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Case details

Fearn and others (Appellants) v Board of Trustees of the Tate Gallery (Respondent)

Case ID: 2020/0056

Case summary


Whether the Court of Appeal erred in failing to hold that the claimants were entitled to a remedy in the tort of private nuisance by reason of the Tate Modern’s use of the top floor of its Blavatnik Building as a viewing platform.


The Tate Modern opened an extension in 2016 called the Blavatnik Building. The Blavatnik building is ten stories high and, on its top floor, has a viewing platform which offers panoramic views of London. The Appellants own flats neighbouring the Tate Modern which are of a similar elevation to the Blavatnik building and whose walls are mainly made of glass. On the southside of the viewing platform, visitors to the Tate can see directly into the flats of the Appellants.

The Appellants seek an injunction requiring the Tate to prevent its visitors from viewing their flats from the viewing platform, or alternatively, an award of damages. Their claim is based on the common law of nuisance.

Judgment appealed

[2020] EWCA Civ 104



Giles Fearn and others


Board of Trustees of the Tate Gallery



Lord Reed, Lord Lloyd-Jones, Lord Kitchin, Lord Sales, Lord Leggatt

Hearing start date

7 December 2021

Hearing finish date

8 December 2021

Watch hearing
7 Dec 2021 Morning session Afternoon session
8 Dec 2021 Morning session Afternoon session

Judgment details

Judgment date

1 February 2023

Neutral citation

[2023] UKSC 4

Please note: this judgment was reuploaded on 01/02/2023 with a small change in paragraph one, to reflect that the visitor numbers included are from the time that the claim was brought.

Watch Judgment summary
1 February 2023 Judgment summary