Tim Smith


  • Trained at a leading defendant defamation practice. Over 17 years' experience in this field. Joined BLM in 1997, made a partner in 2003.
  • Extensive experience in defending claims for libel, slander, malicious falsehood, privacy, breach of confidence and copyright, both before and after litigation.
  • Regularly deals with claims against IT professionals, advertising agents, marketing consultants and other "emerging" professionals involved in the media sector.
  • Regularly advises on both contentious and non-contentious data protection and freedom of information issues.
  • Substantial experience of advising in an insurance context and on policy wordings and application.


  • A member of the Law Society's Civil Justice Committee for the last six years.
  • Chair of the Law Society's Defamation and Privacy Working Groups.
  • Chair of 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 – 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.
  • Privacy – involved in McKennitt v Ash, a leading 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).
  • Professional negligence claims – recently acted for the successful defendant in the Court of Appeal case of Horler v Rubin).


Publishers, broadcasters, newspapers, magazine and other, police forces, local authorities, professionals, schools, universities, loss adjusters, brokers and their insurers.


Disclosure, Keeping Pace, Post Magazine and many others.

Contact Details

+44 20 7865 3313


Tim is unflappable, experienced and highly knowledgeable

Chambers & Partners, 2018

Tim Smith of BLM 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 2015

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