The moneybroker Collins Stewart Tullett and the Financial Times finally drew a line under their bitter two-year battle yesterday when Collins Stewart accepted £300,000 in damages and an apology from the FT to be printed in today’s paper.
The brokerage, headed by the combative Terry Smith, sued the newspaper at the High Court in London over four articles which contained allegations made by a former Collins Stewart analyst, James Middleweek, and appeared in August 2003.
The FT also agreed to pay all of the broking firm’s legal costs of £2.2m. The newspaper’s own costs came to £1.8m. The total legal bill of £4.3m relating to the case will be fully covered by the FT’s insurance policy. The news came as the FT’s owner, Pearson, reported that the newspaper broke even last year after three years of losses.
Collins Stewart’s solicitor, Rod Christie-Miller, told the High Court yesterday: “The defendant, through its solicitor, is here today to express on behalf of the Financial Times its regret at the way in which it reported Mr Middleweek’s allegations against Collins Stewart in August 2003. The Financial Times is happy to clarify that it did not ever endorse Mr Middleweek’s allegations and apologises for any impression to the contrary that may unintentionally have been given.”