On the first day Sara Mansoori (scroll down for video interview) joined Matrix Chambers in April 2011, she had a conference with Mark Thomson of Atkins Thomson, who was about to file the first civil phone-hacking claim for Sienna Miller against the News of the World (NoW).
Since that point, as Mansoori puts it: “It has been an interesting time to be a media lawyer.”
Mansoori had spent 10 years at 5RB, building up a media and entertainment practice and working with silks such as Hugh Tomlinson QC on the Beckham versus NoW libel case and Heather Rogers QC for Berezovsky v Forbes.
In 2009 she joined the Ministry of Justice. “I had two fascinating years on the other side of the fence on the human rights and courts and tribunals team, but I missed the bar too much. I was instructing people on cases I could have done myself,” she says.
Her early involvement with the phone hacking scandal has led to her being instructed on the first and second tranches of civil claims against News Group Newspapers (NGN) for misuse of private information. “It is hugely challenging but rewarding,” she says, “and will be a big part of my work in 2013.”
Mansoori is also a panel barrister for the NGN compensation scheme, and was part of the counsel team acting for the core participant victims in the Leveson Inquiry.
She is also part of the team acting for MP Chris Huhne’s partner Carina Trimingham in her forthcoming appeal against a High Court judge’s rejection of her privacy and harassment claim against the Daily Mail’s publisher. “Particularly given Leveson, there’s a wider issue in this case about harassment generally,” says Mansoori. “But it is not just about celebrities, we need proper avenues for redress for any member of the public wronged by the press.”