Cream Holdings Ltd v Banerjee [2004] UKHL 44

Human Right Law feature


Cream Holdings Ltd v Banerjee [2004] concerned an interim injunction to prevent publication of confidential information prior to trial.


The case summary contains 426 words.


Media Law – Human Rights – Interim injunction – Publication of confidential information – Freedom of expression – Threshold – House of Lords


In Cream Holdings Ltd v Banerjee [2004], one of the defendants, Ms Banerjee, obtained confidential information from her work, the claimant company (Cream Holdings Ltd). After the defendant’s dismissal from the company, she gave the confidential material to the publishers of two daily newspapers in Merseyside, the Daily Post and the Liverpool Echo. The defendant argued that the confidential information contained illegal and improper activities by the claimant company. The newspapers published articles asserting that one of the directors of Cream Holdings Ltd was bribing a local council official.

Interim injunction

Following the publication of part of the confidential information, the claimant company sought an interim injunction preventing the newspapers from publishing any further confidential information. The judge granted the injunction. The defendant appealed. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal and held that the company had “a real prospect at trial”. So, publication of the confidential information prior to trial would not be justified. The case reached the House of Lords.


Whether the courts should have granted the interim injunction based on “a real prospect at trial”.


The House of Lords disagreed with the lower court’s findings. In particular, a principal issue in the present case was to balance the freedom of expression against the prospect of success at trial. The House of Lords did not share the argument that the claimant company was simply required to show “a real prospect of success” to obtain an interim injunction. Instead, the claimant must advance an argument the case will probably succeed at trial. So, the threshold the claimant was required to meet was higher.

Thus, the House of Lords ruled that the courts should be very reluctant to grant interim injunction in favour of a party who is unable to establish that his case will more likely succeed at trial. So, a previous test – “a real prospect of success”, offered a lower threshold.

To sum up, the present case raised a bar for the applicants to obtain an interim injunction in order to prevent the publication of confidential information prior to trial.


See the full text of the judgment here.

References: [2004] UKHL 44; [2005] 1 A.C. 253; [2004] 3 W.L.R. 918; [2004] 4 All E.R. 617; [2004] 10 WLUK 325; [2005] E.M.L.R. 1; [2004] H.R.L.R. 39; [2004] U.K.H.R.R. 1071; 17 B.H.R.C. 464; (2005) 28(2) I.P.D. 28001; (2004) 101(42) L.S.G. 29; (2004) 154 N.L.J. 1589; (2004) 148 S.J.L.B. 1215; Times, October 15, 2004; [2005] C.L.Y. 2041.

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Anton Piller KG v Manufacturing Processes Ltd [1976] Ch. 55

judge, jury, recorder, employer, employee, contract,


Anton Piller KG v Manufacturing Processes Ltd [1976] concerned alleged disclosure of confidential documents and the plaintiffs’ application to inspect/search/seize such documents.


The case summary contains 338 words.


English Legal System – Disclosure of secret information – Interim injunction – Confidential documents – Exceptional circumstances – Court of Appeal


In Anton Piller KG v Manufacturing Processes Ltd [1976], the plaintiffs, German manufacturers, contended that the defendants, an English Company and their agents, were in secret communication with other German manufacturers, giving them confidential information. In order to prevent the disclosure of secret commercial information, the plaintiffs sought an interim injunction to stop the defendants from disclosing such information. The judge at first instance granted the interim injunction. Although, the judge dismissed the plaintiffs’ second request, refusing them to inspect/search/seize the confidential document in the defendants’ possession. The plaintiffs appealed.


Whether the plaintiffs should be allowed to inspect the confidential documents?


The Court of Appeal allowed the plaintiffs’ appeal and gave the following judgment. It granted the plaintiffs’ second request and held that there are exceptional circumstances when the confidential documents in the defendants’ possession are removed or destroyed. This would cause a very serious danger of actual or potential damage to a plaintiff.

As regards the Court’s jurisdiction, it held that it had jurisdiction to order defendants to allow the plaintiffs’ representatives to inspect and remove the confidential documents. In these exceptional circumstances, the Court of Appeal held that it is justified to make such order in response to the plaintiffs’ application. In addition, the Court noted that the plaintiffs must act carefully upon entering the defendants’ premises and they should fully respect the defendants’ rights.


Access the full text of the judgment here.

