2015Over the last year we have covered a wide range of media and law stories on Inforrm, in the courts, in Parliament and in the press.  We picked out sixteen numbers to remind readers of some of the highlights:

1.2 million – the sum in damages awarded to eight representative Mirror Group phone hacking claimants by Mann J in May 2015, upheld by the Court of Appeal in December 2015.

30,000 – the number of consultation responses received by the “Independent Commission on Freedom of Information”, chaired by Lord Burns.  The Commission includes two former Home Secretaries and a former permanent secretary and had been widely criticised by FOI campaigners.

12,805 – the number of words complained of in the libel case of Rahman v ARY Networks ([2015] EWHC 2917 (QB)) – they were spread over 25 television broadcasts, and just to make Haddon-Cave J’s task of determining meaning more difficult, were in Urdu.

124 – the number of emails sent by the defendants in the case of Theedom v Nourish Training ([2015] EWHC 3769 (QB)) on the basis of which it was established that the claimant had suffered “serious harm” to his reputation under section 1 of the Defamation Act 2013.  Perhaps the threshold is not as high as some commentators have suggested.

99 – the number of Articles in the new General Data Protection Regulation [pdf], finally agreed through the trilogue process in December 2015 (once the numbering has been tidied up).

81 – the number of years elapsed between the taking of a short film of the Queen (aged 7 or 8) and the Queen Mother doing Nazi salutes and the publication of stills in the Sun with the headline “Their Royal Heilnesses”.

67 – the total number of journalists arrested and/or charged by Operations Weeting, Elveden and Tuleta, these arrests and charges resulted in 8 convictions for phone hacking and 2 for illegal payments to public officials.

56 – the number of applications heard  in the High Court, Queen’s Bench Division in libel, privacy and harassment cases (according to our Table of Cases), 26 of these applications were heard by Mr Justice Warby, now firmly in place as the leading media law judge (though the title of “Judge in Charge of the Jury List” was quietly abolished in 2015, with Mr Justice Fawcett now holding the post of Judge in Charge of the Queen’s Bench Civil List).

49.7 – the number of months between Rebekah Brooks’ resignation as Chief Executive of News UK (in July 2011) and her reinstatement in September 2015.

30 – the number of public officials convicted of selling stories to journalists as a result of information supplied by the News Group Management and Standards Committee to the police.

9 – the number of weeks occupied by the trial of former New Zealand cricketer Chris Cairns, which ended in his acquittal of offences of perjury and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, charges arising out of the libel trial in Cairns v Modi [2012] EWHC 756 (QB)).

7 – the number of full libel trials in the High Court in England and Wales in 2015, with the claimants succeeding in 3 of them (43%).

4 – the number of meetings between Rupert Murdoch and Government ministers in the first 3 months of 2015.  Figures for the rest of the year will not be available until next year.

2– the number of privacy injunctions granted by High Court Judges against media defendants,  There were at least two unsuccessful applications and two further “non-media” privacy injunctions.  This appears to be a 500% increase on 2014 so perhaps the past year has seen the slow return of the privacy injunction.

1 – the number of libel trials involving national newspapers, Yeo v Times Newspapers ([2015] EWHC 3375 (QB)), resulting in a comprehensive victory for the newspaper.  An order for indemnity costs was made in the Times’s favour. Its approved costs budget was £346,553.50, with incurred costs of £94,264.33 ([2015] EWHC 209 (QB)) so Mr Yeo faces a costs bill in excess of £400,000.

0 – the number of regulatory investigations carried out and the total sum of fines imposed by the “toughest media regulator in the developed world”, IPSO.