Online Publication Claims:

A Practical Guide

Edited by: Hugh Tomlinson QC and Guy Vassall-Adams QC

Online Publication Claims

Matrix’s Online Publication Claims: A Practical Guide is for those advising or assisting in bringing or defending “media law” civil claims arising out of online publication. Our aim is to provide a “road map” for what is an expanding but, for many, unfamiliar area of litigation. It deals with private law tort claims in which claimants seek to assert their article 8 rights to reputation or privacy in the Courts of England and Wales: in particular defamation, harassment, breach of confidence, misuse of private information and data protection.

Key topics addressed in this book include: using online notice and takedown procedures as an alternative to bringing legal proceedings; the “right to be forgotten”; court procedures for identifying anonymous defendants; establishing who is legally responsible for online publication; jurisdiction and choice of law; a guide to the media law torts as they apply to online publications; the liability of internet intermediaries; remedies at the interim and final stages of proceedings and guidance for both claimants and defendants on the practicalities of bringing, and defending, claims.

buy the book


Online Publication Claims: Defamatory Meaning Online – Hugh Tomlinson QC and Aidan Wills



  • Hugh Tomlinson QC Editor & Author
    Hugh Tomlinson QC

    Hugh Tomlinson QC is a noted specialist in media and information law including defamation, confidence, privacy and data protection. He has appeared in many of the leading cases involving online publication. His practice also includes advisory work and litigation in the freedom of information field. He is joint author of the leading practitioner texts on the law of human rights and on civil actions against the police. Hugh is highly rated by the directories in defamation and privacy and data protection.

  • Guy Vassall-Adams QC Editor & Author
    Guy Vassall-Adams QC

    Guy Vassall-Adams QC is a leading practitioner in Media and Information Law. He has appeared in many high profile cases across all areas of media law including privacy, breach of confidence, data protection, defamation, open justice and media-related judicial reviews. He has very substantial experience of group litigation, having acted for several years in the phone hacking and blacklisting litigation. His interest in this book arose out of his recent involvement in online publication claims relating to the right to be forgotten and intermediary liability. He is recommended in the leading directories for defamation and privacy and media and entertainment.

  • Darryl Hutcheon Author
    Darryl Hutcheon

    Darryl’s practice focuses on employment law, public & human rights law and media & information law. He is often instructed in cases which sit at the boundaries between these overlapping fields, for example, acting as junior counsel for the successful party in the key reporting restrictions decision of Fallows v NGN [2016] IRLR 827 and regularly advising employees and trade unions on data protection and privacy issues.

  • Sara Mansoori Author
    Sara Mansoori

    Sara is a leading junior in the field of media and information law, with wide-ranging experience and a high quality practice. Before joining Matrix she was a tenant at 5RB and a Senior Lawyer at the Ministry of Justice. She is recommended as a leading junior in the 2016 Chambers and Partners as being “unbelievably calm, sensitive and intelligent.” She is also recommended as a leading junior in Legal 500 in the areas of Defamation and Privacy “Committed, through and a delight to work with”; IT and Telecoms (including Data Protection) “An excellent addition to any team”; and in Media and Entertainment “Bright, practical and extremely user friendly”. She was named in the ‘Hot 100’ lawyers in The Lawyer in 2013.

  • Ben Silverstone Author
    Ben Silverstone

    Ben specialises in media and information law, public law and civil actions against public bodies. He is recommended in the field of Defamation/Privacy in Chambers and Partners 2016 which states that he is a " real up-and-coming star" and contains the following comment: "He's extremely good to work with and very intellectually capable. He's a lovely, genuine guy and that is reflected in the quality of his practice.". In 2016 Ben was shortlisted in the Chambers UK Bar Awards as defamation junior of the year.

  • Kirsten Sjøvoll Author
    Kirsten Sjøvoll

    Kirsten Sjøvoll practices in media and information law and public law. She acts regularly for both Claimants and Defendants in defamation, data protection, and privacy related matters. Kirsten also has considerable experience in relation to privacy injunctions, particularly in the context of blackmail threats. She acts on behalf of media organisations and broadcasters in pre-publication matters and in relation to reporting restrictions and anonymity orders. Kirsten has particular experience in cases with both a public and media law component such as privacy and defamation claims against the police, reporting restrictions and anonymity applications in inquests and inquiries, and data protection issues in relation to public authorities, including the NHS.

