Spearmint Rhino discontinues claim against campaigners

Spearmint Rhino, the well-known chain of strip clubs has discontinued claims in privacy, data protection and breach of confidence against campaigning group Not Buying It and the groups's CEO Sasha Rakoff after more than a year of legal proceedings. 

Beth Grossman, instructed by Saunders Law, acted for Not Buying It and Dr Rakoff. 

The case, which achieved national coverage in summer 2019 raised important issues about open justice, the public interest in investigations into conditions in the sexual entertainment industry, and importance of freedom of expression and Article 10 ECHR in holding local authorities to account. 

Not Buying It, as part of its investigation into the risk of exploitation in "high street" sexual entertainment venues, obtained footage at two clubs which it  intended to be used in local authority licensing hearings to determine whether clubs in Camden and Sheffield should be allowed to continue to operate. Dr Rakoff explained to the High Court at the first hearing that Not Buying It considered essential for local democratic processes that decisions of local authorities in granting such licenses were subject to proper scrutiny. The campaigning group had taken significant measures to protect the performers, including strict limits on the circulation of the footage. 

Emphasising the fundamental importance of open justice, Nicklin J previously refused applications by the individual claimants for anonymity, as well as an application for an expedited trial. 

Not Buying It's CEO said “We are hugely grateful to our legal team for all their work on this, Saunders Law and barrister, Beth Grossman and their successful, expert defence of our campaigning”.