Anya Proops QC
Anya has a broad practice spanning information, media, human rights, public and employment law. She is recommended as a leading practitioner in the legal directories for her work in Data Protection, Defamation & Privacy, and Administrative and Public Law. The nature of Anya’s practice is such that she is equally at home conducting lengthy, witness-heavy hearings as she is arguing complex points of law before the appellate courts. Anya’s clients include individuals; corporations; media organisations; NGOs; statutory regulators and a wide array of public authorities. Anya is named in The Lawyer’s “Hot 100 Lawyers 2019” in recognition of her leading role the field of privacy litigation.
Privacy & Media
Anya is widely recognised as a leading privacy and media practitioner. The Lawyer lists Anya in its “Hot 100 Lawyers 2019”, recognizing her role ‘at the vanguard’ of cutting-edge privacy litigation. Anya has been nominated as Defamation/Privacy Silk of the Year in the 2020 Chambers & Partners UK Bar Awards. Anya is recognised as a “Star Individual” in the data protection section of Chambers & Partners, which describes her as ‘a leading light in the data protection domain, with a constant presence in high-profile cases which push the boundaries of how the Data Protection Act is applied’. The Legal 500 equally identifies Anya as a ‘Leading Silk’ for her work in the data privacy field, where she is recognised for her ‘cutting edge expertise’. As well as acting and advising in a wide range of privacy and media cases, Anya has extensive experience of advising and acting for controllers in cases involving large-scale personal data breaches. She very commonly assists controllers in dealing with both the regulatory and civil litigation/class action aspects of such cases.
Examples of Anya’s work in this field include:
- Various Claimants v Morrisons  UKSC 12 (Supreme Court – Acting for Morrisons Supermarkets in the first group litigation case concerning a data breach)
- Newman v Southampton City Council  EWHC 2103 (Fam) – (On appeal to Court of Appeal – Anya acted for the journalist claimant in this case which concerned journalistic access to documents in family law proceedings)
- Various Claimants v British Airways (High Court – Anya is acting for BA in this group action brought in connection with a major cyber-incident – Anya is also acting for BA in connection with the related ICO process)
- Atkinson v Equifax Ltd (High Court – representative action brought purportedly on behalf of 15 million claimants in connection with a major cyber-incident)
- Facebook v Information Commissioner (EA/2018/0256) (Anya acted for Facebook in its appeal against monetary penalty notice issued in connection with Cambridge Analytica)
- NT1/NT2 v Google  EWHC 799 (first ‘right to be forgotten case’ to come before the High Court)
- B v General Medical Council  EWCA 1497 (Court of Appeal – operation of the subject access regime in a mixed data case)
- Ahmed/Human Rights Watch v Attorney General  UKUT 495 (AAC) – (Upper Tribunal – access under FOIA to Attorney General’s advice on decision to effect lethal drone strike in Syria)
- Satakunnan Markkinapörssi Oy and Satamedia Oy v Finland (2018) 66 EHRR 8 (ECtHR – Article 8/Article 10 case on the disclosure of tax data)
- Magyar Jeti v Hungary (ongoing) – (ECtHR – whether media organisations strictly liable for hyperlinking to unlawful third party content)
- Dawson-Damer v Taylor Wessing  EWCA Civ 74 (Court of Appeal – application of the subject access regime/operation of legal privilege exemption)
- Holyoake v Christian Candy  EWHC 52 – (High Court – application of legal privilege exemption in subject access/surveillance case)
- Vidal-Hall & Ors v Google  EWCA Civ 311 (Court of Appeal – compensation for mere distress under the DPA; tracking of internet browsing habits)
- Zaw Lin v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis  EWHC 2484 – (High Court – whether two men facing the death penalty in connection with the murder of two British tourists in Thailand could use subject access rights to gain access to report held by the Met Police).
- Steinmetz v Global Witness –  (High Court – application of journalistic exemption in the Data Protection Act 1998)
Anya co-founded 11KBW’s highly regarded information law blog: panopticonblog.com.
Public & Human Rights
Anya is listed by both Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500 as a leading practitioner in the field of administrative and public law. She is routinely instructed in public law cases involving complex information rights issues, including Article 8 rights. However, she has also appeared in a wide array of more general public law cases.
