Andrew Caldecott QC2018-11-29T14:57:10+00:00

Project Description

Andrew Caldecott QC

Andrew Caldecott QC

Call: 1975  |  Silk: 1994

“A genius. His knowledge is astonishing and his feel for a case is always spot-on.”

Andrew Caldecott QC
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Email Clerks
020 7353 8845

Barrister Overview

Andrew was awarded Chambers and Partners “Defamation and Privacy Silk of the Year” in 2005, 2007 and again in 2009. He is consistently recommended as a leading silk in Media and Entertainment and Defamation and Privacy in The Legal 500, and is listed as a “Star Individual” in Chambers and Partners from 2011-2019.  In addition, Andrew is ranked as a leading silk in Data Protection in The Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners, and is also listed in Who’s Who Legal 2018 for Defamation and Privacy and Media and Entertainment.

Andrew regularly advises and acts for broadcasters and publishing houses, corporations and celebrities, as well as government departments and ministers in the UK and various foreign jurisdictions.


A star of the Defamation and Privacy Bar, widely regarded as the leading silk in the area. He has unrivalled Supreme Court experience and is continually instructed in high-profile, precedent-setting cases concerning defamation, privacy and malicious falsehood. “His submissions are treated with great respect by all tribunals from the Supreme Court down.” “Hugely energetic and industrious. He has a brilliant legal mind and pays meticulous attention to detail.”  Chambers and Partners 2019 (Defamation/Privacy)

He is known in the market as a key player in both defamation and information law, and is often called upon to tackle cases of particular complexity. “He sees through issues with impressive incisiveness, but he’s also quite humble and easy to deal with.” “Caldecott has an exceptional mind, and he’s very engaged.” Chambers and Partners 2019 (Data Protection)

A particular pleasure to work with.” The Legal 500 2018 (Defamation and Privacy)

The silk you want on your side in any complex privacy/data protection dispute.” The Legal 500 2018 (Data Protection)

He has very impressive legal knowledge and court skills.” The Legal 500 2018 (Media and Entertainment)

“Has a phenomenal grasp of defamation and privacy law, and is a hugely respected advocate.”  “Hugely energetic and industrious, he has a brilliant legal mind and meticulous attention to detail.”  “He has a vast reservoir of knowledge, is authoritative and brilliant on his feet.” Chambers and Partners 2018 (Defamation/Privacy)

“He brings great gravitas and great authority to cases; he’s charming, but with a mind like a steel trap.”  “A very persuasive advocate, whom judges listen to.” Chambers and Partners 2018 (Data Protection)

“A genius. His knowledge is astonishing and his feel for a case is always spot-on. His advocacy is excellent.”  “He must be one of the top silks in the country. He’s just amazing – a decent person and phenomenally clever.”  “Working with Andrew was the best moment in my career. He brings an electric focus to a case and has such charm and gravitas in court that judges are naturally inclined to what he has to say. A genuine talent. Chambers and Partners 2017 (Defamation/Privacy) 

Highly experienced silk with an outstanding reputation in the field of defamation. He has been involved in a number of leading cases in data protection law, including the House of Lords case of Campbell v MGN.  “He is wonderful. He is incredibly bright and has his finger on the pulse. He has such good judgement.”  “He’s a brilliant advocate and great to listen to.” Chambers and Partners 2017 (Data Protection)

“He has a dazzling intellect and is extremely thoughtful.” The Legal 500 2016 (Defamation and Privacy) 

“He combines a huge intellect with a deep understanding of the media sector.” The Legal 500 2016 (Media and Entertainment)

Highly sought after and widely considered to be the leading silk in this field. He has unparalleled expertise in defamation, libel and privacy. He is regularly instructed in the complex and cutting-edge Supreme Court cases.  “He is the king of defamation – intellectually, he is in his own league.”  “He is a shrewd lawyer whose submissions are treated with great respect by all tribunals from the Supreme Court down.” “He is a genius who never fails to impress.” Chambers and Partners 2016 (Defamation/Privacy)

A leading figure in the field of defamation and privacy, with a well-respected practice in the related field of information law. He has noted expertise in relation to the operation of data protection law with respect to internet intermediaries such as Google. “He is one of the best. Very clever, very practical, very clear and very concise.”  “He is a superstar – a lovely guy and an amazing advocate.” Chambers and Partners 2016 (Data Protection) 

