Full case report

P & Others v Quigley

Reference [2008] EWHC 1051 (QB)
Court Queen's Bench Division

Judge Eady J

Date of Judgment 16 May 2008


Summary

Misuse of private information – False information – Article 8 – Article 10 – Injunctive relief – Breach of contract


Facts

An application for a permanent privacy injunction by a former director and chief executive of a corporate claimant (which advanced a claim in contract). An interim injunction had been granted in November 2007. D had resigned from the company in 1999, following an internal investigation suggesting he had diverted business in breach of contract. Criminal proceedings against D were abandoned. A malicious falsehood claim brought by D against R was settled. In November 2007 D threatened to publish a fictitious internet ‘novella’ featuring P & Q, thinly disguised, partaking in unsavoury sexual conduct.


Issue

Whether a permanent injunction was justified in the circumstances


Held

Granting the injunction in favour of P & Q but adjourning the argument in relation to R, the corporate claimant;
(1) There was no conceivable public interest in making scurrilous allegations against P & Q, transparently or indirectly.
(2) There was no realistic prospect of any defence succeeding.
(3) D had not confirmed he would not publish the allegations as threatened.


Comment

An example of a privacy injunction involving false information in which there was nothing at all to be put in the Defendant’s scales for the ‘ultimate balancing act.’


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Instructing Solicitors

Eversheds for the Claimants; Defendant in person