Sir James & Lady Deirdre Dyson v Associated Newspapers

Statement in open court

The libel claim brought by Sir James and Lady Deirdre Dyson against Associated Newspapers today concluded with the reading of a unilateral statement in open court by the Claimants’ solicitor, Rachel Atkins, before Mr Justice Nicklin.

Sir James and Lady Deirdre’s claim concerned allegations published in articles in the Daily Mail and on MailOnline in July 2019.

On 5 February 2020 Mr Justice Nicol ruled that the articles meant that Sir James and Lady Deirdre had behaved oppressively towards a former housekeeper and had used their immense wealth to bring a High Court claim against her in retaliation for her claim for unfair dismissal.  The judge also ruled that the articles constituted statements of fact rather than of opinion.

However, the statement today made to Mr Justice Nicklin recorded that Associated Newspapers had made an offer of amends to the Claimants and had thereby conceded that the allegations in issue were false and that they had caused serious harm to the Claimants’ reputations.  The Claimants accepted the Defendant’s offer of amends.

Associated Newspapers has paid the Claimants £100,000 in damages.  The statement further recorded that the Claimants have donated  this amount and a further £100,000 of their own to the charity Cure EB, which funds research into a cure for and treatment of the debilitating skin condition Epidermolysis Bullosa.

5RB’s William Bennett QC acted for the Claimants.  He was instructed by Rachel Atkins and Ben Hobbs of Schillings.

5RB’s Alexandra Marzec acted for Associated Newspapers.