Tamsin Allen is a partner at Bindmans and Head of the Media and Information Law team. She manages a wide-ranging media practice with an emphasis on defamation and privacy, whistleblowing, information and data protection, copyright and human rights.
Tamsin works closely with crime, employment, family, public law and actions against the police to provide a seamless reputation and crisis management service.
She was awarded Solicitor of the Year – Private Practice by the Law Society for her pioneering work successfully defending high-profile whistle-blowers – most notably in the Cambridge Analytica and ‘Vote Leave’ cases. You can read Tamsin’s interview with the Law Gazette here.
Tamsin is an experienced and skilled media lawyer. She has acted for Christopher Wylie, the Cambridge Analytica whistleblower, since Autumn 2017, advising on strategy and wider legal issues arising out of the information he has brought to light about Facebook, Cambridge Analytica and the Brexit Referendum. These have included advice in relation to exposing confidential and contentious information safely; giving evidence to Parliament, Congress, the Senate, and the European Parliament; and advice on media strategy.
I want to have a shout out to my brilliant lawyer, Tamsin Allen. Because of her, I have been able to tell this story. Whistleblowers need protection, they need help, they need defence. We often forget there are a lot of people behind people, and Tamsin is the Captain of the ship.– Christopher Wylie, Wired Next Fest 2018
Tamsin also acts for Shahmir Sanni, who exposed criminal offences inside the designated campaign to leave the EU, Vote Leave, guiding strategy and obtaining the evidence and statements that led to a finding by the Electoral Commission that Vote Leave breached campaign spending rules.
She also represents Carole Cadwalladr in a libel claim brought against her by Leave. EU founder, Arron Banks.
She currently represents a group of women who are defendants in a libel claim brought by a musician relating to allegations of inappropriate behaviour, including sexual assault; a group of individuals in a proposed claim against Facebook in relation to the use of Facebook data by Cambridge Analytica and others; the claimant in a privacy claim against Associated Newspapers Limited in relation to publication of the name of a person wrongly suspected of an offence in connection with the Manchester bombing; various clients in litigation against Refinitiv’s financial risk profiling database, WorldCheck and a number of other libel, DPA and privacy claims.
Tamsin set up the Claimant Group in the hacking litigation against News Group Newspapers and has represented very large numbers of high profile people in phone-hacking claims. She is experienced in public inquiries and represented Core Participant Victims in the Leveson Inquiry. She now represents a number of Core Participants in the Undercover Policing Inquiry and the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.
- Phone hacking: Solicitor believes ‘important questions finally answered’.
- BBC News – Success for phone-hacking victims kept in the dark by the police
She also provides advice to publishers and NGO’s and charities on publication risks, GDPR and in litigation; including Mirror Group, the National Union of Journalists, Animal Aid, LUSH, Amnesty International, The New Statesman, Greenpeace, Index on Censorship and many others.
- We won’t be silenced over threats to Oxford’s cancer care (Tamsin speaking about libel threats at the Oxford branch of the National Union of Journalists)
She works closely with barristers from Matrix and 5RB to provide additional expertise in all these areas, bringing and defending claims in the High Court, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and European Court of Human Rights.
Tamsin was featured in The Law Society Gazette in November 2018 following a successful claim against Newsquest Media Group. You can read the full article here.
Tamsin is regularly invited to speak about media law and recently she gave give evidence to the Joint Human Rights Committee during their inquiry, The Right to Privacy (Article 8) and the Digital Revolution.
Education and career
- Tamsin joined Bindmans LLP in 1999.
- She graduated from Oxford University (Balliol College) with a BA in History in 1986.
Tamsin’s cases include:
Fox v Wiggins & Ors
- Defending a group of women who have published blogs online raising concerns about the Claimant, a musician. The case is ongoing.
Sicri v Associated Newspapers Limited
- A privacy claim against Associated Newspapers in relation to publication of the name of a person wrongly suspected of an offence in connection with the Manchester bombing.
Hakim v Crane & Oths
- Acting for the Third Defendant, an NHS Consultant in defending a libel claim brought in relation to edits on the Claimant’s Wikipedia profile. The claim was discontinued shortly after an interim hearing, where the Claimant’s statement of case was struck out.
Banks v Cadwalladr
- Acting for the Defendant, Features Writer for The Observer, in a libel claim brought by the founder of Leave.EU
Salman Butt v Secretary of State for Home Department
- A libel claim on behalf of Dr Salman Butt against the Home Secretary following the issuing of a press release in which Dr Butt was named as an extremist and hate preacher.
