The Data Brief

A monthly data protection bulletin from the barristers at 5 Essex Chambers

Another data protection litigant called Dixon

14 December 2022

Dixon v North Bristol NHS Trust [2022] EWHC 3127 (KB)

Dixon, a surgeon, brings an application for an interim injunction against his former employer NHS Trust. The litigation arises following his dismissal on the basis that he had performed a particular unnecessary surgical procedure on 203 patients instead of offering them less invasive treatments.

There is separate litigation in which various patients of Dixon are bringing claims against the Trust in respect of care provided by him. In that separate litigation, the Trust intended to disclose certain documents, including the outcome report of its internal investigation. Dixon sought to stop this by way of injunction.

One basis for the injunction application was that the disclosure would amount to a breach of confidence and/or a misuse of private information.

In considering the argument for breach of confidence, the Court focussed on whether there was a countervailing justification for the disclosure, out balancing the duty of confidence which the Trust owed to Dixon. In refusing the application for an interim injunction, the Judge relied on reasons including that the claimants had a direct and legitimate interest in receiving the proposed disclosure. The Court also considered the nature of disclose in civil proceedings, and noted that a party’s right to give disclosure is not limited to that which is required by standard disclosure, and there may be good reasons why a party would elect to disclose more than this to another party.

Judgment: click here


Francesca Whitelaw KC

Call 2003 | Silk 2023

Aaron Moss

Call 2013

The Data Brief

A monthly data protection bulletin from the barristers at 5 Essex Chambers

The Data Brief is edited by Francesca Whitelaw KC, Aaron Moss and John Goss, barristers at 5 Essex Chambers, with contributions from the whole information law, data protection and AI Team.

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