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Brett Wilson Media Law blog

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13.05.19

Is it time to stop talking about gagging clauses?

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has announced it has referred a solicitor from magic circle firm Allen & Overy to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal over drawing-up a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) on behalf of film Producer Harvey Weinstein.  It is understood the agreement, in essence, paid Mr Weinstein’s former assistant Zelda Perkins a large sum in…

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24.04.19

Can’t pay? Court of Appeal does not take claimants’ damages away (but neither will it increase them)

In Ali & Anor v Channel 5 Broadcasting Ltd [2019] EWCA Civ 677, the Court of Appeal considered whether countervailing privacy and the public interest/freedom of expression rights had been properly balanced, together with the appropriate award of privacy damages arising from footage of an eviction shown on Channel 5, the Defendant in this action….

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16.04.19

Pregnancy club fined £400,000 for sharing personal data of 14 million individuals

Bounty UK, an online club for pregnancy and parenthood advice has been fined £400,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office (‘ICO’) following the discovery that the personal data of its users had been shared with 39 other companies without informed consent.  A copy of the Monetary Penalty Notice can be found here. Bounty UK collected personal…

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9.04.19

Supreme Court considers social media defamation: context is everything

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.  At first blush this apparently factual dispute might not have seemed to be a matter of any particular public importance, taking into account the Supreme Court’s busy workload and…

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29.03.19

Twitter and the Malicious Communications Act 1988

Two people have been arrested by South Yorkshire Police on suspicion of sending ‘malicious communications’ following a series of tweets to five MPs. The tweets were directed at Independent Group MPs Anna Soubry, Chuka Umunna, Angela Smith and Sarah Wollaston, and Labour MP David Lammy. It is alleged that one of the individuals posted an…

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21.03.19

Actress Tina Malone receives suspended sentence after breaching Venables/Thompson injunction

Actress, Tina Malone, has received an eight-month suspended prison sentence for purporting to publish a photograph and information relating to the new identity of Jon Venables – one of James Bulgar’s killers. Background In 1993 Jon Venables and Robert Thompson, at the time aged 10, were convicted of murdering two-year-old James Bulgar.  It was a…

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6.03.19

Brexiteer ordered to pay philosopher £20,000 in libel damages for paedophile tweet

Peter North, former UKIP parliamentary candidate and founder of the Brexit-supporting Leave Alliance, has been ordered to pay philosopher and academic AC Grayling £20,000 in libel damages after tweeting an allegation that Professor Grayling was in possession of child pornography. Facts Professor Grayling is an outspoken critic of Brexit.  Mr North is an outspoken Brexiteer.  On 10…

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1.03.19

An allegation of dishonesty – A statement of fact or the expression of opinion?

In a number of recent libel cases, the court has encouraged parties to apply prior to the service of a defence for a preliminary issue trial where the meaning of the words complained of is in dispute.  Often, as part of such a hearing, parties will also seek the determination of other issues, such as…

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19.02.19

Life 2009 Ltd -v- Lambeth London Borough Council: Statement in Open Court

A Statement in Open Court read before Mr Justice Warby in the High Court on 19 February 2019 following the settlement of Life 2009 Ltd’s libel/Human Rights Act claim against Lambeth London Borough Council can be found here. A press statement issued by Life is available on its website here.

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22.01.19

Facebook ‘Keyboard warrior’ ordered to pay £55,000 in libel and harassment damages after false accusations of animal cruelty and orchestration of online hate campaign

  In Suttle v Walker [2019] EWHC 396 QB Mr Justice Nicklin ordered Samantha Walker to pay care home manager Kim Suttle £55,685.06 in libel and harassment damages after instigating a hate campaign against her based on false allegations that she had abused her dog. Facts The Claimant Ms Suttle was walking one of her dogs…

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Articles are intended as an introduction to the topic and do not constitute legal advice.

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