Supreme Court refuses permission to appeal in Wright v McCormack


The Supreme Court has refused permission to appeal against the decision of the Court of Appeal in Wright v McCormack [2023] EWCA Civ 892.

The Court of Appeal had upheld the decision of Chamberlain J to award Dr Wright nominal damages of £1 after he was found to have advanced a “deliberately false” case as to serious reputational harm, in support of his libel claim. Dr Wright’s appeal against that decision was dismissed by the Court of Appeal on 26 July 2023 on the basis that Dr Wright’s lies were relevant to ascertaining his entitlement to vindication where the libel sued on was also one of dishonesty. By a decision dated 21 December 2023, the Supreme Court refused permission to appeal on the ground that the appeal did not raise an arguable question of law.

A trial is due to commence in February 2024 in separate proceedings (Crypto Open Patent Alliance v Wright and others) on the issue of whether Dr Wright is the pseudonymous “Satoshi Nakamoto” (i.e. the person who created Bitcoin in 2009).

Catrin Evans KC and Ben Silverstone (assisted by Mariyam Kamil) acted for the defendant, Peter McCormack, instructed by RPC LLP.