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, Employment, 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. In 2016 Anya was nominated by Chambers & Partners as Defamation/Privacy Silk of the Year in recognition of her leading role in a number of ground-breaking privacy cases.
Media & Privacy
Anya is widely recognised as a leading practitioner in the inter-related fields of information rights and media law. Despite only having taken silk in February 2016, Anya was nominated defamation silk of the year by Chambers & Partners in September 2016 in recognition of her work in these areas. The editorial in the 2016 edition of Chambers and Partners states that Anya is ‘widely viewed as spearheading the move towards the use of the DPA in the protection of reputation’. Anya’s information rights and media law practice embraces cases involving: reputation management; the protection of journalistic freedoms; liability of online intermediaries; commercial disputes; the handling of legally privileged information; freedom of information; RIPA; the operation of the subject access regime as well as the usual run of data protection and privacy cases. Anya is particularly well known for her interest in and expertise on issues concerning the protection of information rights and fundamental freedoms within the online environment.
Examples of her work in this field include:
- Various Claimants v Morrisons (ongoing) – (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))
- Vidal-Hall & Ors v Google  EWCA Civ 311 (Court of Appeal – compensation for mere distress under the DPA; tracking of internet browsing habits)
- Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust v Information Commissioner  UKUT 0551 (AAC) – (first ever appeal against a monetary penalty notice imposed under the DPA 1998)
- Sony v Information Commissioner (appeal against monetary penalty imposed in case of Sony Playstation hack)
- Dawson-Damer v Taylor Wessing  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)
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 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
Various Claimants v Morrisons
(ongoing) – (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.