The appellants are two companies in the same group and a senior executive of that group. Five employees of group companies had made allegations of discreditable conduct by the senior executive. Three of them did so through the companies’ confidential internal grievance procedures. Two of those employees, when their grievance was not upheld, brought (separate) proceedings in the Employment Tribunal, as did another who had not employed the grievance procedure.
On 16 July a Daily Telegraph journalist contacted the appellants with a view to obtaining their comments on a story which it was proposing to publish about the complainants’ allegations and also about how they had been handled up to and including the Settlement Agreements and the inclusion of NDAs in those agreements.
The High Court, rejected the appellants’ application for an injunction. The primary question was whether the case is likely to succeed at full trial and it was decided that that was not the case. In all the circumstances, public interest in publication outweighs any confidentiality attaching to the information. The appellants appealed.
The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal and granted an interim injunction preserving the confidentiality of the information about the senior executive’s alleged conduct, details of the negotiation and terms of the NDAs pending a full trial. The court ordered a speedy trial.