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Top media judge criticises all parties in Giggs scandal

2nd March 2012

The three parties at the centre of last year’s media furore surrounding Ryan Giggs – News Group, Imogen Thomas and the footballer himself – have all been strongly criticised by the UK’s top media judge for their conduct.

Mr Justice Tugendhat made his comments when rejecting the Manchester United player’s claims for damages over The Sun’s stories about a then anonymous celebrity’s affair with the glamour model.

Tugendhat lamented the fact that the scandal had undermined the public’s confidence in the effectiveness of the legal system and that representatives of everyone involved acted in a manner not befitting their status as public figures.

He noted Giggs’ missing the initial deadline of 18th November of applying for damages, Thomas’ failure to put forward a defence when invited to do so, and News Group’s unexplained wish to delay trial proceedings.

As holder of one of the top London lawyer jobs, Tugendhat J’s words should have a significant impact on the future actions of both potential claimants and defendants who wish to avoid such indictments and unwanted media attention.