Barry Gardiner MP has received a substantial settlement of his libel claim against News UK and Jeremy Kyle.
Mr Gardiner MP was represented by Martin Howe of Howe + Co and Mark Henderson of Doughty Street Chambers.
The claim related to a false statement by broadcaster, Jeremy Kyle, on his TalkRADIO show that Mr Gardiner had employed a Chinese spy in his office.
TalkRADIO broadcasted an on air retraction and apology by Jeremy Kyle, and the claim has now been resolved with a substantial settlement, including a payment towards Mr Gardiner’s legal costs. Mr Gardiner is using the substantial settlement to make a donation to London Community Kitchen who operate a foodbank in Brent and Harrow.
Irish Travellers barred from watching “Gypsy King” Tyson Fury’s world title fight, win substantial damages, legal costs, an unreserved apology and a donation to charity from UK’s leading pub retailer and brewer – Greene King.
Howe + Co has recovered substantial damages, legal costs, an unreserved apology and a donation to charity for 12 Irish Travellers who were discriminated against by staff at a Greene King pub, the Rose and Crown in Woodford Green, Essex. Greene King is a leading pub retailer in the UK with over 3000 pubs.
On 23 April 2022, six of Howe + Co’s clients were ejected by a manager of the Rose and Crown as they sat down to watch the WBC heavyweight title fight between Dillian Whyte and the “Gypsy King” Tyson Fury. They were told that they had to leave because of Greene King’s policy to not serve Irish Travellers (a policy which the company Board of Directors denies). Another six clients, who were on their way to the pub, were told to turn around as they would not be served.
Even after they challenged the decision to refuse service, the Manager told our clients “that’s what the company says, no Travellers”. He also confirmed that the reason for the ejection was race, and accepted that the policy was discriminatory.
The 12 individuals instructed Howe + Co to bring claims against Greene King for unlawful direct racial discrimination contrary to the Equality Act 2010. The pub chain settled the claims out of court.
In response to the legal case, Greene King has committed to training its staff to ensure that discrimination does not occur again in the Rose and Crown and has reaffirmed its commitment to removing racism across its business.
Greene King has posted the following public apology on their website and on their LinkedIn profile:
“Greene King sincerely apologises to the 12 individuals who were discriminated against by a member of our team and asked to leave or not attend our Rose and Crown pub in Woodford Green on 23 April 2022.
This behaviour is contrary to all that we at Greene King believe in. We have a commitment to “Calling Time on Racism” and we are working hard across our business to make sure that we all consistently live up to these commitments and values. Since this incident we have ensured that the team in the Rose and Crown has had full training in this area, in addition to our company wide efforts to promote inclusion and diversity and eliminate racism in our company.
We have apologised unreservedly to the 12 individuals involved in this incident paid them compensation as well as their legal costs and have made a charitable donation at their request.”
The 12 individuals instructed Howe + Co’s Equality and Discrimination team, which is led by Howe + Co’s Partner, Martin Howe (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Martin Howe said:
“I am pleased that Greene King agreed to settle yet another shocking example of race discrimination against Irish Travellers. It is not lost on our clients that they were ejected from the pub as they, along with other non-Traveller customers, prepared to watch the heavyweight world title fight between Dillian Whyte and Tyson Fury, a man proud of his Irish Traveller heritage and who fights as the ‘Gypsy King’.
Greene King has, rightly, paid substantial damages and costs, and have made an unreserved sincere apology for the hurt and distress caused to our clients by their pub staff. It is time that Greene King turns its words into action. It is not enough to issue statements ‘Calling Time on Racism’ if Greene King’s staff continue to discriminate against any racial or ethnic group.
Discrimination against Irish Travellers remains only too prevalent and is regarded by some as the last bastion of acceptable racism. Until these ugly unacceptable instances of blatant racism against Travellers are stopped, significant settlements like this will continue to the shame companies who engage in racist conduct.”
Yvonne MacNamara, CEO of the Traveller Movement, said:
“The Traveller Movement are pleased that Greene King have settled this cut and dried instance of discrimination, and apologised to the affected individuals. We hope that they now have the closure they deserve.
We welcome Greene King’s commitment to ‘Calling Time on Racism’ and will continue to act as a critical friend to the company to ensure they uphold both their legal obligations, as well as the organisational principles they have set for themselves.
It is important to note this case is not an outlier; racism against Irish Travellers is rife in our society. We hope and expect that that this outcome will serve as a warning to other companies, and that Greene King’s future conduct will serve as an example of inclusivity and progress.”
