Litigation deals round-up

Cunningham John (Simon John) with James Badenoch QC advised Frank O’Brien in his medical negligence claim against the NHS. The claim, which netted O’Brien a £500,000 settlement, was brought nearly 40 years after he suffered brain damage following treatment at the Western Fever Hospital in Fulham. The NHS Litigation Authority was advised by Hempsons, with Paul Reiss QC as counsel.

Herbert Smith (Chris Easdon), with Lord Grabiner QC, advised Fortis, the insurers of motorist Gary Hart, in its unsuccessful claim against the Department for Transport. Mr Justice Morland of the High Court rejected Fortis’s claims that the department’s negligence was partly to blame for the Selby rail crash. The department was advised by the Treasury Solicitors and Ian Burnett QC.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (John Davies) advised Mars in its long-running dispute with Unilever over distribution practices in ice-cream freezers. Mars celebrated a victory when the Court of First Instance in Luxembourg upheld the European Commission’s 1998 decision against Unilever’s exclusivity policy in the Irish market. Slaughter and May acted for Unilever.

Peter Carter-Ruck and Partners, on behalf of actor Ewan McGregor, won a default judgment and injunction against photo agency Eliot Press SARL, relating to photographs of McGregor’s children. The court ordered damages for breach of confidence, compensation under the Data Protection Act and damages for invasion of privacy, as well as an injunction forbidding publication of the photographs.

Bird & Bird and Daniel Lightman have successfully obtained an order on behalf of petitioners against the Edwardian Group. Sir Francis Ferris in the Chancery Division of the Companies Court granted the order restraining the company from expending money or assets on a Section 459 dispute between shareholders. Matthew Collings, instructed by Howard Kennedy, advised the company.