Terence Wong successfully acts for Defendant in High Court committal application

Author: Reporter
In: News Published: Wednesday 20 June 2018


Terence Wong successfully acted for the Defendant, Lord de Chanson, in a committal application made to the Queen’s Bench division of the High Court. The application was brought by Sir David Barclay, represented by Sandip Patel QC

The application alleged breaches of two court orders that enforced an order made against the Defendant in the French High Court. The French Court had found a number of web-pages to constitute mental harassment of the Claimant and ordered the Defendant to withdraw these web-pages from the internet.

The first of the English orders imposed an obligation to withdraw forthwith the webpages at seven specified URLs. To facilitate this, the second order was made, which amongst other requirements, imposed an obligation on the Defendant to use his “best efforts” to remove two of the specified web-pages.

Key issues in dispute included whether two of the web-pages that had been changed to "private mode", rendering them inaccessible to the public, amounted to a withdrawal. Also, whether one of the web-pages had been withdrawn when the URL was still accessible online, but its content had been substantially changed from its original "offending" content.

At trial, Spencer J held that the Defendant had used “best efforts” to withdraw the web-pages. In any event, Spencer J found that all the web-pages had been withdrawn.

All of the alleged breaches in the Claimant’s consolidated committal application were dismissed.

The case provides useful guidance on what, in law, amounts to a “webpage” and when such web-pages are said to be “withdrawn”. It also provides an example of a successful “no case to answer” submission being made in civil proceedings where an adverse inference was not drawn from the Defendant’s choice not to give evidence.

Full judgment for Barclay v Tuck [2018] EWHC 1125 (QB) is available here

The judgment has been the subject of a Practical Law Case Analysis, available here

To view Terence Wong's profile, click here. Terence Wong was instructed by Mark Lake, Angela Gianotti and Christopher Bennett at Cartwright King Solicitors.