Having acted for many years on behalf of the British Army Gurkhas, on this Remembrance Sunday Howe + Co recalls the sacrifice of our fallen Gurkha soldiers and that of others who have given their lives in the name of freedom.
The Grenfell Tower Inquiry hearings have now ended.
The libel action brought by blogger Richard Millett against the MP and former leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, has been settled by consent. A court order bringing the litigation to an end has been approved by Mr Justice Nicklin. Mr Millett brought the claim in relation to a statement Mr Corbyn made during a live interview on The Andrew Marr Show broadcast on BBC One in September 2018.
The claim has been discontinued by Mr Millett with no order as to costs. A three week trial of the case was due to begin on Monday 10 October 2022.
The parties have released the following joint statement:
“The libel claim brought by Richard Millett against the Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP has been settled. Mr Corbyn has paid no damages, has made no apology and has given no undertakings concerning repetition of the words complained of. No costs have been paid by either party to the other as part of this settlement, save in respect of an outstanding order of the Court of Appeal from April 2021.
Neither party will be making any other comment about the case.”
In 2020 the court ruled that, although Mr Corbyn had not named Mr Millett in the Marr interview, Mr Millett would have been recognisable to some viewers. The court found that Mr Corbyn’s words meant that: (1) on one occasion Mr Millett had been so disruptive at a meeting in the House of Commons that the police wished to remove him from the premises, but Mr Corbyn asked that he be allowed to remain; (2) Mr Millett had acted in a disruptive way at other meetings and (3) at a meeting Mr Millett had been extremely abusive in his treatment of Mr Hassassian [the Palestinian Ambassador] after Mr Hassassian spoke at the meeting. The nature of the abuse was such that Mr Hassassian was caused distress by Mr Millett’s behaviour. Mr Corbyn felt the need to speak to support Mr Hassassian. Mr Millett’s conduct towards Mr Hassassian was based on what Mr Hassassian had said and/or the views he was expressing.
Mr Corbyn defended the case on the grounds that:
• what he had said about Mr Millett was true;
• that he reasonably believed it to have been in the public interest to say what he said about Mr Millett; and
• that he had been speaking honestly on an occasion of qualified privilege.
Thirty-one independent witnesses agreed to give evidence on Mr Corbyn’s behalf, and gave witness statements about Mr Millett’s conduct at twenty separate meetings. Their evidence included video, audio, photographic and documentary evidence. Mr Corbyn was also to give evidence.
Mr Millett was to call seven witnesses, and intended on giving evidence himself.
The settlement brings to an end the protracted litigation on the basis set out in the joint statement.
Howe + Co’s Media/Libel Team were pleased to represent Jeremy Corbyn in his defence of the case. Our media team are: Martin Howe (senior partner), Kieran O’Rourke (partner), John Sheridan (solicitor) and Aylin Howe (solicitor).
Howe + Co instructed William McCormick KC (Selborne Chambers) and Mark Henderson (Doughty Street Chambers).
Howe and Co have continued to support Defendants defending an injunction sought by various Claimants of the Fitzwilliam hunt. Having successfully resisted the majority of the injunction at first hearing, the return date for the judgement has been listed for the 16 November 2018 of the interim injunction.
The case has been crowd funded in part using the site Crowd Justice, those continuing to wish to make a contribution to this campaign can do so here. Please do continue to assist these Defendants who have made a great contributions to the advancement of the fight against unlawful fox hunting.
Crowd funding via Crowd Justice has been an excellent experience, and we encourage the use of this vital resource for access to justice as discussed in the Guardian.
These groups have taken part in numerous successful prosecutions of persons associated with fox hunting, and it is hoped that the Court take this into account when considering the outcome of this case.
A large number of the Defendants are represented by Adam Tear a solicitor advocate of Howe and Co and Ashley Underwood QC from Cornerstone Chambers.
Howe and Co are exceptionally pleased to announce there listing in the Legal 500, following their recent success in the Law Society Excellence Awards. Howe and Co listing records:
"Led by senior partner Martin Howe, Howe + Co Solicitors represents high-profile clients in civil liberties and human rights cases. It is acting for a group of individuals in the Grenfell Inquiry, and is advising another group in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. David Enright is leading the team in the latter case and has been involved in numerous immigration public law challenges. The ‘fearless’ Adam Tear handles actions against the police and regularly appears in the Court of Appeal, High Court and Upper Tribunal in respect to judicial reviews relating to immigration."
