Much to my disappointment, it was announced last month that Carina Trimingham’s well founded (in my view at any rate) appeal was withdrawn shortly before it was due to be heard.
It was widely recognised that the case raised important issues about the interaction between harassment, privacy and freedom of expression. I was not alone in considering that the conduct of the Daily Mail had been unacceptable and that the judgment of Tugendhat J was vulnerable.
A post on the Inforrm blog, suggests that it was withdrawn for financial reasons which is a great shame. I’d like to think that her lawyers might have been willing to conduct the case on a conditional fee basis (and if they weren’t she should have called me!) but that alone is not enough. Conditional fees only work if there is insurance against liability for your opponent’s costs (or you are willing to take an enormous risk) and if the Daily Mail were lining up the big guns, their costs risked being very significant.
So not only does this important issue not get the hearing it deserves but Carina Trimingham herself remains without a remedy for the vilification to which she was exposed and all for financial reasons. Shame.