Connect with us

Court Cases

Sir James Dyson’s libel claim against Daily Mirror publisher dismissed by British Court

British billionaire Sir James Dyson’s recent libel case against the Daily Mirror regarding a January 2022 article ended in failure.

Sir James told the court that the article constituted “a personal attack on all that I have done and achieved in my lifetime and is highly distressing and hurtful”.

However, the judge dismissed his claim, noting the absence of demonstrated financial losses resulting from the publications.

Published

on

UNITED KINGDOM: British billionaire Sir James Dyson recently faced a setback in a libel case against the publisher of the Daily Mirror.

The 76-year-old inventor filed a legal action against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) following the publication of an article in January 2022.

In court, Sir James expressed that the article constituted “a personal attack on all that I have done and achieved in my lifetime and is highly distressing and hurtful”.

However, following a two-day trial in November, the British royal court, on Friday (1 Dec), dismissed Sir James’s claim.

The court ruled in favour of MGN’s defence, highlighting that Sir James failed to prove that “he has suffered financial loss as a result of these publications.”

Critique spurs Sir James Dyson’s legal response

In an online article on 28 January 2022, the Daily Mirror published an article under the headline, “Our government is making young people believe that cheats do prosper“.

Penned by journalist Brian Reade, the piece referred to Sir James as “the vacuum-cleaner tycoon who championed Vote Leave due to the economic opportunities it would bring to British industry before moving his global head office to Singapore”.

Mr Reade continued: “Kids, talk the talk but then screw your country and if anyone complains, tell them to suck it up.”

In response to these assertions, Sir James took legal action against MGN, characterizing the allegations as a “vicious and vitriolic” personal attack undermining his efforts to inspire young people to pursue engineering.

In his witness statement, the inventor, a supporter of the UK’s exit from the European Union, clarified that the decision regarding his company’s relocation had no substantial impact on Dyson’s UK operations, commitment to the UK, or the amount of corporation tax paid in the UK.

Representing Sir James, counsel Justin Rushbrooke argued that the article constituted “highly vitriolic” journalism devoid of evidence to substantiate its severe accusations.

While the publisher defended the case, citing that Reade’s article expressed “honest opinion,” Rushbrooke contended that such opinion should offer leeway but not serve as a means for journalists to mislead readers.

Rushbrooke stated in written submissions that both the print and online articles represented an unwarranted and damaging attack on Sir James’s reputation, business, and personal standing.

British court dismisses Dyson’s claim

On Friday (1 Dec), in a ruling delivered by the British royal court, Justice Jay dismissed Dyson’s claims.

 The judge said: “In the present case the claimant cannot demonstrate that he has suffered financial loss as a result of these publications.”

“Nor can he show that his philanthropic work, particularly directed to young people and schools, has been harmed in any way.”

Justice Jay deliberated on whether the statement implying that Dyson had harmed the country could be regarded as the opinion of an honest commentator.

The judge concluded: “Mr Reade was not attempting to offer a window into or shine a light on the claimant’s thought processes or motivation. He could not, and did not, claim to do that. ”

“Rather, the ‘screwed his country etc’ remark was Mr Reade’s ‘take’ on how people would or might envisage the claimant’s actions.”

The judge emphasized that although Mr Reade’s comment was sharp and unbalanced, it did not accuse Dyson of dishonesty, thereby allowing considerable scope for honest commentary.

In response to the verdict, an MGN spokesperson expressed satisfaction with the judgment, stating it upholds the rights of columnists to share honestly held opinions, even regarding powerful or affluent individuals.

In a separate statement, a Dyson spokesperson highlighted the company’s success as a global technology firm, emphasizing its significant contributions to the UK economy.

The spokesperson mentioned increased UK Corporation Tax payments post-2019, ongoing substantial investments in the UK, and the establishment of a university in Malmesbury, educating numerous undergraduates without tuition fees while they earn salaries and contribute taxes.

Sir James Dyson’s investment in Singapore

In 2019, Dyson made headlines by revealing plans to establish its new global headquarters in Singapore.

During the official inauguration of its global headquarters at St James Power Station last year, Dyson announced a significant investment of S$1.5 billion (US$1.12 billion) to bolster its Singapore operations within the subsequent four years.

In May this year, Dyson unveiled further expansion initiatives, intending to inaugurate a cutting-edge battery manufacturing plant in Singapore along with research and development centers in the UK and the Philippines.

The new plant, spanning an area equivalent to 53 basketball courts, is slated to commence operations by 2025, while the research teams will focus on AI, software development, robotics, and battery technology.

These new ventures are integral components of Dyson’s ambitious five-year plan amounting to £2.75 billion (US$3.4 billion), aimed at amplifying its research and development capabilities.

Apart from the new Singapore facility, the company headquartered in Singapore disclosed its intentions to establish research and development centers in the UK and the Philippines, all integral parts of its £2.75 billion (US$3.4 billion) five-year investment strategy.

In 2019, following the decision to relocate Dyson’s headquarters to Singapore, Sir James Dyson acquired a three-story penthouse at Wallich Residence, occupying the topmost levels of the 64-story Guoco Tower in Tanjong Pagar.

However, after just a year, he sold this property for S$62 million, a figure lower than the initial purchase price of S$73.8 million, which had set a record at the time of acquisition.

Share this post via:
Continue Reading
3 Comments
Subscribe
Notify of
3 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Avoid the Brutish Courts………..sure LoSse!

1. I think Mr Reade would be in trouble if the trial was done in Singapore.

2. Didn’t Dyson also buy a landed property, which is normally not permitted for foreigners, besides botanical garden after telling pAp that he is starting an electric car factory here? Subsequently, he aborted the car factory plan after the purchased of that landed house.

If you use this case as a benchmark, most of the cases similar to this case in Singapore including the recent case against LHY should be dismissed . None of the cases could show actual financial loss, loss in reputation or in other areas by the PAP Ministers or the PM. It was all probable yet our Courts ruled in favour of the probable instead of holding to the Law of proving without doubt so we Singaporeans can only hold on to the “pliant,” description of our Courts. However as we watch the courts behaviour as time progresses, the word… Read more »

Trending

Discover more from Gutzy Asia

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue Reading