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Ferdinand privacy action begins

Ferdinand privacy action begins

Manchester United Footballer Rio Ferdinand's privacy action has got under way at the High Court.

However the public start of the case was held back by legal argument in private over the extent to which it can take place in open court.

Ferdinand sat in front of his barrister Hugh Tomlinson as the QC told Mr Justice Nicol, before the press and public were excluded, that it was an action about the misuse of private information.

"It arises out of what we say is the wrongful publication of an article in the Sunday Mirror on April 25 2010 concerning a relationship between the claimant and a woman called Carly Storey, which had not previously been the subject of any media publications."

MGN Ltd says it was in the public interest to run the story about the 32-year-old Manchester United centre back, who has two sons and a daughter with wife Rebecca.

The issue to be decided by the judge is whether the newspaper was justified in publishing because the over-riding public interest was such that its Article 10 rights to freedom of expression trumped Ferdinand's Article 8 privacy rights.

In February last year, Ferdinand replaced John Terry as England captain but Terry was reinstated by manager Fabio Capello this year, with Ferdinand returning to vice-captain.

Sarah Jackson, Senior Solicitor in IBB's Commercial Dispute Resolution team, said: "Mr Justice Nicol will have to balance the newspaper's rights under Art 10, Freedom of Expression, as against Rio Ferdinand and his family's right to privacy under Art 8 of the Human Rights Act 1998.

"As the majority of the hearing will be in open court, which is open to the public, the Judge will have to exercise his discretion to ensure that any revelations about the alleged affair are not reported in a manner likely to lead to further complaint by Mr Ferdinand.

"The case may however, provide interesting commentary and guidance about the privacy storm which has been brewing between parliament and the judiciary following the recent cases involving Ryan Giggs, Fred Goodwin and other high profile figures."

Our Commercial Dispute Resolution team has extensive experience dealing with complex claims and works with businesses across West London and the surrounding area. For advice, contact a member of the team, call us on 08456 381 381 or email enquiries@ibblaw.co.uk.