Defamation and Privacy

Defamation and Privacy

Matrix’s Media and Information Team regularly appears on both side of defamation and privacy claims, with members involved in many of the most high-profile cases of recent years.

The law of defamation is slowly being transformed by the increasing sensitivity of the courts to the need to protect freedom of expression. Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, and human rights cases from Europe and the Commonwealth, have had an important influence in the development of domestic law. They have been taken into account in a range of cases, including in restricting damages awards in libel cases, in preventing public authorities from bringing libel actions, and in defining the limits of a ‘public interest’ privilege for the media.

Barristers at Matrix have unrivalled expertise in privacy cases.  Members are regularly instructed for both claimants and defendants in privacy injunction cases and are available to provide advice and representation at short notice.

Notable cases

  • Duchess of Sussex v Associated Newspapers – The high profile privacy case brought by the Duchess of Sussex complaining of the publication of a letter written to her father.
  • Vardy v Rooney– The well-publicised so-called “Wagatha Christie” case which arises from Instagram and Facebook posts by Coleen Rooney in connection with the alleged leaking of stories about her to the Sun newspaper.
  • Sicri v Associated Newspapers – The first case in which damages were awarded against a national newspaper for publishing in the name of a person arrested for a serious criminal offence but not charged.
  • Aven & Ors v Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd – Claimants were named as part of the “Trump Dossier” prepared by Christopher Steele. They sued on the basis that there were a number of inaccurate allegations made in the Dossier, including a serious allegation that two of the claimants had used a third party to act as ‘bag carrier’ to deliver ‘large amounts of illicit cash’ to Putin when he was Mayor of St Petersburg.
  • ZXC v Bloomberg  – Successful claim for misuse of private information arising out of a criminal investigation.
  • Various Claimants v News Group Newspapers – ‘Phone hacking’ litigation against the publishers of The Sun and The News of the World.