Defamation/Privacy). "She is just brilliant. Friendly and approachable, she always makes herself available" and "Catrin is one of my first ports of call. I trust her judgement and she is good and quick on her feet. You get the complete package with her" and "she keeps a calm head in a storm" (Chambers and Partners 2014 – Data Protection). “Probably the junior of choice for media defendants” (The Legal 500 2013/14).  "An absolutely superb advocate who is calm, thoughtful, persuasive and highly committed" (Chambers and Partners 2013). 

AWARDS

In addition to winning the Chambers & Partners award for Junior of the Year in Defamation/Privacy in 2008 and 2015, Catrin was nominated for that award on 4 other occasions going back to 2006.

 

ACADEMIC AND PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS

BA (Hons) (First Class), English Literature, University of Essex
Common Professional Examination (postgraduate law diploma), South Bank University, London
Inns of Court School of Law, London
Pupillage – 1994-95: 1 Brick Court (media) & 1 Middle Temple Lane, Chambers of Dines & Trolloppe QC (crime)
1995- Tenant - 1 Brick Court

 

REPRESENTATIVE CASES OF INTEREST

Privacy/breach of confidence/data protection 
  • Various Claimants v News Group Newspapers Ltd (2017) – for respondent Rebekah Brooks in third party disclosure application brought by claimants in ongoing phone hacking/privacy claims against The Sun.
  • NT1/NT2 v Google Inc. (2015-) – acting for Google Inc. in ongoing data protection and privacy “right to be forgotten” claims; likely to be the first such “Google Spain” ECJ claims tried in England and Wales.
  • For the Sunday Times (2016-2017) in breach of confidence/privacy injunction (with Clara Hamer)
  • Richardson v Google Inc. [2016] EWHC 1534 (QB) – for Google Inc. in defence of privacy and data protection claims and in an application for an Extended Civil Restraint Order.
  • Kutcher & Kunis v Associated Newspapers Ltd (2015-2016) – for MailOnline in data protection and misuse of private information claim by married actors and their child relating to publication of photos in California.
  • Axon v Ministry of Defence v News Group Newspapers Ltd [2016] – Junior for the Sun newspaper in trial of privacy and indemnity claims arising from Metropolitan Police Operation Elveden investigation.
  • Paul Weller v Associated Newspapers Ltd [2016] EMLR 7 - Junior for Mail Online in privacy claim by the well know musician; raised important developing issues re privacy/images/children.
  • Vidal-Hall v Google Inc [2015] 3 WLR 409 and [2014] 1 WLR 4155  – Junior for Google Inc in landmark case raising 2 important issues of law: is misuse of private information a tort; and can distress damages be claimed as of right under s.13 Data Protection Act 1998? Claim alleging privacy and data protection breaches from use of online cookies.
  • Hannon & Dufour v News Group Newspapers Ltd [2015] EMLR 1 – Junior for the Sun newspaper in privacy claims arising from Operation Elveden.
  • Trushin v National Crime Agency [2014] EWHC 3551- For NCA in claim by Russian businessman raising what Foskett J described as potentially important wider issues about NCA's role as data controller and its obligations as a public authority viz claimant’s Article 8 rights.
  • Hegglin v Google Inc. (2014)junior for Google Inc. in injunction claim and first English 'application of ECJ 'right to forget'; led by Andrew Caldecott QC.
  • Leveson Inquiry (2011) – adviser to major media organisation.
  • Lily Allen v Big Pictures (2009) – For Big Pictures picture agency in harassment/privacy injunction application.
  • Lord Browne v Associated Newspapers Ltd [2008] QB 103 – for defendant with Victoria Sharp QC and Aidan Eardley in successful resistance of privacy injunction appeal by the chairman of BP.
  • Cream Holdings v Banerjee [2005] 1 AC 253 – breach of confidence: junior for defendants in important House of Lords decision for freedom of expression under HRA.
  • Lord Coe v Associated Newspapers Ltd (2004) – for defendant in successful resistance of urgent application for interim privacy injunction.
  • Naomi Campbell v MGN Ltd [2004] 2 AC 457 – junior to Andrew Caldecott QC for the claimant in landmark House of Lords decision on privacy.
  • Victoria and David Beckham v Niblett & Michael O’Mara Books Ltd (2000): acted for Beckhams’ chauffeur/publisher’s source in breach of confidence injunction claim.
Defamation/malicious falsehood
  • Nick Brown MP v Bower & Faber & Faber Ltd [2017] EWHC 1388 (QB) – for the defendants in libel claim by Shadow Chief Whip in relation to a passage in book about the Blair Government and whether serious harm to reputation should be tried as preliminary issue.
