This decision follows not long after the case of Xanthopoulos v Rakshina [2022] EWFC 30, where Mr Justice Mostyn determined that in the absence of a specific order preventing publication of information in financial remedy proceedings, the status quo should be maintained.

In this case, H made an application for a Reporting Restriction Order (RRO) prior to the final hearing. W adopted a neutral position. Mostyn J applied the “ultimate balancing test” identified within Re S (A Child) (Identification: Restrictions on Publication) [2005] 1 AC 593. Essentially, there is a balance to be struck between ECHR, Articles 8, 6 and 10.

In summary, H’s application requesting anonymity was made to limit the impact of any publication of the proceedings would have on his business, the business’s commercial interests and on his business partner. H also argued that majority of the evidence that had been filed, had been done so on the basis that any sensitive information would remain anonymous. Having regard to H’s position, Mostyn J made an interim RRO. Moreover, he decided that he would hear the substantive application and any opposing arguments from the press at the final hearing. The rationale for this decision, was to wait until the extent of the information concerning H’s business had been disclosed during evidence at the final hearing. The approach adopted by Mostyn J enables the court to be appraised of the evidence, thereby enabling the court to undertake the balancing exercise fairly, when determining whether a RRO should be granted.

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