Ascension Securities Limited v The Motley Fool Limited

Reference: [2005] EWHC 3064 (Ch)

Court: Chancery Division

Judge: Lawrence Collins J

Date of judgment: 6 Dec 2005

Summary: Defamation - Libel - Injunction - Costs

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Appearances: Adam Speker KC (Respondent) 

Instructing Solicitors: Ormerods for the Applicant; Taylor Wessing for the Respondent


A complained about a series of postings on a chatroom hosted by R. A unsuccessfully attempted to obtain an injunction in libel without notice in the Chancery interim applications court on two occasions before it was listed for a third time with R present and represented. On this occasion A indicated that it did not want to pursue the application because it considered it had obtained adequate undertakings but applied for its costs.


Whether A or R were entitled to their costs of and occasioned by the application for an injunction


The Court had “not the slightest hesitation in saying the applicants should pay the respondent’s costs”. The application for an injunction would have failed due to procedural defects and a failure by A to provide the Court with the full picture. The undertakings were obtained not because of the proceedings but because A eventually provided to R the required details of the materials about which they complained.


A salutary lesson in the importance of doing things properly.