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 is unflappable, experienced and highly knowledgeable

Chambers & Partners, 2018

Tim Smith is "very good, bright, and I would have thought in many ways, the perfect defendant lawyer," according to one source. He regularly acts on libel and defamation cases for clients in the publishing industry, including national magazines, newspapers and literary agencies."

Chambers and Partners

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