Case Preview: Sir Cliff Richard v BBC, Privacy trial arising out of reporting of “police raid” to begin 12 April 2018

10 04 2018

The trial of the privacy and data protection claims brought by Sir Cliff Richard against the BBC will begin on Thursday 12 April 2018 before Mr Justice Mann. The trial is listed for 10 days.  The trial will deal with a number of new and important issues concerning privacy and the reporting of police investigations.

The claim arises out of the BBC coverage of a raid by the South Yorkshire police on the Claimant’s flat in Sunningdale  on 14 August 2014.   A BBC journalist had obtained advance information about the raid from the South Yorkshire Police and the BBC covered it with journalists, photographers and a helicopter.

The lunchtime BBC News on the day of raid featured the raid as its headline item, naming the Claimant was being under investigation for an alleged historic sexual offence against a boy under 16.  The story was accompanied by live on the ground reporting and nearly live footage from the helicopter.

The Claimant has always denied the allegations against him.  He was never arrested and, on 16 June 2016, the CPS announced that he would face no charges.

Proceedings were issued by the Claimant on 6 October 2016.  He sought damages for invasion of privacy, breaches of his Article 8 rights and his rights under the Data Protection Act 1998 from the BBC and the South Yorkshire Police.

In May 2017, the South Yorkshire Police admitted liability and agreed to pay the Claimant substantial damages and legal costs.  The Judge rejected objections by the BBC ([2017] EWHC 1648 (Ch)) to a proposed statement in open court [pdf] which was read on 26 May 2017.

There was a pre-trial review on 8 March 2018  which considered the question as to whether CPR Part 36 prevented disclosure of the amount of a settlement reached under the Part 36 procedure. The Judge held that it did not but the question as to whether the sum should be disclosed for the purpose of contribution proceedings was put over to the trial.

The trial will deal with liability, general and aggravated damages and some parts of the financial loss claim. It will also deal with the contribution claims between the BBC and South Yorkshire Police.  If the Claimant is successful the second part of the trial will deal with the remaining claims for financial loss.

The trial will involve the consideration of a number of important legal issues concerning the privacy of individuals who are under investigation by the police and the scope of the “journalistic exemption” in section 32 of the Data Protection Act 1998.

The claimant is represented by Justin Rushbrooke QC and Godwin Busuttil, instructed by Simkins LLP.  The Defendant is represented by Gavin Millar QC and Aidan Eardley, instructed by the BBC Litigation Department.


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14 responses

10 04 2018
Marian Donovan

Sir Cliff Richard was treated by the BBC in a disgusting way He was never guilty or charged with anything so im hoping they will pay substantial damages to him as his name was damaged and his career which has been going for 60 years has cost him lots in record sales although his many fans have supported him and always will

10 04 2018
Jennifer Wallis

Waiting for justice to be done . The bbc should be brought to account for the way they behaved . Generally the bbc seems to. Think it can do anything without having to explain itself to the licence payers . The expense incurred in this intrusion with the helicopter is filled by ME and I object bitterly

10 04 2018
Pam Ferrie

Hope Cliff takes them to the cleaners!It was despicable how he was treated

10 04 2018
Jocelyne raison

Je n,ai pas pu lire tout l, article ( ne comprenant pas bien l, anglais ) et ayant des problèmes avec la traduction ! J, espère que tout va s, arranger très rapidement pour cliff 🤗🤗🤗 et que ces malveillances à son égard vont cesser ! Que dieu vous bénisse cliff 😚😚😚

11 04 2018
Karen Maloney

Justice needs to be done here for our Cliff. The bbc behaved despicably and should be made to pay.

11 04 2018
Joy whibberley

I hope that justice is served against the BBC for the way Sir Cliff was treated.
I watched it happening live on tv and was shocked to the core. God bless Sir Cliff.

11 04 2018
Lynn purdie

Sir cliff was treated shockingly it should never have happened as cliff is a good man would never do no wrong to anyone he’s loving and kind he was put through hell for two years can you imagine what that did to him through his faith family and friends and all us fans behind him he came through the darkness and got on with his life I belive the Bbc and the police were wrong in the way this case was handled to name a man before it’s been to court is so wrong that saying he’s guilty without a trial shame on you all I know sir cliff will get the fair justice he deserves the BBC have no chance cliff will win this case good luck sir cliff not that you need it

11 04 2018
Denise Marsden

The BBC is despicable Look how it turned a blind eye to the evil being done by the disgusting people on their pay role Justice deserves to be done and we all support Cliff and others for whom he all fights But I remember someone saying that THE LAW IS AN ASS

11 04 2018
Mary Stringer

Wishing Sir Cliff all the best in the case…the BBC behaved appallingly…and should be made to.pay…

11 04 2018
Mrs Rose Offman

The BBC’s actions on the day when the police invaded Sir Cliff Richard’s home were totally despicable, certainly a case hoping like hell to obtain some Information to bring this man down. It is well known what the BBC thinks of Sir Cliff Richard, they literally have refused to play his music for years.
Just what is their problem with this man, who has NEVER put a foot wrong, has NEVER been caught in anything underhanded and has lived his life in an exemplary manner.
I wish Sir Cliff every success with this court case.
The BBC should be found guilty of trying to use its powers to bring down this innocent man.

11 04 2018
Gillian parrick

Thinking of you sir cliff,we are all behind you. Xx

13 04 2018
Marie Smith

Stay strong Cliff. I have always considered BBC to be a reputable company but they have treated you appallingly. I am going through a similar problem myself with the BBC, and all they do is use legislation and are quite happy for any injustice against good people. I wish Cliff every success and get the justice you deserve. BBC are getting devious, biased and underhanded, it makes you feel what you are paying your TV licence for.

16 04 2018
Law and Media Round Up – 16 April 2018 | Inforrm's Blog

[…] v BBC which began on Thursday 12 April 2018 before Mann J in the Chancery Division.  There was an Inforrm Case Preview and reports on the first and second days of the trial.  The trial has been the subject of wall to […]

16 07 2018
Law and Media Round Up – 16 July 2018 | Inforrm's Blog

[…] had a case preview   and reports of the proceedings on each day of the trial.  The judgment will provide important […]

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