Former Palatinate Editor-in-Chief Ben Hamer has made the headlines as he defends Coleen Rooney in the highly publicised “Wagatha Christie” libel case. Hamer, who is a tenant at law firm 5RB, is acting as the junior partner in the case that has gained worldwide attention.
Hamer is defending Coleen Rooney, who is being sued for libel by Rebekah Vardy. The case arose after Rooney refused to offer a public apology after accusing Vardy of leaking information from her personal Instagram stories, something that Vardy denies. The case has been branded in the media as the “Wagatha Christie” trial, a play on famous crime writer Agatha Christie and the collective name given by the press to the women and girlfriends of prominent footballers.
Despite being the junior member on the case, Hamer has been mentioned in court in the case’s more light-hearted moments. As reported in the Daily Mail, the fact that Hamer followed Vardy on social media was a source of amusement in the trial, with the senior partner in the case David Sherborne commenting that Hamer is “very adept at searching online through social media on his phone”.
An alumnus of St Cuthbert’s Society, Hamer was Editor of Palatinate between 2013-2014 and designed the newspaper’s current logo. He was called to the Bar at Lincoln’s Inn in 2017, where he was a Lord Bowen and Lord Denning scholar and went on to become a tenant at 5RB, a firm that concentrates on media and communication law. Hamer specialises in privacy defamation and data protection law.
During his time at Durham, Hamer won the Hunter Davies prize for Student Journalism, and has since been awarded with the Benjamin Franklin House Literary Prize for his work on free speech and fake news.
Previously, Mr Hamer has defended other celebrities in their legal cases. He was the legal representation for Kristen Bell and Dax Sheppard in their case against Associated Newspapers, Andrew Neil in his libel action against Jennifer Arcuri, and represented multiple claimants in the ongoing phone-hacking litigation against The Sun and the now-defunct News of the World. He also offers pre-publication advice to papers such as the Times and The Sunday Times.
Image Credit: Harry Mitchell Via Wikimedia Commons