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Defamation: Libel, Misuse of Private Information, Breach of Confidence, Injunction.

December 23, 2011

Defamation Solicitors Carruthers Law writes as to the recent case of [1] Matthew Cooper [2] Imaginatik Plc v Mark Turrell [2011] EWHC 3269 (QB). Mr Turrell was the Chief Executive of Imaginatik. At a meeting on the 04th June 2010. Matthew Cooper and Mr. Taylor informed the defendant Mr. Turrell that his employment with the company was terminated with immediate effect. The parties then negotiated a termination settlement.

Each party had their own room and the defendant Mr. Turrell left an audio recording device in the room of the claimants and recorded various conversations with their solicitors including legal advice but also confidential information as to the health of claimant Mr. Cooper.

Subsequent to those meetings the defendant then disclosed the audio recording and a transcript of the meeting and also disclosed it via email, Twitter and a blogging campaign on the internet.

Allegations were also made that the claimant terminated the defendant’s employment

  • “dishonestly and in circumstances of duress, misrepresentation and blackmail warranting a police criminal investigation.”

The defence was then struck out because the defendant had failed to provide an address for service.

In his judgment Tugendhat J said

  • “Turrell knew what he was publishing was false, that he had adopted a campaign against Mr. Cooper, and he has aimed his publications at those who are most important to Mr. Cooper. The publications are clearly motivated by Mr. Turrell’s desire for revenge against Mr. Cooper for Mr. Cooper’s actions in terminating Mr. Turrell’s employment.”

The judge made the following awards. £30,000 for the misuse of Mr. Cooper’s private information. The company was awarded £10,000 for breach of confidence. In relation to the libel the claims were clearly untrue. The defendant knew they were untrue. The publication had been motivated by the defendant’s desire for revenge which aggravated the award and therefore judgment was given in the sum of £50,000 in favour of Mr. Cooper and a further £30,000 for Imaginatik plc.

In commenting Matt Cooper of Imaginatik stated:

  •  “We are delighted with this news, the verdict from the court vindicates the company’s position throughout and we look forward to continuing to build the business over the long term.”