HRH The Duchess of Sussex v Associated Newspapers Limited

11 February 2021

Jessie Bowhill acted in the counsel team for HRH The Duchess of Sussex in her application for summary judgment.  Adrian Speck QC and Isabel Jamal acted in the counsel team for Associated Newspapers Limited resisting the application.

The proceedings concern the publication by the Defendant in the Mail on Sunday and MailOnline of extracts of a handwritten letter sent by The Duchess of Sussex to her father, Thomas Markle.  The Duchess of Sussex claimed that publication of the letter constituted  a misuse of her private information, an infringement of her copyright, and a breach of her Data Protection Rights.  She  applied for summary judgment on the privacy and copyright claims.

In relation to the claim in privacy Mr Justice Warby awarded the Duchess of Sussex summary judgment.

In relation to the copyright claim, the Judge held that The Duchess of Sussex was entitled to summary judgment on the issues of subsistence and infringement, rejecting Associated’s defences of fair dealing, public interest and Article 10.  However, the Judge held that there should be a trial limited to issues relating to the ownership of copyright.

The Court’s press summary is available here

View judgment