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Businesswoman wins £54,000 libel damages
20th March 2017 - Zipporah Lisle-Mainwaring, a resident of Kensington who painted her house in red and white stripes, has been awarded £54,000 in damages following a hearing to assess compensation under the Offer of Amends regime. She sued over two articles published by Mail Online (and the publication of the second article in the Daily Mail). Those articles had falsely suggested that “the claimant behaved most unpleasantly to the family of her late husband and that she has betrayed his trust.” However, Judge Parkes “provisionally” dismissed the special damages claim. While some of that claim was not properly pleaded, the Judge did, however, permit the claimant to apply to have an assessment of the special damages which were properly pleaded, if so advised.
Andrew Caldecott QC was Leading Counsel for ANL, instructed by Wiggin LLP
Hourani v Thomson and others  EWHC 432 (QB)
13th March 2017 - The Claimant, Issam Hourani, who was the victim of an targeted campaign, has succeeded in his claim for harassment against John Michael Waller, who directed elements of the campaign, Psybersolutions LLC (a company used by Dr Waller), and two individuals, Alastair Thomson and Brian Macarthy. The Claimant also succeeded in his claim for libel against the company, Thomson and Macarthy (Waller was not sued for libel).
After a 10-day trial, Warby J delivered a detailed Judgment on the facts and law. The Campaign, which was conducted for, and paid for by, unidentified “Client(s)” of Dr Waller, included staging two “demonstrations” in London (one of which was outside the Claimant’s home) and ensuring that these “events” were widely reported online. The court ruled that the allegation of “murder” (in relation to a young woman who died in Beirut in June 2004) was “untenable”. The Judge found that the Campaign was “highly unreasonable”, rejecting the argument that the conduct was protected by section 1(3) of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 (it was argued that the conduct was for the purpose of prevention or detecting crime and/or was reasonable in the circumstances). The Judge rejected the argument (by Thomson & Macarthy) that any publication was protected by the defence in section 4 of the Defamation Act 2013 (publication on matter of public interest). The court awarded damages in the total amount of £80,000 (for the libel and harassment), specifying the amounts for which each of the four was responsible. A hearing will take place to determine consequential orders.
Heather Rogers QC, instructed by Payne Hicks Beach, was the Claimant’s Leading Counsel.
New Media and Communications List
27th February 2017 - It has today been announced that from 1 March 2017 there will be a new list within the Queen’s Bench Division called the Media and Communications List. Mr Justice Warby has been designated as the Judge in charge of the new list, which will cover cases involving defamation, misuse of private information and breach of duty under the Data Protection Act, and related or similar claims including malicious falsehood and harassment arising from publication or threatened publication by the print or broadcast media, online, on social media, or in speech. The press release states that from 1 March, parties who consider their case to fall within this category should insert the words “Media and Communications List” on their claim or Acknowledgement of Service.
Hazelwood v ICO & Cabinet Office (EA/2016/0204)
16th February 2017 - Following a hearing in January 2017, the First Tier Tribunal (General Regulatory Chamber) has ruled that the Cabinet Office was entitled to rely on the exemption in s.37 of the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) when it refused to confirm or deny whether it held information concerning whether a company had applied for permission to use the word ‘Royal’ in its name.
S.37(1)(b) FOIA provides a qualified exemption for information if it relates to ‘the conferring by the Crown of any honour or dignity’. The FTT found that FOIA should be interpreted purposively, and that s.37(1)(b) FOIA could be understood “to relate to the honours system in its widest sense, including the system for giving permission to companies to use the term ‘Royal’.”  The FTT ruled that the public interest in this case favoured maintaining the confidentiality of the honours system, free from outside interference, and acknowledged the expectation of privacy of applicants .
Jonathan Scherbel-Ball, instructed by the Government Legal Department, appeared for the Cabinet Office.
Issam Hourani v Alistair Thomson & Others
30th January 2017 – 10 day libel and harassment trial begins today before Mr Justice Warby. Heather Rogers QC, instructed by Payne Hicks Beach, will appear for the claimant.
