Heather Rogers QC
Call: 1983 | Silk: 2006
“Superb media silk who maintains a busy libel, data protection and privacy practice….considered a go-to for defamation claims and film-related litigation.”
Heather Rogers is a leading specialist in media and information law. She has appeared in many significant and high-profile defamation and privacy cases, from the ‘Spycatcher’ breach of confidence litigation, through to major libel actions (including David Irving v Penguin Books, Elton John v MGN, Hamilton v Al Fayed, Galloway v Telegraph, Roman Polanski v Condé Nast, Flood v Times Newspapers, Peter Cruddas v Times Newspapers) and privacy / data protection appeals (including Hutcheson, Ntuli and Prince Moulay Hicham v Elaph Publishing). Recent trials include Hourani v Thomson and others (harassment and libel) and Copthall Ltd v Scorched Earth (deceit claim arising out of film-financing arrangements).
Heather has a wealth of experience and regularly advises claimants and defendants. She is a director of the Campaign for Freedom of Information, and was a trustee of Article 19, the freedom of expression NGO, from 2004 to 2012. She has worked with the Media Legal Defence Initiative on free speech issues, including on ‘amicus’ briefs in Axel Springer v Germany (No 2) (restrictions on political speech in the European Court of Human Rights) and Raynor v Richardson (criminal defamation in Bermuda). She is co-author of Duncan and Neill on Defamation (4th edition), a leading practitioner textbook.
Superb media silk who maintains a busy libel, data protection and privacy practice. She acts for both claimants and defendants and is considered a go-to for defamation claims and film-related litigation. “One of the most formidable silks in the area. She is superb and brilliant on paper.” “Unbelievably clever.” Chambers and Partners 2019
“Tenacious in court.” The Legal 500 2018
“She has good strategic insight and can add value to difficult situations.” “Articulate and sharp, she is a real pleasure to work with.” Chambers and Partners 2018
“A libel guru with a human touch.” The Legal 500 2017
Prominent silk for defamation and privacy matters who advises both claimants and defendants “She has formidable forensic skills, provides cogent advice and is a pleasure to work with.” “She is a really awesome intellect.” “She is very thorough, very knowledgeable and very bright.” Chambers and Partners 2016
“She is wonderfully down to earth, and works with her instructing solicitors as a real collaborative team.” The Legal 500 2015 (Media and Entertainment)
“Tremendously supportive and pragmatic.” The Legal 500 2015 (Defamation and Privacy)
“She has great tactical nous and is a strong lateral thinker.” Heather Rogers QC is “Lauded by clients and solicitors for her detailed knowledge of the field and her affable and professional approach to client service. She continues to appear in some of the most contentious and high-profile cases of the day.” “Intellectual acumen personified, she is a barrister with superb legal ability.” “She has formidable forensic skills, and provides cogent advice.” Chambers and Partners 2015
Heather is “seriously knowledgeable, supremely practical and terrifically hardworking.” The Legal 500 2014
Heather has been recommended in defamation/privacy for many years by both Chambers and Partners and The Legal 500
Defamation, Malicious Falsehood and Harassment
Hourani v Thomson and others (2016-2017) – For claimant in harassment and libel claim over an organised and expensive campaign that included online publication of serious, false allegations about the claimant. Trial Judgment  EWHC 432 (QB); preliminary issue  EWHC 173 (QB),  1 WLR 933.
Cruddas v Calvert & Others (2013-2015) – For defendants in libel/ malicious falsehood claim against The Sunday Times and two of its journalists brought by former Treasurer of the Conservative Party. Series of interim rulings, including successful appeal on meaning  EMLR 5 (CA), with action concluding with Court of Appeal decision following trial  EWCA Civ 171.
Flood v Times Newspapers Limited  UKSC 11;  2 AC 273 – For defendant in the Supreme Court on the landmark decision in relation to the scope of the Reynolds defence (reporting on matter of public interest).
Adelson v Anderson  EWHC 2497 (QB) – For defendants in successful application to strike out defamation claim (abuse of process and delay).
Khader v Aziz & oth  EWCA Civ 716;  EMLR 2 – For one defendant in successful application for summary judgment/strike out of defamation claim.
British Chiropractic Association v Singh  EWCA Civ 350;  1 WLR 133 – For claimant / respondent in appeal relating to meaning and the line between “fact” and “comment”.
Seaga v Harper  UKPC 9,  1 AC 1 (Privy Council) – For claimant in relation to appeal from Jamaica on the scope of the Reynolds defence.
Lance Armstrong v Times Newspapers Limited – Representing defendants in libel claim, including on meaning application  1 WLR 2462 (CA) and appeal against strike out of qualified privilege defence  EMLR 33.
