Times Newspapers Ltd and Others v Flood and Others: SC 11 Apr 2017

Three newspaper publishers, having lost defamation cases, challenged the levels of costs awarded against them, saying that the levels infringed their own rights of free speech.
Held: Each of the three appeals was dismissed.
References: [2017] UKSC 33
Links: Bailii, Bailii Summary
Judges: Lord Neuberger, President, Lord Mance, Lord Sumption, Lord Hughes, Lord Hodge
Statutes: European Convention on Human Rights 10, Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, Access to Justice Act 1999, Crime and Courts Act 2013
Jurisdiction: England and Wales
This case cites:

  • At First Instance – Flood v Times Newspapers Ltd QBD 19-Dec-2013 (, [2013] EWHC 4075 (QB))
    The claimant policeman alleged defamation in an article published by the defendant newspaper. The defendant advanced two substantive defences, a defence of public interest (Reynolds) privilege and justification. After protracted litigation, the . .
  • Cited – Callery v Gray (1) and (2) HL 27-Jun-2002 (, Times 02-Jul-02, , [2002] UKHL 28, [2002] 1 WLR 2000, [2002] PIQR P32, [2002] 3 All ER 417, [2003] RTR 4, [2003] Lloyds Rep IR 203, [2002] 2 Costs LR 205)
    Objection was made to a claimed uplift of 20% sought by the plaintiff’s solicitors. The defendant’s insurers said that there had been little at risk for them.
    Held: The system of conditional fees insurance had been introduced to remedy defects . .
  • Cited – Campbell v MGN Ltd (No 2) HL 20-Oct-2005 (, [2005] UKHL 61, Times 21-Oct-05, , [2005] 4 All ER 793, [2006] EMLR 1, [2005] 1 WLR 3394)
    The appellant sought to challenge the level of costs sought by the claimant after she had succeeded in her appeal to the House. Though a relatively small sum had been awarded, the costs and success fee were very substantial. The newspaper claimed . .
  • Cited – Coventry and Others v Lawrence and Another SC 22-Jul-2015 (, [2015] UKSC 50, [2015] 1 WLR 3485, [2015] 4 Costs LO 507, [2015] WLR(D) 332, [2015] HRLR 16, , , UKSC 2012/0076, , , , )
    The appellants challenged the compatibility with the European Convention on Human Rights of the system for recovery of costs in civil litigation in England and Wales following the passing of the Access to Justice Act 1999. The parties had been . .
  • Appeal from – Miller v Associated Newspapers Ltd QBD 5-Feb-2016 (, [2016] EWHC 397 (QB), [2016] 2 Costs LR 195)
    . .
  • Appeal from – 8 Representative Claimants and Others v MGN Ltd ChD 19-Apr-2016 (, [2016] EWHC 855 (Ch), [2016] WLR(D) 195, )
    Application about costs which raises an important point about the applicability of normal conditional fee agreement provisions to privacy litigation generally. Although the application has technically been made by the claimants, the real point which . .
  • Cited – Callery v Gray (No 2) CA 31-Jul-2001 (, Times 24-Oct-01, [2001] EWCA Civ 1246, [2001] 1 WLR 2142, [2001] 2 Costs LR 205, [2002] RTR 11, [2001] 4 All ER 1, [2001] CPLR 501, [2001] Lloyd’s Rep IR 765)
    A plaintiff could recover the costs of insuring himself against the risk of having to pay the other sides costs, and finding his own costs irrecoverable (after the event or ATE insurance). The earlier case had decided that such premiums may be . .
  • Cited – MGN Limited v United Kingdom ECHR 18-Jan-2011 (, [2011] ECHR 66, 39401/04, (2011) 53 EHRR 5, 29 BHRC 686, [2011] 1 Costs LO 84, [2011] EMLR 20)
    The applicant publisher said that the finding against it of breach of confidence and the system of success fees infringed it Article 10 rights to freedom of speech. It had published an article about a model’s attendance at Narcotics anonymous . .
  • Cited – Pine Valley Developments Ltd And Others v Ireland ECHR 29-Nov-1991 (Times 11-Dec-91, 12742/87, 43/1990/234/300, [1991] 14 EHRR 319)
    ECHR Preliminary objection rejected (victim); Preliminary objection rejected (non-exhaustion); No violation of P1-1; No violation of Art. 14+P1-1; Violation of Art. 14+P1-1; No violation of Art. 13; Just . .
  • Cited – Pressos Compania Naviera S A And Others v Belgium ECHR 20-Nov-1995 ([1995] ECHR 471, 17849/91, , [1995] 21 EHHR 301, (1996) 21 EHRR 301)
    When determining whether a claimant has possessions or property within the meaning of Article I the court may have regard to national law and will generally do so unless the national law is incompatible with the object and purpose of Article 1. Any . .
  • Cited – Stretch v The United Kingdom ECHR 24-Jun-2003 (44277/98, Times 03-Jul-03, , (2003) 38 EHRR 12, , [2003] ECHR 320)
    The claimant had taken a lease of property from a local authority. Relying upon an option for renewal, he invested substantially in the property, but it was then decided that the option was ultra vires.
    Held: Property rights protected under . .
  • Appeal from – Times Newspapers Ltd v Flood CA 4-Dec-2014 (, [2014] EWCA Civ 1574)
    The newspaper appealed from the award of costs to the claimant who had succeeded in his claim of defamation. . .
  • Cited – Derbyshire County Council v Times Newspapers Ltd and Others HL 18-Feb-1993 (Gazette 07-Apr-93, [1993] AC 534, , [1993] UKHL 18, , [1992] UKHL 6, [1992] QB 770, [1992] 3 WLR 28, [1993] 1 All ER 1011)
    Local Authorities must be open to criticism as political and administrative bodies, and so cannot be allowed to sue in defamation. Such a right would operate as ‘a chill factor’ on free speech. Freedom of speech was the underlying value which . .
  • Cited – Bladet Tromso and Stensaas v Norway ECHR 20-May-1999 (21980/93, (2000) 29 EHRR 125, , [1999] ECHR 29, )
    A newspaper and its editor complained that their right to freedom of expression had been breached when they were found liable in defamation proceedings for statements in articles which they had published about the methods used by seal hunters in the . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Last Update: 05 November 2020; Ref: scu.581649