Strike out judgment in Davidoff v Hargrave

Today, the High Court handed down judgment in respect of the Defendant’s application to strike out the Claimants’ pleaded reference innuendo. The libel claim is brought by four Claimants and concerns a quote tweet and a comment posted beneath an online article.

At the hearing, Heather Williams J invited the parties to address her on the question of whether the parties were permitted to adduce evidence regarding the Defendant’s followers in relation to the question of whether the hypothetical reasonable reader would click on the hyperlink in the Tweet.

Heather Williams J held that the parties were not permitted to adduce extrinsic evidence on the hypothetical reasonable reader’s characteristics. She also concluded that the Claimants’ reference innuendos, which had been settled by different counsel than represented the Claimants at the hearing, had been pleaded deficiently, but that they should be permitted to amend the pleadings.

5RB’s William Bennett KC appeared for the Claimants, instructed by Patron Law. Adam Speker KC and Samuel Rowe appeared for the Defendant, instructed by Payne Hicks Beach.

Read the 5RB case report here.