One Brick Court’s ‘king of libel bar’ abdicates

The man known as ‘the king of the libel bar’ Richard Rampton QC is standing down as the head of One Brick Court, making way for Andrew Caldecott QC in a move that will be watched closely by media lawyers.

Rampton stands down after seven years, as required by the set’s constitution. Caldecott, who was counsel for the BBC on the Hutton Inquiry, takes up the post after being elected unanimously by the chambers’ membership.

Caldecott said: “Unlike some more controversial recent legacies, this is one to preserve, not change.”

Rampton, who will continue to practise at One Brick Court, quipped: “And I can say – which he can’t – that the legacy couldn’t be in better hands.”

Caldecott more recently hit the headlines for his opening speech in the Sir Martin Sorrell libel trial, in which he likened Sorrell’s case to a “bowl of spaghetti Milanese: jumbled pieces of evidence superficially tasty in parts, but whose individual strands are muddled and lead nowhere, or to ends that are simply obscure”.