Andrew Caldecott QC – One Brick Court “A cerebral master, team player and outstandingly persuasive advocate.”  The Legal 500 2015 (Defamation and Privacy) 

“A solution-driven silk with a deep understanding of client needs.” The Legal 500 2015 (Data Protection) 

“Excellent on complex issues of law on which he gives elegant and persuasive tutorials to the judges.” The Legal 500 2015 (Media and Entertainment)

A true leader in the marketplace, he routinely acts on landmark cases representing broadcasters, celebrities and government departments. Commentators consistently name him the “best silk at the Libel Bar.”  “He has a brilliant mind, and is a bit of a phenomenon really.”  “He is a shrewd lateral thinker, a very good team player and a forensically astute advocate.” Chambers and Partners 2015 (Defamation/Privacy) 

Extremely strong defamation and media silk who is fully au fait with data protection and information rights cases. He has handled a number of high-profile FOIA cases and matters concerning journalistic ethics. “A barrister who produces extremely high-quality pleadings.”  “He is dazzling.” Chambers and Partners 2015 (Data Protection)

An undisputed titan in the field, he earns universal admiration for his written work and his advocacy skills. He is generally involved in the biggest and most important defamation cases, and is seen by many as the best libel barrister of his generation. “He’s brilliant, as he is incredibly intelligent and strategic, and has a way of pulling strands of a case together to make it winnable.”  “An outstanding silk with every skill you could wish for, he is someone judges just absolutely love.” Chambers and Partners 2014 (Defamation/Privacy) 

Andrew undertakes instructions in this field as part of a wide-ranging media law practice, which also takes in defamation and libel law, as well as injunctions and harassment matters. “Andrew brings sheer intellectual brilliance to a project, which he combines with a thorough understanding of the client base. He brings his brain as well as a great understanding of what we need. He is a unique beast. He is also an amazing advocate, who is very calm and persuasive and seems to always have the ear of the judges.”  “He is one of those people you wouldn’t want to be against – he is pretty brilliant. Chambers and Partners 2014 (Data Protection) 

The “phenomenal” Andrew Caldecott QC remains at the very top of his game and the profession in general” and is “highly recommended for his tactical nous and strategic ability”. The Legal 500 2013

Andrew Caldecott QC is at the very pinnacle of his profession, and is admired by peers, instructing solicitors and clients alike. Described variously as a “titan” and “a brain of Britain” he is quite simply “the best libel barrister around bar none”, equipped as he is with “more grey cells between his ears than you or I will ever have. The analysis he proffers is both “ingenious and forensic” and he is “a master of the bigger picture” who offers superior strategic advice. In addition to this, solicitors say that he has “a common-sense approach which means clients can easily understand him.” Chambers and Partners 2013

“Head and shoulders above anyone else”,  “just the best” and “the go-to boffin for complex defamation or privacy work” depending on which of his many adherents you listen to. Noted for both his overwhelming intellect and pleasant manner, he is “a prize advocate who always enjoys a good relationship with the Bench”. According to those that use him, he is “incredibly articulate, and always adds something in conference – he just plucks propositions out of the air which enable you to win a case. Chambers and Partners 2012 

Representative Cases


Counsel for the Guardian in the Leveson Inquiry

Counsel for the BBC in the Hutton Inquiry


Lachaux v AOL [2017] EWCA Civ 1334 – Meaning of serious harm in Defamation Act 2013, section 1 (CA)

Mionis v Democratic Press S.A. & ors [2017] EWCA Civ 1194 – Lawfulness of a settlement undertaking (CA)

Lisle-Mainwaring v Associated Newspapers Ltd (2017) EWHC 543 (QB) 

Brown v Bower (2017) EWHC 2637 – Meaning and repetition rule

Lu & ors v Chan & ors, Hong Kong Final Court of Appeal (2017) – Permission granted on proper test for malice – Hearing in March 2018

Construction Industry Vetting Information Group Litigation (2016)

Begg v BBC [2016] EWHC 2688 (QB) – Libel trial for defendant, justification defence succeeded

