Partner and Head of Media Litigation


Rupert has for over 20 years specialised in media, public/regulatory, advertising and consumer law, contentious and non-contentious. He has experience in the following:

Defamation and privacy law: pre-publication advice to, and defence of claims against, media organisations, campaigning groups, regulators and trade associations; and advice to business and individuals whose rights are infringed, including applying for disclosure orders in relation to social media, seeking injunctions, conducting complaints under PCC and Ofcom codes.

Information law: disputed requests for personal data under the Data Protection Act, and for information under the Freedom of Information Act.

Public and regulatory law: regulatory codes and procedures of public authorities and associations, and judicial review and procurement challenges.

Trading, marketing and consumer law: advertising, image rights, copyright, trade marks, lotteries, labelling, safety, counterfeiting and unfair commercial practices; and defending Trading Standards prosecutions. Trade sectors include home furnishings, jewellery, telecoms, airlines, hotels, electronic products, foods.

Examples of recent work

  • Defamation: cases include Ashcroft v. Times Newspapers, Chohan v. Oxford University Press, Sovcomflot v. Lloyds Fairplay, Hardcash Productions v. Crown Prosecution Service, Prince Turki v. Hachette Filipacchi, Prince Nayef v Independent, Cruddas v Times Newspapers. Also several defamation/harassment disclosure actions to identify anonymous postings and false profiles on social media (e.g. against Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, Yahoo, BT), including Takenaka v. Frankl, the first anonymous email libel tracing case to reach trial.
  • Information law: acting for Jonathan Ungoed-Thomas, The Sunday Times journalist, in the Information Tribunal and High Court action to obtain disclosure of details of MPs’ expense claims; and for Dominic Kennedy, The Times journalist, up to the Supreme Court in relation to access to Charity Commission statutory inquiry information.
  • Public law: acting for the Advertising Standards Authority in numerous judicial reviews (eg Coys of Kensington v ASA 2012); challenging Transport for London’s ban on advertising for North Cyprus, challenging Ofcom's procurement process for the telephone preference service; acting for regulators on UK airport slot allocation issues, and on marketing of alcoholic drinks; and advising broadcasters in Ofcom investigations concerning compliance with the Ofcom Broadcasting Code.

Qualifications and career

  • Cambridge University, BA History, 1982
  • Admitted as a Solicitor in 1988
  • Solicitor and partner, Theodore Goddard and Addleshaw Goddard, 1988
  • Partner, Bates Wells Braithwaite, 2007

Pro bono, memberships and appointments

  • Adviser, South West London Law Centre (SWLCC)
  • Co-editor and author, Crown, Bray and Earle, Advertising Law & Regulation, Bloomsbury Professional 2010
  • Contributing author, Institute of Practitioners in Advertising’s guide to advertising law, Ad Law, 2008
  • Radio and TV appearances on libel and adverting and law issues, numerous press and journal articles
  • Lecturing for C5, Lexis Nexis Butterworths
  • Member of the Administrative Law Bar Association
  • Member of the Advertising Law Group
  • Member of the Society for Computing and the Law