References: [1976] Ch. 55; [1976] 2 W.L.R. 162; [1976] 1 All E.R. 779; [1975] 12 WLUK 38; [1976] F.S.R. 129; [1976] R.P.C. 719; (1975) 120 S.J. 63; Times, December 9, 1975; [1976] C.L.Y. 2136.

Applied: United Co of Merchants Trading to the East Indies v Kynaston 4 E.R. 561, [1821] 3 WLUK 17.

Approved: EMI Ltd v Kishorilal N Pandit [1975] 1 W.L.R. 302, [1974] 12 WLUK 30.

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AMP v Persons Unknown [2011] EWHC 3454 (TCC)

Media Law Study Module


AMP v Persons Unknown [2011] concerned a woman whose explicit images were uploaded to BitTorrent file-sharing websites.


The case summary contains 536 words.


IT Law – Mobile phone – Explicit images – Threats – Social media – Human rights – Information technology – Interim injunction – Right to respect for private and family life – Privacy – Article 8 ECHRProtection from Harassment Act 1997


In AMP v Persons Unknown [2011], while the claimant was at university her mobile phone was stolen or lost. It did not have a user password lock activated. The police were notified and the phone was reported as stolen. The phone contained digital images of an explicit nature. The claimant is alone in the photos and her face is clearly visible. The phone also contained other digital images of her family and friends.

Shortly after the theft of her phone, those explicit images were uploaded on various online media websites. She contacted the online media hosting service and the images were removed promptly. Later, someone contacted the claimant and threatened to post those images online if she did not add him as a friend on Facebook. She deleted those Facebook messages and blocked the sender. Couple of months later, the images were uploaded to a Swedish website that hosts files known as “BitTorrent” files.

The claimant applied for an interim injunction seeking to prevent transmission, storage and indexing of her images. The claimant contended that she entitled to the interim injunction to preserve her right to respect for her private and family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and under section 3(A) of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.


Whether the Court should grant the interim order?


The Court heard the case and granted the inter injunction, prohibiting the downloading of specific files shared via BitTorrent technology. It held that having regard to the circumstances of the case, the claimant had a reasonable expectation of privacy in relation to her explicit images. Herewith, Article 10 (Freedom of expression) did not apply in the present case, since claimant’s images could not be described as journalistic, literary or artistic material. Also, the Court found that the users of the BitTorrent client software who were downloading and uploading the applicant’s digital images had no rights in that information and the information was of a personal, private and confidential nature which the courts should protect. Accordingly, it was appropriate to grant interim relief in the form of an injunction.

The Court also considered the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 and found that the distribution of those photos could amount to harassment. So, it granted the interim injunction on both grounds – privacy and protection from harassment.

The effect of the interim injunction was that a breach would be a criminal offence without the necessity of applying to the court for contempt.


Followed: Campbell v Mirror Group Newspapers Ltd [2004] UKHL 22, [2004] 2 A.C. 457, [2004] 5 WLUK 97; Murray v Express Newspapers Plc [2008] EWCA Civ 446, [2009] Ch. 481, [2008] 5 WLUK 113. Thomas v News Group Newspapers Ltd [2001] EWCA Civ 1233, [2002] E.M.L.R. 4, [2001] 7 WLUK 430.

Applied: Dowson v Chief Constable of Northumbria [2010] EWHC 2612 (QB), [2010] 10 WLUK 459.

References: [2011] EWHC 3454 (TCC);  [2011] 12 WLUK 641; [2011] Info. T.L.R. 25; (2012) 156(2) S.J.L.B. 31.

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PJS v News Group Newspapers Ltd [2016] UKSC 26

Newspaper Licensing Agency Ltd v Marks & Spencer


PJS v News Group Newspapers Ltd [2016] an interim injunction to restrain the respondent newspaper group from publishing a story about the claimant’s extramarital sexual activities.


The case summary contains 482 words.


IT Law – Defamation – Celebrity – Extramarital sexual activities – Article 8 ECHR – Interim injunction – Pending trial – Freedom of expression – Supreme Court


In PJS v News Group Newspapers Ltd [2016], the claimant, a celebrity with young children, was engaged in extramarital sexual activities with another couple. Then the couple approached the respondent newspaper, which proposed to publish the story.

The claimant issued proceedings alleging that the publication would breach his rights to privacy and confidentiality, protected by Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (‘ECHR’). He also applied for an interim injunction to restrain the publication while the trial of pending.

