Tulkinghorn would never go so far as to call a law firm disingenuous, but he often enjoys a quiet chuckle at the overenthusiasm of certain firms’ marketing departments.
Last week, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas were awarded a paltry £14,600 in privacy damages against Hello!, which took unauthorised pictures of their wedding in 2000, spoiling the couple’s exclusive deal with OK! Magazine.
OK! won more than £1m, but the £14,600 given to the couple would not seem much of a threat to press freedom, unless you are Addleshaw Goddard and keen to market your brilliance at winning privacy damages for celebrities.
“Hello! has been ordered to pay over £1m in damages to OK! Magazine, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones,” screams the Addleshaws press release, failing to mention how the money was apportioned.
“This is a landmark decision which has established that people in the public eye have the right to a private life. The very high damages award should serve as a warning to the media,” it continues in the same vein.
A warning to the media indeed. Never believe press releases, as they are generally full of guff.