  • Aidan Wills Author
    Aidan Wills

    With a growing media and information law practice, Aidan is involved in ongoing High Court litigation concerning libel, privacy, breach of confidence and data protection. His recent advisory work has also covered notice-and-take-down procedures, intermediary liability, search engine delisting and jurisdictional issues arising from libel complaints. In addition to being a contributor on media and information law issues to the Entertainment Law Review, McNae’s, LexisNexis and Inforrm, Aidan has co-written an Online Defamation Training course with Guy Vassall-Adams QC. He is also a pre-publication night lawyer at four national newspapers. Aidan’s public law practice covers challenges to data use and policies by public bodies.

  • Dave King, Digitalis Author
    Dave King, Digitalis

    Dave King has spent 20 years advising corporations, governments and high-profile families on online communications and risk. His business Digitalis uses its proprietary technology, often through law firms, to provide reputational protection and online investigations support to clients around the world, their data used in support of a variety of civil and criminal trials.

    Dave’s clientele is global and includes prominent families, listed entities and major private corporations. Dave has advised educational institutions and briefed governments on online technical matters as diverse as reputation, child safety and radicalisation. Most recently his hypothesis on online recruitment by extremists led to unprecedented research and technical analysis which was published by the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change and which has been embraced by those involved in countering violent extremism.

    As well as regular comment in the media (BBC, SKY, FT and other mainstream newspapers), King is listed in the Spears 500 and the Spears Reputation Index.

  • Gavin Millar QC Contributing Editor
    Gavin Millar QC

    Gavin has a broad practice spanning media, information, public, criminal, employment and discrimination law. He is a noted specialist in all areas of media law including defamation, privacy, breach of confidence, publishing contempts and reporting restrictions. He often represents media outlets, journalists and politicians in both civil and criminal proceedings. He was named as one of the 100 most influential people in the UK media in the Guardian Media One Hundred 2012, after representing the Telegraph Media Group at the Leveson Inquiry. He was also recognised as the Chambers & Partners Privacy/Defamation Silk for 2012 and 2016. In 2013 he advised the Guardian on its Pulitzer Prize winning coverage of Edward Snowden’s disclosures. He represented the Sun newspaper in the “plebgate” libel trial and the recent “PJS” celebrity injunction litigation. He is recognised as a leading expert in election law, having appeared in many high profile cases in recent years. He is a Council of Europe and EU expert in media law and a Crown Court Recorder. He is co-author of Newsgathering: Law, Regulation and the Public Interest (OUP 2016).

  • Lorna Skinner Contributing Editor
    Lorna Skinner

    Lorna’s specialist area of practice is media and information law. This encompasses defamation, breach of confidence, misuse of private information, privacy, freedom of expression, data protection, freedom of information, Article 8 and Article 10 related human rights law, contempt, harassment, open justice, reporting restrictions and election law. She has developed particular specialities in defamation and privacy litigation involving the internet and harassment. She is an ADR Group Accredited Civil & Commercial Mediator and an Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) Arbitrator.

  • Antony White QC Contributing Editor
    Antony White QC

    Antony’s principal areas of practice are commercial law and arbitration, media and information law, employment law, and public law. In the area of media and information law, Antony has particular expertise in the area of online defamation, breach of confidence and privacy claims. He is also knowledgeable about data protection and freedom of information law. Antony has appeared in many of the leading cases on intermediary liability including Metropolitan International Schools Ltd v Designtechnica Corpn [2011] 1 WLR 1743, Davison v Habeeb [2012] 3 CMLR 104, R (British Telecommunications plc) v Secretary of State [2012] Bus LR 1766, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation v British Telecommunications plc [2012] Bus LR 1461, Tamiz v Google Inc [2013] 1 WLR 2151, Mosley v Google Inc [2015] 2 CMLR 689, CG v Facebook Ireland Ltd [2017] EMLR 12 and J20 v Facebook Ireland Ltd NICA 8/9/17.


If you have any questions or comments about the book, or the Matrix Media and Information team, please use the contact form below and someone will get back to you:

    Please confirm that you have read our disclaimer here