Barclay v Barclay – Family Law Week case summary

17 May 2021

Permission for publication of substantive judgment in financial remedy proceedings refused, reporting restrictions order to remain in place.

The case concerned financial remedy proceedings between Lady Hiroko Barclay (W) and Sir Frederick Barclay (H).  The proceedings were heard in private in accordance with FPR 2010 r 27.10.   An interim reporting restrictions order (RRO) was made in the course of those proceedings and judgment was handed down on 30.03.21.  This hearing was to determine whether the judgment should be published either in full or in part, and whether the RRO should remain in place. Both parties agreed that the award and the open position of each party should be made public. (these are set out in the judgment).

H opposed any further reporting, while W contended that the public had a right to know of H's behaviour during the course of proceedings and that his behaviour had removed his right to privacy.  The media (Bloomberg and The Press Association) contended that the judgment was of general public interest.  The wider family opposed publication (although not knowing the content of the judgment) on the basis that it may impinge on their financial affairs and privacy.

The judgment provides a detailed summary of the relevant case law, noting in particular that the starting point is privacy but that in rare cases the conduct of a litigant can disentitle him from protection against publicity (Lykiardopulov Lykiardopulo [2010] EWCA Civ 1315).  The court also considered other options that lay between full publication, and no publication.  Neither party were in favour of the option to publish a summary.

Read the full summary on Family Law Week.