Howe and Co continue to deliver the highest level of service in exceptional complex cases and are pleased to have the recognition for their civil liberties work. We look forward to improving on our listing in the coming years.
Howe and Co we very pleased to be nominated, short listed and highly commended in the Law Society Excellence awards in the firm of the year , and pro bono firm categories. We congratulate all firms who were shortlisted and especially those who won in their categories.
The delivery of excellence in law is central to the core concepts of Howe and Co, we continue to strive to deliver the highest standards of service.
In both the categories that we were nominated in, we were shortlisted and highly commended in our work, we are grateful for the recognition from our peers that our work is at the highest level of excellence.
We will continue to deliver services to our clients with the quality of service they come to expect from us. We pride ourselves in having repeat business from our clients when they need legal services.
We are proud that we continue to offer legal services funded under the Legal Aid Agency, in Immigration and asylum, Actions Against the Police, Public law, and other related matters such as trafficking, inquests and other matters.
If you need legal assistance please contact us to discuss how we can help. Even if we are unable to help, we will assist to signpost you to someone that can.
David Enright, along with the other solicitors representing all of the survivor core participants in the Nottinghamshire councils investigation today expressed outrage at the failure of Nottingham city council to send any senior representative to hear the accounts of abuse of the victims and survivors.
Although senior representatives of Nottingham county council and Nottingham police attended to hear the harrowing accounts of the victims and survivors of child sexual abuse, Nottingham city council failed to send a representative.
David Enright (Head of Howe & Co's Inquiry Team) said:
Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse Ampleforth and Downside Investigation report 9 August 2018
On the 9 August 2018, the IICSA published the Ampleforth and Downside Investigation Report, as part of the Roman Catholic Church Investigation. David Enright and Sam Stein QC attended a preview meeting this morning where they were able to read the report before publication. Below is a review from David and Sam of the contents of the report. A fuller analysis will follow, but this is our first impression of its contents.
If you have any questions please call or email Howe & Co’s IICSA team at IICSA@howe.co.uk
David Enright (head of Howe & Co.’s Public Inquiry’s team) and Sam Stein QC of Nexus Chambers, the Chambers of Michael Mansfield QC, attended a preview of the IICSA’s report into Ampleforth and Downside Abbeys and schools.
This investigation forms part of the IICSA English Benedictine Case Study, which in turn forms part of the wider ongoing IICSA Roman Catholic Church Investigation. Today’s report arises from the public hearing, which was held from 27 November 2017 – 15 December 2017. David Enright and Sam Stein QC appeared at that hearing representing their core participant clients. A link to their opening submissions in that public hearing can be found here. David Enright’s submissions begin at 58:16: https://www.iicsa.org.uk/video/iicsa-english-benedictine-congregation-case-study-day-1-271117-am1
Overview of Ampleforth and Downside investigation report
The chronology of child sexual abuse of children by persons associated with Downside and Ampleforth Abbey (including monks and staff) set out in the report is truly shocking. Not only is the scale of child abuse shocking, but how long the abuse continued, that it was widely known at the highest levels of these monasteries and Schools, and that child abusers routinely went unreported, unpunished and were allowed to abuse again.
It is difficult to describe the appalling sexual abuse inflicted over decades on children aged as young as seven at Ampleforth School, and 11 at Downside. Ten individuals, mostly monks, connected to these two institutions have been convicted or cautioned in relation to offences involving sexual activity with a large number of children, or offences of pornography. The true scale of abuse however, is to be considerably higher. (Paras 3 and 4 of executive summary of Ampleforth and Downside investigation report)
“In addition, there have been allegations of a wide spectrum of physical abuse, much of which had sadistic and sexual overtones” (Executive Summary p.iii)
Destruction of records
It is clear from the report that there is strong evidence that evidence relating to child sexual abuse the Abbey’s response to it may have been destroyed. The Inquiry made scathing findings regarding the destruction of records. It found:
In common with other Inquiry investigations, the issue of destruction of records arose. Recently, he thought possibly in 2012 (when he was headmaster of Downside School), Dom Leo Maidlow Davies spent some time removing files from the basement of a Downside building. He made several trips with a wheelbarrow loaded with files to the edge of the estate and made a bonfire of them. These files were reported to be primarily the personal records of individual monks and staff stored over a lengthy period of time, which were required to be disposed of to create more storage space. It is impossible to say whether these files contained either potentially incriminating information or, indeed, information which could have enabled victims to have a better understanding of what happened to them. Regardless of the motivation for the destruction of these records, it adds to the perception of cover up on the part of Downside.
