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MLRC London Conference 2022: International Developments in Libel, Privacy & Free Expression Law

Date: September 19-20, 2022

Over 200 lawyers from around the world attend the London Conference to discuss comparative developments in media law and policy. The conference also features distinguished speakers from the judiciary, academia and the press.

Location Info

Map of Events


Sunday, September 18

11am-2pm – Delegates Brunch: Champagne Brunch Over The Thames
Hosted by Howard Kennedy, 1 London Bridge SE 1 9BG (closest tube stop: London Bridge)

5pm – Evening Drinks & Bites
Vintry & Mercer Hotel, 19-20 Garlick Hill, London EC4V 2AU (closest tube stop: Mansion House)
Sponsored by Ballard Spahr & Davis Wright Tremaine

Monday, September 19

Gathering to Meet, Schmooze, and Watch the Queen’s Funeral
Informal discussion on free speech issues surrounding anti-monarchy protests. Lite breakfast, lunch, wine and beer will be served.
Apex City of London Hotel, 1 Seething Ln, London EC3N 4AX (near The Tower of London, closest tube stop: Tower Hill)
Sponsored by Ballard Spahr & Davis Wright Tremaine

Tuesday, September 20

Conference at The Law Society
113 Chancery Lane, London, WC2A

Registration (coffee & pastries available)

Free Speech in a Fractured World

How can free expression values survive threats from autocratic regimes, disinformation and efforts to “cancel” offensive speakers? A panel of journalists and thinkers will discuss the future of free speech. With Emma Tucker, Editor Sunday Times; Professor Mary-Rose Papandrea, UNC School of Law; Meera Selva, Internews Europe; Mark Stephens, CBE, Howard Kennedy

Media Trials of the Century

Defense counsel from Johnny Depp v. The Sun, Depp v. Heard, Sarah Palin v. New York Times and Ben Roberts-Smith v. Fairfax will discuss defense tactics, lessons learned and the challenges of high-profile defamation trials. With Jeff Smele, Simons Muirhead Burton; Dana Green, New York Times; Peter Bartlett, Minter Ellison; Jay Ward Brown, Ballard Spahr; Dave Heller, MLRC; and Adelaide Lopez, Wiggin

Defending Satire in an Increasingly Humorless World

World-wide threats to satirists and cartoonists. Why is satire such a threat to autocratic regimes? How can political satire be defended? With Patrick Chappatte (Lebanese-Swiss cartoonist); Zunar (Malaysian cartoonist); Terry Anderson (Cartoonists Rights Network International); Jonathan Price (Doughty Street); and Roslyn Mazer (Counsel of Record, Association of American Editorial Cartoonists as amicus curiae in Hustler Magazine v. Falwell)


Privacy and the Press

Is UK and European privacy law crippling investigative reporting? Is it possible to report on police investigations prior to charges being brought? Will the UK repeal the Human Rights Act and forge a more liberal law of privacy? With Keith Mathieson, RPC; Jay Conti, Dow Jones; Gill Phillips, The Guardian; Jan Hegemann, Raue; and Randy Shapiro, Bloomberg

SLAPP Reform in the UK & Europe

Will lawsuits by oligarchs and disgruntled politicians lead to new protections for free expression? Will American anti-SLAPP law provide a useful model? Can lawyers from the US and Europe collaborate to advance new legislation? An overview of the problem, current status of reform efforts, and the unique legal and political hurdles for reform in the UK and Europe. With Laura Prather, Hayes & Boone; Carole Cadwalladr, The Guardian and the Observer; Matthew Caruana Galizia, The Daphne Foundation; and Charlie Holt, Greenpeace International and Pen International

Debate: The Internet Has Failed Us As A Society

Judge Matthew Nicklin, High Court of England and Wales; Gavin Millar KC; Professor Jane Kirtley, University Minnesota Law School; Hugh Tomlinson KC; and Hugo Rifkind, The Times

Wednesday, September 21

In-House Counsel Breakfast (for in-house lawyers only)
Hosted by The Financial Times, Bracken House, 1 Friday Street (near St. Paul’s)


The conference is open to MLRC members and others by invitation.

Registration for UK Lawyers is £675

Registration for MLRC Members in the US, Australia, Canada and Europe is $675 USD

Conference Hotels

Conference rates are available at Club Quarters Lincoln Inn Fields and Apex Temple Court Hotel. Other nearby hotels include the Waldorf Hilton on Aldwych and Z Hotel on Fleet Street  

Club Quarters Hotel
61 Lincoln Inn Fields
Room rates: £197-213 per night (group code: 10L752)
Book online
Book by email:
Book by phone: 011-44-207-451-5800

Apex Temple Court Hotel
1-2 Serjeants’ Inn (off Fleet Street)
For best rates, contact the hotel directly to book.

Other nearby hotels include the Waldorf Hilton on Aldwych and Z Hotel on Fleet Street.

Conference Health and Safety

To respect the health and safety of participants, attendees are required to be vaccinated against COVID -19. By registering and attending, you attest that you are so vaccinated under WHO and CDC guidelines. If you cannot so attest, you must inform us and test within 72 hours of the conference and present a negative result.



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