IMPRESS publishes second arbitration award

Correction: On 25th May 2018 IMPRESS published an arbitration award that incorrectly stated that the Financial Times, "...paid the sum of £12,000 in damages to Mr Gould plus a sum towards his costs". In fact the FT paid the sum of £8,000 in damages to Mr Gould plus £2,500 costs, and £500 VAT.

An arbitrator has made an award of damages of £900 against Evolve Politics in the second legal dispute to be resolved under the IMPRESS arbitration scheme. The dispute was resolved within three months of the request for arbitration being referred by IMPRESS to the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Mark Lewis of Seddon’s Solicitors contacted IMPRESS on behalf of the claimant Jonny Gould to make a request for arbitration to settle a legal claim of defamation, arising from an article published by Evolve Politics on 24th January 2018, in which it is complained that reference was made to TV and radio broadcaster Jonny Gould attending a President’s Club fundraising dinner event.   

IMPRESS accepted the request for arbitration on 16th February and referred the request to the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators who on 2nd March appointed Ian Ridd, a Barrister at Farrar’s Buildings, as independent arbitrator for the case. An award was finalised on 14th May and published by IMPRESS on 21st May.

Evolve admitted that Mr Gould was referred to in the article that it published and further admitted that Mr Gould had not attended the event.  Evolve, however, denied that the article was defamatory of Mr Gould and contended that the article did not bear the meanings that Mr Gould contended it does and denied in any event that the article was defamatory because it has not been shown that it caused serious harm to Mr Gould’s reputation.

In the award, the arbitrator upheld the claim and found that the natural and ordinary meaning conveyed by the references to Mr Gould in the article was plainly defamatory by the standards of the common law.  The arbitrator also considered that the meaning he had found the references to him to have, conveyed a serious defamatory intention and he was satisfied that he should draw an inference of serious harm to Mr Gould’s reputation. 

For further information please contact Ed Procter, Chief Operating Officer, IMPRESS.