Who are the true defenders of free speech and who are its real foes? – Jonathan Coad

7 03 2018

When in 1991 I qualified I into a well-known claimant media practice I was fortunate enough to find on my desk on the first day that I arrived a file containing a libel action being brought against London Weekend Television (by whom my new firm had just been instructed). Read the rest of this entry »





The General Election: a further test for IPSO which it will fail – Jonathan Coad

25 04 2017

Almost all the most powerful elements of Fleet Street will line up behind Mrs May in the run-up to the next election – and indeed they have already begun the process of doing so. As for the voting public, they are reliant on (inter alia) Fleet Street to help them make their voting decisions. The grandees of Fleet Street will be considering whether their titles are likely to be held to account in a way that they care about if it misleads voting public on key electoral issues.  The answer to that question is; almost certainly not. Read the rest of this entry »





The Supreme Court decision in Flood, Miller and Frost: a response to Keith Mathieson from a lawyer who acts for both claimants and defendants – Jonathan Coad

13 04 2017

In his piece on Inforrm yesterday, Keith Mathieson begins by describing the use of CFAs in cases against the media as a “scandal”. Evidently the Supreme Court did not agree with him – unanimously. One of the titles for whom he acts has already described judges with whom they disagree as “Enemies of the people”, so I suppose the judges can count themselves lucky not to have been attacked in similar terms. Read the rest of this entry »





Fake News about Fake News, Part 2 – Jonathan Coad

2 04 2017

There are several other reasons why the decision of the House of Lords in Reynolds v Times Newspapers was aberrant.  Transferring the risk from huge publishers like Associated Newspapers and News International for publishing false and defamatory material on to modestly remunerated public servants is such as police and army officers is extraordinary enough. Read the rest of this entry »





Fake News about Fake News, Part 1 – Jonathan Coad

1 04 2017

For a media lawyer who has been battling “fake news” for his entire career – as well as robustly defending good investigatory journalism – there is a rich irony that the Culture Media and Sport Committee of the House of Commons is belatedly to take an interest in fake news and is engaging in a public consultation. Read the rest of this entry »





Our dishonest press is too powerful: it will use propaganda to stop proper regulation – Jonathan Coad

25 01 2017

brexit-speechDuring the Leveson Inquiry, there was, apparently, an intense David versus Goliath battle being fought by Fleet Street. Read the rest of this entry »





The Daily Mirror Sues a Source From Whom It Stole a Story – Jonathan Coad

29 07 2016

Daily Mirror front page- Tulisa and Danny SimpsonThe Court of Appeal gave judgment on 26 July 2016 in a case which the Mirror is suing a young single mother called Stephanie Ward from which whom it stole a story which the paper then published as an “exclusive” on its front page. Read the rest of this entry »