El Naschie v Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Reference: [2012] EWHC 1809

Court: High Court (Queen's Bench Division)

Judge: Sharp J

Date of judgment: 6 Jul 2012

Summary: Libel claim based on a news article in Nature magazine

Appearances: Andrew Caldecott KC - Leading Counsel (Defendant)  Aidan Eardley KC (Defendant) 

Instructing Solicitors: Taylor Wessing LLP


An article in the issue of Nature dated 27.11.08 reported the imminent retirement of the Claimant as editor-in-chief of an academic journal Chaos, Solitons and Fractals. The article was defamatory of the Claimant, alleging among other things that he had abused his position by publishing an excessive number of articles written by himself.


Meaning; justification; fair comment; Reynolds privilege


Sharp J largely accepted the Defendant’s case on meaning. The defences of justification, fair comment and Reynolds privilege all succeeded.