Gary Flood -V- Times Newspapers Ltd (UKSC 2015/0045)
24th January 2017 - 3 day hearing before the Supreme Court starts today. Richard Rampton QC and Kate Wilson for Times Newspapers Ltd
Garnier Leads for SFO in its largest investigation and third UK DPA
17th January 2017 -Rolls-Royce PLC has reached agreements with the SFO in London, the DoJ in the United States, and prosecutors in Brazil to settle bribery and corruption allegations and will pay about $809 million for the global resolution following the completion of the SFO’s largest investigation since its establishment in the 1980’s.
PNM v TNL & Ors before the Supreme Court
17 January 2017 – In what would be a landmark privacy ruling, the Appellant seeks an interim non-disclosure order to prevent his identification as a person arrested in connection with allegations of child sexual grooming/prostitution. The Respondents wish to publish reports of reporting restriction proceedings concerning the Appellant, in the course of which certain of the private information in question was referred to in open court. The issue before the Supreme Court is whether, following the decision in A v British Broadcasting Corporation (Scotland)  UKSC 25, the Court of Appeal erred in its approach to balancing the privacy rights of a person arrested but never charged and subsequently ‘de-arrested’ for an offence, against the right of the press to report open court proceedings. Manuel Barca QC and Hannah Ready, instructed by Collyer Bristow LLP, will appear before Lord Neuberger, Lady Hale, Lord Kerr, Lord Clarke, Lord Wilson, Lord Sumption and Lord Reed.
Ian Helme to speak at the 10th annual Internet and Social Media Law Conference
30th November 2016 - The specialist event held by KNect 365 law on 1st December will cover the legal challenges surrounding the internet and social media with Ian Helme discussing internet content and injunctions, and the issues of whether material should or should not be blocked, during which he will examine the Cartier case and what it means for blocking injunctions in the IP world and beyond; the PJS privacy case and the challenges of enforcing injunctions in the internet age; and ensuring the necessity, proportionality and effectiveness of an injunction.
Court of Appeal hearing in Lachaux v AOL (UK) Ltd commences
29 November 2016 - The case will result in the first appellate guidance on the interpretation of the ‘serious harm test’ introduced by section 1 of the Defamation Act 2013. Andrew Caldecott QC, Manuel Barca QC and Hannah Ready, instructed by Lewis Silkin LLP, represent AOL, the publisher of the Huffington Post.
News from One Brick Court – Defamation & Privacy Set of the Year
14th November 2016 - In January 2017, in accordance with its constitution, One Brick Court will have a new Head of Chambers: Sir Edward Garnier QC, with Manuel Barca QC as deputy head.
Andrew Caldecott QC, Head of Chambers for the past 10 years, said: “I’m delighted to hand over to old and trusted friends. It’s been a privilege and a pleasure to give a little back to a chambers which has given me so much. I look forward to playing my part in the future work and success of One Brick Court”.
Dr Suresh Deman v Associated Newspapers Limited & Baroness Flather  EWHC 2819 (QB)
8th November 2016 - The High Court has today struck out a defamation claim brought by the academic, Dr Suresh Deman, over a Daily Mail article which was originally published in November 2011 and which has since formed part of the newspaper’s online archive. David Glen acted on behalf of the defendants (instructed by RPC).
Ian Helme DPA interview
4th November 2016 - Ian Helme was interviewed by Alex Heshmaty of Lexis Nexis last week in relation to the record fine issued by the ICO following the widely publicised hack of TalkTalk.
Shakeel Begg v BBC  EWHC 2688 (QB)
28th October 2016 - Andrew Caldecott QC and Jane Phillips act for BBC in its successful defence of justification against Imam Shakeel Begg accused of extremism [by preaching jihad as the greatest of deeds] on the Sunday Politics show.
Mini Pupillage 2017
4th January 2017 - Applications are now open for the next round of One Brick Court's mini-pupillage scheme. Please see our mini-pupillage page for further details on how to apply
24th October 2016 - Chambers is sad to report that John Camp, a member of Chambers from 1970 to 1986, died last week after a short illness. He had a distinguished copyright practice and edited Halsbury’s Laws on the subject.
