A national newspaper has agreed to pay libel damages and legal costs to a barrister after reporting untrue accusations that she had made death threats and persistent nuisance phone calls to a law school student.

Public law specialist Barbara Hewson claimed she was defamed by a 2017 article in The Times, which reported on a complaint to the regulator that Hewson - or someone acting on her behalf - had made the calls.

The Times also reported that a similar complaint against her had been made to Leicestershire police. Neither the Bar Standards Board nor Leicestershire police pursued the complaints. 

In a statement published today, The Times said: ‘We accept Ms Hewson’s assurances that the allegations made in the complaint against her were not true and have agreed not to repeat them and to pay damages to her for libel.’ The size of the damages award was not been disclosed.

The settlement came shortly before the main hearing of the libel claim in the Royal Courts of Justice. 

Barbara Hewson was represented by Max Campbell and Elisabeth Mason of London defamation firm Brett Wilson LLP and William Bennett QC of 5RB. The Times was represented by solicitor-advocate David Price QC. 

Hewson, who was called to the bar in 1985, was suspended from practice for two years in December 2019, after being charged with professional misconduct by the regulator.