Sicri v Newsquest Group Limited
- A libel claim against Newsquest Group in relation to a publication in the Argus Newspaper. The case concluded with the Defendant, in a statement read in open court in November 2018, apologising to the claimant over an article alleging that he was an ISIS sympathiser who had publicly mourned the death of an ISIS leader.
TLT and others v Home Office  EWHC 2217 (QB)
- Successful Privacy and Data Protection Act claim for 6 asylum seekers in relation to a data breach by the Home Office. Damages recovered at trial and Appeal successfully defended (Home Office v TLT & TLU  EWCA Civ 221)
- Case Law: TLT v Home Office, Damages of £39,500 for asylum seeker spreadsheet blunder – Aidan Wills
- Case Law: TLU v Home Office, Misuse of Private Information and Data Protection Appeals dismissed, Durant further explained – Lorna Skinner
HZG v Captive Animal Protection Society  EWHC 1370 (Ch)
- A successful defence of animal charity in a copyright, contract and breach of confidence case brought by a private zoo in relation to images obtained by undercover investigators and published online to expose conditions for animals in the zoo.
- Case Law: Heythrop Zoo (t/a Amazing Animals) v Captive Animals Protection Society, Application for Interim application to restrain NGO from using zoo photographs dismissed
- Advising UK press regulator on its application for recognition and, with John Halford, successfully representing IMPRESS in a judicial review of the decision to recognise IMPRESS and in subsequent appeal to the Court of Appeal
News Media Association v Press Recognition Panel  EWHC 2527 (Admin)
- High Court Rules on Judicial Review of PRP Decision to Recognise IMPRESS
- High court rejects challenge to status of UK press regulator
OPO v James Rhodes and Canongate Books  UKSC 32.
- Successful defence in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of author and musician, James Rhodes, to establish his right to publish his memoir of sexual abuse and music. The Supreme Court gave important guidance as to the ambit of the tort of intentionally causing harm, and applications for prior restraint.
- Benedict Cumberbatch’s concert pianist friend wins right to publish child abuse memoir
Leslie Austin v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis 
Successful libel claim in respect of wanted poster following London riots
- Riots Good Samaritan wins poster libel payout from Met police
- London riots hero wins ‘substantial’ damages after Met put his face on wanted poster
Othman V English National Resistance  EWHC 1421 (QB)
- Obtaining an injunction to protect the wife and children of an Islamic preacher from abuse perpetrated by Britain First and the EDL.
Steve McFadden v NGN 
- Successful privacy claim against Met Police for leaks and News Group Newspapers for phone hacking
- EastEnders star Steve McFadden settles News of the World damages claim
- Steve McFadden accepts News of the World damages
- ‘EastEnders’ Star Steve McFadden Accepts ‘Substantial Damages’ Payment From News Of The World
Bryant and others v MPS  EWHC 1314 (Admin)
Judicial review of police decision not to inform victims of phone-hacking. Claim led to numerous claimants being informed about phone hacking and subsequently the Leveson Inquiry.
Other cases of significance
Emwazi v Times Newspapers Ltd; Emwazi v Telegraph newspapers Ltd
- Successful libel claim in relation to false allegations that the parents of Mohamed Emwazi had known of their son’s activities and failed to report him to the authorities.
R (on the application of A) v B  Supreme Court  UKSC 12
- Claim by senior ex MI5 employee in relation to publication of his memoir. Issues of whether investigatory Powers Tribunal or Administrative Court appropriate jurisdiction to resolve dispute over publication.
Animal Defenders International v Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport [CHECK]  UKHL 15; ADI v UK, ECHR
- Case in relation to appropriate ambit of political advertising
JHG v News Group Newspapers Ltd
- Privacy case on behalf of a young actor falsely accused of sexual abuse. Working with our crime department who successfully defended the actor in criminal proceedings.
- Successful libel claim for young man wrongly accused of having been involved in the murder of his best friend in Thailand.
Brian Paddick v Associated Newspapers  EWHC 2991 (QB)
- Early test case on privacy issues relating to publication of fase allegations relating to senior police officer’s sexual life.
Lille and Reed v Newcastle City Council and Others 2002
- Representing two nursery nurses falsely accused of child abuse who were cleared after libel trial
McPhilemy v Times Newspapers  EWCA Civ 1464
- A 3 month libel jury trial culminating in top award of damages for client, decision and damages award upheld on appeal.
