If this argument is allowed to succeed, anyone else involved in the said activities was as responsible (or depending on the level of involvement - more responsible) for the alleged distribution and publication of the leaflet complained of.
It is now common ground that McDonald's hired seven 'Enquiry Agents' to infiltrate London Greenpeace. Three of these agents - Anthony Pocklington, Brian Bishop and Allan Clare, who have testified in the last fortnight - by their own admissions can be said to have involved themselves in the anti-McDonald's activities of London Greenpeace in 1989 and/or 1990 and in particular in the distribution of anti-McDonald's leaflets including the leaflet complained of. The court heard admissions from the said agents regarding their attendance of a large number of meetings (at some of which the said leaflet was claimed to be available to members of the public), of distribution of the leaflet complained of in letters/mailouts, and in one case on a stall. Indeed it can and will be argued that the agents' responsibility for the distribution of the said leaflet was greater than the Defendants' responsibility if any. On several occasions, two or more of the agents attended meetings of London Greenpeace at the same time. Further, in the year from Oct 1989 to Oct 1990, one or more of the seven agents attended around 50 of the meetings and events of London Greenpeace.
Such involvement, and the continued participation of Enquiry Agents in London Greenpeace and in anti-McDonald's activities for months after the writs were served in September 1990 (including handing out anti-McDonald's leaflets on demonstrations against the company), has already led us to recently plead in our Defence that the company, by such actions, has consented to the publication of the leaflet complained of.
We therefore, following the judgment of the Court of Appeal on 27th June, give Notice of our intent to apply at the earliest opportunity for leave to issue 'Third Party Proceedings' to join those three abovementioned agents as Defendants in the case (under Order 16 of the Rules of the Supreme Court, 1981). If we succeed in this application, the agents will be liable to McDonald's for damages if the Plaintiffs win the main claim in the action.
28th June 1996