Laurence Fox twitter trial commences in High Court

The 8-day trial in Blake & Ors v Fox begins today in the High Court before Collins Rice J.

Simon Blake, Colin Seymour (known as Crystal) and Nicola Thorp brought defamation proceedings against Laurence Fox over three tweets published in October 2020. Fox has counter-claimed over tweets posted by Blake, Seymour and Thorp earlier on the same day.

The trial will determine whether the various tweets caused serious harm, as well as the defences of qualified privilege and equitable set off (D), honest opinion (C1 and C2) and truth (C3).

On 1 November 2022, Nicklin J delivered judgment on the meaning of the tweets, whether they were statements of fact/opinion, and whether the Defendant’s tweets were defamatory at common law. This judgment was the subject to of an expedited appeal to the Court of Appeal in August 2023. The Court of Appeal judgment resulted in Ms Thorp’s claim being dismissed on the basis that the tweet over which she sued was not defamatory.

Alexandra Marzec and Greg Callus of 5RB act for the Defendant, led by Patrick Green KC of Henderson Chambers.