Andrew Stephenson

Andrew is recognised as one of the leading Defamation Lawyers in the country.

Andrew has unrivalled experience in advising high profile political figures on national and international reputational issues. He has dealt with many leading High Court cases where jurisdiction has been in issue, including Papandreou v Time Magazine, Bachchan v Dagens Nyheter, Schapira v Ahronson, Berezovsky v Forbes, Jameel v Dow Jones and worked with lawyers from many countries, including the US, Russia, France, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Brazil and China. Andrew has also had notable successes defending individuals who have been sued for defamation by wealthy claimants; he acted for the Danish professor Henrik Thomsen when he was sued by the US, UK and Norwegian GE Healthcare companies and for Sarah Hermitage when she was sued by a Tanzanian multi-millionaire, Reginald Mengi. Andrew has also advised book, magazine and newspaper publishers and television companies on matters of libel, privacy and the law of contempt.

Andrew was a member of the Ministry of Justice working group set up in 2010 to consider reform of libel law, which led to the Defamation Act 2013.

Early in his career, Andrew defended an official of the Salvage Association, John Jackson, who in 1984 was acquitted of charges of breach of the Official Secrets Act and conspiracy to defraud in a high profile case relating to the salvage of £45million gold bullion from the wreck of HMS Edinburgh, torpedoed and sunk in the Barents Sea in 1942. In 1987, Andrew acted for Martin Packard, a former British naval officer, who was awarded £450,000 libel damages (a record at the time) against a Greek newspaper. In 1989, Andrew successfully defended Norman Tebbit when he was sued for libel by the then Labour leader of Derbyshire County Council, David Bookbinder, over remarks he had made while Chairman of the Conservative party criticising the Council’s “nuclear free zone” slogans as a waste of tax-payers’ money.

More recently, from 1997 until his death in 2013 Andrew represented the Russian businessman Boris Berezovsky, advising on media issues and defending him against two sets of extradition proceedings. From 2008 until the case was settled in 2010, he acted for the Danish Professor Henrik Thomsen, who was sued for libel after he had raised well-founded suspicions of a link between a pharmaceutical product and the rare but serious disease, nephrogenic systemic fibrosis. From 2012 until 2014, Andrew defended Sarah Hermitage, when she faced a libel claim over a blog in which she recounted how she and her husband had been forced by corruption and intimidation to abandon a farm they had established in Tanzania; the court ruled in her favour and found the claimant and his witnesses to have given evidence which was misleading and untrue.

Career

Trained at Peter Carter-Ruck & Partners, qualified in 1983. Partner from 1986. Joined Hamlins as a senior consultant in 2015.

Education

Caterham School, University College London (LLB).

 

Andrew is ranked in both of the leading legal directories Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500.

Chambers 2018

Andrew is noted in Chambers 2018 for his ‘deep knowledge of defamation and privacy matters’. He is particularly recommended for his representation of public figures, politicians and high net worth individuals on cases which often have an international aspect to them.

Legal 500 2017

Andrew is ‘highly regarded’ in the Legal 500 2017 directory.

Previous recognition

In the Legal 500 2016 Andrew was recommended for his expertise in reputation management and noted for his ‘immense experience in this space.’

Andrew is described in the Legal 500 by his clients as a ‘top- class litigator’.

Chambers and Partners

Andrew has featured in the Chambers and Partners Guide for many years as a leading defamation lawyer.

Chambers and Partners 2017 highlights his immense experience, describing him as a ‘seasoned reputation management specialist’.

Client Feedback

Following the successful defence of the libel claim against her, Sarah Hermitage wrote:

“Andrew is a graduate of University College London and became a partner at Carter-Ruck in 1986. His knowledge of the law is impressive and he has unrivalled experience in advising high profile political figures on national and international reputational issues. Andrew is described by Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession as “exceptionally bright and collected in even the most tricky cases” and “giving considered, thought-through advice”.

Whilst that is indeed true, Andrew is much more than this. He is a genuine and compassionate man with a keen sense of justice, intent on gaining fairness and providing access to justice. He had no need to defend me. He chose to. In the two years that Andrew represented me, he was always there for me and worked tirelessly in the preparation of my defence. Andrew is quite simply, a decent and special human being and an exceptional solicitor.”