A High Court judge has refused applications for publication of his judgment in a high-profile £100m divorce case involving a national newspaper proprietor. 

Mr Justice Cohen handed down judgment in March for financial remedies orders following an application by Lady Hiroko Barclay against her husband, the billionaire Telegraph owner Sir Frederick Barclay. In Barclay v Barclay the judge concluded that he should not permit the publication of the substantive judgment and that a summary of his findings would have been allowed but was effectively overtaken by this ruling.

Lady Barclay told the court she wished to exercise her right of freedom of expression and did not wish to be silenced about the way her former husband had behaved before and during the litigation. She argued that the public had a ‘right to know’ about his conduct, which removed his right to privacy. 

The court heard that Sir Frederick was the subject of ‘serious criticism’ in the judgment, which included aspects that were ‘highly personal’. However he said this was not a case of the husband ‘getting away with it’ and that the starting point was that proceedings were conducted in private.