Collins Stewart Ltd and Another v The Financial Times Ltd: QBD 20 Oct 2004

The claimants sought damages for defamation. The claimed that the article had caused very substantial losses (andpound;230 million) to them by affecting their market capitalisation value. The defendant sought to strike out that part of the claim.
Held: The possible market capitalisation of the claimants was far too uncertain a basis for calculating damages. The claimant had simply asked the court to take its figures on trust, and it was a proposition of law rather than fact. The possible capitalisation was not the same as market value. Where market values were used as a basis for damages, the courts generally used the value as at the date of the wrong, not some future date.


Tugendhat J


[2004] EWHC 2337 (QB), Times 26-Oct-2004, [2005] EMLR 64




England and Wales


CitedLivingstone v Rawyards Coal Co HL 13-Feb-1880
Damages or removal of coal under land
User damages were awarded for the unauthorised removal of coal from beneath the appellant’s land, even though the site was too small for the appellant to have mined the coal himself. The appellant was also awarded damages for the damage done to the . .
CitedGleaner Company Ltd and Another v Abrahams PC 14-Jul-2003
Punitive Defamation Damages Order Sustained
(Jamaica) The appellants challenged a substantial award of damages for defamation. They had wrongfully accused a government minister of corruption. There was evidence of substantial financial loss. ‘For nearly sixteen years the defendants, with all . .
CitedJohnson v Gore Wood and Co HL 14-Dec-2000
Shareholder May Sue for Additional Personal Losses
A company brought a claim of negligence against its solicitors, and, after that claim was settled, the company’s owner brought a separate claim in respect of the same subject-matter.
Held: It need not be an abuse of the court for a shareholder . .
CitedRatcliffe v Evans CA 28-May-1892
The plaintiff was an engineer and boiler-maker. He alleged that a statement in the local newspaper that he had ceased business had caused him loss. The evidence that was given at trial consisted of general evidence of a downturn in trade; but the . .
CitedRantzen v Mirror Group Newspapers (1986) Ltd and Others CA 1-Apr-1993
Four articles in the People all covered the same story about Esther Rantzen’s organisation, Childline, suggesting that the plaintiff had protected a teacher who had revealed to Childline abuses of children occurring at a school where he taught, by . .
CitedTolstoy Miloslavsky v United Kingdom ECHR 19-Jul-1995
The applicant had been required to pay andpound;124,900 as security for the respondent’s costs as a condition of his appeal against an award of damages in a defamation case.
Held: It followed from established case law that article 6(1) did not . .
CitedGiles v Rhind CA 17-Oct-2002
An action by a company under a shareholder’s agreement was compromised. The other shareholder now sought to commence an action against the party in breach for his personal losses. The defendant argued that the company’s compromise was binding also . .
CitedTrego v Hunt HL 1896
The court defined the meaning of the goodwill of a business: ‘What ‘goodwill’ means must depend on the character and nature of the business to which it is attached. Generally speaking, it means much more than what Lord Eldon took it to mean in the . .
CitedLonrho Plc and Others v Fayed and Others (No 5) CA 27-Jul-1993
Defamatory statements causing pecuniary loss may give rise to an action in tort only. The boundaries set by the tort of defamation are not to be side-stepped by allowing a claim in contract that would not succeed in defamation. A claimant cannot, by . .
CitedLewis v Daily Telegraph Ltd CA 1963
The court considered a request from jurors when assessing damages in a defamation trial for details of the movements in share prices of the plaintiff.
Held: No further evidence could be called. . .
CitedJohnson v Agnew HL 1979
The seller had obtained a summary order for specific performance of a contract for the sale of land against the buyer.
Held: The breach was continuing and was still capable of being remedied by compliance with the order for specific . .
CitedMcCarthy Stone plc and others v The Daily Telegraph CA 11-Nov-1993
Counsel had wished to open his case to the jury with a reference to the fall of pounds 10m in the plaintiff company’s market capitalisation which occurred because of the defendant’s article complained of. It was said that the fall in the share price . .
CitedLee v Sheard CA 1956
The negligence of a car driver resulted in an injury to the plaintiff who was one of two directors and shareholders of a limited company and did outside work of buying and selling linen goods for it. As a consequence of the accident the plaintiff . .
CitedRight Hon Aitken MP and Preston; Pallister and Guardian Newspapers Ltd CA 15-May-1997
The defendants appealed against an order that a defamation trial should proced before a judge alone.
Held: ‘Where the parties, or one of them, is a public figure, or there are matters of national interest in question, this would suggest the . .
CitedGoldsmith v Pressdram Ltd CA 1988
The court considered whether to order a defamation trial to be before a judge alone, or with a jury.
Held: The word ‘examination’ has a wide connotation, is not limited to the documents which contain the actual evidence in the case and . .
CitedField v Local Sunday Newspapers Limited 10-Dec-2001
The court considered whether to order jury trial of a defamation action.
Held: The triggers of ‘prolonged examination’ and ‘inconvenience’ are not two separate requirements and must be considered together, although it is convenient to take . .
CitedChanel Ltd v F W Woolworth and Co CA 1981
On an interlocutory application by the claimant for relief in respect of alleged infringement of trademark and passing off the defendant gave undertakings until judgment or further order. Shortly thereafter the Court of Appeal in another case upheld . .
CitedBeta Construction Ltd v Channel Four Television Co Ltd CA 1990
When considering the number of documents to be considered when deciding whether a defamation case should proceed before a judge or judge and jury, the court was entitled to look also at any specialised technical content of the documents and also . .

Cited by:

See alsoCollins Stewart Ltd and Another v The Financial Times Ltd QBD 25-Feb-2005
The court considered whether damages in a defamation action pursued in respect of one publication were to be increased by subsequent publications not themselves the subject of a claim. . .
See AlsoCollins Stewart Ltd and Another v The Financial Times Ltd QBD 16-Dec-2005
The claimants sought disclosure of documents in their claim for damages for defamation against the respondent. The defendants said that the documents sought, namely reporter’s notes were not relevant to the defamation alleged. There was a request . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation, Damages

Updated: 24 April 2022; Ref: scu.218725