HISCOX COMES OUT OK! IN DESMOND LIBEL CONTEST
ONE of the biggest winners in the recent Richard Desmond versus Tom Bower libel trial was Hiscox, the insurer backing Bower’s publishers.
Like everybody else on the Bower side, Hiscox underwriter Ian Birdsey spent an anxious last day at the trial as the jury deliberated over its decision.
Within an hour of the verdict, though, Birdsey joined Bower’s legal team and friends such as former Crimewatch presenter Nick Ross in El Vino’s on Fleet Street celebrating a famous victory, chuffed that there would be no £1m payout. There were rumours yesterday that Desmond may appeal the case, but these were being discounted by Bower’s legal team. Birdsey himself spent much of the nine days of the trial in court, missing only one day of the case.
Hiscox is one of the major media insurers, and an extract from one of its policies shows a myriad of potential media pitfalls – defamation, malicious falsehood and implied contractual duty of care – to name a few.