Doughty Street barristers involved in Prince Harry privacy claim

Members of Doughty Street’s media team appeared in Prince Harry’s privacy claim at the High Court this week. Prince Harry, Baroness Doreen Lawrence, Sir Elton John and David Furnish, Sadie Frost, Elizabeth Hurley and Sir Simon Hughes are bringing privacy claims against Associated Newspapers, publishers of the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday, in relation to alleged unlawful information gathering said to have been carried out or commissioned by its journalists. The 4 day hearing before Mr Justice Nicklin, the judge in charge of the Media and Communications List, was to determine preliminary applications by Associated Newspapers, who strenuously dispute the claims.  

The applications heard by the High Court this week were, firstly, whether the Claimants had breached restriction orders made by Lord Justice Leveson at The Leveson Inquiry by including information in their pleaded claims which was sourced from Associated’s confidential disclosure to the inquiry and subject to ongoing restrictive orders and collateral undertakings as to their use. The application by Associated Newspaper sought an order that unless the Claimants took steps to regularise their pleadings by applying to the relevant Minister for a variation of the restriction orders made by Leveson LJ, those paragraphs of the Particulars of Claim pleaded in breach ought to be struck out.  And secondly, Associated applied for summary judgment on the grounds that the claims, which relate to alleged misuses of private information said to have taken place as early as 1993, are time barred. Judgment was reserved.

Sarah Palin and Claire Overman, instructed by Baker McKenzie, are junior counsel for Associated Newspapers.

Jude Bunting KC appeared on behalf of the BBC, The Guardian, Reuters and ITN on the first day of the hearing in respect of the reporting restriction issues and media access to court documents.