Murray v Associated Newspapers Ltd [2015] EMLR 21 (CA) – The offer of amends regime

Makudi v Triesman [2014] EWCA Civ 179 – Scope of parliamentary privilege (CA) 

Rothschild v Associated Newspapers Limited [2012] EWHC 177 (QB) and [2013] EWCA Civ 197 – At trial for defendant and on unsuccessful appeal by the claimant 

Cairns v Modi [2012] EWHC 756 (QB) – For the claimant at trial and on subsequent unsuccessful appeal by the defendant on quantum of damages 

El Naschie v MacMillan Publishing (2011) – Trial, for defendant

Tesla v BBC [2011] EWHC 2760 (QB) – For defendant, strike out 

Baturina v Times Newspapers [2011] 1 WLR 1526 (CA) – Libel appeal, issue of identification 

Spiller v Joseph [2010] UKSC 53 – Supreme Court, intervener representing Associated Newspapers, Times Newspapers & Guardian News & Media, honest comment

Horlick v Associated Newspapers [2010] EWHC 1544 – For defendant, defamatory meaning

Budu v BBC [2010] EWHC 616 (QB) – For defendant, abuse of process, defamatory meaning, archive material

Shovell v Adventis (2010) – Trial, for defendant

Dee v Telegraph Media Group [2010] EMLR 20 – Legal approach to meaning and context

North London Central Mosque v Policy Exchange (2010) – For defendant, identification, capacity to sue, strike out

Pell v Express Newspapers [2009] EWHC 118 – For defendant, abuse of process

Bray v Deutsche Bank AG [2008] EWHC 1263 (QB) – For the defendant bank, qualified privilege and malice case

Bond v BBC [2009] EWHC 539 – For defendant, meaning, scope of justification

Tesco Stores (UK) Ltd v Guardian News & Media Ltd [2009] EMLR 5 – Offer of amends regime

Carmen Mitchell-Briscoe v Constance Briscoe (1) and Hodder & Stoughton (2) (2008) – Trial, for the defendants

David Moyes v Wayne Rooney (2008) – For claimant

Jeynes v News Group Newspapers Ltd [2008] EWCA Civ 130 – For defendant, meaning

Gerry & Kate McCann v Express Newspapers & ors (2008) – Representing the media, offer of amends

Robert Murat & Ors v Associated Newspapers & ors (2008)

Armstrong v Times Newspapers (no 2) [2006] EMLR 166 – Libel preliminary issues and mode of trial (CA)

Henry v BBC – Trial, for defendant

Armstrong v Times Newspapers (no 1) [2005] EMLR 797 (CA)

Greene v Associated Newspapers [2005] QB 972; (2005) 3 WLR 281 – Libel injunction

Musa-King v Telegraph [2005] 1 WLR 2282 (CA); [2004] EMLR 23 – Meaning and repetition rule

Reynolds v Times Newspapers [2001] 2 AC 127; [1999] 3 WLR 1010 (HL) – Leading case on qualified privilege at common law/article 10

Al Fagih v H H Saudi Research [2002] EMLR 215 (CA) – Qualified privilege and “neutral reportage” of political issues

Bonnick v Morris [2002] 3 WLR 820 – Privilege and meaning (PC)

Kearns & Co v The General Council of the Bar [2003] 1 WLR 1357 (CA); [2003] EMLR 27 – Qualified privilege, claimant’s claim struck out as privileged, upheld by Court of Appeal

Taylor v SFO [1999] EMLR 1 – Leading case on disclosure of documents and absolute privilege for criminal investigations (HL)

Major v New Statesman & ors – Represented the Prime Minister 

Breach of Confidence/ Privacy/ Data protection 

Construction Industry Vetting Information Group Litigation (2016) 

Voicemail Interception Scheme (2016)

Goldsmith v BCD [2011] EWHC 674

RST v UVW [2010] EMLR 13 – Injunction

Sophie Dahl v Northern & Shell PLC (2009)

Sir Martin Sorrell (2) Daniela Weber v (1) FullSix SpA (2) FullSix Francia SAS (3) Marco Benatti (4) Marco Tinelli (2007) – Privacy trial

