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February 22, 2016

Paul Burrell wins privacy claim

Categories: Breach of Confidence, News, Privacy

Max Clifford ordered to pay £5,000 in damages


Paul Burrell, the former butler to Princess Diana, has won his privacy claim against Max Clifford, the former publicist.

Mr Burrell met with Mr Clifford in 2002 in order to see if Mr Clifford could assist in protecting him from the media.  At that time he was facing prosecution for stealing various items from the Royal Family.  The relationship was short-lived but during its currency Mr Burrell wrote a letter to Mr Clifford at the latter’s request.  It included private information. Shortly after Mr Burrell’s acquittal of the criminal charges against him in November 2002, Mr Clifford faxed the letter to Rebekah Brookes, the then editor of the News of the Word.  The fax was discovered in 2006 when the Metropolitan Police arrested Clive Goodman, the News of the World’s Royal Correspondent.  It was found in his possession.  A copy of it was disclosed by the Metropolitan Police to Mr Burrell in 2012.

At trial Mr Clifford’s case was that Mr Burrell had authorised him to fax the letter to the News of the World.  This was rejected by the court.  Mr Burrell’s case that the letter had been sent to Mr Clifford on the understanding that it be kept private was accepted.

5RB’s William Bennett was counsel for Mr Burrell and was instructed by Taylor Hampton Solicitors.

The judgment can be found here.

Links:

The Guardian: Paul Burrell wins £5k damages from Max Clifford

Press Gazette: Royal butler wins privacy claim over Max Clifford’s News of the World leak

MailOnline: Ex-royal butler Paul Burrell wins privacy case damages from Max Clifford