Interbrew SA v Financial Times Ltd and Others: ChD 19 Dec 2001

The claimant was involved in takeover proceedings. Certain confidential documents were taken, doctored, and released to and published by the defendants who now resisted orders for disclosure of the source.
Held: The court must balance the right of freedom of expression, and the private rights of the claimants. The court should start from an assumption that it would be wrong to order disclosure of the source of a press story, The claimants could succeed only if the disclosure was so important as to override the public interest in protecting journalistic sources in order to ensure free communication of information to and through the press. The damage caused was serious, a criminal offence had been involved, and the claimant had a legitimate need to prevent further such disclosures. The source was to be revealed.


Justice Lightman


Times 04-Jan-2002, Gazette 27-Feb-2002, [2001] EWHC Ch 471, [2001] EWHC 480 (Ch), [2002] 1 Lloyds Rep 542


Bailii, Bailii


Contempt of Court Act 1981 10, European Convention on Human Rights


England and Wales

Cited by:

Appeal fromFinancial Times Ltd and others v Interbrew SA CA 8-Mar-2002
The appellants appealed against orders for delivery up of papers belonging to the claimant. The paper was a market sensitive report which had been stolen and doctored before being handed to the appellant.
Held: The Ashworth Hospital case . .
At first InstanceFinancial Times Ltd and Others v The United Kingdom ECHR 15-Dec-2009
The claimants said that an order that they deliver up documents leaked to them regarding a possible takeover violated their right to freedom of expression. They complained that such disclosure might lead to the identification of journalistic . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Media, Human Rights

Updated: 05 June 2022; Ref: scu.167322