Media & Entertainment: McClaren v News Group Newspapers Ltd [2012] EWHC 2466 (QB)

The Claimant, a former manager of the England football team, and now manager of FC Twente, a club in the Dutch football league, applied for a privacy injunction to prevent disclosure of information relating to a “sexual encounter” between him and a third party, SA. The Claimant was married, with three children, and had previously been the subject of an article in The Sun newspaper about another affair he had conducted a few years ago. In addition to having spoken publicly about that affair, he had also done so about his family life in general.
On this occasion the Defendant, having obtained a photograph of the Claimant with SA, threatened to publish a story about the affair. The Claimant sought an undertaking that it would not do so, but it refused. Lindblom J, refusing the application, held that the Article 8/10 ECHR balance came down in favour of publication in this case. The Claimant was undoubtedly a public figure within the definition recognised by Tugendhat J inSpelman, and therefore belonged to the category of people from whom the public could reasonably expect a higher standard of conduct. He was also most unlikely to succeed in obtaining a permanent injunction at trial on the facts.