Sir Elton John & ors v Countess Joulebine & ors

A major case for IT lawyers and members of the legal profession in related fields concerning the validity of an injunction taken out against a website that had published confidential legal information. This further erodes what some might see as the ideal of free and unconstrained speech on the web, but lawyers will simply be happy that certainty has been introduced into a previously uncertain area of law.

The case was heard in the Queen's Bench Division before Master Leslie. Richard Lord of Brick Court Chambers was instructed by Eversheds for the claimant. The first defendant appeared in person. (Lawtel ref: C0100772)

(1) British Horseracing Board Ltd (2) Jockey Club (3) Weatherbys Group Ltd v William Hill Organisation Ltd

This case will affect every organisation that compiles, maintains and uses information from databases (ie every company in the UK). In 1996 the EU passed a directive (Directive 96/9/EC, available on Lawtel EU) on the protection of rights in databases. This is the first UK case that applies and comments on that directive, hence its significance not only to IT and intellectual property (IP) lawyers, but also to companies and organisations everywhere.

The case was heard in the Patents Court in the Chancery Division of the High Court before Mr Justice Laddie. Peter Prescott QC and Lindsay Lane of 8 New Square instructed by Theodore Goddard for the claimants. Mark Platts-Mills QC and James Abrahams, also both of 8 New Square, instructed by Allen & Overy for the defendant. (Lawtel ref: C0100741)

R v Isleworth County Council ex parte Murray King

Important guidance for judges on how to conduct a fair hearing when one of the parties is disabled.

The case was heard in the District Court before Mr Lord Justice Brooke and Mr Justice Morison. The claimant appeared in person. The defendant did not appear and was not represented. (Lawtel ref: C0100798)

The National Union of Rail Maritime and Transport Workers v London Underground Ltd

The National Union of Rail Maritime and Transport Workers' (RMT) unsuccessful appeal on the case concerning the injunction against the recent tube strikes. The case highlights legislation concerning the amount of information that unions are required to give to employers when their members are being balloted for strike action, so that the employers can plan effectively for the staff shortages.

The case was heard in the Court of Appeal before Mr Lord Justice Aldous, Mr Lord Justice Robert Walker and Mr Lord Justice Dyson. John Hand QC of Old Square Chambers and Nigel Giffin of 11 King's Bench Walk instructed by Pattinson & Brewer for the RMT. David Griffith-Jones QC and Peter Edwards of Devereux Chambers instructed by and for the claimant. (Lawtel ref: C0100790)

Secretary of State for Trade & Industry v Eastaway & ors

A defendant's right to a hearing within a reasonable time under the European Convention on Human Rights was not breached, even though proceedings against him had been continuing for more than eight years.

The case was heard in the Companies Court in the Chancery Division before the vice-chancellor Sir Andrew Morritt. Matthew Collings of Maitland Chambers instructed by Burton Copeland for Eastaway. Jonathan Crow of 4 Stone Buildings and Richard Gillis of One Essex Court instructed by the Treasury Solicitor for the Secretary of State. (Lawtel ref: C0100789)

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