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Tom Double

Partner

Defamation, privacy and harassment

Tom originally joined Brett Wilson in May 2017 from Schillings International LLP.  In 2020/2021 he spent time at BLM, before returning to Brett Wilson LLP as a partner in October 2021.

Tom has acted for claimants and defendants in a wide range of media and commercial litigation disputes. He has been involved with a number of important recent cases in the High Court. Tom’s litigation experience enables him to run cases efficiently from the outset, focusing on how to achieve a client’s objectives in the most cost-effective way.

If you would like to contact Tom directly, please send him an email.


Tom’s work has included:

Defamation/Malicious Falsehood:

In 2021, Tom acted for three Aviva corporate entities in their defence of a £1.2M claim brought by a personal medical injury expert for (i) defamation, (ii) malicious falsehood, (iii) conspiracy to injure, (iii) lawful means conspiracy, (iv) unlawful means conspiracy and (v) inducing breach of contract. After an application was made to strike out the claim, the Claimants agreed to the action being dismissed with costs awarded to the Defendants.

Tom defended the Police Federation of England and Wales and its Head of Civil Claims in respect of a claim for slander and malicious falsehood brought by a firm of solicitors and its sole owner. The Claimants sought damages of £1.5M together with an injunction. Following an interlocutory hearing to deal with three separate applications (Haven Solicitors Ltd & Anor v Police Federation Of England And Wales & Anor [2020] EWHC 2233), the claim was dismissed.

Tom acted for the Defendant in the dismissal of a claim brought by a man claiming to have invented Bitcoin in Wright v Ver [2020] EWCA Civ 672, the first time the Court of Appeal has considered section 9 of the Defamation Act 2013 (whether the court has jurisdiction against defendants based overseas).

Tom acted for a leading QC who was wrongly accused by The Times of making errors in the prosecution of England cricketer Ben Stokes. The Claimant received damages and costs, when the case settled following a preliminary issue trial (Morgan v Times Newspapers Ltd [2019] EWHC 1525 (QB))

Tom acted for the Claimant in Singh v Weayou [2017] EWHC 2102 (QB) in which the Defendant was ordered to pay his client £25,000 by way of damages and costs on the indemnity basis.

Tom was an integral member of the team that acted for a corporate claimant in a libel and malicious falsehood claim against a national newspaper. The case settled with the Claimant receiving £125,000 in damages.

Tom has provided both pre and post publication advice to a number of prominent individuals on their rights in respect of defamatory articles. These have included a cabinet minister, a best-selling fiction author and the founder of an American hedge fund.

Breach of Confidence/Privacy:

Tom was the lead solicitor for the Claimant in JQL v NTP [2020] EWHC 1349 (QB), securing £15,000 compensation for the malicious publication of information relating to the claimant’s mental health on Facebook.

Tom was a key part of the claimant’s legal team in the case of Brevan Howard Asset Management LLP v Reuters Limited and others [2017] EWHC 644 (QB) in which Mr Justice Popplewell granted an application for an interim injunction preventing the disclosure of the claimant’s sensitive commercial information.  The injunction was upheld by the Court of Appeal.

Tom has advised celebrities on their legal rights in respect of unwanted paparazzi attention and has secured substantial compensation payments for victims of phone hacking.

Harassment:

Tom has acted for many claimants in respect of claims for harassment. Often such claims will settle prior to, or shortly after, issuing proceedings, with undertakings being provided by the defendant.

Tom has also acted for defendants in harassment disputes. He was the lead solicitor for the defendants in a harassment case involving two families which reached trial in the County Court in 2020. The claim was ultimately dismissed with costs awarded in full in the Defendants’ favour.

Data Protection:

Tom has considerable experience acting for both claimants and defendants in data protection claims. On the claimant side, he has submitted numerous successful delisting requests in respect of adverse links appearing in search engine results (some of which have been obtained after an appeal to the Information Commissioner’s Office).

Tom has also advanced data protection arguments on behalf of clients to secure the removal of “CIFAS markers” which have been incorrectly registered against their names.

Tom has frequently advised data controllers on what information should be disclosed in response to subject access requests made by claimants (often with a view to obtaining material for the purpose of litigation).

Tom has also acted for a number of schools and local authorities in respect of claims arising from the inadvertent disclosure of personal data.

Costs:

Tom always seeks to ensure that his clients achieve successful outcomes at a proportionate cost.

In 2016, he acted for the entertainer David Walliams and model Lara Stone in resisting an application by a photo agency to recover additional liabilities (see: Stone & Anor v Flynet Pictures UK Limited [2017] EWHC B3 (Costs)). This case is important in setting out what a party needs to show in order to recover a success fee and insurance premium from the other side in harassment by publication claims (although the former can no longer be recovered by claimants from defendants in such cases).

Accreditations

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