In a schedule prepared for Lord Justice Jackson, the Media Lawyers’ Association (“the MLA”), listed 122 defamation and privacy claims against the media resolved by settlement or judgment in 2008. This is attached to his Interim Report, as Appendix 17, described as “Publication claims resolved in 2008”.
Detailed information about defamation claims is difficult to obtain and the MLA Schedule has provided the starting point for a number of proposals in relation to the reform of libel costs. It is, for example, mentioned at paragraph 11 of the Government’s Consultation Paper on “Reducing Conditional Fee Agreement Success Fees”.
The MLA Schedule shows two libel trials in 2008 – both won by the claimant. In one of these trials which damages of £85,000 were awarded (Case 4 – Sharma v Singh and Associated Newspapers) and one which was, in fact, a hung jury with the claimant being successful in the re-trial in 2009 (Case 3 – Ivereigh v Associated Newspapers Ltd). It also shows one privacy trial also won by the claimant (case 5) – the case of Mosley v News Group Newspapers  EWHC 1777 (QB). In addition to the MLA Schedule, the Master of the Rolls provided the House of Commons Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport with a list of “Defamation, Malicious Falsehood and Privacy Trials” in the High Court between January 2008 and April 2009 (see Evidence, p.223). This list also includes some injunctions granted over this period but does not mention the outcome of the trials.
We have now, through the good offices and comprehensive record keeping of Mr Benjamin Pell, obtained a list of all the substantive defamation hearings before High Court Judges, including trials, “offer of amends assessments”, summary disposals and preliminary issues for the period 2005-2009. We have not included trials which began but were then settled without a determination by a judge or jury.
There are a range of different hearings, involving media and non-media defendants, domestic and foreign. On our calculations, of the 16 contested trials involving media defendants, the claimant won 8, the defendants won 5, and 3 were inconclusive.
The list is set out below. If any of our readers have any further information we would be happy to include it in an updated version.
Walsh v Carpenter Eady J, Judgment for £18,000
Rackham v Sandy  EWHC 482 (QB) Gray J. Judgment for £2,000 against D1, defences of D2 and D3 succeeded.
Miller v Associated Newspapers Ltd  EWHC 557 (QB). Eady J. Justification defence succeeded.
Bin Mahfouz & ors v Ehrenfeld & Another  EWHC 1156 (QB) Eady J. Summary disposal hearing. Judgment for £10,000 for each C.
Campbell-James v Guardian Media Group  EWHC 893. Eady J. Offer of Amends assessment. £58,500.
Turner v News Group Newspapers Ltd  EWHC 892 (QB). Eady J Offer of Amends assessment. £9,000.
Turcu v News Group Newspapers  EWHC 799 (QB) Eady J. Justification defence succeeded.
Howlett v Holding, 23 to 27 May 2005, Eady J and a jury. Judgment for £22,500.
Kewell v Lineker, 9 to 16 June 2005, Eady J and a Jury. Jury unable to agree.
Simpson v Vale of Aylesbury Care Trust. Gray J and a Jury. Justification defence succeeded.
Olafsson v Gissurarson 13 July 2005, HHJ John Previte QC. Damages assessment after default judgment, Judgment for £65,000.
Donnelly v Rubython,  EWHC 1605 (QB), Eady J , Summary disposal hearing. Judgment for £8,500
Polanski v Conde Nast Publications Ltd, 18 to 22 July 2005, Eady J and a Jury. Judgment for £50,000 (see the Guardian news story here)
DMI Administrative Services SA v Brisard Gray J, Summary disposal hearing, £10,000
Lowe v Times Newspapers Ltd Eady J and a Jury. Judgment for £250,000 (parties subsequently settled at £50,000)
Cray v Hancock (1 to 3 November 2005,) All ER (D) 66 (Nov). HHJ John Previte QC. Judgment for £9,000 (libel) and £10,000 (harassment).
Culnane v Morris, 10 November 2005. Eady J and a Jury. Defence of honest comment succeeded (Judge’s ruling is at  EWHC 2438 (QB))
Henry v BBC  EWHC 2787 (QB), Gray J. Trial of preliminary issue. Defence of qualified privilege unsuccessful.
Keith-Smith v Williams  EWHC 860 (QB), HHJ Macduff. Judgment for £10,000.
Henry v BBC  EWHC 386 (QB). Gray J. Justification defence succeeded.
Angel v Stainton  EWHC 637 (QB). Eady J. Offer of Amends assessment. Judgment for £24,000.
Purnell v Business F1 Magazine Ltd, 2 to 4 May 2006. Gray J and a Jury. Damages only trial. Judgment for £75,000 (Defendant’s appeal on quantum dismissed  EWCA Civ 744)
Bin Mahfouz & anr v Brisard  EWHC 1191 (QB) Gray J. Summary disposal hearing. Judgment for £10,000 for each C.
Berezovsky v Fridman 15 to 26 May 2006, Eady J and a Jury, Judgment for £50,000 (see Press Release here).
Merelie v Newcastle Primary Health Care Trust  EWHC 1433 (QB) Underhill J. Defendant succeeded, words not defamatory.
Davey v Dilnot June 2006, Tugendhat J and a Jury. Judgment for £5,000.
Veliu v Mazrekaj  EWHC 1710 (QB), Eady J Offer of Amends assessment. Judgment for £175,000 with D1’s liability £120,000.
