Anthony Robert Julius (born 16 July 1956) is a British solicitor advocate and academic, known among other things for his actions on behalf of Diana, Princess of Wales and Deborah Lipstadt. He is Deputy Chairman of the London law firm Mishcon de Reya.
The son of a London menswear retailer, who died young from a brain tumour, Julius was educated at the City of London School. Julius studied English literature at Jesus College, Cambridge, graduating in 1977 with a first class degree; in the mid-1990s he completed a PhD in English literature at University College London under the novelist and academic Dan Jacobson. He joined the Bloomsbury law firm Mishcon de Reya in 1979, becoming a partner in 1984. Currently, he is Deputy Chairman of that firm.
Julius is a commercial litigator. He is a specialist in the fields of defamation, international trade disputes, and media law. He has been a solicitor advocate since at least 2001, which allows him to act as a barrister in so far as he can now appear in the High Court and the Court of Appeal.
He represented Deborah Lipstadt, successfully defending her in Irving v Penguin Books and Lipstadt, with Richard Rampton QC, against a libel suit brought against her by Holocaust denier David Irving. Lipstadt and her publishers were vindicated by the Judge's ruling in April 2000. A feature film about the case, Denial, with Andrew Scott playing Julius, was released in 2016.
Julius is Legal Advisor to the Foundation of Jewish Heritage.
He has written a number of books on various topics, outlined below, including his PhD thesis, in which he charged T. S. Eliot with antisemitism. He is currently writing his fifth book on censorship of the arts in liberal democracies, which is due for release in 2020.
Julius is an Advisory Editor at the current affairs journal Fathom. He was a founding member of both Engage and the Euston Manifesto. From 2011 to 2014 he was chairman of the board of The Jewish Chronicle.
From 1996 to 1998 he was a part-time lecturer at the Law Faculty of University College London. In 2017 he rejoined University College London as the inaugural Chair in Law and the Arts. He was previously Chairman of the London Consortium and Visiting Professor at Birkbeck, University of London.
He was Vice-President of the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, until it closed in 2012. He was one of the charity's founders and its first Chairman.
He serves as Trustee to English PEN, the founding centre of a worldwide writers’ association. Julius is also Chairman of the Trustees of Phenomen Trust. Between 2007 and 2013 Julius played an active role in the campaign against the academic boycott of Israeli universities. In a Guardian article co-authored with historian Simon Schama, Julius wrote "This is not the first boycott call directed at Jews. On 1 April 1933, a week after he came to power, Hitler ordered a boycott of Jewish shops, banks, offices and department stores." Julius's other activities in this context included representing Ronnie Fraser in an action against the University and College Union (UCU). Fraser, who was a member of the union, complained that it had created an ‘intimidating', ‘hostile’ environment, 'offensive' to his Jewish identity. The tribunal rejected his claim, a rejection which itself attracted criticism.
He married Judith Bernie in 1979; the couple had four children, but later divorced. In 1999, he married Dina Rabinovitch and had one child with her. Rabinovitch died in 2007 from breast cancer. In 2009, he married Katarina Lester, and is step-father to her two children. They had a son together in 2011.
Julius is currently writing a book on censorship of the arts in liberal democracies, due to be published by Oxford University Press in 2020.