Monday, 4 October 2010

London Barrister Adrian Davies wins union leader's case

London barrister Adrian Davies represented Shaun Brady, former leader of the train drivers' union ASLEF, in one of the highest profile trade union cases of recent years.

Mr Brady sued his successor as ASLEF General Secretary, Keith Norman, for libel over comments made in the July 2006 edition of the union's monthly magazine Loco Journal, which was also published on the ASLEF website.

At the outset of the case Deputy Judge Richard Parkes QC accepted the argument of Adrian Davies (for Mr Brady) that the Loco News article bore a defamatory meaning and that not all of its readers were covered by qualified privilege, though as far as the website version of the article was concerned he accepted the argument of Jonathan Crystal (for Mr Norman) that there was insufficient evidence of readers outside the union's ranks having read the online articles concerned.

Though Mr Norman had published an apology in Loco News and conceded that there were untruths in the article concerned, he denied that these untruths were defamatory and refused an offer to settle the case for £9,500.

The jury accepted Adrian Davies's submissions that the article was indeed seriously defamatory and awarded Mr Brady £30,000 in damages.