McKenna v MGN Ltd  EWHC 1996 (QB). Eady J. Trial of liability only. C succeeded, justification defence failed.
Woods v Business F1 Magazine Ltd Eady J. Summary disposal hearing. Judgment for £10,000.
Creative Resins International Ltd v Glasslam Europe Ltd  EWHC 3159 (QB). Eady J, Judgment for £15,000.
Stickland v EMAP Metro Ltd January 2007, Tugendhat J .and a Jury. Judgment of £40,000 (for a BBC story about the case see here)
Tierney v News Group Newspapers Ltd Christopher Clarke J and a Jury. Claim dismissed on the first day (for a Guardian story about the case see here)
Lloyd v Ratnatunga and Sri Lanka Sunday Times, March 2007, Eady J. Summary disposal hearing. Judgment for £10,000.
Rubython v Woods, March 2007, Gray J and a Jury. Judgment for £17,500.
Gur v Avrupa Newspaper Ltd Victoria Sharp QC. Judgment for £85,000 awarded (appeal dismissed  EWCA Civ 594).
Hollingsworth v Associated Newspapers Ltd, May 2007, Eady J and Jury. Jury awarded £75,000 reduced to £50,000 as claim limited to that amount.
Jones v Associated Newspapers Ltd, June 2007, Eady J and a Jury. Judgment for £5,000.
Culla Park Ltd v Richards,  EWHC 1850 (QB), Eady J. Judgment for C1 special damages £39,000 and C2 to C4 £24,000 general damages.
Ghannouchi v Al Arabiya News Channel FZ-LLC 8 November 2007, Eady J. Judgment for £165,000 (5RB case note here).
Malik v Newspost Ltd November 2007, Eady J and a Jury. Jury unable to reach a verdict (case settled before retrial).
Trumm v Norman  EWHC 116 (QB). Tugendhat J. Judgment for £7,500.
Ivereigh v Associated Newspapers Ltd, February 2008, Eady J and a Jury. Jury unable to agree, retrial in January 2009
Gregg v O’Gara  EWHC 658 (QB),  All ER (D) 111 (Mar), King J. Judgment for £50,000.
Sharma v Singh and Associated Newspapers 21 to 30 April 2008. Eady J and a Jury. Judgment for £85,000.
Atlantis World Group of Companies NV & anr v Gruppo Editoriale L’Espresso SPA 2008] EWHC 1323 (QB);  EMLR 15. Sir Charles Gray. Defendants succeeded (see 5RB case report here)
Houni v Shamis July 2008, Eady J Offer of Amends assessment. £36,000
Applause Store Productions Ltd & Firsht v Raphael  EWHC 1781 (QB) Richard Parkes QC. Judgment for £15,000 to C2 and £5000 to C1.
Galloway v Jewish Communications Ltd July 2008, Eady J. Damages only hearing. Judgment for £15,000.
Keating v Large 12 August 2008, Richard Parkes QC. Defendant did not appear. Judgment for £45,000 (see Press Gazette story here)
Brady v Norman Richard Parkes QC and a Jury. Judgment for £30,000 (judge’s ruling  EWHC 2481 (QB))
Hussein v Farooq  EWHC 2487 (QB) Eady J, Slander action. Judge ruled after two days that the claimant could not prove that the words complained of were published.
Briscoe-Mitchell v Hodder & Stoughton Ltd November 2008, Tugendhat J and Jury trial. Justification defence succeeded.
Ivereigh v Associated Newspapers Ltd, January 2009, Eady J and Jury. Judgment for £30,000 (see Press Release here).
Noorani v Calver  EWHC 561 (QB) Coulson J. Slander claim struck out.
Ahmed v Shafique February 2009, Sharp J. Judgment for £4,000 for false arrest. Slander claim was unsuccessful.
George v News Group Newspapers Ltd. March 2009, Sharp J and Jury. Judgment for £75,000.
Quinton v Peirce & Cooper, April 2009, Eady J. Malicious falsehood claim. Judge ruled in favour of the defendants
Clift v Slough Borough Council, July 2009, Tugendhat J and a Jury. Judgment for £12,000 (Judge’s ruling  EWHC 1550 (QB), CA Hearing May 2010).
Coad v Cruze  All ER (D) 11 (Jul). Richard Parkes QC. Judgment for £15,000.
Levi v Bates  EWHC 1495 (QB) Sir Charles Gray. Judgment for £50,000.
Emlick v Gulf News July 2009, HHJ Moloney QC. Judgment for claimant
Ajinomoto Sweeteners Europe SAS v ASDA Stores Ltd  EWHC 1717 (QB) . Tugendhat J. Preliminary issue on meaning, D successful. Tugendhat J . CA hearing on 10/11 May 2010
Desmond v Bower July 2009, Eady J and a Jury. Defence succeeded (see the Press Gazette news story here).
Warren v Maduagqu (known as “Herbie Hide”), 27 July 2009 HHJ Moloney QC. Judgment for £35,000 (see the Press Gazette news story here)
Bloom v Robinson-Millar.  All ER (D) 75 (Oct) Sharp J. Judgment for £30,000 (libel and harassment) (see 5RB case report here).
Gary Flood v Times Newspapers ( EWHC 2375 (QB)). Tugendhat J, Qualified privilege defence succeeded. C succeeded on post September 2007 website publication. CA hearing on 25 and 26 May 2010.