‘How Twitter works’ appendix to Katie Hopkins libel judgment was penned by rookie barrister, reveals phone hacking lawyer

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By Alex Aldridge on

But 5RB’s Greg Callus insists viral guide was a team effort as Jack Monroe describes him as “lovely”

A junior barrister has emerged as one of the stars of the Katie Hopkins libel trial.

Not only has 5RB’s Greg Callus been publicly praised by the writer and activist claimant Jack Monroe, but it has emerged that it was he who led the creation of the ‘How Twitter works’ appendix to the High Court judgment which was a social media hit overnight.

After successfully suing Daily Mail columnist Katie Hopkins for defaming her on Twitter, Monroe returned to her favourite social medium this morning with a grateful tweet which @-ed in Callus (and also mentioned his chambers colleage William Bennett).

A few hours previously, Callus’ instructing solicitor, the well-known phone hacking lawyer Mark Lewis, had revealed that the 5RB rookie had penned the much-talked about ‘How Twitter works’ appendix to the judgment.

Lewis repeated the credit this afternoon. Meanwhile, top barrister and blogger Matthew Scott also singled out Callus for praise.

Not that Callus was letting it go to his head. When we contacted him today, the modest York University graduate — who used to be a comments moderator for the Guardian before being called to the bar in 2012 — insisted that the appendix had been a team effort with his fellow counsel.

He told Legal Cheek:

The judge asked counsel to prepare a list of agreed Twitter facts, and we collectively did so.

Monroe — who launched her legal action after Hopkins asked via a tweet if she had “scrawled on any memorials recently” — was also effusive with praise for the “fearsome” Lewis (a partner at London media firm Seddons), who had been instrumental with his “strength”, she said.

Lewis is one of the most interesting characters in the law, having fought to the top despite awful academics (he got a 2:2 from Middlesex University). Many credit him with inventing phone hacking as a damages claim. The incredible story of his career is documented in this piece he wrote for Legal Cheek back in 2013, which he followed up with an appearance at one of the first ever Legal Cheek Live events, where he told some great stories. Lewis’ Twitter feed reveals an eccentric, combative character.

The Monroe v Hopkins judgment (embedded below) is well worth a read. In it Mr Justice Warby explains in detail the facts that led up to Monroe suing Hopkins. Paragraphs five to 22 are genuinely riveting as you hear about how Hopkins was cornered by a mixture of her pride and Monroe’s lawyers. In the end, despite calling on law firm Kingsley Napley and Doughty Street barrister Jonathan Price to defend her, Hopkins suffered a heavy defeat — with reports that the total costs to be claimed against her will be in excess of £300,000 in addition to the £24,000 damages award.