TV producers sue Farrers for breach of confidence

Farrer & Co, the Queen's law firm, is to be sued by a media lawyer and six producers of the Cook Report TV programme

They are alleging breach of confidence over a media bulletin sent out by the firm entitled 'Cook Settles', which contained details of a confidential settlement awar-ded to Carlton Television agai-nst the News of The World.
Freelance pre-publication lawyer Peter Smith and the six producers worked on the Cook Report, which was the subject of a libel action against the News of the World. The original claim, brought by investigative journalist Roger Cook and Carlton, was over accusations that the programme had been faked.
This was proved wrong and the newspaper settled with Cook and Carlton in the High Court in July this year. Smith and the producers were not named as claimants in the original proceedings.
Cook and Carlton, represented by Ross & Craig and Peter Carter-Ruck and Partners respectively, are not suing Farrers. Smith and the producers have instructed David Price Solicitors & Advocates to handle their claim.
David Price, senior partner of the firm, said that while no claim has been issued yet, he has been instructed to commence proceedings against Farrers. “We'll be initiating the claim shortly,” he said.
According to Price, the producers are pursuing the claim against Farrers largely because of the circulation of the firm's media bulletin, which was sent to 550 media lawyers, journalists and other high-profile contacts and clients.
“My clients felt totally vindicated by the outcome of the court case. They were planning on drawing a line under all this. Now there's been a flagrant breach of confidence and the sending of information with such a high-quality circulation. My clients aren't prepared to allow this to remain unchallenged,” said Price.
At the beginning of October, before the breach of confidence claim surfaced, Farrers sent out pre-paid envelopes to everyone who received the bulletin, asking for all copies to be returned. A spokesman for Farrers said: “We've heard nothing from Mr Price and aren't in a position to comment.”