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Sir Cliff Richard wins privacy case against the BBC

Related Member(s):
Gavin Millar QC
Related Practice Area(s):
Media and Information Law

The High Court has upheld Sir Cliff’s claim for misuse of private information against the BBC. It found that the BBC could have reported the South Yorkshire Police search of Sir Cliff’s apartment, in an investigation into an historic child sex offence in 2014, without naming him. But Sir Cliff had a reasonable expectation of privacy which entitled him not to be identified as the suspect in the police investigation. The BBC’s journalistic right of freedom of expression was engaged. But this right did not extend to reporting his identity,, as there was insufficient public interest in identifying him. General damages of £190,000 were awarded to Sir Cliff. SYP had given the BBC the details of the search in advance, knowing the BBC would report it. The court ordered that SYP was 35% liable for the general damages, leaving the BBC liable for 65%. The BBC was also order to pay £20,000 in aggravated damages. Gavin Millar QC was instructed by the BBC.