Robin is a leading specialist in information law: data protection, privacy and freedom of information.
Robin is a top-ranked junior in Chambers & Partners for data protection (‘star individual’ junior, 2018 to 2022), consistently a Tier 1 junior in Legal 500, and is also a ranked junior in Group Litigation.
He has vast experience on GDPR and DPA issues such as data breaches, compensation claims (individual and multi-party litigation), ICO regulatory actions, subject access requests and compliance challenges to data-driven business models. His experience includes acting for a number of major multinationals (including Facebook, Experian, Ticketmaster, Equifax) on some of the ground-breaking cases emerging under the GDPR.
Robin has appeared in hundreds of information rights appeals (FOI and environmental information) and jointly runs 11KBW’s Panopticon blog.
He is on the Attorney General’s A Panel of counsel, and also has a judicial role in the Ecclesiastical Courts, as Commissary General (Chancellor) of the Diocese of Canterbury.
Robin has vast experience in all aspects of data protection, for which he is ranked as a Band 1 Junior (Chambers and Partners). He has appeared in numerous leading data protection cases, and works with clients on issues such as GDPR preparations, social media and apps, artificial intelligence, data-sharing, direct marketing, subject access and compensation disputes.
He has appeared in hundreds of appeals concerning FOIA and EIR matters, including leading cases. Current work includes Department of Health v IC and Lewis (Court of Appeal; ministerial diary) and DECC v IC and Henney (Court of Appeal; definition of environmental information). Robin is also highly experienced in information rights in a commercial context: notable cases include Worcestershire CC and UBB v IC (EA/2015/02) and Southwark v IC and Lend Lease (EA/2013/0162).
Media & Privacy
Robin works extensively with both media and individual clients on privacy disputes in the context of news, online content and reputation management. He works with major national news publications and content hosts, and is experienced in right to be forgotten/take-down disputes, the DPA’s journalism exemption and the intersection of data protection and defamation (e.g. David v Gabriel and Others  EWHC 2799 (QB)).
Robin’s public law practice often encompasses privacy issues, including R (C) v Northumberland CC & ICO  EWHC 2134 (Admin) (child protection information), R (MS) v Independent Monitor  EWHC 1629 (Admin),  4 WLR 88 (challenge to enhanced criminal record certificates) and R (Catt) and R (T) v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis and Others  UKSC 9 (Supreme Court; application of Article 8 ECHR and the DPA to policing information).
Robin has extensive advisory and litigation experience of Article 8 ECHR cases in particular. Reported cases include R (MS) v Independent Monitor  EWHC 1629 (Admin),  4 WLR 88 (challenge to enhanced criminal record certificates) and R (Catt) and R (T) v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis and Others  UKSC 9 (Supreme Court; application of Article 8 ECHR and the DPA to policing information).
Robin works in all aspects of local government law, with extensive experience in information rights matters in particular. Those include FOI and environmental disputes – often in commercial contexts – as well as data protection issues such as disclosure, retention and data-sharing. He appeared in the leading case on local authorities’ retention of child protection information: R (C) v Northumberland CC & ICO  EWHC 2134 (Admin).
Robin is also highly experienced in Assets of Community Value matters. He has appeared in numerous Tribunal cases as well as the leading case in this area of law, Banner Homes v St Albans (to be heard by the Court of Appeal later in 2017).
“Robin Hopkins is the complete package – not just great technical skills, but exceptional client service and a wonderful manner. The most senior clients will find him personable and expert.” Chambers & Partners
“I have no hesitation putting Robin in front of even the most challenging of clients – he is sure-footed, immensely commercial and pragmatic and focuses on the answers that a client needs, rather than feeling the obligation to show off the breadth of his knowledge.” Chambers & Partners
“Robin is wonderful to work with, excellent with clients, and almost always persuades the judge or panel and is successful.” Chambers & Partners
“Robin balances gravitas with approachability, and is able to cut through the noise to identify what really matters in a case.” Chambers & Partners
“Robin is a standout junior in a set and an area of law with many excellent barristers” Legal 500
“He is bright, willing to argue his corner, and happy to debate points of law” Legal 500
“He is just brilliant. For a barrister’s view on any issue going to court, he gives the most helpful input and feedback.” Chambers & Partners
“He is the best junior around for data protection and truly has no weaknesses in the area.” Legal 500
“A superstar junior with sense well beyond his years.” Legal 500
“He is superb all around and always a real pleasure to work with. He makes the job easier.” Chambers & Partners
“An outstanding junior in the data privacy field, he is exceptionally bright and makes dealing with the most complex matters seem effortless.” Legal 500
“He has a wonderful manner with clients, a great way of presenting complex issues in a clear and simple manner, and is a real team player.” Chambers & Partners
“He is extremely responsive, has good knowledge and experience of the data protection area and is a pleasure to work with.” Chambers & Partners
Lloyd v Google LLC
 UKSC 50 (loss of control damages; representative claims; acting for interveners)
 EWHC 691 (Fam),  1 WLR 3119 (access to deceased’s medical records)
Scott v LGBT Foundation
 EWHC 483 (QB),  4 WLR 62 (oral disclosure of personal information)
DB v GMC
 EWCA Civ 1497 (mixed personal data)
Ittihadieh v 5-11 Cheyne Gardens/Deer v Oxford University
 EWCA Civ 121,  3 WLR 811 (subject access; personal purposes; judicial discretion)
Holyoake v CPC and Nicholas Candy
 EWHC 52 (subject access; surveillance; investigations; LPP)
Department of Health v Information Commissioner
 EWCA Civ 374,  1 WLR 3330 (freedom of information; ministerial diaries)
DBEIS v IC and Henney
 EWCA Civ 844 (meaning of environmental information)
R (Catt) and R (T) v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis and Others
 UKSC 9 (Supreme Court; application of Article 8 ECHR and the DPA to policing information)
Edem v IC and FCA
 EWCA Civ 92 (Court of Appeal; definition of ‘personal data’)
Re Southern Pacific Personal Loans Limited
 EWHC 2485 (data protection in commercial insolvency context)
Attorney General’s Panel of Counsel (A Panel)
Commissary General, Diocese of Canterbury
News, Articles & Publications
Maintains and regularly contributes to 11KBW’s Panopticon blog.
Rhodes Scholar (South African College School, 2001)
City University, London: Graduate Diploma in Law (Distinction)
Oxford University: BA (PPE); Master of Studies (Philosophical Theology)
University of Cape Town: Bachelor of Business Science (Finance)