Undertakings appeal in Smith v Backhouse

Asplin, Arnold and Warby LJJ will today hear an appeal on the issue of undertakings made to the court.

The original case involved Dr Erica Smith seeking an injunction and damages from Dr Christopher Backhouse on the grounds of harassment, defamation, and a breach of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The parties had come to a settlement that included the Defendant paying the Claimant £50,000 and costs, and multiple undertakings to be made by the Defendant to the Court.

However, Nicklin J found that not all of these undertakings should be made. While undertakings relating to contacting or approaching the Claimant, and avoiding further harassment were accepted, undertakings that involved restricting the Defendant’s ability to publish references or images of the Claimant, impersonate the Claimant, or monitor the Claimant’s activities were considered too broad/vague and were therefore rejected.

Nicklin J gave the Claimant permission to appeal.

The 5RB case report of the decision of Nicklin J at first instance is available here.

The appeal was live-streamed and the recording can be accessed here.

5RB’s Ben Hamer (led by Hugh Tomlinson KC) appears for the Appellant/Claimant (instructed by Brett Wilson).