News & Resources

Supreme Court Victory

11th April 2017

Simon Browne QC and James Laughland appeared for two separate successful Respondents in the Supreme Court. Three national newspapers (The Times, Daily Mail, and The Mirror) were attempting to avoid paying any additional liabilities (success fees and ATE premiums) to privacy and defamation claimants funded by conditional fee agreements. The challenge was based upon the newspapers’ freedom of expression under Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights

Simon Browne QC acted for Sadie Frost and another 7 victims in privacy claims as a result of phone hacking by the Mirror Group whilst James Laughland (led by William McCormick QC) appeared for Mr. Miller in a defamation action against the Daily Mail. Another Respondent, Mr Flood was separately represented in a defamation claim against the Times newspaper.

The unanimous decision of the Court, delivered in the speech of Lord Neuberger, determined that additional liabilities were recoverable for the Claimants:

(1) The court declined to decide the fundamental issue of whether there is a general rule as a matter of domestic law that recoverability would infringe publishers’ art.10 rights, and whether they should follow the Strasbourg decision of MGN v. UK.  They say that the UK Government is the most affected party, and they were not present, so they will not decide that issue.  The SC proceeded on the assumption that it was applicable.

(2) The court decided in favour of Flood and Miller on the basis that they have A1P1 rights in their CFA/ATE, that somebody’s Convention rights would be infringed whatever the outcome, so it was solved by finding the just and appropriate remedy.  They held that the A1P1 rights were stronger than the Art 10 rights in these cases, so the costs orders would be upheld.

(3) The court did not expressly decide the Frost cases on that basis, noting that the A1P1 rights were weaker as the CFAs were entered later but they decided it on the broader basis that the general rule (on the assumption it exists) is of no application in cases involving illegality such as found here.

The full speech is found in [2017] UKSC 33 under the title of Times Newspapers Ltd. (Appellant) v Flood (Respondent); Miller (Respondent) v Associated Newspapers Ltd (Appellant); Frost and Other (respondents) v MGN Ltd (Appellant)





Related Barristers

Simon Browne QC

Simon Browne QC
Year of Call: 1982
Year of Silk: 2011

James Laughland

James Laughland
Year of Call: 1991


Close X

TEMPLE GARDEN CHAMBERS is a market leading set with recognised excellence in a myriad of practice areas with awarded leaders in twelve specialist areas. TGC has the privilege of being well placed in the Temple and The Hague with superb facilities.

Currently consisting of 17 silks and 60 juniors with outstanding leadership and a long established clerking team acknowledged for their exceptional client services and business development, we are keen to expand upon our key areas.

To accommodate the growth in our core practice areas we are inviting applications from established practitioners and/or teams to further enhance our excellent reputation in the following fields:

• Personal Injury & Clinical Negligence
• Inquests & Inquiries
• Health & Safety
• Costs & Litigation Funding

TGC is widely recognised for its friendly ethos and its commitment to Equality & Diversity and Wellbeing. We are especially keen to encourage applications from underrepresented groups at the bar – women, people with disabilities, those from ethnic minority groups and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Applications will be treated with the strictest confidence and should be addressed to the Head of Chambers, Keith Morton QC kmorton@tgchamber.com

In advance of any formal application both Keith Morton QC and Dean Norton (Senior Clerk) would be delighted to have a confidential discussion. To arrange a meeting please contact Dean on 020 7842 8641 or dnorton@tgchambers.com