Sir Fred injunction lifted


An injunction preventing disclosure of the fact of a past relationship between Sir Fred Goodwin and a colleague has been partially lifted so that the existence of the relationship could be publicised by the defendant, as well as the nature of the colleague’s role, even though this would tend to make her identifiable. The High Court held that Sir Fred and the colleague did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy of their relationship or the job description. Even if they had had such an expectation this would be in the public interest as Sir Fred was a prominent public figure and there was a general interest in allowing informed public debate on sexual relationships between powerful public figures and their less senior colleagues. Details of the job description were omitted from the judgment pending any appeal. Interestingly, the judge said internet publication intruded less on privacy because it generally only became known to those who actively sought out the information whereas print and broadcast media presented the name to all including those who had no particular interest in the matter.

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