Case Law: Lord Sheikh v Associated Newspapers, allegation of “Strong grounds to suspect” anti-Semitism – Callum Galbraith and Olivia Biggin

5 11 2019

On 4 November 2019 Warby J gave judgment in the case of Lord Sheikh v Associated Newspapers [2019] EWHC 2947 (QB) finding that a MailOnline article made a defamatory allegation against the the claimant, a Conservative Member of the House of Lords. Read the rest of this entry »





Supreme Court considers social media defamation: context is everything – Iain Wilson

11 04 2019

Some practitioners were surprised that Stocker v Stocker [2019] UKSC 17 reached the country’s highest court.  The appeal concerned the meaning (or imputation) of words in a libel action. Read the rest of this entry »





Defamation Practice Update: Determination of Meaning before Defence – Kirsten Sjøvoll

14 02 2019

A series of recent decisions make it clear that, if meaning is an issue in dispute in a defamation action, there should ordinarily be a trial of meaning as a preliminary issue before the service of the defence. This is an important change in practice. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law: Carruthers v Associated Newspapers, Child Care Chief Fails in Bid to Sue Newspapers for Libel – Media Lawyer

18 01 2019

In the case of Carruthers v Associated Newspapers ([2019] EWHC 33 (QB)) , the claimant a child welfare chief who worked for the council involved in two major scandals over ill-treatment of children failed in a bid to sue two newspaper publishers for defamation. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law: Price v MGN, “Disgraced” chief constable’s libel claim not an abuse – Mathilde Groppo

14 11 2018

On 8 November 2018, Mr Justice Warby handed down judgment in the case of Price v MGN Ltd [2018] EWHC 3014 (QB). The proceedings relate to three articles (copies of which are annexed [pdf] to the judgment) which made serious imputations about the Claimant’s alleged participation in the illegal accessing of the mobile phone records of journalists who were investigating him when he was the Chief Constable of Cleveland Police (the “Interception Meanings”). Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law: Bukovsky v CPS, Soviet dissident fails in trial of meaning against CPS – Max Campbell

30 09 2016

_82597606_vladimirbukovskyIn Bukovsky v Crown Prosecution Service ([2016] EWHC 1926 (QB)), a Soviet dissident resident in England, was suing the Crown Prosecution Service (‘CPS’), the principal public prosecuting authority in England and Wales, for libel, misfeasance in public office, and breach of the Human Rights Act concerning a press release announcing that he was to be prosecuted for a number of criminal offences.  The action came before Warby J for a preliminary trial as to the meaning of the words complained of. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law: Simpson v MGN, Court of Appeal creates a new distinction between “defamatory meaning” and “sting” – Jonathan Coad

26 07 2016

SimpsonIn a judgment which betrays the complete lack of familiarity the law of defamation of its panel of three the Court of Appeal has overturned decades of precedent on a key issue in defamation proceedings, which is the establishment at an early stage of the defamatory meaning/sting of a publication (the two terms being synonyms). Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law: Barron MP v Collins, the approach to meaning in a political speech case – Sara Mansoori

27 05 2015

Rotherham MPsPreliminary hearings on meaning are becoming the norm in defamation actions, as parties view them as a relatively cheap and efficient way of determining a key issue at the outset. In Barron MP & Others v Jane Collins MEP [2015] EWHC 1125 (QB), three Labour MPs for constituencies in the Rotherham area brought a libel action against a UKIP candidate over a speech she made at the UKIP Conference. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law: Simpson v MGN Limited and Ward: gradations of infidelity and the importance of ‘established family units’ – Sara Mansoori

28 01 2015

Danny SimpsonAn allegation of infidelity is defamatory, but an allegation of infidelity which imperils or destroys a home and family unit is particularly disreputable. This was the position adopted by Danny Simpson, the Premier League footballer, at the trial of a preliminary issue on meaning in respect of an article published in the Daily Mirror in November 2012. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law: Yeo v Times Newspapers, Judge dismisses Times application for jury trial and determines meaning – Media Lawyer

21 08 2014

Tim YeoIn a judgment handed down on 20 August 2014 in the case Yeo v Times Newspapers ([2014] EWHC 2853 (QB)) Mr Justice Warby decided that the trial of a defamation action brought against the Sunday Times by senior Conservative MP Tim Yeo will take place without a jury.  The Judge dismissed an application by the newspaper’s publisher, Times Newspaper Ltd, for a jury trial.  He went on to determine the meaning of the words complained of. Read the rest of this entry »