X & Y v Persons unknown [2007] EMLR 10 – John Doe Injunctions

A v B [2005] EWHC 1651 (QB); [2005] EMLR 851 – Interim injunction

Green Corns v Express & Star [2005] EMLR 31 – Interim injunction

Naomi Campbell v Mirror Group Newspapers [2004] 2 AC 457; [2004] 2 WLR 1232; [2004] EMLR 15; [2004] UKHRR 648 – Leading case on privacy (HL)

Lord Ashcroft v Foreign Office and DFID – Data protection and breach of confidence

Venables v News Group [2001] 2 WLR 1038; [2001] EMLR 10; [2001] 1 FLR 791; [2001] UKHRR 628; [2001] HRLR 19 – For the Attorney General, anonymity orders

X and Y v News Group, Mirror Group and anor [2003] EMLR 37 – For the Attorney General on the application of Mary Bell and her daughter for anonymity 

HRH Princess of Wales v MGN (1995) – Trial, for the Princess of Wales

Contempt of Court 

AG v Conde Nast Publications Ltd [2016] EWHC 682 (Admin) – Represented the Attorney General

AG v MGN & News Group Newspapers (2011) – Represented the Attorney General

AG v MGN [2009] EWHC 1645 (Admin) – For respondent, mitigation

AG v ITV [2008] EWHC 1984 – For respondent, mitigation

AG v BBC (2007) – Representing BBC on the original application by the AG for an urgent injunction to restrain a potential contempt

AG v Express Newspapers [2005] EMLR 13 – Represented the respondent on the AG’s contempt application

AG v MGN (2002) – Represented Attorney General

AG v Manchester Evening News (2002) – Represented Attorney General on breach of the Venables anonymity order 

AG v MGN & ors [1997] 1 ALL ER 456 – Represented newspaper in successfully resisting contempt proceedings

AG v Unger & ors [1998] EMLR 280 – Represented newspaper in successfully resisting contempt proceedings

Reporting Restrictions 

R v F (2016) Crim L.R. 775 

R v Dobson (2011) – Reporting restrictions, criminal retrial 

R v Chaytor, Morley, Divine & Hanningfield (2010) – For various media organisations, Criminal Court of Appeal, MP’s expenses criminal trial 

R v Dobson (2010) – Criminal Court of Appeal, for various media organisations, reporting restrictions 

Malicious Falsehood and Trade Libel 

Tesla Motors Ltd (1) & Tesla Motors Inc (2) v BBC [2013] EWCA Civ 152

Tesla v BBC [2011] EWHC 2760 (QB)

Ajinomoto v Asda [2010] EMLR 23 – Court of Appeal, for the defendant, single meaning rule in malicious falsehood

Currys v Comet [2002] FSR 58 – Interim injunction 


R v VAC (ex parte BBFC) [2008] EWHC 203 (Admin) – Represented the successful claimant in Judicial Review proceedings brought by the British Board of Film Classification challenging the Video Appeal Committee’s decision to classify the videowork Manhunt 2 on the basis of an error of law (establishing the correct test for ‘harm’ under the Video Recordings Act 1984)

Eight Distributors v British Board of Film Classification (2005) – Represented the Board at Video Appeals Committee hearing

Blue Underground v British Board of Film Classification (2002) – Represented the Board on classification appeal

Cases and News

702 2018

Who’s Who Legal

Who's Who Legal One Brick Court, Jane Phillips and Andrew Caldecott QC recognised as most highly regarded in defamation, media and entertainment by Who’s [...]

3110 2017

Brown v Bower & Another

Brown v Bower & Another Case date: 31/10/2017 Court: High Court Area/s of law: Defamation Barrister/s: Andrew Caldecott QC Full List of Cases [...]

