Saturday, 28 May 2011

Bizarre Big Brother libel case hits London courts

Barrister Adrian Davies (of 3 Dr Johnson's Buildings, Temple) represented a Big Brother contestant in one of the most bizarre cases to come before the London courts in recent years, held before Mr Justice Eady in 2007.

Lisa Jeynes, a former model and shop manageress from South Wales, had brought a claim for libel damages of up to £150,000 against the News of the World, over an article the newspaper had published in 2003 under the headline "BB's Lisa 'the geezer'. My fake boobs fell out on date with James Hewitt!"

During and after her participation in that year's Big Brother series, Ms Jeynes had been plagued by rumours that she was a transsexual. Tabloid frenzy had been further stimulated by her brief romantic involvement with James Hewitt, former lover of the late Princess of Wales. Her claim was that the News of the World headline would be construed by reasonable readers to add credibility to the untrue and defamatory transsexual innuendo.

However Mr Justice Eady disagreed, and rejected her case. In his judgment an inference that Ms Jeynes was transsexual "would be to read far too much into those words" and no reasonable reader of the News of the World would do so.

Ms Jeynes' counsel Adrian Davies successfully argued that no time limit for costs should be enforced against her, since she was unable to work after being struck by an electric cable while on a modelling assignment, resulting in a "serious accident of a very unpleasant and disfiguring nature. ... She is currently unemployed and unlikely to find further work modelling so her circumstances are somewhat distressing and any order for costs may be somewhat academic at this stage."

The case was extensively reported, including this BBC report.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Brady v Norman

In October 2008 barrister Adrian Davies appeared at the High Court in London on behalf of former ASLEF general secretary Shaun Brady, who successfully sued his successor Keith Norman for libel, winning £30,000 in damages.

Defamatory material had been published in the union's journal and online.

Trumm v Norman

In January 2008 barrister Adrian Davies, instructed by Stevens solicitors, appeared for the claimant Steven Trumm who won libel damages against Keith Norman, general secretary of the trade union ASLEF.

This high profile case arose from factional disputes within the train drivers' union, which had led to defamatory attacks on Mr Trumm and on former ASLEF Secretary Shaun Brady, who was also represented by Adrian Davies in a further libel action against Mr Norman later in 2008.

Staden v Jones

Withers LLP held a conference on 4th December 2008 in relation to the landmark case of Staden v Jones. Speakers were barrister Adrian Davies and Peter Crampin QC.

Adrian Davies appeared for Mrs Jones, the defendant at first instance, and with Peter Crampin QC on appeal.