The very real concern is that persons, including the leaders of these Abbeys and schools may have allowed records to be destroyed, or even destroyed them themselves, to shield the Abbeys and the Church from full and proper scrutiny.
Howe & Co’s impact on Inquiry’s report and recommendations
It appears that submissions made by Howe & Co on behalf of its clients have had a significant impact upon the report and recommendations.
All of our clients within this investigation have made it abundantly clear that one of the main issues confronting the Catholic Church, as a whole and demonstrated in the governance structure of the English Benedictine Congregation, is that it lacks any type of corporate management structure. Because of this profound structural flaw the implementation of any recommendations as to change and compliance with child protection systems has no organisational effect. The Inquiry adopted submissions, strikingly similar to those made by Howe & Co, as can be seen:
“The EBC is not pyramidal in structure; it has no recognisable line management oversight. Each abbot or abbes has responsibility for their own community, which is autonomous.”
On behalf of our clients Howe & Co pressed the inquiry to understand that the English Benedictine Congregation had not faced up to their responsibilities, nor adequately acknowledged the abuse within its institutions and that these central failures and flaws were reflected across the Catholic Church as a whole. We are therefore pleased to see that the report is cutting in its findings regarding the actions of leading members of the Abbeys in relation to the wide spread and widely known child sexual abuse that was being perpetrated at both Abbeys.
Those who have followed the hearings will recall that, in cross examination of Dom Richard Yeo (then president of the EBC) Sam Stein QC pressed the Abbot on the lack of progress regarding acknowledgement of abuse and the failure to provide any compensation scheme or even agree that the wider EBC should be responsible for the payment of compensation to survivors.
As regards these issues the Inquiry found:
“Time and again within the public hearing the most senior clergymen in the EBC and in the two Abbeys, including past presidents of the EBC Dom Richard Yeo and Dom Charles Fitzgerald-Lombard, admitted wrong-headed judgments, and expressed regret at past failures to protect children. This was necessary but not sufficient. It was not accompanied by a full acknowledgement of the tolerance of serious criminal activity, or the recognition that previous ‘misjudgments’ had devastating consequences for the lives of the young people involved.”
‘Nor has any comprehensive redress scheme been offered to victims” (Executive Summary p.v).
What were the Inquiry’s conclusions?
In a word, damning.
In relation to Ampleforth Abbey and School the Inquiry concluded:
The [Charity] Commission’s statutory Inquiry announced its findings on 3 April 2018. In summary, the Commission was not satisfied that AAT [Ampleforth Abbey Trust] and SLET’s [the School’s education trust] current safeguarding policies, procedures and practices are adequate and working properly. This includes concerns about their compliance with established safeguarding procedures...As a result, on 3 April 2018, the Commission announced that it had stripped Ampleforth and SLET of their safeguarding oversight and appointed an interim manager for both charities…
It is clear to us from all the evidence we have heard during this Inquiry that several systemic child protection and safeguarding challenges remain at Ampleforth to this day.
In relation to Downside Abbey and School the Inquiry concluded:
Dom Leo told us that Downside is currently working towards the school becoming separate and independent from the monastery. We are not convinced by this statement, but we now understand that after our public hearings a consultancy firm was appointed in April 2018 to manage the separation. It took nearly 10 years to organise this separation, which is yet to be complete.
As with Ampleforth, the evidence that we have seen and heard during the course of our inquiry, outlined above, indicates that a number of systematic child protection and safeguarding challenges remain at Downside to this day.
Nolan and Cumberlege – the Downside connection
It is important for readers of this report not to think that this report represents the first time the Catholic Church has been examined in relation to child sexual abuse. The Catholic Church undertook two major reviews of child safeguarding; the Nolan Report in 2001 and a major nationwide follow up, the Cumberlege Commission in 2006 – 2007.
The Inquiry found that following the Nolan report
“By 2002/3 the Catholic Church had appointed diocesan safeguarding officers who were expected to be involved in handling any allegations or disclosures. There was hostility to the Nolan Report in both institutions for some time after its formal adoption. They seemed to take the view that its implementation was neither obligatory nor desirable. This failure to comply appeared to go unchallenged by the Catholic Church” (Executive Summary p.iv).
The Cumberlege Commission (which was the five year review of progress following Nolan) produced its report in 2007 entitled “Safeguarding with Confidence”.
It is beyond irony, and readers of this report will be astonished, to note that the Cumberlege Commission held its concluding sessions at Downside Abbey and that one of the Commission’s members was Dom Richard Yeo, recent former Abbott of Downside and the then president of the English Benedictine Congregation.
