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December 19, 2016

FlyMeNow awarded ‘minimal’ damages

Categories: Defamation, News

Defences of qualified privilege and justification fail but damages reduced to £10


Despite succeeding on liability at a trial in its claim for libel, FlyMeNow Limited has been awarded a ‘minimal’ amount of £10 by Mr Justice Warby against Quick Air Jet Charter GmbH.

The claim was brought in regard to an email sent by Quick Air to 26 companies on 5 December 2013. The Judge held that the email meant that FlyMeNow was insolvent.  He then found that Quick Air Jet had not succeeded in proving that this was substantially true. In addition, the defence of qualified privilege failed, although the agent of the Defendant who sent the email was found not to have acted with malice.

However, Quick Air had proven that the FlyMeNow was in pecuniary difficulties and was ‘very close’ to being insolvent. Given this, as well as the Claimant’s conduct throughout the case, which the Judge categorised as ‘disreputable, and, ultimately dishonest,’ Warby J reduced the award of damages to a ‘minimum’ level of  £10.

The court has adjourned the determination of the incidence of costs.

5RB‘s Adam Speker (instructed by Wright Hassall) represented the Claimant; William Bennett (instructed by Fladgate LLP) the Defendant.