Our Team

James Heath

Partner and Director

Talented and conscientious” – “Next generation lawyer”, Legal 500, 2018

“Dynamic”, “a very good technician” – “Star Associate”, Chambers & Partners, UK-wide, Defamation/Reputation Management 2018

"Rising Star" - Spear's 500 (Band One), 2018

James specialises in defamation, breach of privacy, breach of confidence and harassment, and has worked in the field of media litigation for well over a decade. He has an excellent record of success on behalf of his clients and has a wealth of experience litigating for and against the media, resolving internet disputes, and in assisting clients with reputation and crisis management.

James has been involved in a string of ground-breaking cases throughout his career, representing numerous high-profile individuals and other victims of serious media abuse at the highest level. James has a successful Supreme Court appeal, Court of Appeal judgment, and various other High Court cases under his belt in the last year alone.

Other notable examples of James’ recent work includes: acting for Ian Hurst, the ex-military intelligence officer whose computers were hacked and e-mails intercepted by the News of the World; advising a large bank in relation to reputation management following an adverse broadcast; and being appointed the Lead Solicitor for all the claimants in the Mirror Newspapers Hacking Litigation. In the latter role, James led the group of claimants in the trial against the Daily Mirror, the Sunday Mirror, and the Sunday People newspapers, which saw the largest ever awards of damages made by the English courts for a breach of a person’s privacy. He subsequently led the Representative Claimants to success against Mirror Group’s appeal; in its technical Supreme Court challenge; and led the ‘2nd Wave’ of 130 claimants in 2017. James is presently leading a fresh ‘3rd Wave’ of claimants in their phone hacking claims against the newspaper group. He also acted for the largest number of claimants in their phone hacking cases against the publishers of the News of the World and The Sun.

Prior to this work, James acted for Sylvia Henry in the widely reported Baby P and Victoria Climbié libel action against The Sun, The Independent, The Evening Standard and The Mirror; Nicola Phillips in her Supreme Court appeal against News Group Newspapers and Dr Sarah Thornton in her ground-breaking action for defamation and malicious falsehood against The Telegraph, the only libel claim to be won in Court against a mainstream Media opponent that year. Before joining private practice, James was in-house Intellectual Property counsel, advising one of the largest media organisations in Europe.

James is dual qualified and able to practice in the jurisdictions of England & Wales, and in the Republic of Ireland. In addition to his heavy media litigation work, James provides pre-publication advice to private and media clients and performs crisis management for individuals who find themselves subject to unwanted Press and other attention; recently advising a high-profile singer who had been accused of serious crime and assisting victims of harassment.

James has been ranked in various legal publications, including Chambers & Partners as the Star Associate in the UK-wide, Defamation/Reputation Management for 3 years running is a Next Generation Lawyer in the Legal 500 and is one of the select few to be selected as a Rising Star in Spear’s Reputation Managers Index for High Net Worth individuals James has also been nominated for “Lawyer of the Year”, been “Lawyer in the News”, been thanked in several books, interviewed by BBC Newsnight and News 24 and mentioned in a number of High Court Judgements.

Contact James