I want to have a shout out to my brilliant lawyer, Tamsin Allen. Because of her, I have been able to tell this story. Whistleblowers need protection, they need help, they need defence. We often forget there are a lot of people behind people, and Tamsin is the Captain of the ship.– Chris Wylie
Thank you and your brilliant team for the assistance and support provided in my libel case. I will forever maintain kind thoughts for you and your excellent team.– Les Austin
Please click here to read the full text of the letter from Mr Austin.
Thank you for all your support this year, I really appreciate everything you and your team have done for me.– Client 2021
Chambers and Partners 2023
- Tamsin is ranked Band 2 in Defamation/Reputation Management. Feedback describes her as “a highly experienced practitioner frequently acting on behalf of a wide range of high-profile individuals and corporations on defamation and privacy matters.”
- “Tamsin Allen is very responsive, provides high-class advice and is interested in maintaining relationships long-term.”
Legal 500 2023
- Tamsin is recognised as a ‘Leading Individual’ in Media and Entertainment (including media finance). She is described as “one of the leaders in her field in defamation and data protection.”
- “Tamsin Allen: a legendary media lawyer. Knows everything there is to know – and overflowing with good judgment and commonsense.”
- “Tamsin Allen is a brilliant media lawyer working on cutting edge cases. Clever and strategic lawyer who brings huge experience to the table.”
- Tamsin is also recognised as a ‘Leading Individual’ in Reputation Management.
- “Tamsin Allen – an excellent lawyer who is highly respected and regarding in this field. She has a wealth of experience and knows the law inside out. She delivers great results and knows whether it is necessary and in the client’s best interests to take cases all the way to court, or to settle. Some outstanding results – including in the Supreme Court. Great client care and highly efficient.”
Chambers and Partners 2022
- Tamsin is ranked Band 2 in Defamation/Reputation Management. Feedback describes her as “detail and law-focused, incredibly smart and also immensely patient and kind.”
- “Clients love her as she really fights their corner.”
Legal 500 2022
- Tamsin is recognised as a ‘Leading Individual’ in Media and Entertainment (including media finance). Feedback describes her as “tough but empathetic. A real tactician.”
- “Partner Tamsin Allen is an outstanding and highly respected solicitor of great experience. She has great judgment and always puts in the extra hours for her clients.”
- Tamsin is also recognised as a ‘Leading Individual’ in Reputation Management. Feedback says “Tamsin Allen, the head of the group, is excellent at advising on the appropriate steps to best protect reputations, be it issuing a claim or engaging with the newspaper informally. She has a fantastic manner with clients.”
Chambers and Partners 2021
- Tamsin Allen is ranked in Defamation/Reputation Management (Band 2).
- Tamsin Allen is a highly experienced practitioner frequently acting on behalf of a wide range of high-profile individuals and corporations on defamation and privacy matters. Feedback describes her as: “Tamsin is absolutely the person you want on your side. She will fight your corner as hard as she can. She is passionate and extremely bright.”
Legal 500 2021
- Tamsin Allen is ranked as a ‘Leading Individual’ in Reputation Management.
- Tamsin Allen is one of the most highly-rated media lawyers in the UK, and for good reason. She is incredibly sharp, principled and intelligent – someone whose knowledge, experience and strategic brilliance get results time and again.‘
Chambers and Partners 2020
- Tamsin Allen is ranked in Defamation/Reputation Management (Band 2).
- ‘Tamsin Allen is a highly experienced practitioner frequently acting on behalf of a wide range of high-profile individuals and corporations on defamation and privacy matters. Impressed sources remark: “Tamsin is brilliant; she always has an incredible gauge of her clients’ interests and has a really thorough grasp of the law.”
Legal 500 2019
- Tamsin Allen is ranked as a ‘Leading Individual’ in Reputation Management.
- ‘Tamsin Allen is a stand-out individual in the area of reputation management – stellar quality.’
- ‘[Tamsin is a] stand-out individual and department head Tamsin Allen takes on a wide array of matters including “right to be forgotten” issues and misuse of private information claims emanating from Worldcheck databases as well as traditional libel and defamation cases. She is also involved in matters relating to how libel law is being used to silence women making statements about abuse.’
Chambers and Partners 2019
- Tamsin Allen regularly receives instructions from politicians, not-for-profit organisations and publishers, relating to misuse of private information, data protection and human rights issues.
- Tamsin Allen is ranked in Defamation/Reputation Management (Band 2) and Data Protection and Information Law.
- “Tamsin is a tour de force. She is the smartest person in every room, and she really cares about her clients.”
- Tamsin is on the Board of Hacked Off