Notice of confidentiality establishes duty of confidence


Re: Brevan Howard Asset Management LLP v Reuters Limited & Anor [2017] EWHC 644 (QB)

Brevan Howard Asset Management (BHAM) sent out information to 36 potential professional investors which was intended to be confidential. The third defendant, whose identity was unknown, was alleged to have leaked the confidential documents, or the information derived therefrom, and Reuters threatened to publish some of the information. The Court held, inter alia, that the information that Reuters wished to publish was confidential. As the defendants were in contact with BHAM and its solicitors, they had notice of the confidentiality which was sufficient to subject them to a duty of confidence. The Court also highlighted that although there was a public interest in reporting about hedge funds, the interest in the publication in this case was at the lower end of the scale, as it lacked any element of exposing  wrongdoing or hypocrisy. The application for an interim non-disclosure order was granted.

Guy Vassall-Adams QC and Lorna Skinner were involved in this case.