Masters of the Bench
Miss Heather Rogers QC
Full Title: Miss Heather Rogers QCCategory: Ordinary Bencher
Bench Call Date: 24.11.2008
Call Date: 28.7.1983
It was television drama – Justice, Crown Court, and Blind Justice – that introduced Heather Rogers to the law. Formal legal education began at the London School of Economics, where she was taught not only what the law was, but also what law was about.
She joined Middle Temple in 1981, to get a head-start on the 36 dinners then required before Call to the Bar. In those distant days, only two women Benchers filed into Hall at the end of a long line of male Masters. Happily, many more women are now Benchers (and on the Bench).
Middle Temple paid for her wig and gown and, after Heather came top in her Bar Finals, awarded her the Chrystal Macmillan Prize (in memory of the pioneering lawyer) and a Harmsworth Pupillage Scholarship.
Heather has practised in media and information law for more than 30 years. Early on, the Spycatcher litigation gave her the opportunity to attend the trial in Sydney (where she heard Sir Robert Armstrong, Cabinet Secretary, admit to being ‘economical with the truth’) and later, to act as junior in the landmark government secrecy case here, from trial through to the House of Lords. Working as a ‘night lawyer’ at tabloid and broadsheet newspapers, and giving pre-publication advice, was invaluable experience of media law in action.
She has appeared in a wide range of cases. Being part of the legal team for Penguin Books that proved David Irving was not an objective historian, but had distorted the truth, was a massive privilege. She has acted for Gary Lineker, Roman Polanski, Richard Branson and George Galloway (although not all at the same time).
Elected a Bencher in 2008, Heather was Chair of the Inn’s Conduct Committee. She was a Trustee of human rights organisation Article 19 for eight years and is now a Director of the Campaign for Freedom of Information. She sits as a Recorder in crime.