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Publications and Seminars

Co-author Halsbury’s Laws Libel and Slander

Previously co-author of the Libel and Slander and Malicious Falsehood chapters of Bullen & Leake & Jacob’s Precedents of Pleadings

Regularly speaks at conferences and seminars on all aspects of media law


BA (Hons), Modern History, University of Oxford (New College)

Bencher Inner Temple, 2004

Head of Chambers, 2007-2016

Appointed as the Specialist Legal Advisor to the Parliamentary Joint Committee of the House of Lords and Commons scrutinising the Defamation Bill 2011

Privacy Notice

Name and contact details of the Data Controller

Andrew Caldecott QC
One Brick Court
London EC4Y 9BY
Tel: 020 7353 9945
Email: clerks@onebrickcourt.com

Individuals to whom this Privacy Notice applies
1. This notice applies to all those whose personal data I process in the course of my practice as a barrister. It applies to you if (a) you are an individual and I have been instructed to act on your behalf (that is, you are “my client”), (b) you are a person mentioned in my case papers whether because you work for or are otherwise connected with a company, organisation or public body which has instructed me to act on its behalf or because, for example, you are a witness or are referred to in documents with which I have been supplied, (c) you are my instructing solicitor, (d) another lawyer or professional involved in a case in which I am acting, or (e) a member, pupil or employee at One Brick Court. If you are my client, you will have received a copy of this Privacy Notice when I was first instructed on your behalf.

Collection, use and reasons for processing your personal information
2. What information I obtain, and why and how I use that information, varies with the source and type of information:

Personal information where I am acting for you
2.1. If you are my client, I collect and store your personal details, other information that you have provided to me or your solicitor in connection with your case, and information about you contained in documents provided by others involved in the case, such as witnesses and opposing parties. This information may be obtained upon receipt of instructions, receipt of documents sent by your solicitor or other lawyers involved your case, or from you directly.

Personal information of individuals who are not my client
2.2. If you are not my client, you should know that I collect and store the names, employment details and contact details of third parties with whom I deal in the course of my practice, and the personal data of individuals contained in instructions, case papers and communications in cases in which I am instructed. This information may be obtained upon receipt of instructions, upon enquiries being made about my services, through dealings with third parties concerned with my work, from you directly or from enquiries being made by me about you, your work or your services.

2.3. If you are a member of Chambers, a pupil or employee at One Brick Court, I collect, store and use your name, contact details, work done by you (if you are a pupil), and other information about you that may be contained in Chambers internal documents or that you provide to me yourself.

3. The purposes for which I process the above personal data are the provision of legal services, the administration of my practice (including my membership of One Brick Court), legal research, practice development and marketing, training and assessing pupils, training mini-pupils and work experience students, and dealing with any complaints or disputes. The processing of the above personal data is necessary for those legitimate interests. Where I process your personal data for those legitimate interests, I have taken into account your data rights and considered that they do not override my interests in relation to the data I hold and the use I make of those data.

4. I lawfully process some of the above personal data in order to be able to comply with my legal obligations, for example dealings with HMRC.

5. If your personal data reveal your racial or ethnic origin, your political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, or your trade union membership, data concerning your health or data concerning your sex life or sexual orientation, or data relating to your criminal convictions and offences or related security measures, I will only process those data where you have given your explicit consent, where the processing relates to personal data which are manifestly made public by you, where the processing is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims, or where the processing is otherwise permitted by law.

6. I will retain your personal data for so long as is necessary for the purposes identified above. This may vary depending on the context in which I acquired the data and the purpose for which I process those data, and, in the event of any sort of dispute for as long as is necessary to resolve it.

Security of your personal information
7. I take appropriate technical and organisational measures to prevent the loss, misuse or alteration of personal information.

Sharing your personal data
8. I may disclose your personal data to third parties where it is reasonably necessary to carry out any of the purposes set out above in this Notice.

Your rights
9. You may at any time:

9.1 Ask for confirmation that I am processing your personal data and request a copy.
9.2 Request the rectification of your personal data or for your data to be completed if data are incomplete.
9.3 Request that I erase your personal data.
9.4 Request that I restrict the extent of my processing of your personal data.
9.5 Request receipt of the personal data you have provided for transmission to another data controller, or request that I provide those data directly to another data controller.
9.6 Object to my processing of your personal data.

10. I will need to verify your identity before I can comply with any request.

11. I may be entitled or obliged to refuse your request or objection. If I do so, I will give you my reasons.

12. You have a right to complain about my processing of your personal data, including how I have responded to any request you’ve made about how I use your personal data, to the Information Commissioner (www.ico.org.uk and/or 0303 123 1113) the Supervisory Authority of any EU Member State.