Jon Gaunt v United Kingdom
4th October 2016 - The European Court of Human Rights has rejected a challenge brought by the radio broadcaster and columnist, Jon Gaunt, against the United Kingdom Government. David Glen acted with David Anderson QC on behalf of the United Kingdom Government in the Strasbourg proceedings.
Claire Overman to join Chambers
3rd October 2016 - Chambers is delighted to announce that Claire Overman has accepted an invitation to join 3rd October 2016 - Chambers as a tenant following the successful completion of her pupillage at One Brick Court. Claire studied for a BA in Law (with Law in Europe) and BCL at Keble College, University of Oxford, and Université Panthéon Assas (Paris II). She will practise in all Chambers’ main areas of expertise.
Ian Helme to Speak at Foundations of IT Law Programme: Module 7 - Risk, Cyber and Computer Misuse
14th September 2016 - Ian Helme is today speaking at the SCL Foundations of IT Law programme; the event will focus on cyber security, computer misuse, liability for cyber risks and insurance of cyber risks.
Bonham-Smith v Google UK Ltd
8th September 2016 – A claim brought on ‘right to be forgotten’ grounds in relation to the Google Search service has today been struck out. This was on the basis that Google UK, which does not own or operate the Search service, was not a proper party to the proceedings. The decision comes in the wake of Warby J’s judgment in Richardson v Google UK Ltd  EWHC 3154 (QB) in which the same conclusion was upheld in relation to proceedings concerning the Google Blogger service. Hannah Ready, instructed by Pinsent Masons LLP, acted for Google UK in Bonham-Smith. David Glen, instructed by Pinsent Masons LLP, acted for Google UK in Richardson.
IPSO launches its Arbitration Scheme
5th August 2016 - IPSO has today announced the launch of its pilot arbitration scheme. The scheme enables members of the public to bring legal complaints against IPSO members who have signed up to the scheme. If successful, complainants may be entitled to remedies and costs. The scheme is a pilot only, and IPSO has said it will review it after 12 months. Details of the scheme and how it will work alongside the established complaints procedure are available on IPSO’s website.
Economou v De Freitas  EWHC 1853 (QB)
27th July 2016 - First "public interest" defence succeeds after landmark trial. Manuel Barca QC and Ian Helme represented the Defendant.
Tamiz v United Kingdom
15th July 2016 - Written submissions have now been received by the European Court of Human Rights in Payam Tamiz v United Kingdom. Mr Tamiz argues that the Court of Appeal’s decision to dismiss his defamation claim against Google Inc. in 2013 constituted a breach of his rights under Articles 8 and 13 of the ECHR. David Glen is acting on behalf of the United Kingdom Government in the proceedings. Catrin Evans QC is acting for Google Inc. (instructed by Pinsent Masons LLP), which has been given permission to intervene.
Aidan Eardley appointed to the Attorney General’s A Panel
27th June 2016 - We are delighted to announce that Aidan Eardley has been appointed to the Attorney General’s “A” Panel of approved counsel with effect from 1 September 2016. It is a 5 year appointment. Aidan has been on the Attorney’s “B” panel since 2011.
Theedom v Nourish Training Ltd t/a CSP and Sewell  EWHC 1364 (QB)
15th June 2016 - Following trial, the Defendants in this libel action succeeded in their defence of Truth, s.2 of the Defamation Act 2013. Mr Justice Warby handed down judgment today.
The Claimant had sued for libel in respect of emails sent by his former employer to various clients and prospective clients. At a preliminary issue trial, HHJ Moloney QC had determined the meaning of the emails ( EWHC 3769 (QB);  E.M.L.R. 10). Warby J found, following trial, that those meanings were substantially true, namely that the Defendants had proved, in essence, that the Claimant had supplied commercially important, confidential information about the First Defendant’s business to its rivals, that, as a result, the First Defendant had rightly dismissed the Claimant for gross misconduct and further that his misconduct has been so serious that there were reasonable grounds to suspect that he had committed a criminal offence.
Kate Wilson, instructed by Ward Hadaway, acted for the Defendants.
CLT Defamation and Privacy Law 2016 Conference
15th June 2016 - Caroline Addy will be speaking at the Defamation and Privacy 2016 Conference today on the subject of Single Publication Rule.
