Fiona Brimblecombe

Fiona Brimblecombe


  • Lecturer in Law, Law

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Personal profile


Fiona is a Lecturer in Law (Teaching & Research) at the University of Manchester and Year 3 Course Lead on the LLB. Primarily a tort and media lawyer, her research focuses on personality rights in the internet age, including the ‘right to erasure’ in the GDPR, misuse of private information and defamation. 

She graduated with an LLB(Hons) from Newcastle University in 2014, before attaining a LLM (distinction) at Durham Law School, Durham University in 2015. She was the recipient of a Durham Law School Teaching Scholarship to fund her PhD studies, and in this role taught Tort and Media Law at Durham University between 2015-2018. She obtained her PhD in Law from Durham in 2020, which considered whether the ‘right to be forgotten’ provides a better route to redress for individuals seeking to control their personal data online than English tort law. A unique methodology was used in the thesis, whereby Article 17 GDPR was examined through the lens of Articles 8 and 10 ECHR. Both her LLM thesis and PhD were supervised by Professor Gavin Phillipson (Bristol University, formerly Durham University).

Fiona publishes on the right to control one's information on the internet: her work intersects privacy law, defamation, data protection and human rights. She has published in international journals that specialise in internet law as well as legal generalists, such as the Law Quarterly Review and Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly. Her current research interest is defamation in the age of the internet. Fiona's work engages with relevant stakeholders in the industry, and she has recently written a white paper commissioned by Synalogik with Professor Nic Ryder (Cardiff University) and Dr Sam Bourton (UWE) that concerns the exchange of information and data protection between third parties and law enforcement agencies. She has given joint written evidence on the topic to the Bill Committee for the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill and has written a further article on the subject with Sam Bourtan and Nic Ryder.

Fiona is an Associate Scholar of the Law and the Inner Self Project based out of University College Cork and funded by the Irish Research Council.

She is an Editorial Board Member of the Journal of Economic Criminology. 

Fiona is interested in working on interdisciplinary research projects which relate to privacy, defamation and personal data. She is currently part of a project formerly entitled ‘Supportive Surveillance’ which received £23,400 of internal funding from the University of the West of England in 2020. The project is ongoing, and investigates whether in-home technology can be developed to support those with obsessive compulsive disorder in their cognitive behavioural therapy. Since late 2019, Fiona has been part of six internal and external funding applications. She has worked alongside experts from psychology at Cardiff University, Coventry University and UWE, as well as researchers in Health Technology, IT, Logistics, and Geography.  She is a grateful recipient of the Hallsworth Conference Fund at the University of Manchester (2022). 

She teaches obligations at the University of Manchester as well as her own unit on online privacy, defamation and data protection law on the LLM. Prior to moving to Manchester, she was a Wallscourt Fellow in Law - a Senior Lecturer by research - at Bristol Law School, University of the West of England (2019-2022) and before that was a tutor in both tort and media law at Durham University Law School (2015-2018). 

Fiona is a PhD supervisor and is open to applications in the areas of privacy, defamation, data protection (GDPR) and freedom of expression online.

Research interests

privacy, misuse of private information, GDPR, 'right to be forgotten'/erasure, data protection, Articles 8 and 10 ECHR, freedom of expression, defamation, internet regulation, personal data on the web.

Further information



LLB(Hons) Newcastle University, 2011-2014

LLM (distinction) Durham University, 2014-2015

PhD (law) Durham University, 2015-2020

Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, 2021

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Areas of expertise

  • K Law (General)

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Digital Futures


  • privacy, free expression, defamation, GDPR


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