This investigation, the Abbey’s and the Church’s attitude to Child Sexual abuse may well be summarised in the words and evidence of Mr Adrian Child (former director of the national Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service) to the Inquiry on 13 December 2017 (page 136 – 137 of the transcript):
… If I could just, I suppose, add to that that I think the Catholic Church has had two excellent opportunities, through Nolan and Cumberlege, to get safeguarding right on a kind of, as I said, goodwill, internal basis, and whilst I think there's been a huge amount of effort by a lot of people, a lot of very good people, within the church, and I include some bishops and religious leaders in that, they haven't got it right, and that's in a 15-year period. So I don't see any value in tinkering around the edges and saying, "Here you are. Here is a third opportunity. Go away and sort this out yourself", so that comes back to my point I made a few minutes ago: I think there needs to be accountability and some kind of mandatory enforcement.
Thus, the former head of the Catholic Church’s own safeguarding advisory body believes that the Catholic Church has had its chances to prove that it can keep children safe, the Church has failed in that duty and should not be given a third chance. In his expert view, child protection needs to be taken out of the hands of the Catholic Church.
In November the Inquiry will hold a hearing into the Archdiocese of Birmingham. As a result of submissions made by Sam Stein QC and David Enright, the head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, Cardinal Vincent Nicholls, will give evidence to that hearing.
In February 2019 the Inquiry will hold a further hearing into the English Benedictines (Ealing Abbey and School). As recently as 21 December 2017 that former Abbott of Ealing, Lawrence Soper, was convicted of 19 charges of indecent and sexual assault of 10 pupils of Ealing Abbey School.
The Inquiry has indicated that it will be holding a further and final hearing in the Roman Catholic Church Investigation in late 2019.
Howe & Co will be representing core participant victims and survivors at all of these hearings.
The report provides the most deeply troubling account of long term, wide spread child abuse, perpetrated at these Abbey run Catholic Schools. The child abuse that was being perpetrated at these Abbey’s and Schools was widely known of within the Church. Abusers were not reported, they were sheltered and were allowed to be free to continue to abuse again.
The report paints the starkest picture of the apparent inability and unwillingness of these institutions (The Benedictine Congregation) and the Catholic Church in England and Wales to confront child abuse and child abusers:
“We agreed with Dr.Whitehead’s views about the safeguarding challenges still facing Downside. He talked of a ‘massive issue’ in relation to structure and governance, with a culture of ‘monastic superiority’, ineffective governance and a lack of transparency as to who was actually running the organisation. He said they needed to ‘wake up’ to the realities of modern compliance.
David Molesworth, a safeguarding specialist with the local authority, gave his contemporary assessment of child protection at Ampleforth: ‘I do not currently believe that the origination a whole understands or accepts their responsibilities for child protection issues….., we appear to be dealing with denial or downright obstruction’” (Executive Summary pili).
Whilst many aspects of this report are commendable, in that IICSA recognises both the scale of the abuse within the EBC and the failure of the EBC to live up to its responsibilities to protect children within its care, the report shies away from making recommendations as to change. Despite the fact that within this investigation David Enright and Sam Stein QC repeatedly called for urgent recommendations to be made immediately the Inquiry has decided that it will await the conclusions of the others parts of the Catholic Church investigation and potentially other investigations as well.
It is difficult to understand why there is a delay to making some obvious recommendations. As an example, why wait until the final part of those investigation to come to the obvious conclusion that the seal of the confessional cannot be absolute? Instead this report says we shall have to wait:
“This case study has given rise to a number of issues which have wider implications than for the English Benedictines Congregation. These include issues of self-governance relating to safeguarding, ‘failure to report’ and ‘position of trust’ offences, and the extension of statutory procedures governing state schools to independent schools. We shall address these in future Inquiry reports”
It remains our central submission, on behalf of our clients, that the Catholic Church in England and Wales has (directly or indirectly) within its care almost a million school children and hundreds of thousands of other children and vulnerable adults in crèches, churches, care homes etc.
An organisation of such size and national importance must be held to the same standards of child protection, as we would expect from any other organisation. As matters stand it remains the case that experts, including those who have headed up the Catholic Church’s safeguarding bodies, do not believe the Church is structurally capable of safeguarding children.
In the face of this evidence, the Inquiry must act more decisively.
David Enright – Howe & Co
Sam Stein QC – Nexus Chambers
9 August 2018