High Court strikes out FT libel claim

The High Court today struck out the record £230.5m claim for special damages made by City stockbrokers Collins Stewart Tullet in its libel battle with the Financial Times (FT).

The company was seeking the damages following an article that alleged financial wrongdoing and which, it claimed, caused a large fall in its share price. The company will now have to prove its actual losses in the libel case, which is expected next April.

Mr Justice Tugendhat said: “I have decided that the claimants cannot win on this part of their claim, and that a trial of that issue would be a waste of time.”

If Collins Stewart had been successful, the courts would have had to determine exactly how a share price was affected and to what extent.

“It is confirmation that these claims will not be given any credence in a libel case, commented Wiggin & Co media partner Caroline Kean.

Farrer & Co’s Nick Alway and Desmond Browne QC of 5 Raymond Buildings advised the FT. Schillings partner Rod Christie-Miller is advising investment bank Collins Stewart Tullett with Richard Spearman QC of 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square.