Sir Philip Green’s case against the Telegraph formally ended at High Court

Sir Philip Green’s legal action against the Daily Telegraph has been formally brought to an end by a High Court judge.

In a statement issued last week, it was announced the retail tycoon was dropping the case because it was “pointless” after he was named in Parliament as the businessman behind an injunction against the newspaper.

In a ruling on Friday, Mr Justice Warby granted the Topshop owner permission to discontinue the proceedings.

Lawyers representing the Topshop owner and two of his companies previously told the court that going ahead with a trial would have been “worse” than ending the action.

James Price QC said the decision was prompted by Lord Hain’s identification of Sir Philip in the House of Lords in October last year, a day after the Telegraph ran a front-page story saying it was prevented from naming a “mystery businessman”.

Daily Telegraph free speech fight
Daily Telegraph free speech fight

The injunction was first sought after Sir Philip and an executive at his Arcadia firm were contacted by a Telegraph journalist in July last year.

The newspaper intended to publish allegations of misconduct made against Sir Philip by the employees – who all received substantial payments after settling their claims.

In all five cases, the employees had agreed to keep the details of their complaints confidential under non-disclosure agreements (NDAs).

In August last year, Mr Justice Haddon-Cave refused to gag the newspaper, but a challenge was mounted by Sir Philip – then identified in court papers as ABC – and the two companies.

My statement on Sir Philip Green (1/9)

— Chris Evans Telegraph (@chrisevans1) February 8, 2019

Court of Appeal judges temporarily barred the newspaper from identifying the tycoon or revealing “confidential information” relating to allegations of misconduct made against him by five employees.

Outlining their decision for granting the injunction, Master of the Rolls Sir Terence Etherton, Lord Justice Underhill and Lord Justice Henderson said there was a “real prospect” that publication would cause “substantial and possibly irreversible harm” to the claimants.

But former Cabinet minister Lord Hain named Sir Philip in the House of Lords two days after the court’s ruling in October.

The Labour peer said he had been contacted by someone “intimately involved” in the case and felt it was his “duty” to use parliamentary privilege to identify the retail mogul.