George Galloway MP v Telegraph Limited  EMLR 11 CA – Represented claimant (at trial and appeal) in libel claim.
Gleaner v Abrahams  UKPC 55,  1 AC 628 – Privy Council appeal on the assessment of damages in a libel claim (Jamaica) (for claimant).
Cleese v Clark  EMLR 3 – Important decision on approach to the assessment of compensation in offer to make amends procedure (ss.2-4, Defamation Act 1996).
Irving v Penguin Books Limited  EWCA Civ 1197 – For a defendant, including on refusal of permission to appeal against trial judgment (distortion of history). A feature film based on Professor Deborah Lipstadt’s book about the litigation (she was sued as author), “Denial” directed by Mick Jackson, was released in 2016.
Branson v Bower  EWCA Civ 791,  EMLR 32 – Important decision on the fact/comment distinction in libel.
Hamilton v Al-Fayed  1 AC 395 HL – Parliamentary privilege in context of libel claim.
Loveless v Earl  EMLR 530 CA – The subjective test for “malice” in libel cases.
Hinduja v Asia TV  EMLR 516 – Meaning appeal in libel case.
John v MGN Limited  QB 586 CA – Successful appeal against damages claim after jury trial of libel claim brought by Elton John (relevance of personal injury awards).
Bennett v Guardian Newspapers Limited  EMLR 625 – Attempt to introduce public interest defence (pre-Reynolds).
Allason v Campell (2 May 1996, Drake J) – Malicious falsehood claim by Rupert Allason MP against Alastair Campbell.
Rantzen v Mirror Group Newspapers (1986) Limited  QB 670 – Jury awards of damages in libel cases (relevance of Article 10).
Derbyshire County Council v Times Newspapers Limited  AC 534 – House of Lords appeal determining that local authorities cannot sue for libel.
Roache v News Group  EMLR 161 – For defendants in appeal from costs ordered at trial (the “Boring Ken Barlow” libel claim).
Jackson v MGN Limited (1994) – Appeal relating to disclosure of medical records (plastic surgery) in libel case by Michael Jackson.
Joyce v Sengupta  1 WLR 337 CA – Junior Counsel in libel/ malicious falsehood claim.
Price v Powell & Ors (2013 & 2015) – For claimant in privacy/ data protection claim.
Hutcheson (previously “KGM”) v News Group Newspapers Ltd  EWCA Civ 808,  EMLR 2 – Appeared for media defendant in appeal (privacy injunction refused).
Ntuli v Donald  EWCA Civ 1276;  1 WLR 294 – Appeared for Guardian News and Media (intervener) in appeal in relation to practice concerning privacy injunctions.
Napier v Pressdram Ltd  EWCA Civ 443,  1 WLR 934 – Appeared for Private Eye in resisting application for injunction to prevent publication of information relating to disciplinary proceedings against solicitors.
BKM Limited v BBC  EWHC 3151 (Ch) – Appeared for the BBC, resisting application to restrain broadcast of a documentary including secret filming inside a residential care home.
Harrods Limited v Times Newspapers Limited  EWCA Civ 294 &  EMLR 13 – Scope of disclosure from claimant when bringing claim for breach of confidence.
Campbell v Frisbee  EMLR 31 CA – Contractual obligation in relation to confidential information (repudiation of contract) (for claimant).
Times Newspapers Ltd v MGN Limited  EMLR 443 – Junior Counsel for newspaper resisting application for interim injunction to prevent publication of material from The Thatcher Diaries.
Attorney-General v The Observer Ltd  1 AC 109 – Junior Counsel for The Observer in the Spycatcher litigation in this jurisdiction (trial and appeals).
Freedom of Information
Since 2014, Heather has been a director of the Campaign for Freedom of Information.
Bryce v Information Commissioner (Information Tribunal EA/2009/0083) (8 June 2010) – Representing applicant for information relating to criminal proceedings (following murder of her daughter).
Prince Moulay Hicham Ben Abdullah Al Alaoui of Morocco v Elaph Publishing Ltd  EWCA Civ 29;  4 WLR 28;  EMLR 13 – For defendant (with David Glen) on appeal: data protection claim added to libel claim.
Price v Can Associates Ltd – For Katie Price (with Aidan Eardley) in claim against her former management company concerning compliance with DPA s7 (settled).
Open justice / reporting restrictions
R (Guardian News & Media) v City of Westminster Magistrates Court  QB 618 CA – Appeared for Article 19 (intervener) in the Court of Appeal case, which established the importance of media access to documents used in open court (in this case, in the context of extradition proceedings).
Re ITN (and others)  EWCA Crim 773;  1 WLR 199 – Appeared for media appellants, challenging a novel reporting restriction made under section 46 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999.
