Press barons opt for mediation

Rival press barons Richard Desmond and Lord Black are to try to settle their differences in a libel dispute out of court.

Telegraph owner Black has sued Express Newspapers for “substantial” damages over two articles in the Sunday Express alleging that his company, Hollinger International, was in financial trouble.

Lawyers acting for the two companies have agreed in court to enter into mediation in order to reach a settlement.

If no agreement is found, a provisional trial date of 1 March has been set.

The articles concerned were published on 3 and 10 November.

One of them alleged that a credit facility had been cancelled by Hollinger’s bankers. Black contends that “virtually every word” of both articles is untrue.

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