  • Melania Trump v Associated Newspapers Ltd (2016-2017) – for MailOnline in defence of the libel claim by the First Lady of the United States (with Andrew Caldecott QC)
  • Ahmed v Express Newspapers and Associated Newspapers Ltd (2017) – for ANL in strike out of libel claim; relevance of recent criminal conviction
  • Rowland v Mitchell (2013-2015) - junior for police officer who sucessfully sued Andrew Mitchell MP for libel over the 'Plebgate affair'.
  • Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud v Forbes LLC (2013- 2015) – for American publisher in libel claim concerning the ‘Forbes Billionaires’ List’.
  • Fox v Boulter [2013] EWHC 4012 (QB) – for Ministry of Defence and Cabinet Office in successful resistance of third party disclosure application in libel litigation brought by Dr Liam Fox.
  • Karpov v Browder [2013] EWHC 3071 (QB) – junior for defendants in successful strike out of libel internet publication claim about the death of a whistleblower in Russian custody and allegations of a $230m tax fraud.
  • Tamiz v Google Inc [2013] 1 WLR 2151 – junior for Google in successful resistance of appeal against strike out for abuse of process but which did not uphold the decision below that Google is not liable at common law or in statute for defamatory words posted by bloggers ([2012] EMLR 24).
  • Tamiz v Guardian Media Ltd [2013] EWHC 2339 (QB) - for defendant newspaper in successful strike out of libel claim on grounds including abuse of process.
  • Tesla Motors Ltd v BBC [2013] EWCA Civ 152 – for the BBC led by Andrew Caldecott QC in successful strike out of libel and malicious falsehood claims arising from the ‘Top Gear’ programme. Also below - [2012] EWHC 310 and [2011] EWHC 2760.
  • Bento v Bedfordshire Police (2012) – for defendant police force, led by Richard Rampton QC, in libel action about a murder conviction and later acquittal; also Court of Appeal decision as to whether should be jury trial.
  • Thornton v Telegraph Media Group Ltd [2012] EMLR 8 – junior for Daily Telegraph in trial of offer of amends malice and malicious falsehood arising on a book review.
  • Morrissey v McNicholas [2011] EWHC 2738 – strike out for want of prosecution/abuse application - for NME music magazine in claim brought by the singer Morrissey.
  • Metropolitan International Schools Ltd v Designtechnica Corp and Google Inc [2009] EMLR 27 – Junior counsel for Google Inc in important ruling that Google is not a publisher at common law in respect of search results generated by its search engine.
  • Bray v Deutsche Bank AG [2009] EWHC 1356 (QB) and [2008] EMLR 12 – For defendant bank with Andrew Caldecott QC in case about a press release and rulings on summary judgment applications in relation to qualified privilege and malice.
  • Lord Stevens v Sunday Life and Lord Stevens v Sunday World (2008-2010) – Junior counsel for 20 claimants in libel claims in the Northern Ireland High Court against 2 newspapers over allegations arising from the Lord Stevens Inquiry into the murder of Patrick Finucane.
  • Bond v BBC [2009] EWHC 539 (QB) – For BBC with Andrew Caldecott QC in preliminary trial of meaning by judge alone in respect of a 'Panorama' programme about allegations of ‘bung’ taking into football.
  • Tesco Stores (UK) Ltd v Guardian News & Media Ltd (2009) EMLR 5 – for the Guardian newspaper, led by Andrew Caldecott QC, in important offer of amends case.
  • Paul McKenna v MGN Ltd [2006] EWCH 1996 (QB) – Junior for the Mirror newspaper in a case brought by the well known hypnotist in which the justification defence failed at a trial by judge alone.
  • Sir Elton John v Associated Newspapers Ltd (2006) – For the Daily Mail in an offer of amends case.
  • Kieren Fallon v MGN Ltd [2006] EWHC 783 (QB) – For the Racing Post, led by Richard Hartley QC, in a claim about race fixing allegations.
  • Greene v Associated Newspapers Ltd [2005] (QB) 972 for defendant in important decision on libel injunctions and the Human Rights Act, at first instance and, with Andrew Caldecott QC, in Court of Appeal.
  • Taylor -v- Director of the Serious Fraud Office & ors [1999] 2 AC 177, HL: libel and slander – junior for the SFO and the Law Society in case in the Court of Appeal and House of Lords establishing immunity from suit for police investigators. 
Media reporting restrictions, contempt of court and committals
  • Attorney-General v Random House Group Ltd [2009] EWHC 1727 (QB) – For Random House in contempt injunction proceedings in relation to a published book deemed to pose a substantial risk to the course of justice in an ongoing terrorist trial.
