Tim Smith


  • I specialise in defamation, breach of confidence, privacy and data protection.
  • I also advise clients in relation to the Freedom of Information Act. 
  • My clients include publishers, broadcasters, newspapers, magazines, advertising agencies, retailers, a wide range of SMEs, sports bodies, charities/not-for-profit organisations, membership bodies, police forces, local authorities, professionals, schools, universities, loss adjusters, brokers and their insurers.
  • I regularly advise clients on data protection compliance and on claims and regulatory issues following data security breaches. 
  • I lead the firm’s cyber incident response service.
  • I deal with a wide range of claims for defamation (arising, for example, out of website publications, press releases, newsletters and magazines).
  • I also advise public authorities in their obligations in relation to the Freedom of Information act 2000 and on requests and claim under that Act.


  • A member of the Law Society's Civil Justice Committee for nine years.
  • Chaired the Law Society's Defamation and Privacy Working Groups.
  • Chaired the Law Society's Defamation Pre-Action Protocol Working Group.

Significant reported cases

  • Defamation – GKR v Porch and Others – successfully defending the secretary of the English Karate Governing Body at the High Court
  • Defamation – Monks v Warwick District Council successfully defending a local authority (a leading authority on malice and qualified privilege, recently cited in the High Court claim brought by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex against Associated Newspapers)
  • Defamation – Kearns v General Council of the Bar – successfully defending the defendant in the High Court and Court of Appeal (the case remains a leading authority on qualified privilege).
  • Defamation – Ruddy v Mercury Telecommunications – successfully defence of High Court proceedings.
  • Defamation – Undre v London Borough of Harrow a successful defence of the claim by the second claimant with the first claimant failing to beat a Part 36 offer  (and a leading decision on the requirement that corporate claimants generally need to prove serious financial loss)
  • Privacy – involved in McKennitt v Ash, a leading early High Court decision.
  • Insurance – acted for the successful defendant in the High Court and Court of Appeal in Pride Valley Foods v Independent (in a case dealing with material non-disclosure).


Contact Details

+44 20 7865 3313


‘Tim Smith – very experienced in the field. Shows good judgement and tactical thinking.’

Legal 500 2022 - Reputation Management

Tim is unflappable, experienced and highly knowledgeable

Chambers & Partners, 2018

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