Tim Smith


  • I joined BLM in 1997 and made partner 2003.
  • I head up BLM’s technology and media team and specialise in defamation, breach of confidence, privacy and data protection.
  • I advise clients in relation to the Freedom of Information Act. 
  • My clients include local authorities, schools, universities, police forces, sports bodies and charities.
  • I regularly advise clients on data protection compliance and on claims and regulatory issues following data security breaches. This includes advising public sector clients on data protection compliance and on responding to Freedom of Information Act requests.  It also includes assisting public sector clients in relation to claims for defamation (arising, for example, out of website publications, press releases, newsletters and magazines), privacy claims and data protection claims (for example regarding the publication of information by social services departments and schools).


  • 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.

Contact Details

+44 20 7865 3313


Tim is unflappable, experienced and highly knowledgeable

Chambers & Partners, 2018

Tim Smith of BLM "bears in mind commercial concerns to take a pragmatic approach," according to his clients. He recently defended Express Newspapers in a libel and privacy case brought by Paul Gascoigne over an article published in the Daily Star.

Chambers & Partners 2016

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