Examples of her work in this field include:
- WXYZ v Secretary of State for Health & Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA 1034 (Court of Appeal JR challenge to patient data sharing scheme);
- Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis v XYZ (Children) & Secretary of State for Health  1 WLR 2501 (Court of Appeal – application of Article 8 to police-held DNA data)
- R (Plantagenet Alliance) v Secretary of State for Justice & University of Leicester  3 All ER 261 (High Court – judicial review challenge to decision to reinter remains of King Richard III in Leicester Cathedral).
Anya is an extremely experienced and highly regarded employment law practitioner. She is recognised as a leading practitioner in this area by both Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500. Chambers & Partners reports that Anya is ‘repeatedly singled out by respondents for her formidable presence in the employment tribunal, and for the meticulous approach she takes to her instructions’; comments include ‘She is deadly’, ‘Very, very thorough and extremely well prepared’ and a ‘pocket battleship who excels in difficult disputes. Anya’s employment practice covers all types of statutory claims as well as commercial employment disputes. She has appeared three times before the Privy Council in employment cases and is well known for her expertise in territorial jurisdiction (she appeared before the House of Lords in the leading case on territorial jurisdiction: Lawson v Serco).
Examples of Anya’s work in this field includes:
- Various Claimants v Morrisons (group litigation involving claims brought by thousands of Morrisons’ employees in connection with a mass data breach)
- Biber v HSBC (lengthy, high profile race and religious discrimination case for a bank)
- a highly politically-charged whistle-blowing case involving a central London authority
- a substantial high court employment dispute between an ex-CEO and his former employer
- a case involving complex discrimination and victimisation claims brought by a senior lawyer against a world-renowned professional association
Anya is recommended as a New Silk in the following categories in Chambers & Partners: Data Protection, Defamation/Privacy, Employment and Administrative and Public Law.
“She’s incredibly bright, commercial and client-friendly; she has a prodigious brain and gets results for the client” Chambers & Partners
“She is formidable in court and is a very commercially savvy barrister” Chambers & Partners
“She is an innovative thinker, who has extraordinary impact on a case” Legal 500
“An exceptional and very talented new silk. Knocks the competition out of the park” Chambers & Partners
“A first-class all-rounder and excellent on her feet.” Chambers & Partners
“Frighteningly clever – you want her on your side in court” Chambers & Partners
“She is an excellent advocate who has a really calming influence on clients” Chambers & Partners
“Likely to play a significant role in shaping the future of this practice area [privacy/defamation].” Chambers & Partners
“Leading the charge in terms of groundbreaking data protection developments.” Legal 500
“She is very easy to work with and gets on top of a factually complex case quickly.” Legal 500
NFT1 v Google
 EWHC 799 (QB),  3 All ER 581;  HRLR 13;  EMLR 18;  FSR 22, QBD, April 13 2018
Whether Google should be required to ‘de-list’ links in its search results to articles about the spent convictions of two businessmen.
Various Claimants v Morrisons
 IRLR 73,  EWCA Civ 2339 – (Acting for Morrisons Supermarkets in the first group litigation civil case concerning a data breach – listed by The Lawyer as the fifth most important case of 2017))
Dawson-Damer v Taylor Wessing
 1 WLR 3255,  EWCA Civ 74 – (Court of Appeal – application of subject access regime);
Magyar Jeti v Hungary
(ongoing) – (European Court of Human Rights – whether media organisations strictly liable for hyperlinking to unlawful third party content)
Holyoake v Christian Candy
 EWHC 52 – (High Court – application of legal privilege exemption in subject access/surveillance case)
Ahmed/Human Rights Watch v Attorney General
(ongoing) – (Upper Tribunal – access under FOIA to Attorney General’s advice on decision to effect lethal drone strike in Syria);
Lewisham LBC v Bergen (on behalf of Millwall Football Club
(onoing) – (First Tier Tribunal – access under FOIA to commercial information concerning lease of Olympic Stadium)
News, Articles & Publications
Anya is a co-founder of any contributor to 11KBW’s highly regarded information law blog: panopticonblog.com.
Contributor to Tolley’s Employment Handbook
University of Cambridge, MA (Cantab)
London School of Economics, PhD (political philosophy)
City University, CPE
Anya is an Inner Temple Scholar.
Anya was awarded the British International Studies Association PhD of the Year for her PhD.