PJS v News Group Newspapers Ltd  UKSC 26
19th May 2016 - The Supreme Court has today (by a majority of 4-1) allowed an appeal by PJS from the decision of the Court of Appeal setting aside an interim injunction restraining the identification of PJS and other individuals and details of extramarital sexual encounters.
PJS had originally been refused an interim injunction by Cranston J on 15 January 2016 but on 22 January the Court of Appeal allowed his appeal:  EWCA Civ 100. On 15 April 2016 the Defendant applied to the Court of Appeal to have the injunction discharged on the grounds that the protected information was now in the public domain. The Court of Appeal acceded to this application and discharged the injunction:  EWCA Civ 393. Today’s Supreme Court majority decision allowed PJS’s appeal from that second decision of the Court of Appeal. As a result of today’s judgment, the interim injunction will remain in effect.
Construction Industry Group Litigation settles
11th May 2016- Statements in open court were read today following a settlement being reached in The Construction Industry Vetting Information Group Litigation. Andrew Caldecott QC and Hannah Ready, instructed by Macfarlanes LLP, have acted on behalf of the largest group of defendants since 2014.
11th April 2016- Hannah Ready, instructed by Reynolds Porter Chamberlain LLP, appears in court this week on behalf of Twitter Inc. in relation to a claim for Norwich Pharmacal relief.
Gary Flood (Respondent) v Times Newspapers Ltd (Appellant)
9th May 2016 – Times Newspapers Ltd have been given permission by the Supreme Court to appeal the costs order in Flood v Times Newspapers Ltd - Richard Rampton QC and Kate Wilson (instructed by Times Newspapers’ Legal Department).
European Commission launches E-Privacy Directive Consultation
18th April 2016 - Alongside the adoption of the General Data Protection Regulation by the European Parliament, last week the Commission launched a public consultation on the revision of the e-Privacy Directive with a view to issuing a legislative proposal by the end of 2016.
One of the central aims of the consultation is to ensure that the e-Privacy Directive, which governs the processing of personal data and the approach towards privacy in the electronic communications sector, is consistent with the future GDPR. The consultation also seeks views on the need to update the Directive in light of new market and technological developments and in order to enhance the security and confidentiality of communications throughout the EU.
European Parliament adopts Data Protection Regulation
14th April 2016 - Today the European Parliament has formally adopted the EU Data Protection Regulation. It will enter into force 20 days after its publication in the EU Official Journal, which is expected to take place in Summer 2016. The Regulation will then be directly applicable in Member States two years later, in Summer 2018. The adoption of the Regulation by Parliament is the final stage of what has been a lengthy process aimed at modernising and strengthening Europe’s Data Protection laws. In a joint statement issued by the European Commission the vote was described as “a significant achievement, and the culmination of over four years of hard work with the European Parliament, the Council, business, civil society and other stakeholders... Our work in creating first-rate data protection rules providing for the world's highest standard of protection is complete. Now we must work together to implement these new standards across the EU so citizens and businesses can enjoy the benefits as soon as possible.” Whether these are in fact ‘first rate’ rules will remain to be seen as businesses and practitioners start to have to grapple with them in practice.
Chambers and Partners Bar Awards 2016
27th October 2016 - One Brick Court are absolutely delighted to announce that we have this evening been awarded Defamation Chambers of the Year at the Chambers and Partners 2016 Bar Awards.
A Report on the Rule of Law and Respect for Human Rights in Turkey since December 2013
28th September 2015 - The Rt Hon The Lord Woolf CH, Professor Sir Jeffrey Jowell KCMG QC, Sir Edward Garnier QC MP and Sarah Palin have presented their Report on the Rule of Law and Respect for Human Rights in Turkey since December 2013. The report constitutes an independent desk-based inquiry into the actions of the Turkish government, its institutions and officials against supporters of the Hizmet movement from the perspective of international human rights law and seeks to identify possible patterns of systematic violations of human rights against supporters of the Hizmet movement. It is also anticipated that the report will contribute to raising awareness of the current situation of human rights in Turkey.