Sir Philip Green has been asked to drop an injunction against the Telegraph in a letter from lawyers acting for the paper to the retail tycoon’s legal team.
Topshop and Topman owner Green was named in Parliament yesterday as the businessman behind a gagging order on the paper. Lord Hain, who named Green, used parliamentary privilege to do so.
The Telegraph reported on Wednesday that it was being stopped from reporting allegations of sexual harassment and racial abuse against a “leading” UK businessman, now revealed as Green.
It claims the Arcadia Group boss has used non-disclosure agreements, or NDAs, to silence alleged victims with “substantial sums” of money on at least five occasions.
Green has said in a statement that he would not comment on anything that has happened in court or was said in Parliament and denies any allegations of “unlawful sexual or racist behaviour”.
Gordon Dadds LLP, for the Telegraph, has written to Schillings LLP, the law firm representing Green. The letter has been shared by the Telegraph.
It calls on Green to “discharge” the aspect of the injunction preventing it from “publishing any details of the claims made by the identified individuals and the NDAs entered into by them”.
The firm said: “Yesterday your client issued a widely reported press statement in which he categorically denied any unlawful sexual or racist behaviour.
“In the circumstances, including the very wide coverage given to this matter throughout the media, we do not see what continuing purpose there can be in maintaining the injunction any longer.
“If your clients do not agree, our clients will pursue this matter to trial as quickly as possible.”
News website Legal Cheek revealed this afternoon that Lord Hain is a paid global and government adviser for Gordon Dadds.
Hain has since released a statement denying he was aware the law firm was advising the Telegraph, saying he had named Green in his “personal capacity as an independent member of the House of Lords”.
He said: “Gordon Dadds, a highly respected and reputable international law firm, played absolutely no part whatsoever in either the sourcing of my information or my independent decision to name Sir Philip.
“They were completely unaware of my intentions until after I spoke in the House of Lords.”
The Court of Appeal granted an interim injunction against the Telegraph on Tuesday, pending a trial next year. The case had initially been rejected by a High Court judge.
Schillings LLP is the same firm that won a super injunction to prevent the reporting of footballer Ryan Giggs’s affair with Big Brother contestant Imogen Thomas in 2011.
Giggs was outed by Twitter users and later named in Parliament by Lib Dem MP John Hemming using parliamentary privilege.
Picture: Reuters/Mary Turner