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Peter Carter-Ruck
Born Peter Frederick Carter-Ruck
(1914-02-26)26 February 1914
Steyning, West Sussex, England
Died 19 December 2003(2003-12-19) (aged 89)
Uttlesford, Essex, England
Nationality British
Occupation Lawyer
Known for Specialising in libel cases
Spouse(s) Ann Maxwell (m. 1940–2003)

Peter Frederick Carter-Ruck (26 February 1914 – 19 December 2003) was an English lawyer, specialising in libel cases. The firm he founded, Carter-Ruck, is still practising.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Personal life[edit | edit source]

Carter-Ruck was educated at St Edward's School, Oxford. He spent three months in Germany during the 1930s, observing the rising popularity of Hitler and attending a rally in Freiburg. Upon his return, he trained as a solicitor.[1]

His daughter Julie Scott-Bayfield is also a libel lawyer.[2]

Career[edit | edit source]

Carter-Ruck's first major case was defending the Bolton Evening News successfully against a libel action brought by the Labour MP Bessie Braddock, who, the paper had claimed, had danced a jig in Parliament.[3]

In December 1995, Carter-Ruck acted for the royal nanny Tiggy Legge-Bourke in the matter of an allegation against her by Diana, Princess of Wales, that she had aborted Charles's child.[4]

Criticism[edit | edit source]

In 1980, the Daily Express editor Derek Jameson was advised by Carter-Ruck that if he sued the BBC over their portrayal of him in a Week Ending sketch, he would win at least £25,000 in damages. The barrister in the case, David Eady QC, however advised Carter-Ruck to accept the BBC's offer to settle for £10 plus costs. Carter Ruck did not disclose this advice to his client. The jury found the broadcast defamatory, but also fair comment and Jameson had to pay costs,[5] receiving a bill for £41,342.50 from Carter-Ruck. Jameson learned by chance of the QC's advice and Carter-Ruck's former partner David Hooper claimed that "Carter-Ruck told him a string of lies".[6] Carter-Ruck later claimed that he did not want to undermine Jameson's morale in court.[7]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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