Doughty silk defeats Matrix’s Tomlinson in Ferdinand privacy case

Matrix Chambers’ Hugh Tomlinson QC has failed in his bid to convince the High Court that the Sunday Mirror misused private information about footballer Rio Ferdinand.


Hugh Tomlinson QC
Hugh Tomlinson QC

The claim was launched after the tabloid newspaper published a story in April 2010 in which interior designer Carly Storey gave an account of her 13-year relationship with Ferdinand in return for £16,000.

Reynolds Porter Chamberlain was instructed for Mirror Group Newspapers with Doughty Street Chambers’ Gavin Millar QC as counsel. Tomlinson was instructed by Simons Muirhead Burton.

According to the judgment, Ferdinand had claimed an “unjustified infringement of his right to privacy, a misuse of his private information and a breach of confidence”.

The judge said that in the current case he had to “grapple with the tension between two different rights set out in the European Convention on Human Rights – that in Article 8 to respect for private life and that in Article 10 to freedom of expression”.

The judge found that while the story focused on Ferdinand’s private life, there was a valid public interest argument in portraying a truthful image of the footballer who had “projected an image of himself as a reformed character”.

Ferdinand was ordered to pay costs of approximately £100,000 plus the other side’s costs of £160,000 and refused permission to appeal.