Inner West London Deputy Coroner v Channel 4 Television Limited  EWHC 2513 (QB),  1 WLR 945 – Appeared for Channel 4 in relation to witness summons, requiring production of documents from the programme “Diana: the witnesses in the tunnel” for the Inquest into the deaths of the late Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed.
R (Hirst) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  1 WLR 2929 – Challenge to lawfulness of Home Office Policy restricting contact by prisoners with the media.
Re C (A Minor) (Wardship: Medical Treatment)  Fam 39 – Junior Counsel for media in relation to reporting restrictions imposed by Family Division in wardship case.
R v Bow Street Metropolitan Stipendiary Magistrate  1 WLR 412 – For MGN Limited on appeal on costs, following successful challenge to reporting restriction.
X v Morgan Grampian Limited  1 AC 1 – For publishing company, resisting application to identify source of confidential information.
Contractual and other claims
Copthall Ltd v Scorched Earth Services Ltd  EWHC 1341 (QB) – For defendant, in claim for alleged deceit and procuring breach of contract (arising out of film-financing arrangements).
Kaplan (and others) v Suber PCS LLP (and others)  EWHC 1165 (Ch) – For number of defendants in claim for alleged deceit (arising out of arrangements for financing the production and distribution of films); resisting attempt to amend to include claim under Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.
Smith v Headline Publishing Limited  EWHC 2106 (Ch) – Represented defendant in claims for breach of publishing contract and other associated claims in tort.
R (BBC) v Broadcasting Complaints Commission  EMLR 241 – Judicial review in relation to complaint to broadcast regulator (standing of complainant).
R (Nicklinson) v Minister of Justice  UKSC 38;  3 WLR 200 – Appeared for the British Humanist Association (intervener) in the Supreme Court in the related appeals raising important legal issues in relation to assisted dying, including Article 8 of the ECHR.
Axel Springer v Germany (No 2)  ECHR 745 – Represented intervener (Media Legal Defence Initiative) in case involving Article 10 and restrictions on political speech.
Raynor v Richardson  SC (Bda) 39 Civ – Provided ‘amicus brief’ for Media Legal Defence Initiative in case concerning criminal defamation in Bermuda.
Cases and News
Heather Rogers QC & Aidan Eardley to speak at the White Paper ‘Defamation, Data, Privacy: Shaping New Law into Solution-Focused Answers for Clients’ Conference – 27th November 2018
Heather Rogers QC & Aidan Eardley to speak at the White Paper ‘Defamation, Data, Privacy: Shaping New Law into Solution-Focused Answers for Clients’ Conference [...]
Reaching the point of no [search] return - Article by Heather Rogers QC for Counsel Magazine Google fail? Heather Rogers QC puts the legal record straight [...]
Protecting the Media Conference - 6th November 2017 This event, now in its 23rd year, serves as the ultimate review of key developments in [...]
One Brick Court top ranked in the new Legal 500 2017 One Brick Court and its members are once again ranked by the Legal [...]
IBC Conference - Defamation, Privacy & Reputation Management 2017 Heather Rogers QC is again a key speaker at this years IBC conference on 28th [...]
Hourani v Thomson and others  EWHC 432 (QB) The Claimant, Issam Hourani, who was the victim of an targeted campaign, has succeeded in [...]
Calvert & Ors v Cruddas  EWCA Civ 476 Case date: 16/04/2014 Court: Court of Appeal Area/s of law: Libel | Malicious Falsehood Barrister/s: Richard Rampton QC [...]
Flood v Times Newspapers Limited  UKSC 11 Case date: 21/03/2012 Court: Supreme Court Area/s of law: Defamation Barrister/s: Richard Rampton QC| Heather Rogers QC |Kate Wilson [...]
Publications and Seminars
Co-author, Duncan and Neill on Defamation, 3rd edition (2009) 4th edition (2015)
Contributor, Cases that Changed Our Lives, 2010
Contributor to Yearbook of Media and Entertainment Law, 1995-2002
Co-Author (with Andrew Nicol), Changing Contempt of Court, 1991
Contributor, Glasnost in Britain, 1989
Regular speaker at conferences, including The White Paper Conference, IBC’s “Defamation and Privacy” and “Protecting the Media” conferences, and provider of in-house training seminars.
LLB (Hons) (First Class), London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Inns of Court School of Law (first in year)
Trained mediator, London School of Mediation
Recorder (Crime) on the South Eastern Circuit, since 2010
Director of Campaign for Freedom of Information (www.cfoi.org.uk)
Trustee of Article 19 (www.article19.org), 2004–2012
Inns of Court Conduct Committee Member (2009-2018) and Chair (2014-2018)
Name and contact details of the Data Controller
Heather Rogers QC
One Brick Court
London EC4Y 9BY
Tel: 020 7353 9945
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.
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.