Dyson v Channel 4 & ITN: trial of preliminary issues

Today the High Court will hear argument in a preliminary issue trial in a libel claim brought by Dyson, over a programme broadcast in February 2022 by Channel Four News.

The programme concerns allegations of abuse and exploitation of workers by a company in Malaysia, ATA Industrial, that manufactured Dyson products, and Dyson’s handling of this matter. The corporate claimants, Dyson Technology Limited and Dyson Limited, are seeking damages, an injunction, and orders under ss.12 and/or 13 of the Defamation Act 2013.

Today’s trial before HHJ Lewis (sitting as a Judge of the High Court) takes place after the Court of Appeal in July allowed an appeal against the judgment that followed a first preliminary issue trial in these proceedings last October. It will determine the natural and ordinary meaning of the programme, whether the meaning found is defamatory at common law, and whether the programme was or contained statements of fact or of opinion.

5RB’s Adam Wolanski KC and Gervase de Wilde appear for the Defendants, instructed by SMB.