Schillings announces Stelios win in Ryanair libel battle
Schillings law firm has announced that Sir Stelios Haji-loannou has won his libel battle against Michael O’Leary and Ryanair.
Sir Stelios, the founder of easyJet and the easyGroup business empire, accepted a complete apology and retraction from O’Leary and Ryanair over a series of libelous adverts in January and February this year which portrayed Sir Stelios as a “Pinocchio” character and alleged he had “hidden the truth” about easyJet’s on-time statistics. By doing so, they alleged he had lied when he had not.
In settlement of the claim, O’Leary and Ryanair have taken out advertisements in The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph apologising to Sir Stelios for including him in the original advertisements.
In an agreed statement read in the High Court this morning, Sir Stelios’ lawyers Schillings said: “Mr. O’Leary and Ryanair accept that the advertisements should not have been published referring to Sir Stelios and have made a complete offer to settle his claim. In doing so they fully accept that Sir Stelios did not lie about the matter.”
The Claim was issued after Sir Stelios’ complaint about the original adverts was met with a robust and public response from O’Leary and Ryanair. After challenging Sir Stelios to a race around Trafalgar Square or a Sumo Wrestling Competition to resolve the dispute, O’Leary and Ryanair have now agreed to pay damages, legal costs and undertake not to repeat the claim in addition to the public apologies.
Commenting on the settlement Sir Stelios said: “This was an unpleasant personal attack on me by a large public company, made worse by the way O’Leary responded to the legal complaints. I am pleased the law provides protection to individuals like me from unpleasant attacks on reputations from large corporations like Ryanair.”
Schillings partner Rachel Atkins led the team representing Sir Stelios and was assisted by Chris Scott. Michael Bloch QC of Wilberforce Chambers and David Sherborne of 5RB were briefed.
Notes to Editors:
Case number: HQ10 D00565
Schillings is one of Britain’s top law firms dedicated to safeguarding the reputations of international corporations, brands, celebrities and high-profile business people. The firm’s track-record in defamation, privacy law and copyright cases, as well as commercial dispute resolution and reputation management is second to none.
Defamation, privacy and copyright are at the heart of the firm’s work, prompting The Independent newspaper to call Schillings a “spectacularly efficient media law firm.”
Schillings clients include supermodel Naomi Campbell, actress Nicole Kidman, seven times Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, premiership footballer Wayne Rooney, Harry Potter author JK Rowling, pharmaceuticals maker GlaxoSmithKline, steel maker Arcelor Mittal, the Harrods Group and the London Stock Exchange.
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