Libel dispute settled by arbitration

Royal hairdresser withdraws threat to sue Daily Telegraph

The Press Gazette reports on the use of binding arbitration in a recent libel matter.

Richard Ward, owner of the salon where the Duchess of Cambridge had her wedding-day haired styled has settled his dispute with the Daily Telegraph concerning an article published last July entitled “Is it scissors at dawn for the royal crimpers?”
The Press Gazette reports that Ward agreed to binding arbitration in hopes of reaching a quick and relatively inexpensive settlement for his defamation claim. Mr Ward was represented by Alastair Brett, a founding director of the Early Resolution Group.
The arbitration was heard by a three-member panel headed by 5RB’s Desmond Browne QC along with two lay assessors. They decided that the article did not bear the defamatory meaning claimed by Mr Ward. “The advantage of this was that having an arbitrator and two assessors gave the process more of a jury feel – so that the decision would reflect the view a jury was likely to take”, commented the Daily Telegraph’s lawyer, David Price QC.
The arbitration process in this case is understood to have cost about £4000.

Click here to read the Press Gazette article, “ Arbitration settles royal hairdresser libel dispute.”
Telegraph defends royal hairdresser libel case via Early Resolution scheme: action over exclusivity of Duchess of Cambridge’s royal wedding hairstyle breaks new legal ground by using lay assessors
ARBITRATION – DISPUTE RESOLUTION – MEDIA AND ENTERTAINMENT John Plunkett and Josh Halliday Guardian, September 3, 2012 (Online edition) Document No.: News and Press – AR0161653