  • Attorney General v Smith (2008) EWHC 250 (Admin) – Acted for the Attorney in RSC Order 52 committal proceedings in Divisional Court; respondent received 3 month custodial sentence for interfering with the administration of justice by impersonating a litigant in the county court.
  • Haw & Tucker v City of Westminster Magistrates Court [2008] QB 888 – Acted for City of Westminster Magistrates Court in a case in the Divisional Court which determined the correct statutory route for appeals from committals for contempt in the magistrates court.
  • R v Hamer (2006) – (Manchester Crown Court) For media organisations in successful application to lift section 39 reporting restriction in relation to juvenile convicted of murdering a fellow pupil.
  • AG v Pelling [2005] EWCH 414 (Admin) – for Attorney General in committal proceedings led by Andrew Caldecott QC.
  • AG v Express Newspapers (2004) – for defendant, led by Andrew Caldecott QC, in prosecution under Contempt of Court Act.
  • The Clywch Inquiry (2003) - for BBC in successful application to the Children´s Commissioner for Wales to lift reporting restrictions in child abuse inquiry.
  • R v Great Grimsby Crown Court, ex parte Littlewood, Court of Appeal (Criminal Division), (2002) ALL ER (D) 328 (Feb): acted for successful newspaper when Court of Appeal upheld Crown Court refusal to grant anonymity order to defendant accused of sex offences in children’s homes. Also acted for the newspaper in the Divisional Court in the defendant’s unsuccessful application for permission to bring judicial review of Crown Court decision.  
Freedom of Information
  • Cieslik v Information Commissioner and Ors (2015) - for Dept for Transport in First Tier Tribunal appeal under FOIA and the Environmental Information Regulations.
  • Department for Culture Media & Sport v Information Commissioner [2008] UKIT EA 2007/0090 – for DCMS (with Jonathan Swift) in successful appeal from the IC’s decision to order disclosure of information engaging the exemptions in s35(1)(a) and (b) of FOIA (ministerial communications and minister/civil servant communications).
  • Tanner v Information Commissioner [2008] UKIT EA 2007/0106 – for HM Revenue & Customs in successful application of summary disposal procedure under the Information Tribunal (Enforcement Appeals) Rules 2005. First specific guidance from the Tribunal on this procedure.
  • McIntyre v Information Commissioner and Ministry of Defence (2008) – Acted for the additional party in FOIA appeal to the Information Tribunal in relation to the exemption in section 36(2).
  • Meunier v Information Commissioner and National Savings and Investments [2007] UKIT EA 2006 0059 – For additional party in FOIA appeal to the Information Tribunal on the exemption in section 44.
Miscellaneous
  • Weir v Department of Transport (Railtrack shareholder trial) (2005) – for respondent Office for National Statistics in successful resistance of application brought by class action claimants for documents relating to allegations of malice against Stephen Byers (former Secretary of State for Transport).
  • Rupert Allason v Random House UK Ltd [2003] All ER (D) 328 (Oct), Ch.D -copyright - freezing injunction - for defendant in successful application for release from an undertaking so as to rely on documents for an application outside the jurisdiction.
  • Blue Underground v British Board of Film Classification, 2002 – junior for the Board in successful resistance of appeal to Video Appeals Committee over classification of a sexually violent video.

PUBLICATIONS AND SEMINARS

Seminars on “What is happening to truth in defamation claims?” (1BC Seminar June 2017); the new provisions for website operators in the 2013 Defamation Act (autumn 2013); “Reporting restrictions and privacy rights”, Justice conference (2009); “Freedom of Information Act – How It Operates and Early Lessons”; “Privacy after Naomi Campbell”; “Reynolds/Al Fagih and the Repetition Rule in Libel”; “Data Protection and Privacy Laws for Media Defendants”; “Privacy Rights in the Work Place”; “The Offence in Section 55 of the Data Protection Act –Unlawful Obtaining of Personal Data”.

Author of the 2002 Issue of Atkin’s Court Forms (Butterworths) title on Confidence, Privacy and Data Protection and co-author withSarah Palinof the 2006 issue (with comprehensive text and precedents on breach of confidence, privacy, the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000).

 

OTHER INFORMATION

Member of the Bar Pro Bono Unit 

 

INTERESTS

Theatre, ballet, film, visual arts