Jimmy Nail loses damages appeal

CA affirms approach to Offer of Amends Assessments

The Court of Appeal has today dismissed actor Jimmy Nail’s appeals against awards totalling £30,000 in libel damages against the News of the World and HarperCollins.


In its first opportunity to review compensation awards under the Offer of Amends regime of the Defamation Act 1996, the Court of Appeal upheld the approach adopted by Mr Justice Eady. In a ruling in March this year, the judge had applied a discount of some 50% in assessing the compensation to be awarded to Mr Nail on the grounds that use of the offer of amends procedure was substantial mitigation in itself.


Mr Nail had appealed on the grounds that the awards of compensation of £22,500 against the News of the World and £7,500 against HarperCollins were too low and that the judge had erred by saying that media defendants using the offer of amends procedure should be “rewarded” for doing so by a “healthy discount” on the compensation.


However, in a ruling endorsing the Judge’s general approach, the Court of Appeal said that whether looked at as a “reward” or as a mitigating effect on compensation, the result was the same.


5RB‘s William Bennett was junior counsel for Mr Nail. Adrienne Page QC represented News Group Newspapers and HarperCollins.


For the full judgment and the 5RB case report click here.