Case details

Times Newspapers Limited (Appellant) v Flood (Respondent)

Case ID: UKSC 2015/0045

Case summary

Issue

Whether having to pay the entire costs of the other side, including success fees and insurance premiums arising from a Conditional Fee Agreement, in a libel case in which it was partly successful violated Times Newspapers Limited's Article 6 and 10 ECHR rights.

Facts

On 2 June 2006, Times Newspapers Limited ("TNL") published an article, in print and on its website, stating that there were strong grounds to believe that Mr Gary Flood, a detective sergeant with the Metropolitan Extradition Unit, had been corrupt. Mr Flood brought libel proceedings in May 2007. He was subsequently exonerated by the Directorate of Professional Standards of the Metropolitan Police in its report, made available to the parties on 5 September 2007. TNL did not report the outcome of this investigation or update its online article until 21 October 2009. In the proceedings, TNL relied on, amongst other defences, the Reynolds defence of public interest. This was tried as a preliminary issue. Following appeals all the way to the Supreme Court, the result was that TNL could rely on the Reynolds defence before 5 September 2007 but not afterwards. This meant that the Reynolds defence was successful in relation to the printed copies as well as 3,777 publications on its website. TNL subsequently admitted liability for publications between 5 September 2007 and 21 October 2009, during which approximately 550 publications took place. At the damages hearing, Mr Flood was awarded damages of £60,000 and his costs incurred for both the preliminary issue and the damages trial to be assessed at a later date. As Mr Flood had a Conditional Fee Agreement with his lawyers, the costs order included the success fees and ATE insurance premium. As a consequence, TNL states that it faces a costs bill of £1,698,192 plus interest.

Judgment appealed

[2014] EWCA Civ 1574

Parties

Appellant

Times Newspapers Limited

Respondents

Gary Flood

Appeal

Justices

Lord Neuberger, Lord Mance, Lord Sumption, Lord Hughes, Lord Hodge

Hearing start date

24 Jan 2017

Hearing finish date

26 Jan 2017

Watch hearing
24 Jan 2017 Morning session Afternoon session
25 Jan 2017 Morning session Afternoon session
26 Jan 2017 Morning session Afternoon session