Collins Stewart damages claim trimmed

High Court strikes out part of special damages claim against FT

The High Court today struck out a significant part of the special damages claim made by investment bank Collins Stewart Tullett Plc against the Financial Times.  The bank was seeking around £240m in special damages for an alleged libel published by the paper in August 2003.


Collins Stewart claimed that hundreds of millions of pounds were wiped off its share price as a direct result of an article appearing in the Financial Times which reported on High Court proceedings for wrongful dismissal brought by a former employee of the company.

Mr Justice Tugendhat ruled today that it was not appropriate for a special damage claim to be brought on such an uncertain and speculative basis.  So far as Collins Stewart’s special damage claim was based on the fall in the Plc’s market capitalisation since the publication of the offending article, the Judge ruled it out as misconceived and untriable.

In a separate ruling, the Judge also ordered that the trial of the action should be split; liability being tried with a judge and jury and, if necessary, a further trial by judge alone to assess both general and special damages.

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