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Court of Appeal greenlights Data Protection Act claims for distress where no other loss

The Court of Appeal has handed down a landmark judgment in Vidal-Hall v Google Inc [2015] EWCA Civ 311 – a decision eagerly awaited by media and Data Protection practitioners. The Claimants in the action are a group of individuals who use the ‘Safari’ web browser. They claim that between Summer 2011 and February 2012…

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Misuse of private information and harassment: score draw between escort and her solicitor client

In the case of AVB v TDD [2014] EWHC 1442 (QB) the Claimant, a solicitor, succeeded, in part, in claims for misuse of private information and breach of confidence, but saw claims in harassment and breach of contract dismissed, whilst the Defendant, a sex worker, succeeded in a counterclaim for harassment.  Neither party was awarded…

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The sunday Times apologises to ex-partner of Belle de Jour author

The sunday Times has made a formal apology in the High Court to Owen Morris, former partner of Belle De Jour author Brooke Magnanti, and agreed to pay substantial damages and legal costs over allegations made in the newspaper in 2010. Belle de Jour was initially a popular anonymous blog that documented Magnanti’s encounters as a London prostitute, as well as…

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Appeal allowed in Downing street Cash for Access Libel Claim

On 21 June 2013 the Court of Appeal overturned Mr Justice Tugendhats decision in the libel case of Peter Cruddas v (1) Jonathan Calvert (2) Heidi Blake (3) Times Newspapers Ltd [2013] EWCA Civ 748. The Claimant Peter Cruddas is a former Conservative Party co-treasurer who brought libel and malicious falsehood proceedings against two journalists and…

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Daily Mail pays substantial libel damages to celebrity psychic sally Morgan

The Daily Mail has agreed to pay sally Morgan £125,000 in damages and legal costs in settlement of her libel claim.  Mrs Morgan, well-known for her televised and in-theatre appearances as a psychic, sued the Daily Mail for an article published in september 2011.  The article in question suggested that Mrs Morgan had cheated an audience in Dublin in september 2011…

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Sally Bercow tweet was defamatory

Lord McAlpine has succeeded in his high profile libel claim against sally Bercow after Mr Justice Tugendhat found that a tweet she published on 4 November 2012 was indeed defamatory of the Tory peer.  Following the decision (McAlpine v Bercow [2013] EWHC 1342 (QB)) the parties have agreed terms of settlement. The judgment followed a High Court hearing on 16 May…

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McAlpine v Bercow to be listed for preliminary hearing on meaning of tweet

In McAlpine v Bercow [2013] EWHC 981 (QB) Mr Justice Tugendhat granted an application by the Claimant Lord McAlpine for a preliminary hearing to be held to determine the meaning of the Defendant sally Bercow’s tweet of 4 December 2012 – ‘Why is Lord McAlpine trending? *Innocent face*’. The tweet was sent two days after the BBC’s Newsnight broadcast a…

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Prisoners' entitlement to damages in defamation claim should be reduced

Two serving prisoners have brought a libel action against the police for the contents of a press release which they allege have defamed them.   In RH and AA* v The Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis [2013] EWHC 848 (QB), the High Court was asked to consider the actual meaning of the words complained…

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Former solicitor found in contempt of court over McCann claims

Former solicitor Tony Bennett has been found in contempt of court for flagrantly breaching undertakings he had previously made to the court promising that he would not repeat allegations that Gerry and Kate McCann were guilty of, or suspected of, having caused the death of their daughter Madeline and had then disposed of her body…

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Defamation and the employers reference: a warning to claimants

Last months case of Thour “v- The Royal Free Hampstead NHs Trust [2012] EWHC 1473 (QB) highlights the risks of bringing a claim for defamation based on the inaccuracy of an employment reference. Defamation is a complicated area of law and one that is prone to be misunderstood by the layperson (and even lawyers who…

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