Times Newspapers v Flood and ors [2017] UKSC 33

The Supreme Court held that conditional fee uplifts are recoverable for media cases. In a number of cases involving defamation, newspaper publishers appealed the judgment of the Court of Appeal that success fees and ATE premiums were recoverable and that such did not infringe their rights under Art.10 ECHR (freedom of expression).

As from 1st April 2013, the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 abolished the right of successful claimants to recover success fees and ATE premium in any costs award but preserved such for defamation and privacy claims. The Supreme Court held that it would be contrary to their rights under Article One of the First Protocol to the European Convention of Human Rights as they had incurred financial obligations in reliance on the aforesaid act and had a legitimate expectation that the statute would not be repealed or invalidated to their detriment. Such outweighted the newspapers’ rights under Art.10 (freedom of expression) ECHR.

See Supreme Court summary at https://www.supremecourt.uk/cases/uksc-2015-0045.html

Jeremy Reed acted for a number of the respondents including Sadie Frost, the actress and ex-wife of Jude Law.