The present case required the court to protect the balance between the claimant’s rights under Article 8 of the ECHR and the respondent newspaper’s right to freedom of expression under Article 10 of the ECHR.


Whether the court should grant the interim injunction?


The High Court refused to grant the application for interim injunction, ruling that publication would be in the public interest. The claimant successfully appealed and the Court of Appeal granted the injunction, restraining the publication. The injunction was effective for 11 weeks, but the story was published in the United States.

The respondent publisher applied to the Court of Appeal seeking to set aside the interim injunction. It claimed that the injunction served no purpose since the story was already published and accessible to the public domain. The Court of Appeal upheld the respondent publisher’s arguments and set aside the interim injunction. The claimant celebrity appealed against the decision setting aside the interim injunction.

The Supreme Court’s findings

The Supreme Court granted the interim injunction restraining the publication of a story about a celebrity’s extramarital sexual activities. It held that although the story and the celebrity’s identity had been widely published overseas and online, the injunction served the purpose of preserving the privacy interests of the celebrity, his partner and their young children. Without the interim injunction, there would be further unrestricted and extensive coverage of the celebrity’s story which would undermine the purpose of any trial.

Further, the Supreme Court held that the publication of the story was contrary to the interests of the claimant’s children. In these circumstances, granting the interim injunction was the only remedy for the claimant and his family.


Access the full text of the Supreme Court’s judgment here.

References: [2016] UKSC 26; [2016] A.C. 1081; [2016] 2 W.L.R. 1253; [2016] 4 All E.R. 554; [2016] 5 WLUK 438; [2016] E.M.L.R. 21; [2016] 2 F.L.R. 251; [2016] H.R.L.R. 13; 42 B.H.R.C. 111; [2016] F.S.R. 33; [2016] Fam. Law 963
[2016] C.L.Y. 284.

Approved: JIH v News Group Newspapers Ltd [2010] EWHC 2818 (QB), [2011] E.M.L.R. 9, [2010] 11 WLUK 183;  CTB v News Group Newspapers Ltd [2011] EWHC 1326 (QB), [2011] 5 WLUK 619.

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K Ltd v National Westminster Bank plc [2006] EWCA Civ 1039

hill Samuel, bank, redundancy, unfair dismissal



K Ltd v National Westminster Bank plc [2006] is a Money Laundering case concerning a bank’s refusal to make suspicious transaction.


The case summary contains 371 words.


Money laundering – Banking and financing – Suspicious transaction – Bank – Interim injunction – Criminal property – Court of Appeal


In K Ltd v National Westminster Bank plc [2006], the appellant company entered into transactions to purchase mobile phones and to sell them to a Swiss company. The Swiss purchases agreed to pay the price into the appellant’s account. The respondent bank had a suspicion that the money into the appellant company’s account was criminal property and declined to make the relevant transaction. As a result, the appellant applied to the court for an interim injunction, requiring the respondent bank to comply with his instructions and, therefore, make the transaction.

The judge dismissed the appellant company’s request for interim injunction on the following ground. The judge noted that once the respondent bank suspected that the money was criminal property that was the end of matter. The appellant appealed, claiming that the respondent bank acted improperly.


Whether the respondent bank rightly refused to comply with the appellant company’s instruction and make a suspicious transaction?


The Court of Appeal dismissed the appellant company’s appeal. The Court held that if a bank knows or suspects that money in a customer’s account is a criminal property and the bank still makes transaction then it commits an offence under section 328 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. Herewith, it would be no defence even if the bank was contractually obliged to make such transaction and obey with the client’s instructions.

In the present case, the respondent bank suspected that the money in the appellant’s account was criminal property. So, in the event of executing the appellant’s instruction, the respondent bank would have committed an offence under section 328 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.


Applied: R. v Da Silva (Hilda Gondwe) [2006] EWCA Crim 1654, [2007] 1 W.L.R. 303, [2006] 7 WLUK 281.

References: [2006] EWCA Civ 1039; [2007] 1 W.L.R. 311; [2006] 4 All E.R. 907; [2006] 2 All E.R. (Comm) 655; [2007] Bus. L.R. 26; [2006] 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 569; [2006] 7 WLUK 515; [2006] C.P. Rep. 45; (2006) 103(31) L.S.G. 24; (2006) 150 S.J.L.B. 982; Times, July 27, 2006; Independent, July 25, 2006; [2006] C.L.Y. 260.

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