Who is Rebekah Vardy’s lawyer Hugh Tomlinson?

Rebekah Vardy’s legal representative has a long career of fighting libel cases on behalf of celebrities and public figures

Tom Ambrose
Thursday 19 May 2022 09:29
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<p>Rebekah Vardy is facing Coleen  Rooney in court this year  </p>

Rebekah Vardy is facing Coleen Rooney in court this year

As the Wagatha Christie libel case gets underway in London, all eyes will be on the man heading up Rebekah Vardy’s legal team.

Hugh Tomlinson, born in Leeds in 1954, is an experienced media barrister, first called to the bar in 1983.

His previous clients include the Prince of Wales in his legal battle against the Mail on Sunday over his diaries, easyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, footballer Rio Ferdinand and the Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich.

The Oxford-educated Tomlinson, who co-founded the London-based Matrix Chambers, became a QC in 2002 and is a board member of campaign group Hacked Off.

Prince Charles

He is perhaps best known for his work on high-profile super injunctions and represented Ryan Giggs in his High Court case against The Sun after it published details of his relationship with the celebrity Imogen Thomas.

In a 2011 interview, he told The Guardian said: “If things are private they shouldn’t become public unless there’s public interest in doing so.

“The main point of contention is that the press say that if someone is having an adulterous affair, that’s something that should be exposed. The judges don’t agree.

Roman Abramovich

“They draw the line that [publication is only allowed] where there’s misconduct the law recognises, for example, criminal and regulatory misconduct or hypocritical misleading of the public.”

In the same interview, he said: “In the end someone has to decide on the public interest. It can’t be editors who have an obvious axe to grind.

“It can’t be parliamentarians because they don’t have the evidence on the particular facts of [each] case. Judges form the only available institution to make the decisions.”

EasyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou

Tomlinson was also at the centre of MPs’ expenses scandal when he represented freedom of information campaigners, arguing that the House of Commons would have broken the law if it released a redacted version of expenses claims.

The Tory MP Bob Seely named people he claimed were working for Russian oligarchs in the House of Commons earlier this year and Tomlinson was included on his list.

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