0370 270 6000

Stigma continues

3 September 2010

In last week’s Legal Opinion, Stig facing the dump, Browne Jacobson reported the initiation of legal proceedings by the BBC who were seeking to restrain the publication of Ben Collins’ autobiography, The Man in the White Suit, which identified Mr Collins as Top Gear’s enigmatic celebrity driver The Stig.    

By ruling of Mr Justice Morgan earlier this week, the High Court declined to grant the above relief, leaving publishers HarperCollins free to proceed with its proposed release. The Court’s reasoning is presently unknown and may remain so for some time as it is understood that judgment is to be given in private. One can only speculate, therefore, that the BBC may have been unable to show the necessary quality of confidence in Stig’s identity to persuade the Court that an injunction was appropriate (speculations about Mr Collins’ alter ego having been published as long ago as January 2009). Alternatively, HarperCollins may have successfully relied on Mr Collins’ right to freedom of expression, enshrined in Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, to defeat the BBC’s application.    

Of course, just because the BBC has lost the battle for an interim injunction, doesn’t mean that it will not ultimately be entitled to compensation for what may have been a breach of an equitable and/or contractual duty of confidence by Ben Collins. If this happens, Mr Collins may find a significant proportion of his royalty income wending its way towards dear old Auntie.

Some say…  it’s not over yet!

Related opinions

Are whistleblowers entitled to keep their employer’s confidential documents?

In Nissan v Passi, the High Court recently considered the issue of an employee retaining confidential documents belonging to his former employer in the context of the employer’s application for an injunction seeking the return of such documents from the employee.

View blog

Important opportunity to comment on case law precedent

The UK government is considering extending this power to depart from retained EU case law to additional lower courts and tribunals, namely the Court of Appeal in England and Wales and the High Court of Justice in England and Wales and their equivalents.

View blog

Sky’s overly broad trade marks narrowed as found partially invalid for bad faith

Lord Justice Arnold has applied the guidance of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) to the evidence before him, in the long standing trade mark dispute between Sky and Skykick.

View blog

Cyber risks – are businesses really ready?

The Hiscox Cyber Readiness report, a review of 3300 organisations, will be a stark warning for CEO’s of SME’s in the UK and in Europe.

View blog

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up