Smith v ADVFN Plc: QBD 13 Mar 2008

Order re case management application. The claimant said he had been defamed on an internet forum run by the defendants, and sought orders for disclosure of the identities of the posters to the website. The operator said that special software might need to be written to extract the information sought, and that that might cost many thousands of pounds. The respondent were ordered to provide the applicant with the name, address and e-mail address of each avatar together with the IP number for the avatar at the time of each alleged defamatory posting.


Mackay J


[2008] EWHC 577 (QB)




England and Wales


CitedNorwich Pharmacal Co and others v Customs and Excise Commissioners HL 26-Jun-1973
Innocent third Party May still have duty to assist
The plaintiffs sought discovery from the defendants of documents received by them innocently in the exercise of their statutory functions. They sought to identify people who had been importing drugs unlawfully manufactured in breach of their . .
CitedTotalise Plc v The Motley Fool Limited and Interative Investor Limited (2) CA 19-Dec-2001
The respondent operated a web site which contained a chat room. Defamatory remarks were made by a third party through the chat room, and the claimant sought details of the identity of the poster. The respondent refused to do so without a court . .
CitedMitsui and Co Ltd v Nexen Petroleum UK Ltd ChD 29-Apr-2005
Mitsui sought disclosure of documents from a third party under the rules in Norwich Pharmacal.
Held: Such relief was available ‘where the claimant requires the disclosure of crucial information in order to be able to bring its claim or where . .
CitedSheffield Wednesday Football Club Ltd and others v Hargreaves QBD 18-Oct-2007
The defendant operated a web forum in which posters posted defamatory messages about the claimants. The claimants sought an order disclosing the contact details of the members of the forum. The owner of the forum said he had undertaken not to . .

Cited by:

Appeal fromSmith v ADVFN Plc CA 15-Apr-2008
The claimant complained of defamation on internet bulletin boards. He made an application to require the forum operator to disclose IP addresses and other information about posters under a Norwich Pharmacal order. Further applications were made for . .
See AlsoNigel Smith v M QBD 12-May-2008
The claimants sought disclosure of material which would lead to the identification of people who had made postings to a forum on the internet.
Held: The court had aready imposed a stay on the issuing of further proceedings, yet the claimant . .
See AlsoSmith v ADVFN Plc and others QBD 25-Jul-2008
The claimant had brought multiple actions in defamation against anonymous posters on an online forum. The claimant sought to lift the stay which had been imposed because of the number of actions. The claimant had not yet paid outstanding costs . .
See AlsoSmith v ADVFN Plc and Others CA 30-Jul-2009
Application for leave to appeal . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation, Litigation Practice

Updated: 26 March 2022; Ref: scu.267988