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23.02.16

Max Clifford ordered to pay Royal Butler £5,000 for privacy breach

In Burrell v Clifford [2016] EWHC 294 (Ch) Princess Diana's butler Paul Burrell succeeded in his High Court privacy claim against publicist Max Clifford.

In 2002 Mr Burrell was the subject of a high profile criminal trial in which it had been alleged that he had stolen from the Royal Family.  He approached Mr Clifford for media 'damage limitation' services.  In the event, Mr Burrell did not retain Mr Clifford's services.  However, he had asked Mr Burrell to send him a letter.  This letter contained private information (which was in fact later published by Mr Burrell).  Following Mr Burrell's acquittal, Mr Clifford sent the letter to News of the World editor Rebekah Brookes.

Mr Burrell had become aware of the onward disclosure of the letter in 2012 following the Metropolitan Police investigation into the News of the World in relation to phone hacking and corrupt payments (see our earlier blog piece here on the previous hearing which considered the issues of limitation and triviality).

Mr Clifford argued that Mr Burrell had authorised him to send the letter.  Deputy High Court Judge Spearman rejected this proposition and awarded Mr Burrell modest damages of £5,000.  He noted that whilst the damage suffered was relatively minor that Mr Burrell was entitled to be compensated for the infringement.

A copy of the full judgment can be found here.

Click here to read how Brett Wilson LLP Privacy Solicitors can assist if your privacy is breached.


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