Terry (previously LNS) v Persons Unknown: QBD 29 Jan 2010

The claimant (then known as LNS) had obtained an injunction to restrain publication of private materials.
Held: There was insufficient material to found an action in confidence or privacy. An applicant was unlikely to succeed either at an interim application or at trial, whether under the law of defamation or the law of privacy, where, as explained in the Court of Appeal in Initial Services v Putterill [1968] 1 QB 396 there is no confidence in iniquity.
Tugendhat J said: ‘The court is being asked by LNS to have regard to the Article 8 rights of the other person and the interested persons. Respect for the dignity and autonomy of the individuals concerned requires that, if practicable, they should speak for themselves . . If it is not practicable or just that the other person or anyone else should not give evidence personally, the court should know why.’
He rejected a suggestion that the public interest was solely concerned with illegal conduct, though: ‘It is not for the judge to express personal views on such matters, still less to impose whatever personal views he might have. That is not the issue. The issue is what the judge should prohibit one person from saying publicly about another.’
‘Having decided that the nub of this application is a desire to protect what is in substance reputation, it follows that in accordance with Bonnard v Perryman no injunction should be granted. I do not know what words any newspaper threatens to publish. But it is likely that whatever is published, the editors will choose words that they will contend are capable of being defended in accordance with the law of defamation.’


Tugendhat J


[2010] EWHC 119 (QB), [2010] 1 FCR 659, [2010] Fam Law 453, [2010] EMLR 16




England and Wales


CitedInitial Services Ltd v Putterill CA 1967
The plaintiff’s sales manager resigned, but took with him confidential documents which he gave to a newspaper. The defendant sought to justify this, saying that the company had failed to register agreements it should have done under the Act.

Cited by:

CitedIn re A (A Minor) FD 8-Jul-2011
An application was made in care proceedings for an order restricting publication of information about the family after the deaths of two siblings of the child subject to the application. The Sun and a local newspaper had already published stories . .
CitedFerdinand v MGN Limited QBD 29-Sep-2011
The claimant, a famous footballer, complained that an article by the defendant relating an affair he had had, had infringed his right to privacy. The defendant relied on its right to freedom of expression. The claimant had at an earlier stage, and . .
CitedHannon and Another v News Group Newspapers Ltd and Another ChD 16-May-2014
The claimants alleged infringement of their privacy, saying that the defendant newspaper had purchased private information from police officers emplyed by the second defendant, and published them. The defendants now applied for the claims to be . .
CitedPJS v News Group Newspapers Ltd SC 19-May-2016
The appellants had applied for restrictions on the publication of stories about their extra marital affairs. The Court of Appeal had removed the restrictions on the basis that the story had been widely spread outside the jurisdiction both on the . .
CitedHeythrop Zoological Gardens Ltd (T/A Amazing Animals) and Another v Captive Animals Protection Society ChD 20-May-2016
The claimant said that the defendant had, through its members visiting their premises, breached the licence under which they entered, by taking photographs and distributing them on the internet, and in so doing also infringing the performance rights . .
CitedNT 1 and NT 2 v Google Llc QBD 13-Apr-2018
Right to be Forgotten is not absolute
The two claimants separately had criminal convictions from years before. They objected to the defendant indexing third party web pages which included personal data in the form of information about those convictions, which were now spent. The claims . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Media, Torts – Other

Updated: 14 August 2022; Ref: scu.401000